These are the supplies I use in my own oil paintings.
- Winsor & Newton – 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.
- 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 – These look just like the taklon brushes in the photo above but the bristles are slightly stiffer which is great for oil paint. I generally buy these from Hobby Lobby. While I normally don’t like generic brands from stores, I do like these brushes by Masters Touch (Hobby Lobby’s generic brand).
- Stiff Flats – These are considered synthetic hog hair but they are a much lower quality than the ones I have listed above so I always call them “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, not the pointed like the photo above of the taklon bristled brush. 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 #3 or #4 and a very long bristled brush like shown above.
- 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.
- Masterson Artist Palette – Watch the video above to see how I set mine up.
- 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
I’ve linked my amazon affiliate links for the supplies on this page, but please price check before you buy! Often the prices are great on amazon, sometimes out of the blue one of these items will be listed at 10x what you would spend at an art supply store.