A great supply list for artists who are trying to paint in oils!
Sidenote: If you are just starting, or at the beginning of your learning, check out a very useful blog post “Top Oil Painting Tutorials on YouTube or 8 Steps to Learning How To Paint in Oils“.
It is essential to know about all the products available out there and have all of your questions answered! 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 supplies you will need:
Top 13 Oil Painting Supplies You Need
There are so many different oil paints 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 these are 200 ml tubes, but you are welcome to start off with 37 ml.) :
However, they don’t have to be exactly the same! Therefore this is a perfect set for painting!
And my all times favorite brand (personally) is Winsor & Newton! Check them out 🙂
( I am not an Affiliate of Winsor Newton, and this is my honest personal opinion)
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.
The brush types:
Round (usually used for adding small details, however many painters manage to make the whole piece with one round brush).
Flat ( super versatile, great for blending and my favorite brush. I usually use flats for the whole piece).
Fan ( great for making rough marks, as well as adding texture to your piece).
Filbert ( my second to favorite brush. It’s very similar to Flats, but has rounded edges).
Bright ( 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.)
You can purchase all of them separately, or get a kit like this one:
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’s only worth like 1 Starbucks drink!!).
4. Palette Knife
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!
This is a great kit of palette knives :
5. Rag or Paper Towel
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 paint and even dusting 🙂
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. Then you can simply put it on a wooden board with tape around all ages and just go for it!
If you are looking to then put it up nicely on the wall, then stretched on wood or panel will work out great 🙂
7. Medium Oil
You can totally create beautiful paintings without this supply, however, it is nice to know about it and experiment! My favorite is Gamblin Galkyd Painting Medium.
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 🙂
It’s soooooooo hard to paint in oils on your desktop! It gets messy (and oil doesn’t wash out that easy), you can’t use the movements of your shoulder for more correct and beautiful 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. I recommend the:
Mont Marte Floor Easel w/Tilt Beech Wood ( the one I have and use on daily basis).
- A-frame easel
- Adjustable to your height
- Has a ledge for your tools
- Folds together for easy transport
– Made from seasoned hardwood
– Great for travel
– Drawer for your supplies
– Holds canvases up to 34 in.
Your canvas comes pre-primed, and gesso is the same as a primer. Why do it again? The reason to it is: prepare your canvas and save your paint. 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 by: Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Medium White Gesso, 450ml.
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
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 putting oil paint on! 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 like the one here because it’s cute and with pockets!
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 many more projects to come! 🙂
Here is an example of one: Gamblin 32oz Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirit.
12. Jar for Cleaning
Check it out here: Winsor & Newton Silicoil Brush Cleaning Tank
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 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 if you found this helpful or interesting 🙂
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Thank you for stopping by and as always good luck on Your Art Path,
– Your Art Bud 😉