Oil painting supplies aren't exactly the cheapest painting materials out there. If you found inspiration in the works of Raphael and all these other Renaissance artists, however, here are the things you need to have in your checklist.
Paint Like a Renaissance Artist With These 11 Must-Have Oil Painting Supplies
1. Oil Paint
Topping your list of oil painting supplies should be lots of artist-quality oil paint (not the water-soluble variety). In particular, you'll be needing the following essential shades:
- Ivory Black
- Titanium White
- Alizarin Crimson
- Cadmium Red
- Cadmium Yellow
- Ultramarine Blue
- Viridian Green
Numerous brands and types are available in the market – just make sure to choose artist-grade items. Additionally, you may start by buying these colors in 200mL tubes at first.
Pro tip: Save yourself some time and effort by purchasing a starter kit. Most of these already have the essential primary colors along with a white and black oil paint shade.
Contrary to popular belief, your oil painting supplies don't need that many paintbrushes. In fact, a small set of high-quality brushes are preferable over having numerous average ones.
Start out by buying these kinds of brushes in the following sizes:
- Some small to medium flat brushes
- Some small to medium filbert brushes
- A medium round brush
- A medium fan brush
- A large flat brush
After you start painting, you should quickly learn what sizes and shapes of paintbrushes you'll be needing later on.
3. Paint Thinner
Oil paint doesn't wash off with just water. A paint thinning solution called turpentine is a must-have. Others also opt to go with mineral spirits that work just as well.
Pro tip: You don't need to buy paint thinner at the art store. These are readily available at a cheaper price in most home improvement stores.
4. Jar for Cleaning Brushes
This will be used for storing your thinning solution as well as cleaning your brushes. Preferably, buy a jar that has a silicoil inside.
Rubbing the bristles of your paintbrushes against the coil while there is paint thinner inside the jar should get rid of any excess paint. Jars like these are also available in most art supply stores.
Having a palette is a necessary part of your oil painting supplies as you'll use this to hold your paint and mix them to create new colors.
Palettes don't necessarily have to be fancy. Just make sure that it's big enough to hold all the different colors you'll be needing. Plus, you should also have enough room to mix your paint and form new colors.
Disposable palettes are available in most art stores. If you want to save money, however, you can use a piece of ceramic or glass as a substitute because they are also very easy to clean.
6. Palette Knives
These are necessary for mixing the different paints you have on your palette. Additionally, they also help in applying textured strokes and effects that may be difficult to achieve using only your paintbrush.
Make sure to choose palette knives that are flexible but also firm.
7. Painting Surface
Canvas isn't your only option when it comes to oil painting, though it is one of the most popular painting surfaces you can use. They serve as the perfect surface for oil paintings and are extremely easy to buy.
Beginners and kids alike who are just starting out and getting a feel for the art, however, can choose to start by painting on paper. Some even choose to start by painting on masonite or wood.
- Make sure to prime the surface with Gesso before you start.
- Use a big brush to coat the surface and produce a solid and long-lasting surface that your paint can easily stick to.
- Some art stores have canvasses that are already pre-primed and stretched so you no longer need to worry about any preparations.
Pencils will come in handy when mapping the shapes out on your painting surface. Any old-time painter would tell you that sketching what you will be painting is a must before you put any paint down.
Remember that your sketch need not be perfect. It just has to be clear enough to give you an outline of your composition before you begin.
Majority of artists like painting with an easel because of the comfort and ease they provide. They give painters freedom of movement and allow them to paint with great posture.
For beginners, secondhand or tabletop easels should already be enough. If you find that painting really is for you, then you can invest in a more sophisticated one later on.
Pro Tip: Make sure the easel is adjustable to your height – some painters prefer to stand while others like to sit while they paint.
10. Rags and Newspapers
Once you're done painting for the day, you're going to want to clean those brushes off and dry them afterward. While cloths work great for these, using newspapers might give you more mileage especially if you're using numerous colors.
Plus, newspapers will also come in handy throughout the painting process. You can use these to quickly squeeze all the paint out of your brush's bristles before you switch colors or start painting a new section.
11. Painting Clothes
If your clothes aren't messy when you start painting, one way or another, they will by the time you're done. Before you start painting, think about what you're wearing.
Choose painting clothes that you're comfortable in and you don't mind having a few spots of oil paint on. You don't want to be wearing your favorite top when you accidentally get some paint on yourself.
Now that you have all the oil painting supplies you need, check out these tips and techniques for beginner oil painters made by Florent Farges:
Oil painting is far from the cheapest and easiest hobby out there. If this is something you truly feel passionate about, then these oil painting supplies are a must-have before you pick up a paintbrush, change into your painting clothes, and start painting.
Are there other essential oil painting supplies we may have missed? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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