Oil Painting Supplies Guide for Beginners

Often times when people are beginning off as new painters, they do not have sufficient information on the supplies that they require to get started on their new career.

When a new painter visits an art store, they will probably get confused at the number of brushes available on the aisles, paints canvas and other supplies most of which they have no idea how to use.

This can cause frustration especially where one has spend a large amount of money on supplies. The point to remember when beginning out is not to go overboard with supplies and to begin with the basic ones and increase the collection as you continue to gain experience in painting.

Painting brushes

Brushes are available in a variety of shapes sizes, and cost differently depending on size and quality. This is because you will be using this tool most often with oil paints. They are bound to wear off fast and it would be worth it investing in high quality brushes. When you invest in cheaper ones, you would need to replace them too soon. On top of that, cheap brushes tend to shed hair and lose shape with continued use as compared to quality brushes.

The kind of brushes you buy will also largely depend on the scope of your painting. For example, you require different brushes for portraits, landscapes and impasto work. A new painter learns this with time, and it would be wise for them to invest in a few of each size to begin with.

Oil paints

Similar to brushes, oil pints also vary in quality and price. It is notable that there are some very high quality oil paints as well. There are two main different grades of paints that include professional and student grade paints. Professional grade colors are more brilliant than the student grade. However, a beginner can start using the less expensive student grade and move up the ladder as they continue learning.

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The oil painting mediums

One artist will prefer a different medium from the other, and they can have their own mixtures and formulas. Linseed oil tends to turn the colors yellow and this makes it unsuitable for light colored mixtures.

In this case, use poppy oil instead as it has minimal tendency to turn the colors yellow. There are other mediums available and you can try different ones before settling on the one you find comfortable.

Canvas and other supporting material

One of the most popular supports that artists work with is cotton canvas material. However, one can use other support material including canvas paper and linen. An artist can also buy rolled canvas and roll it out on their own if this is what they desire.

Again, this is all about experimentation; find a support that works for you as an individual. You can begin with small sized and work the way upwards to medium sized and eventually large canvas.

Painting palette

Oil painting palettes are made of different material including wood, glass, plastic and even paper palettes. When painting with oil, it is imperative that you choose a palette that is not only easy to clean, but also ones that is non-porous. Porous palettes tend to permeate oil and make it dry up faster. Also, ensure that it has enough space for mixing colors.


The price and sizes of easels vary and the most important thing is to get an easel that is stable and large enough to support the chosen canvas. The other factor to consider is whether you will be painting in a studio or outdoors.

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