Oil Painting Supply ListThese are the products I use in my own artwork
These are the supplies I use in my own oil paintings.
- Winsor & Newton Winton Color- This may not be all the colors you will want, but it’s a great start! The tubes are smaller than normal, but a little bit goes a REALLY long way with oil painting if you’re painting the way I do. I personally use both the Winton colors (linked here) and the Artists colors. The Artists colors cost a bit more, but there is a much bigger variety of colors available and seem to have a slightly creamier texture compared to the Winton Color.
- Weber’s Permalba Black – This black is so much darker than most other types of black oil paint. A small amount goes a LONG way!
- Weber’s Permalba White – The texture and opacity of this white is my favorite!
- Liquin Original – You may have heard of people using linseed oil for oil painting, this is what I use instead. It is a fast drying medium so what I apply will be dry to the touch overnight in most cases so I can start my next layer the next day.
- Liquin Fine Detail – This is a fast drying medium just like Liquin Original. The difference is it is MUCH MUCH thinner. It’s great for final detailing with a liner brush.
After a lot of bad experiences with generic canvases (most big chain art stores now only carry their own generic canvases and they are absolute crap, warping stretcher bars, badly primed etc), I only use Fredrix canvases now. If you are in North Texas, check out Asel art supplies. They have Fredrix canvases in their stores for half price all the time. You can purchase them through their website too. This is definitely worth it if you’re placing a large order
- Fredrix Blue Label Ultra Smooth
- Fredrix Pro Series Belgian Linen
- Fredrix canvas pads – if you’re just practicing you can tape these to a board to paint.
- Fredrix Convexo Canvases – These are the round ones you see me paint on that have the curved edges. While I prefer the smoother surface of the blue label and Belgian linen listed above, you can add a coat of Liquitex Gesso then sand it down when dry for a smooth painting surface.
- Fredrix Linen Oil Primed Paint Board
- Fredrix Pro Series Oil Primed Belgian Linen – The oil paint glides over the oil primed surface a bit smoother than the regular Belgian Linen. Both are awesome, but when working in oils I have a slight preference for the oil primed.
The brands aren’t as big of a deal for me with the brushes I use. As long as they work I’m happy. Many of my current brushes are the generic Masters Touch from Hobby Lobby. They go on sale for half price every few weeks so you can stock up then if you have a Hobby Lobby near you.
Generally speaking, you want to avoid brushes with short bristles. These don’t last long and they don’t allow you to get nice long brush strokes before having to reload the brush, which can create a rougher look than you may want.
You will want several sizes of each of these brushes.
- Taklon Bristled Filberts – Given how soft the taklon bristles are and how stiff oil paints tend to be, I normally use my taklons for glazing, but apply my initial layers with the synthetic hog hair.
- Taklon Bristled Rounds
- Taklon Bristled Flats
- Synthetic Hog Hair filberts and flats
- Stiff Flats – These are stiff bristled brushes that you generally hear me call “stiff flat” or “stiff rounds”…yes, those are technical terms! HA! Even though they are not the best quality, there are many techniques that I LOVE these for so these and the stiff rounds listed below are on my must-have list.
- Stiff Rounds – I get the ones that have rounded tips. Amazon carries a tube that contains all of these stiffer brushes (both rounds and flats) in a canvas holder that is a decent price.
- Synthetic Hog Hair Liner Brush – I usually get a #2, #3 and #4 and a very long bristled brush. I use the generic brand “masters touch” from Hobby Lobby.
- Mop Brush from Royal Soft Grip – These brushes shed like CRAZY, but you need a lot of them (and I like the bristles on these for oils) because they take days to dry all the way when you clean them, and they have to be completely dry to work (and with oils you will ruin them even if they are a little damp). Because oils dry so slowly you have plenty of time to scoop them out of the paint when they shed with a clean synthetic hog hair brush.
- Easel Daylight Clamp Light – I recently got this lamp and am SO in love with it. So far I like it even better than my ottlites. It is adjustable with its brightness levels and so easy to move around into the perfect position!
- Clamp light for my Palette – If you paint in a well-lit area this isn’t important, or if your palette is close to your easel lamp (above). If you find it’s hard to see what you’re doing though, this lamp is great! I clamped mine onto the tv tray I have my palette sitting on!
- Masterson Artist Palette – with a New Wave 12x16″ glass palette inside. This set up keeps my paint wet for weeks!
- Mona Lisa Brush Tank
- Mona Lisa Odorless Paint thinner (or gamsol) – These are odorless mineral spirits and have little to no odor. They are still toxic but MUCH less so than many other types of cleaners for oil painting. I can’t be near terpenoids or other paint thinners, even more “natural” ones because the odor is so strong it causes an instant headache (or my lungs to feel like they are closing up in the case of one “natural” type I tired).
- The Masters Brush Cleaner – This is the second part of cleaning your brushes. Watch this video
- Viva Paper Towels – This is the only paper towel that works well for oil paint. They are very cloth-like. Regular paper towels soak up the paint thinner and oils badly.
- Gamvar Varnish- This varnish can be applied as soon as your painting is dry to the touch. You don’t need to wait 6 months like most varnishes.
The links on this page are my Amazon affiliate links.
Several years ago I got fed up with poor quality canvases and stopped using anything but Fredrix Artist Canvas. When they later contacted me about a sponsorship I thought it was a perfect fit! I’ve since had the opportunity to try all sorts of their canvases, everything from gallery wrapped, linen, round, convexo and many more. All that I’ve used from Fredrix has always been perfect! I really can’t imagine using anything else at this point!
Don’t leave your brushes sitting in your paint thinner! This is one of the fastest ways to ruin the bristles of your paint brushes. Even a few of minutes of sitting in the paint thinner cup can fray and damage your bristles. To make your brushes last longer, rinse them then lay them flat to dry.
Generally speaking, I avoid brushes with very short bristles. They don’t last long and they don’t allow you to get nice long brush strokes before having to reload the brush, which can create a rougher look than you may want. The brushes above are all brushes I use myself.