Oil painting is such a fun medium to work with. But when I first started, I found it hard to find information on how to use oil paint and what oil painting materials to start with. So I thought I'd share with you the very basic oil painting supplies that I started with, and still use today. You can find links to all the materials I mention in this blog post at the end of this article.
Oil Paint Brands
Winsor&Newton Artists' Oil Colours are one good option to start with. They are high quality artist grade colours, but not too expensive. Winsor&Newton also has an even more affordable line of paints which are the Winsor&Newston Winton Oil Colours. The Winton line is mainly meant for art students, but many professional artists use them as well because of the more affordable price.
The other brand of oil colour that I've seen many professional oil painters use is Mussini. The Mussini oil paints are a bit pricier, but the quality of the paints is just superb. They are so creamy and smooth and just a delight to paint with.
I've recently also bought two tubes of Old Holland oil paint to test them out. Old Holland is a very traditional high quality brand, and because the tubes are quite expensive, I decided to buy raw umber and titanium white to start with. I have to say I'm loving the quality of these oil paints. I'm looking forward to buying more Old Holland paints in the future.
There are so many different brands of oil paint to choose from, and you don't have to start with any of the more expensive brands. If you are just starting, I would recommend buying one tube of each primary colour; red, yellow and blue, as well as a tube of titanium white. Or if you love to paint with multiple colours, many brands also sell starter sets that include a wide range of colours for an affordable price.
Oil Painting Medium
Oil paint is very thick when you squeeze it straight out of the tube. That is why it's good to use an oil painting medium to thin down the paint a bit. I like using Winsor&Newton Liquin oil painting medium. Liquin is a fast drying medium, which means that your painting will be touch dry the next day. Oil paint dries very slowly, and that is why Liquin is so fantastic. It allows you to continue painting on top of your previous layer much faster, because you don't have to wait so long for the paint to dry.
If you are new to oil painting, it's wonderful to know that you can start painting with just using one oil painting medium. There are a lot of different oil painting mediums, but you will learn about those as you become more familiar with using oil paints. Liquin is all you really need to get started.
Oil painting on canvas and other surfaces
The surface you paint on will have a huge effect on your final painting. You can choose to paint on canvas or board, and some artists even use paper as an oil painting surface.
I prefer oil painting on canvas. My preferred canvas at the moment is Fredrix Belgian Linen Canvas Boards. I've tried cotton canvases before, but personally there's too much texture on those for me. I've also tried painting on masonite board, but that in return was too smooth for me. I've found that Belgian linen is the best choice if you want to paint fine detail but still want the surface to have some texture. If you are not sure what kind of surface you want to paint on, I recommend testing out many different surfaces and choosing the one that is best for you.
To make the painting surface even smoother, I like to put two or three layers of Golden Acrylic Gesso onto my canvas board and sand it down with sandpaper before I start painting.
Other useful Oil Painting Supplies
You will need a surface to mix your paint on. Disposable tear-off palette sheets are really handy. They make cleaning up so much easier. The palette sheets are sheets of paper that you can tear off and throw way after you have finished painting.
To clean up the oil painting brushes, you can use a special brush cleaning soap. If you take good care of your brushes, they will last longer.
list of Oil painting materials
Here I've listed all the materials I mentioned in this article with an Amazon affiliate link.
- Student grade oil paints, also good for professional: Winsor&Newton Winton Oil Colours
- Winsor&Newton's artist grade oil paints, affordable high quality option: Winsor&Newton Artists' Oil Colours
- High quality resin oil colours, a bit pricier: Mussini Oil Paints
- High quality tradition oil colours, the best I've tried so far: Old Holland Oil Paints
- Oil painting medium to thin down the paint and make it dry overnight: Winsor&Newton Liquin
- Belgian linen canvas boards by Fredrix are my preferred surface to paint on: Fredrix Nature Core Canvas
- Acrylic gesso for preparing a painting surface: Golden Acrylic Gesso
- Easy to clean up disposable palette sheets: Winsor&Newton Tear Off Pallette
- Soap to clean your brushes: Mona Lisa Pink Soap
Thank you for reading.