Hi all! My mother recieved an oil painting starter kit for her birthday recently and it has inspired me to write this blog post. I was surprised at how different painting with oils was to regular painting, not that I am an expert! There’s actually quite a bit to it. Anyhow, if you are interested in oil painting, you could do worse than to give this blog post the once over first! Enjoy!

When it comes to art and painting in particular, oil painting is one of the most prevalent mediums. So you may be a newbie to painting or be relatively experienced in other types of painting.  Whatever the case, some key facts twill head you in the right direction when it comes to oil painting. To some level, you can be more liberal and flexible with acrylics,  piling layers of paint on top of each other. It is slightly different with oil paints.

Firstly you will need the right materials. Art shops have a vast range to choose from which can be quite off-putting if you are new to it. As well as the various colours of paint colours to choose from there are a wide spectrum of other equipment upon which to decide.

It’s always a good idea to gather as much research on a subject as one can before embarking on any sort of endeavour. So here is a great forum to ask further questions about oil painting in general: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=10


The two types of oil paint are student colours and artist's colours. Student oil paints are the cheaper option while the artist’s are of a better quality. If you are just starting out, student paint is just fine! You will need to have a basic selection of paint colours. Starter boxes are readily available at most art shops.

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You will also require some thinners and painting medium. The options when it comes to painting medium are endless but  linseed oil medium is a good one to start off with. You can try other types of medium to see how they work with the paint as you become more experienced.


Brushes are obviously essential and, again, there is a vast array of shapes and sizes. Your intended style of painting could dictate what brushes you need. Fine detail will require smaller round brushes.But big abstract blended pieces require larger, softer flat brushes. Cheap brushes are best for starting out so you can experiment with the kind of shape and size you are most suited to. The only  problem with cheaper brushes is that the hairs can fall out and they soon fall out of shape, but you do make a saving while you are still in the practising stages. Once opted for style and brush type, you can invest more money in better quality brushes.

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You can’t create a painting without something to paint on! Stretched canvas and canvas board are the two main choices. They come primed ready  for oils. Start small and work your way up.

A palette will also be required, whether it be a kitchen plate or a plastic palette, (which usually have little sections for the different colours of paint).

What to Paint

Choose a particular scene or painting that speaks to you or a favourite photo or a picture. Copying another piece is a good idea when just starting out to learn the various techniques required.


Brushes can be cleaned with turps,  a designated brush cleaner or soap and warm water. Washing up liquid is also acceptable. Wet the brush and lather with the soap. Rinse out the paint repeat the process until clean.

Oil paints can take a long time to dry compared to acrylics. use more thinners for a quicker drying period. It is up to you and your style of painting  whether you wait for the first layer to dry before starting the next. You will learn this with experience.

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To Sum Up

Oil painting beginners should get themselves a starter box of from their local art shop, a palette and a couple of brushes along with a canvas. Choose a good tutorial to learn from. Don’t forget to paint in layers. Keep practising!

But There Is No Local Art Shop

Don’t worry! Oil painting equipment and mediums can easily be sourced online! Check out this web page for some great deals: http://www.used.forsale/oil-paint

I hope this post has been of some use to you and you have found it useful.

Until next time folks!