Getting Started With Oil Paints

Getting started with oil paints Are you a new bee at this craft, and not certain how to get started?  Well, sit back, I’m going to show you how to get started and what you will need. However, if you are already a painter, you probably do not have to read this whole page.

Here is a list of the basic items that you will need. For more detailed information  of these you will want to refer to the various subject pages.

The Paint

Oil paint comes in three grades, the student grade, the middle grade, (most often referred to as artist or studio grade) and professional grade.  If you are getting started with oil paints, I suggest you start out with the student or middle grade. The difference is that the cheaper grades have more fillers in them. You will not need many colors to start; six at most.

Titanium white,  cadmium yellow medium,  naphthol red,  ultramarine blue,  burnt umber, and  sap green. If you want to add ivory black to this list, it’s your choice.  I personally do not  use black. I consider black to be a dead color.  I prefer to mix ultramarine blue and burnt umber to get the black color that I need.


You really will not need more than a half dozen brushes to get started.  Choose a flat hog bristle or a combination hog and synthetic in sizes #2, #4, #6, and  #10. You should also include a #6 round and a #2 rigger or (script liner) in red sable or taklon.  However, the first four are the most important for now.

Your Palette

Your palette can be wood, plastic or metal.  You might also consider instead, a disposable palette. These make for easy and quick clean up.

Other supplies

I suggest that you refer to the page on “Oils Mediums and Solvents” to determine what you will want for getting started with oil paints. As for the solvent, I use odorless mineral spirits. You will need a canvas or canvas panel. Start small. No larger than 14×18 . No need to be burdened, at the start, with the chore of trying to cover a larger canvas.

Eventually you will probably want to get an easel. Take your time in deciding what will suit your purpose.

Home Page


Leave a Reply