Things you need for Oil Painting

1. Oil paint:
Obviously the first thing you’ll need is oil paint, and lots of it. For beginners, I’d suggest Winsor & Newton oil paint. It’s a less expensive brand of oil paint, but the quality is fine. As far as colors go, here’s a list of the must-haves:

Titanium White, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, and Cadmium Yellow. Buy each of these colors in 200 ml tubes except for Pthalo Blue—Pthalo’s pretty powerful so you probably won’t need as much as you do with the others.

Technically those are all the colors you need, but you should also get a few greens and browns until you learn more about mixing colors. Pick up some Permanent Green Light, Viridian, Burnt Umber, and Burnt Sienna to round out your palette.

2. Proper painting brushes: All you really need is a few natural bristle brushes in different sizes. I‘d suggest six: two small, two medium, and two large.

3. Turpentine (AKA paint thinner): Unlike watercolors or acrylics you can’t clean up oil paints with water. Instead, you’ll need to use turpentine or mineral spirits to get the paint out of your brushes (and off your skin).

4. Newspaper: Newspaper is handy to have around when you clean your paint brushes at the end of the day, but it’s also good to use WHILE you’re painting. Because it’s important to clean your brush every time you start painting a new section or switch colors—and that‘ll happen a lot in every painting. There’s no need to use turpentine for a full cleaning, just grab some newspaper (cut 4 inch squares ahead of time if you feel like it) and quickly squeeze all the paint out of the bristles. That’ll keep your colors from contaminating each other throughout the painting process.

5. Linseed stand oil: As you’re mixing colors you’ll find they’re easier to mix when you add a little painter’s medium. I usually pour out a few tablespoons of medium every time I sit down to paint. You won’t need much—just dab your brush into the medium before mixing colors. Medium is made by combining linseed stand oil with turpentine.

6. A charcoal pencil: Before putting any paint down, I’d suggest sketching out whatever it is you’ll be painting. Charcoal works pretty good on the texture of canvas (better than graphite, anyway) and it doesn't have to be perfect, just an outline drawing so you can see your composition ahead of time.

7. A “palette”: When it comes to palettes, you don’t have to be fancy. For a while I used a big piece of glass. To clean it, I just took a flat razor blade and scraped all the old paint off. Palette can be cleaned using wax paper.

8. Comfortable, messy clothes: If your clothes don’t start out messy they’ll get that way soon. Every painter needs a few painting outfits that they can get paint on, but make sure they’re comfortable too.

9. A painter’s easel: Every oil painter needs an easel but you may not need an expensive one right at first. At the very least an easel should be adjustable to your height (whether you like to sit or stand) and securely hold your paintings, whatever size they may be.

10. Canvas (or other painting surface): Canvas is great for painting on but if you’re just starting out, why not use paper? At least to practice on and get a feel for the paint. If you do use paper (or wood, or masonite, or any other surface) you should probably coat it with Gesso first, using a big house brush. When you’re ready to buy canvases, get a pre-primed canvas and you won’t have to worry about any preparation at all.

That’s the list! Good luck and happy painting!