Which supplies to get into oil painting are best?

Working with oils should be the next step on your artistic journey if you enjoy the dynamic texture in paintings and want to achieve it yourself. One of the easiest ways to get started is to purchase an oil painting kit. The best kit is the Meeden 46-piece oil painting set. Not all painting kits are equal. That’s why it’s critical to know exactly what you need before you make a purchase.

What to know before you buy supplies for oil painting

What supplies you need

If you’ve painted with other mediums before, chances are you already have some supplies. Oil painting techniques require specific equipment, such as stretched canvas panels or inexpensive canvas boards. If you love working with unique surfaces like wood, have gesso on hand to prep the surface before you paint. This mixture prevents the paint from soaking into the surface. Most kits don’t come with mixing oils, so you may need to pick up some linseed oil as well. 

Standard kits come with paints, canvas, brushes, palettes and palette knives. However, the brushes in sets are often lower quality than some prefer. 

How to properly use oils

Oil paints are the most stable straight out of the tube, but you can mix them with drying oils or solvents. While you risk destabilizing the paints, this lets you alter the amount of time it takes to dry. The more oil you use, the longer the drying time. The upper layers of your painting should contain more oil to not dry before the lower layers and crack.

Basic oil painting techniques

Some of the most common techniques in oil painting include scumbling and multicolored strokes. Scumbling is a dry brush process that involves dragging the brush over the canvas to break up the color. Multicolored strokes happen when your paint mixes on the palette and you apply the combined paint. Many oil painters enjoy using glaze as well, although you may need to work up to that.

What to look for in quality supplies for oil painting

Color range

Your basic beginner set should include at least your basic primary colors as well as white and black. However, most kits come with far more colors than that. While many have a broad range, some offer more specific shades. You should look for a color range that pertains to what you like to paint. For example, if you want to paint landscapes, you should look for primarily earthy tones. If you enjoy depicting sunsets, go for bright and bold shades.

Included accessories

Some kits come with additional supplies, such as a brush cleaner or table easels. Take the materials you already own into account before purchasing a set. If you’ve never worked with oils before, sets with mixing oils or cleaners will set you up for a successful application and cleanup.

The paint finish 

Some oil painting sets include both matte and glossy paints, while others focus on a wide color range of one type. If you’re just starting, try a set that includes both so you can experiment and see which one you prefer. If you already have an idea of what you like, go for more colors in that type.

How much you can expect to spend on essential supplies

Complete oil painting supply kits can cost anywhere from $60-$140. The price depends on the included accessories, paint range and overall quality of the package.

Essential supplies to get into oil painting FAQ

Are oil paints safe to use?

A. Most oil paints are nontoxic and safe to use, but some are not. These usually are marked with a warning label. Never ingest oil paints. Make sure you store them in a place where children and animals can’t reach them.

Can you make oils dry faster?

A. Yes, but it depends on the solvent you use and how much. For faster drying time, double the amount of resin and oil in your solvent.

What are the best essential supplies to buy?

Top essential supplies to get into oil painting

MEEDEN 46-Piece Oil Painting Set

MEEDEN 46-Piece Oil Painting Set

What you need to know: This is an excellent set with bold colors and fabulous accessories to get you started on your oil painting journey.

What you’ll love: It comes with great additions such as a table easel, palette, brushes and palette knives. The brush case keeps them safe and organized. This is a great small set for traveling or home painters of any experience level.

What you should consider: The brushes are too low quality for experienced painters to enjoy. The palette knives are inexpensive plastic.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top essential supplies for the money

Norberry & Linden Oil Painting Set 

Norberry & Linden Oil Painting Set 

What you need to know: This set offers professional quality at an affordable price and gives you everything you need to get started.

What you’ll love: It includes 24 colors, 25 brushes, a metal palette and stretched canvas. The paint is of high quality. This kit is excellent for all levels of experience.

What you should consider: The brushes can easily fall apart and the paint can be a little chalky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ohuhu 56-Piece Painting Set 

Ohuhu 56-Piece Painting Set 

What you need to know: This set includes a wide range of colors as well as a tabletop easel, canvas and plastic palettes.

What you’ll love: It offers great variety for beginners and professionals alike. The brushes are sturdy and the pigments are vibrant. The included canvas is oil-treated and ready to go out of the package.

What you should consider: Some customers didn’t receive the entire set, just the paints.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Anabelle Weissinger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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