What's in my Artist Toolbox - Oil Painting

what's in my artist toolbox toolkit supplies oil painting.jpg

I love seeing other artists' supplies so I thought I would share my own with you today!


First and foremost I don't like using anything that requires ventilation - that is not to say I don't ever open a window. I just don't want long lasting health effects by using turpentines or anything of the sort. It's actually really easy to use oil paints without these things as well. I mostly use almond oil for thinning paint and even cleaning my brushes! It works incredibly well and is non toxic. 

Gloves - My skin is extremely sensitive to oil paint among other things especially after having babies. So I ALWAYS wear gloves to protect my hands.

Mediums - M. Graham Walnut Oil

Cleaners Sennelier Green for Oil Brush Cleaner There is also a Sennelier Green for Oil Thinner, but I have not used it, but if it's as good quality as their brush cleaner than I definitely would recommend it based on that!

I have also used Zest it oil paint dilutant and brush cleaner. But I definitely prefer the sennelier cleaner, even though zest it is organic I found the smell irritated my nose.


Brushes -

My best cheapest brushes are actually from my university art store and I'm tempted to go back there to replace them, but have no idea if they allow non students to buy supplies! These brushes were cheap and have held their shape for over 5+ years now.

I also use the winsor newton oil brushes and they are great for backgrounds, but I found that you have to tug any loose hairs from the brush before the first couple of uses, which I do not like at all.

My most favourite brushes are from Rosemary and Co. They are slightly pricier, but well worth it in my opinion for a durable brush that holds it shape and puts up with an abusive artist who is lazy when it comes to cleaning brushes (enter me!) I have quite a few brushes from their Eclipse line, but am wanting to try more. They have a great blog post detailing the use of each line of their oil brushes so that you can find the perfect fit for yourself!

Hake brushes - I use these for varnishing, they are cheap and my absolute favourite!


Oil Paints - I have now tried a few brands of oil paint and these are the ones I recommend. I've also tried Winsor and Newton artist grade, but they were much to heavy/thick for my liking. They were extremely difficult to work with and I was really happy to be done with the tubes that I did buy. However I did like the Artisan Winsor and Newton oil paints to begin with since you can technically clean them and thin them with water although I didn't try this. But I probably won't be replacing the tubes when I run out.Now onto paint brands I absolutely love!

Old Holland - Classic oil paint - The pigment load is fantastic, not super oily and very easy to work with. A little pricey, but I love love love these paints.

Williamsburg - Williamsburg Handmade Oil - The pigment load is great, however I have had complete squirts of oil shoot out of the tube, but otherwise these paints and great and well priced for oil paints with a good pigment load.

Gamblin - Artist Grade Gamblin Oil Colours - These paints are smooth and easy to work with, again they have a good pigment load and I've never had problems with the caps like others have.

M. Graham - M. Graham Oil Colours - These paints are on the oily side, but they are also much cheaper and they still have a good pigment load for being oilier. Also be careful when you put paint on your palette from these tubes as the opening on these paint tubes is much larger than all of the other brands above and you don't want to squirt out to much by accident (talking from experience here folks!).


Something to also note - yes oil paint is much more pricey per tube than acrylic, but I find that oil paints goes a lot further than my acrylic ever did. I don't think this is true for all artist, I probably wasted a lot of acrylic paint trying to achieve certain attributes that I wasn't good at with that medium! This is just a personal tid bit if you are afraid of pulling the trigger as I was.

Canvas - I know I know all about Michael's and their canvas deals, but if you actually start comparing the prices to other art stores even if you get the 50% off at Michael's it's still cheaper to buy from other sources!

I use the Apollon Gallery Artist Canvas from Deserres, they are made in Canada and the quality of the frame and canvas is far superior to Michael's canvases and these are cheaper without a sale!

Arches Oil Paper - love the difference of painting with oil on paper! 


I've linked everything to Canadian Online retailers since it would be way more expensive for me to buy it from the States. However if you are in the states I'm fairly certain you can find all of these materials at Dick Blick except for the canvases, but I've heard great things about their own canvases. If you are in Canada I linked mostly everything to the Deserres site, but I almost always price compare to Delta Art and Above Ground Art Supply!

Marysia Champ