5 Best Oil Paint Supplies

Oil Paint Supplies for beginners.

Where do I begin with oil painting? What are the essential materials?

These are common questions that you can have when thinking about starting with oil painting. It’s difficult to understand, especially if you’re just getting started. 

Some of these resources are the basics to get you started and they are all super valuable and can help you speed up your success.

I only wish we had had these when we first started with oil painting.


The big mistake that is out there is that oil paints are bad for your health. The reason for this myth is the fumes and smell but in reality, the mediums are what can make oil paint toxic.

Mediums that were used in the past and still used today are turpentine and mineral oils spirits and today people use gamsol. Turpentine has a strong smell, and it releases fumes. Gamsol is very popular . People claim there is no, smell which is, true but despite the chemical process to remove the smell   Gamsol still releases fumes so be aware of that.

Safe medium options

The mediums that I use since I got started with Oil paints are from the Chelsea Classic Studio

Let’s start with how you clean your oil paints brushes. Most people use gamsol but gamsol releases fumes despite having no smell and I didn’t want that option.

The reason I use Chelsea is that their line is non-toxic with no carcinogenic fumes, no petroleum, no turpentine.

Lean Medium 

Fat medium

Instead of fat medium, you may also need Lindseed Oil

In the end, you just really need 2 mediums

Extras :

Varnish : Every paint needs varnish to protect and make the paint last hundred of years. I use Gamvar

I also use baby oil to clean more and hydrate the brush.

2.Brushes for Oil Paint

What brushes to use for oil painting is one of the most common questions. First I like to use long handles. There are also short handles.  Why do I prefer longer handles?

I like to paint in a non-realistic more abstract way and a way to be more free with my hands, if your goal is to paint more realistically then short handles brushes.

One of my favorite companies is Rosemary and co .

I get their Shiraz oil brushes, but here are their whole oils collections. Because I’m vegan, I prefer synthetic brushes. I get from them :\

I do want to experiment with other of their oil brushes. They have amazing quality.

Recently though I have been using for still life paints Summit Princeton Brushes.

The ones I use now :

That’s it ! The great thing about them is that they are of super good quality and affordable. As you can see, we don’t need a huge collection of brushes to paint.

3 . Paints

Of course, you can’t learn oils without paint! I won’t lie I have a lot of paint and in the future I’ll do one post about my favorite paints but in this post for you to get started as a beginner oil painter the best option is to start with just 3 colors which are the primary colors.

This is an example I used just 3 colors plus white. Remember, you can use a version of red, yellow or blue. Of course your color wheel will change and that’s up to what you want, in this example my avocado paint was done with these colors below.

If you’re starting, I would advise just to start with the basic red, yellow, blue white. I use some black sometimes.

You could start with :

Hansa Yellow

Alizarim Crimson 

Ultramarine Blue

Titanium White – white is the best to get the biggest tube because you’ll use it a lot !

Ivory Black

I really like Graham Paints, Windsor & Newton,  Gamblin. There are other more expensive ones, but for beginners these 3 paint brands are really affordable.

5. Surfaces to Paint

Oil Paint is very versatile and many surfaces can be used,  such as paper, canvases and wood boards.

It’s one of the most important supplies because if you have expensive paints but if the surface is not ideal for painting with oils, that won’t work because it can suck your paint into the surface and you’re going to end up losing a lot of paint.

If you are using paper, I suggest oil paper because it’s made for oils and most of the time you don’t have to cure with acrylic paint although I have no problem doing that.

Wood panels are good to seal with‌ matte medium or acrylic paint otherwise, with time, the wood can affect the paint.

This orange paint is an example of an oil paint study done in oil paint paper.

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Where to go from here?

There you have it. You now have 5 oil paint supplies for beginners with low cost or cost effective.  Make sure if you want to keep up with our blog posts, podcast or new oil painting educational content, ‌sign up to our newsletter.

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