17 Essential Oil Painting Supplies For Beginners

This entry was posted on July 8, 2022 by Shilpi Roy.

17 Essential Oil Painting Supplies For Beginners

Talent? Check.
Mood? Check.
Interest? Check.

But what are the materials you’ll need?

If you’re someone who has made up their mind to dive into the world of oil painting but are confused about where to start and how to start then we’ve got you covered.

We at Maven Art have been working with oil paints and making our customers happy for quite some time now, and here we are again helping you guys out with some essential painting supplies for your next oil painting masterpiece.

To keep it simple the four essentials that any oil painter would need are:
1. Something to paint on
2. Something to paint with
3. Something to clean with
4. Something to keep it all organized

Keeping in mind these four essential paint supplies for beginners let’s move forward with our specific list of supplies and oil paint tools that you might need for your next oil painting.

These are the most basic tools that you’ll require for your next painting, specifically oil painting. You can always go ahead and buy some extra oil painting accessories to make your paintings stand out.

Most of these items are not brand-oriented and are best suited for someone who’s just a beginner in the field of oil painting.

Here are the top 17 essentials for your next oil painting that you need.

1. Oil Paint

oil painting supplies

This one is a no-brainer for sure. Make sure that you don’t go wrong with these as these will be the ones deciding the fate of your painting when it comes to quality.

You can go for different qualities of oil paints ranging from student grade to artist grade. Although you might be beginning and the lower price of the student quality paints might make you think it is a better option but avoid going for them.

Even though they are cheaper, they are usually much more difficult to handle, they are usually messy, and contain fewer pigments and more fillers.

Make sure that you always go quality over quantity when it comes to buying oil paints.

2. Paint Brushes

oil painting for beginners

Now contrary to what most beginners usually think, you don’t need an entire army of brushes to paint.

A few, diverse student quality sets of paintbrushes might do the job just as well as the expensive grade ones. Synthetic brushes are usually cheaper while the natural ones turn out to be more expensive.

Starting you can go for the three basic brushes: a big brush for all the big coloring areas, a medium-sized round brush, and a small brush for the fine details and the smaller areas in your painting.

Make sure that after every oil painting session, you clean the brush well and rinse them well. This makes the brush last long and doesn’t let them lose their shape easily hence making them fit for fulfilling their purpose for a longer period.

If you’re still confused about the types of brushes to go for you can opt for a paintbrush starter kit in the beginning.

Types of Paint Brush

Round: It is used to add small details to a oil painting.
Flat: The flat brush is one of the most versatile brush of the lost. These are great for blending your oil painting colors.
Fan: These are great to add textures to your paintings and give a bit rough texture to the painting at places.
Filberts: These are somewhat similar to the flat brushes but have a rounded edge.
Brights: These are useful if you want your brush strokes to be seen on the painting and make it more expressive.

3. Newspapers

how to use oil paints

No, this isn’t for reading while you paint.

While you paint, there’ll be a lot of instances where you might be needed to clean up your brush for a different color stroke. This is where newspapers come in handy. They’re cheap, simple, in abundance, and can be an efficient choice to informally clean up your brush without much effort.

So grab a newspaper next time you sit to paint.

4. Paint Thinner

oil painting tips

Oil paints are not easy to get rid of and are a bit clumsy to use. Unlike its counterparts, acrylic, and watercolors, oil paints need turpentine or paint thinner for thinning the paint and making it more dilutable to increase the fluidity of the paint.

Moreover, it will decrease the drying time of your painting drastically. Using a thinner might play with your paint’s texture a bit, but it has more pros than this little con.

Bonus Tip: Go for the odorless thinner if you’re a beginner. Also, if you’re buying turpentine, make sure you buy it from a departmental store or a hardware shop. It’s going to be much lighter on your pocket, and it’s the same stuff as of what you’ll get in the paint shops.

5. Painting Surface (Canvas)

oil painting basics

While painting you need a surface to paint on and when it comes to choosing a surface for oil painting, canvas boards take the lead.

Canvas boards are economical and hence great for beginners. Although, they might not be as durable as you’d want them to be it does the job.

If you’re not comfortable with canvas, you can go for paper as well. While using paper make sure you use gesso or any other primer to save your painting from rotting due to the oil paint’s texture and wight.

Using paper might be good for you as it will give you a feel of oil painting in a better and comparatively economical way.

6. Palette

beginning oil painting

A palette is required to squeeze out your paints into the real word for your painting. This will be required to mix up your paints to bring out the best combinations of your oil paints.

The palette can be bought, which is made of paper, glass, plastic, or wood. While many people prefer to go for the disposable paper palettes due to their disposable factor, others are a big fan of the glass palette from which the color can be scraped off easily.

Apart from these there are also airtight palettes which are quite convenient as it keeps the colors wet even after a few hours so that you can use them later.

7. Easel

oil paintings for beginners

An easel is wooden support for your canvas. You can place your canvas on a table and paint, but an easel is recommended to keep your canvas sturdy and in place.

Easels can be effective in painting and are usually not so expensive. Make sure that you first buy a cheaper option so that you will get to know exactly what you want later on. You can buy a used or refurbished easel if you’re a beginner.

8. Palette Knives

oil painting kit

Palette knives and palettes go hand in hand. Although this is an optional accessory, it might come in handy when painting with oil paints.

This might seem like a designer tool or unnecessary equipment, but a metal palette knife can be used to tackle those dried-up paints which a brush cannot solve. Moreover, a palette knife is much more efficient in mixing oil paints than a paintbrush and helps in scraping off the dried paintings.

9. Linseed Oil

oil painting materials

Linseed oil is the perfect medium to change the oil consistency of your paint. Oil paint is used to counter a thinner and fatten up your paint.

This can slow the drying time of your paint and increases its transparency of the paint. Adding linseed oil progressively to your paint makes your painting more expressive.

10. Pencil

beginner oil painting

Before painting anything on your canvas, make sure you map out the shapes on the canvas. Prepare an outline so that you can get a predefined perspective. Charcoal pencils work on canvas rather well than their graphite counterparts.

11. Painting Clothes

how to paint with oil

You know it’s going to get messy when you’re painting. Make sure you wear your old baggy clothes which are comfortable as the painting session might last longer and won’t be a clean and tidy one.

Most of the paints contain highly toxic materials which might be harmful to the skin. If your skin is rather more sensitive then you can go for rubber gloves while painting, which will protect your skin from unwanted toxins.

12. Oil Paint Cleaner

how to paint with oil paints

One of the main hassles after the painting is cleaning the brushes. Cleaning the brushes after the painting is necessary after painting to make sure the brush maintains its shape, size, and texture.

13. Plastic Wrap

how to start oil painting

Plastic wraps can be used to protect your paints. When you’re done for the day’s work and don’t want to throw the mixed paint away, wrap it up with the help of a plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. It’ll be as good as new the next day.

14. Gesso

learn oil painting

Gesso, as mentioned above, can help any surface worthy of painting. A gesso is preferably applied on the painting surface before putting any paint on the surface of the canvas.

The gesso helps the painting last longer and better. It makes your painting textured, and stiffer and helps your canvas accept paint in a much more efficient manner.

15. A jar for the brushes

oil painting tools

Painting is all about staying organized. Being a long and time-consuming process might get tedious, and you might get a bit grungy, and hence organizing things might keep you and your artwork well maintained and well made.

Keep a jar handy and organize all your painting brushes in it to stay organized.

16. A Table

painting supplies for beginners

Yes, a table.

Something as simple as a table might make your painting a tad bit better. Keep the table idle enough just for your painting essentials and supplies. This will help you prioritize your painting and also keeps your supplies in place.

17. A room or simply a ‘zone’

painting with oil

When you allot a special space to something in your home or office or any personal space of yours, you make it an important part of your life.

That’s the entire point behind allotting a room or a specific area to your painting a sort of a ‘mini studio.’ Try making a space for your painting in your place where you go and think about your art. It also helps you bring out the creativity in you, and it might reflect on your painting as well, you never know.


Art is not taught but learned.

The things you require for your next artwork is something that you’re going to realize slowly and through experience. You can get the basics right, but the rest of the things are completely on you.

While you’re busy ordering and buying the supplies we’ll help you out with your next oil painting. We at MavenArt are veterans when it comes to artworks.

Want to gift someone a portrait? Want a sketch? A caricature? Well, just let us know, and we will do the rest.

Send us a photograph, and we’ll convert it into the kind of artwork you want. As simple as that.

Happy portrait to you!

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