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It would suck to sit down, and in the middle of your painting process realize that you are missing supplies!
For that not to happen, I welcome you to scroll down this post for the list of top 13 oil painting supplies you will need:
- Sidenote: If you are just starting, or at the beginning of your learning, check out a very useful article “Top Oil Painting Tutorials on YouTube or 8 Steps to Learning How To Paint in Oils“.
13 Essential Oil Painting Supplies List
1. Best Oil Paints
There are so many different oil paint brands and so many colors! How do you know which ones you need?
I have been painting in oils a lot in my art school, so I will tell you which brand I was taught to use, and which colors are necessary!
First of all, the preferred colors are :
All of the color tubes I picked out for you above are 37ml. The reason for that is that I believe you should try them out first before getting a larger size (they can get pretty expensive).
However, on that note, I think you will really benefit from a 200ml white, because it tends to run out the faster (at least it does for me as I use it to dilute colors).
Also, if you would prefer to try out oil painting with a set instead of selecting them one by one, I also got you covered.
It’s one of the best ones out there (to my knowledge), however, it doesn’t include all the necessary colors.
And while as that isn’t a problem for some, many of you will want the best results possible and so you can just buy the extra colors that are not in the set separately.
- Specifically developed to appear and work just like conventional oil color
- Ideal for artists who share a work space, schools or painting at home
- Includes: Lemon Yellow Hue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Deep Hue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue Hue, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Green (Blue Shade), Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Titanium White. Actual contents may vary
2. Best Brushes for Oil-Based Paint
There are so many different brush types! Eventually, you will figure out which ones you prefer, but it’s great to experiment in the beginning!
Brushes vary in size, what material they are made from, their structure, as well as the length of the handle.
Usually used for adding small details, however many painters manage to make the whole piece with one round brush.
- The World's Finest Water Color Brush - for artists who appreciate exquisite quality and longevity, there is no other brush than the Winsor & Newton Series 7.
- Point - having a crisp point and maintaining that during use.
- Snap & Spring - the brush snaps back crisply into shape with the right degree of spring to allow the artist superior control with a degree of give and take between the brush and painting surface.
Super versatile, great for blending and my favorite brush. I usually use flats for the whole piece.
- All purpose range of extremely versatile white synthetic brushes
- Stiff enough to use with fluid oils and acrylics, yet soft enough to use with watercolor
- Polyester filaments offer excellent spring and shape retention and smooth brush marks
Great for making rough marks, as well as adding texture to your piece.
- Almost semi-circular fan brush best for use with water colour - for blending and soften edges.
- Made of fine quality blended synthetic fibers of differing thicknesses.
- Soft filaments with good flow control, excellent spring, point and colour carrying capacity.
My second to favorite brush. It’s very similar to Flats, but has rounded edges.
- A flat head with an oval tip for creating a broad mark with a soft edge
- Best suited for full body acrylics, but also suitable for oils and alkyds
- Synthetic filament blended for easy cleaning and excellent flow control
Similar to flat, but with shorter bristles. It’s great for applying paint as well as taking it back – perfect if you want your brushstrokes to be shown.
- A short flat head. Creates sharp edges with control.
- All purpose range of extremely versatile white synthetic brushes.
- Stiff enough to use with fluid oils and acrylics, yet soft enough to use with watercolor.
You can purchase all of them separately, or get a kit like this one:
- PAINT BRUSH SET - 15 Long handle Taklon art paintbrushes for acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache, plein air and face painting.
- PREMIUM COOL BLUE HOLDER - Made from durable Oxford Fabric, it converts to pop-up stand - convenient for travel, drying & easy access while painting.
- RICH VARIETY - Luxurious brush selection - Fan, Filbert, Shader, Bright, Flat, Angle, Round & Rigger.
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - Enjoy peace of mind with our 1-year replacement guarantee.
- CLICK 'ADD TO CART' NOW - Quick, grab this deal before our limited time offer expires.
3. Best Palette For Oil Painting
Pallets are 100% needed, super useful and very good looking!! Or is it just me? :)))
There is a range of different pallets, pick which one you like best! (I use the wooden oval one – and it only costs like 1 Starbucks drink!!).
4. Palette Knife Set
These bad boys are great for applying paint onto your canvas, as well as mixing the paints on your palette.
Oil is a pretty sticky substance, and so if you mix it with your brush – a lot of the oil will stick in between the bristles and this way your paint mixture isn’t consistent + you waste a lot of paint + the brush gets ruined faster!
Also, you can paint by applying oil paint with any of the knifes instead of brushes – and the results are awesome!
That’s why I reccomend getting a palette knife set.
- VERSATILE SET - This 5-piece painting knife set includes a variety of shapes and sizes of painting knives, making them a versatile and must-have set of tools for all artists!
- ASSORTED SHAPES AND STYLES - The assorted shapes and styles found in this painting knife set mean you can complete a variety of painting techniques.
- PERFECT FOR MIXING - The primary use for these painting knives is to mix colors, but they can be used for thick paint applications as well as applying paint colors, pigments, gesso textures and more.
5. Rag or Paper Towel
And so the oil painting supplies list continues.
Now as you start painting, there will be a lot of times when there is extra paint on your brush ( and you don’t want to go wash it after each time!), so it’s a great idea to have a paper towel or a rag close by.
AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth is great for it since it washes out way better than a regular one (because of microfibers).
I actually use these for everything – washing floor from something greasy, while painting and even for dusting 🙂
- Ultra soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloths will not scratch paints, coats or other surfaces
- Cleans with or without chemical cleaners, leaves lint and streak free results
- Absorbs eight times its own weight
6. Oil Painting Canvas Types
Now, what should we paint on?
Because it’s oil painting we are talking about, we have to get canvas!
They vary in size, material and if they are stretched onto a board, stretched onto a panel or not stretched.
For quick studies, I suggest Canvas paper pack by Strathmore. Because you most probably won’t be selling your studies, this option is more affordable. However, in case you decide to sell it afterward, you can always stretch it yourself.
If you are looking to then put up your painting nicely on the wall (and don’t feel like stretching anyhting yourself), then canvas stretched on wood or panel will work the best 🙂
7. Medium For Oil Painting
It’s a supply that thins down your oil ( like water for acrylics ) while keeping it in a great consistency.
It also makes the paint more glossy, and artists often use it for fine details 🙂
You can totally create beautiful paintings without this supply, however, it is nice to know about it and experiment!
- This fast drying medium smoothes brushwork and increases the gloss and transparency
- It is excellent for glazing and producing fine detail
- Is resistant to yellowing
It’s soooooooo hard to paint in oils at your table!
It gets messy (and oil doesn’t wash out that easy), you can’t use the movements of your shoulder for more expressive brushstrokes, and sometimes when you are done and put it in standing positions – the proportions look very different from what you originally saw.
So, it’s a great idea to get an easel! There are so many different ones!
But the main thing you need to decide for yourself is if you want to be able to put it on your desk or have it standing by itself.
Your canvas comes pre-primed, and gesso is pretty much the same as a primer. Why do it again?
To fully prepare your canvas and save your paint in the long run.
Gesso will make the surface a little bit textured, stiff and ready to accept paint. If you don’t use gesso on your blank canvas, you will have to apply way more of oil paint, because the paint will soak in.
My preferred gesso is:
- Made from the highest quality acrylic resin with a superior level of pigmentation to give maximum covering power
- Fast drying, opaque, and dries to an excellent tooth and balanced absorbency
- Dries to a flexible ground suitable for acrylic, oil and alkyd painting
Yes, Winsor again :)) But after using it for more than 3 years I can’t make myself try other companies!
You all are welcome to explore! I’m just giving you tips from personal experience 🙂
10. Painting Clothes
Next on the oil painting supplies list is clothing!
It can be any clothes that you are not planning to go out in anymore 🙂
Just have a set of clothing you are not afraid to “make more colorful and unique” by sometimes accidentally coloring it in oil paint!
I remember when I got a cute black hoodie and started painting in oils.
Guess what? My elbow went straight into Titanium White Oil Paint (which I only noticed 2-3 hours later) and till this day the black hoodie with a white elbow is my favorite winter clothing for painting 🙂
Or you can always get an apron for cooking or art specifically (which I also have in black and I think they are pretty much the same thing) 🙂
I really like these two:
11. Mineral Spirits
Mineral Spirits are very similar to paint thinners, except the last one is smellier (due to it containing other forms of solvents).
They are great for cleaning your brushes! Oil paint can’t be properly cleaned with just water, so using mineral spirits will help you keep your brushes for a long time! 🙂
Here is an example of one:
- Excellent solvent for thinning Gamblin mediums and for general painting
- Gamsol is a petroleum distillate
- Evaporates 100% and leaves no residue in paint layers
12. A Jar for Cleaning Brushes
People give great reviews about cleaning jars as they help protect your brushes, work effectively and are very easy to use!
Here is an example of such jar:
- For the proper cleaning of fine artist brushes
- The aluminum coil in the base of the glass tank has a nondamaging surface
- For wiping away paint from brush hairs as well as holding bristles above the sediment
13. Plastic Wrap
Last but not least – what do you do with your paint when you have a lot left and you plan to continue painting tomorrow?
Wrap your paint with a plastic wrap and put it in your fridge! It will stay in great condition for up to one week!!!
So there is my oil painting supplies list! I hope you got something useful out of it for yourself 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments down below, and please share this article if you found it helpful or interesting 🙂
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Thank you for stopping by and as always good luck on Your Art Path,
– Your Art Bud 😉