Artist Materials and Supplies

There are many different artist materials and supplies that you will get to know and use in your oil painting efforts. I have provided a list of the basic items that you will need. However, you will not need all of these to get started.

A Suggested List of Artist Materials and Supplies

Oil paints – These are the colors I recommend for a starting limited palette. However, this is not cast in stone; If you have other colors, it is probably okay to substitute. Also, as you continue with your paintings, you may want to try other colors.  You will find that there are three grades of oil paints; student grade,artists or medium grade and professional grade. The better grades have more pigment and of course better covering ability. The cheaper grades have more fillers.

  • burnt umber
  • ultramarine blue
  • titanium white
  • sap green
  • cadmium yellow medium
  • naphthol red light

Please note that I have not suggested a black. That is because I do not use it. I consider black a dead color. I prefer to mix ultramarine blue and burnt umber to create a blackish color. However, if you prefer, try the black.

If you are a novice at this, I suggest that you take some time to practice mixing the various colors together to see what they will produce.

Brushes – hog bristle or a combination of hog and taklon. The combination bristle is adaptive for both oil and acrylics.

  • #2 flat
  • #4 flat
  • #6 flat
  • #10 flat
  • #2 round
  • #2 rigger or script liner – generally found in the water color sections

Palette knife


Can or jar for solvent. I use a two or three pound coffee can with a strainer in the bottom, and a snap on lid, in the studio. I use the jar with screw on lid for outdoor painting.

Painting cup – for the medium – a tuna fish can works well for this.

Paper towels and/or cotton rags.

Plyers – for stubborn tube caps.

Linseed or stand oil.

Solvent – turpentine, mineral spirits or turpenoid.

Copal or damar resin – not totally necessary to start with.

Easel – not totally necessary to start with.


If you are painting in acrylics, you will of course be using water instead of solvent. And you might consider getting an acrylic medium. Also consider a retarder, if you wish to slow down the drying time of your acrylics.

Your choice in artist materials and supplies is entirely yours. However, I do not suggest the cheapest. Try to at least get at least a medium grade of paints and brushes.

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