Best Oil Paints: Top Selected Sets For Professional Artist and Beginners

Best oil paints. michael harding, van gogh, schmincke mussini, acrylic paint


The best oil paints mix pigment in dry oil, which is mostly obtained from linseed. Over the past few years, however, we have seen an increase in the use of walnut oil for certain obvious reasons. Since the 12th century, oil paints have been utilized by several artists in Europe owing to its durability and luminosity. Furthermore, they dry at a much slower rate than acrylic or tempera paints, thereby enabling the artist to be able to alter parts of painting easily by re-working and even changing the whole layers of paint on the composition.

Even though oil paints have been used for the past centuries, they are still very popular among artists today. This is because oil paints offer a unique artistic experience that you won’t get with acrylics. Thus, whether you’re a professional artist or a beginner, you need to find good oil paints and watercolor paper that suit your needs.

Top 3 Best Oil Paint: Editor’s Pick

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An artist picks a brand of oil paint depending on a number of factors. These include a variety of colors, the paint’s consistency, and price. For a start, it is better to buy a few tubes of artist’s colors rather than an entire range of inexpensive paints because the colors are more saturated and also produces better results when the colors are mixed. Since it is not always easy to chose the differentiate the best oil paint for artists, we have put together an oil paints review and watercolor paint review to save you the time and energy you will spend searching for suitable oil paint. Here are our top 10 picks:

Best Oil Paints Reviews:

1. Colore Oil Paint Set – Perfect For Use On Landscape And Portrait Canvas Paintings – Great For Professional Artists

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This set is among the best oil paints. In comparison to other oil paint set, Colore is made from richly pigmented products that possess strong colors which will make your artwork come alive and more appealing to viewers.

It also comes with a collection of clean, exceptionally transparent, permanent and crisp colors which deliver brilliant and vibrant oil paintings, especially on canvas. This color set delivers streamlined consistency on diverse applications and materials. You can use each color alone or in combination with another suitable one to produce the brilliant color expression you are dreaming of. Furthermore, with the 24 colors of oil paint in this set, you possess an enormous choice of colors to create beautiful pieces of art and will never run out of color options. What’s more, these colors will make your artwork stay vibrant for years, while still retaining its pigmentation.

Highlighted Features

  • Perfect for professionals and beginners
  • It covers the entire color wheel
  • It contains the following contemporary colors: burnt umber, ultramarine blue, vermilion, emerald green, titanium white, ivory black, sap green, orange, violet, lemon yellow, Prussian blue, rose, burnt sienna, hooker’s green, scarlet, cobalt blue, Paynes grey, medium yellow, cerulean blue, yellow ochre, crimson red, viridian, flesh tint and raw umber.
  • Contains rich pigments
  • Maintains the vibrancy and brilliance of your artwork for a long time

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2. U.S. Art Supply Professional 36 Color Set of Art Oil Paint in Large 18ml Tubes – Rich Vivid Colors for Artists, Students, Beginners

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Here is another great pick for the best oil paints. These oil paints are made with premium quality pigments which give it its smooth consistency and brilliant blend when combined. Whether you are an aspiring artist or a professional, this color set is perfect for you. Moreover, the paints are produced from non-toxic, acid-free and oil-based materials which are in conformity with standards for art items.

Even children can use this oil paint to draw as they take their first steps into the world of art. Another significant feature of this color set is its 2-sided mixing wheel. This is meant to guide you on how to mix colors efficiently. Consequently, you will be able to create your desired colors quickly and deliver brilliant paintings. When you read or hear terminology that is strange, you can easily consult the color terminology tool. With the 36 excellent quality colors in this set, you are spoiled for choice of colors and will have sufficient colors for all your projects.

Highlighted Feature

  • Price is cheap for its excellent quality
  • The 36 colors come in 18ml tubes
  • Comes with color mixing wheel and color terminology tool
  • Safe for kids
  • Perfect for both professionals and aspiring artists

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3. Martin/ F. Weber Bob Ross Basic Paint Set

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Bob Ross sets out to teach you about painting diverse types of artwork. The set comes with guidelines and other things you require to complete your first painting. The Bob Ross set comes with five 37mm tubes of oil color, 118mm of liquid white color, number 5 detail painting knife, one 1-inch landscape brush, and in-depth instructions. However, the set does not include a painting surface, paint thinner and palette, so you need to buy your own before you start painting.

It is a high-quality oil paint that is made with non-toxic materials in line with standard guidelines. If you are just taking your first steps into painting, then this paint set is for you as it contains detailed instructions on how to use the oil paint and its components.

Highlighted Features

  • The kit contains five colors: phthalo blue, sap green, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow and titanium white
  • Comes with instructions
  • Perfect for beginners

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4. M. Graham Artist Oil Paint Cadmium Yellow 1.25oz/37ml Tube

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This oil paint set is the most beautiful and easy-to-work-with cadmium color available in the market today. Each color is specially made in small batches to give richness, clarity, permanence, and depth. The oil paint is produced from artist’ pigments without the addition of any extenders or other substances that will adulterate the oil paint. The pigment blends with original and unadulterated American walnut oil. This results in high-quality oil paint that produces natural, lively and brilliant colors.

You can mix this oil paint with most other mediums, varnish, and oils including alkyd resin products. Furthermore, the producers of this oil paint made use of walnut oil rather than the more popular linseed oil because it dries slowly and has a lower chance of yellowing. Also, its lower viscosity means it is perfect for glazing as well as for applications that require thinner uses of paint with no additional need for turps. It is perfect for different types of artwork because the colors retain their clarity for a long time and it does not suffer discoloration that is often experienced with drying oils.

Highlighted features

  • Made with pure walnut oil
  • A higher quantity of pigment
  • Colors retain brilliance for a long time
  • Moderate drying time
  • Lower viscosity

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5. Royal and Langnickel Oil Color Painting Artist Set for Beginners

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Are you just taking your first steps as an artist or are you looking for the perfect oil paint for your kid? Then, look no further, because the Royal and Langnickel oil color paint is one of the best-rated oil paint for beginners. It comes with everything you require to begin painting all those ideas you have in your head. The set features a step-by-step guide on how to do the basic steps in drawing, ensuring that you are properly taught how to apply your new skills.

As soon as you start on the basics, release your creativity. It comes with ten 12 ml oil paint tubes, two canvas (5’ by 7’), six white bristle brushes, 1 each of refined linseed oil, white eraser, graphite pencil, sharpener, painting cup, palette knife, plastic palette, color beginner guide, and storage box. Since you may be buying it for your child, the case is sturdy enough to withstand some level of rough handling. The paint is made from non-toxic materials which conform to standards, making it suitable for people of all ages.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with a how-to guide
  • Features all the important tools to get you started in your new skill
  • Wood box measures 13-inch by 6-1/4-inch by 2-inch
  • Have 10 different colors.

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6. Grumbacher Pre-tested Oil Paint, 24ml/0.81 oz Tube, 10-Color Set

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The Glumbacher pre-tested oils contain the best and purest pigments blended with carefully selected alkali-refined linseed oil. Consequently, this is one of the good oil paint brands available in the market today. You can see the result of its excellent products in its high chroma, outstanding tinting, superior adhesion, excellent working features, adequate light fastness as well as the permanence of work it is used to produce.

The Grumbach is also a professional painter because many of the colors are single pigment and possess greater tinting strength. Furthermore, before releasing this oil paint to the public, the company has subjected this paint to testing for viscosity, mixability, drying attributes, mass tone, pigment dispersion, and lightfastness. This means that you are buying a product that has undergone a strenuous testing process to ensure that it meets the standards required to deliver excellent artworks.

Highlighted Features

  • Each set contains 10 colors: Alizarin Crimson, Ivory Black, Grumbacher Red, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Thalo Blue, Bismuth Yellow, Titanium White, Thalo Green (Blue Shade) as well as Burnt Umber.
  • Possesses archival performance
  • Perfect for professional artists
  • The tube comes in 24ml/0.81 oz tubes

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7. Oil Paint Set – 12ml x 24 Tubes – Artists Quality Art Paints – Oil-Based Color – Professional Painting Supplies – MyArtscape

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MyArtscape oil paint is one of the best-selected oil paints for canvas. Whether you are a professional artist or a beginner, this archival paint that has an oil finish is for you ensuring that you get professional quality results. It is made with the purest pigments to ensure that you get superior results for your works. Apart from that, the pigment load is high, producing vibrant oil paintings that retain their colors and brilliance for a very long time.

All the material used to make this oil paint is non-toxic and comply with all the safety standards. Since MyArtscape believes in their products, they offer a one-year stress-free replacement guarantee on this oil paint set. Consequently, if there is any fault to all or part of the components of this oil paint set from the company, it will be replaced accordingly. Furthermore, the colors of this oil paint set deliver thick consistency with each brush stroke and its finishing is glossy and lustrous.

Highlighted Features

  • It has 24 colors in the set:
  • Each color comes in a 12ml tube
  • Suitable for professionals, beginners, and kids
  • Produces vibrant paintings that last for a very long time
  • Comes with a 1-year replacement guarantee

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8.  Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colors Set – Basic 10 Color Set. (Packaging may vary)

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Winston is a conventional set of oil paint that is produced from affordable pigments. It is specially formulated for beginners and professional artists who need a large amount of color but at an affordable price. For years, Winston has applied a blend of traditional skills and modern color chemistry methods to produce a group of excellent quality colors. The company lays great emphasis on color performance, They utilize a large amount of pigment so as to deliver excellent covering power and tinting strength.

This makes it one of the strongest oil paints in the market. Furthermore, the consistency of Winston is more uniform than that of most other oil paints and is slightly stiffer. Thus, it is able to produce outstanding retention of brush and palette knife strokes. Also, owing to the large amounts of pigments, the sheen of this oil painting is higher and its gloss level varies with individual hues. You can control this by selecting appropriate surfaces and mediums as well as by adding solvents.

Highlighted Features

  • Contains traditional range of colors
  • It is affordable
  • Comes in 21mm tubes
  • It is made in 10 colors: permanent green light, pale cadmium yellow hue, ivory black, deep cadmium red hue, titanium white, French ultramarine, burnt sienna, phthalo blue, yellow ochre and viridian hue.
  • Made with non-toxic materials that conform with regulations
  • Colors are lightfast and permanent

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9. Jack Richeson Paints Oil Colors, 12ml, Set of 18

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If you are just taking your first steps into the world of painting, you will need a paint that will not disappoint but will encourage you to do more. That is exactly what Jack Richeson, which is one of the best-selected oil paint for beginners does for you. It comes with eighteen bright colors that you can learn with. The colors come in 12ml tubes, so they are big enough to last for several painting sessions.

The product is made from non-toxic materials, which makes it perfect for children too. Get it as a gift for your little one and watch them produce amazing paintings. It contains a good amount of pigment which is why it is able to produce brilliant bright colors that last for a long time.

Highlighted Features

  • Has a high selection of colors
  • The price is affordable
  • Perfect for beginners and kids
  • The colors mix very well
  • The paint is made of nontoxic materials

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10. Daveliou Oil Paints Set – 32ml x 12 Color Paint Tubes – Painting Kit for Beginners Students and Artists

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The Daveliou is good oil paint because it has been produced using qualities and features that define a worthy oil-based paint. It has features such as excellent color strength, quality lightfastness, thick consistency, permanence, and high pigmentation. These features blend to deliver oil paint that is one of the best-rated oil paint for artists. Whether you are a learner or a professional, you will have fun painting with it.

This oil paint set contains linseed oil to make the paint thinner, which means that with the white spirit you can clean that brush and other tools. Daveliou makes use of the newest organic and inorganic pigments combined with water-based surfactant binders with the aim of preserving brush handling features. Furthermore, the pigments used in this paint have a consistent viscosity which offers outstanding adhesion, higher tinting strength, smoothness, durability, high chroma, and pigment density. All of these features combine to make this oil paint one of the top-rated oil paint for canvas.

Furthermore, the Daveliou has premium oil emulsion qualities that make it easy for the paint to dry fast.  The paint also has the ability to rewet instantly, while not deteriorating in the tube. Daviliou is so sure of its product that it offers a 100% money back or replacement guarantee in case you experience any issues with the product.

Highlighted Features

  • Measures 12″ x 6″ x 1″
  • Outstanding on canvas, wood, fabric, and paper
  • Made with natural oil emulsion
  • Comes with 12 different colors in 32ml oil paint tubes
  • Meets all the non-toxic standards
  • Dilute it with water or alter it with oil, gel or pastes

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Things to Look When Choose The oil Paint for Yourself

There are so many oil paint options, which is why it is common for people to have a few issues with making a decision on which to pick. That said, however, it is also possible that you have criteria in mind when choosing your oil paint. Just in case you have a few doubts regarding what to consider before making a decision, here are a few important things to take into consideration when looking for the top oil paint brands.

Type of oil used in the paint

To produce a durable, brilliant and outstanding painting, you need to consider the type of oil used. Majority of the oil paints today utilize either linseed oil or walnut oil. However, linseed oil used by the majority of the high-quality oil paints for many obvious reasons. First of all, it produces a stronger film and dries faster when compared to other drying oils. However, walnut oil is a great alternative to linseed oil. While it doesn’t produce a strong film as linseed, it does not yellow as fast as linseed and produces paintings with juicy, brushable quality. Also, even though walnut oil is not as fast as linseed when drying, it is still faster than other oils.

How to Make the Best of Both Oils

To get the best of both oils, an ideal paint would be a combination of the two, as this will decrease the negative features of either of them. Several oil paint producers utilize poppy and safflower oils, especially for lighter colors and whites. This is because poppy and safflower oils do not yellow as fast as linseed oil. On the other hand, they are more likely to crack and do not produce a strong film as linseed, which is why most artists will rather go with the yellowing of linseed oil.  In the long run, all oil paint films are going to crack, it’s just a matter of when.

Information about Pigment

In most oil paints, you will find information about the pigments on the tube or other places in the package or on their website. No matter how tempted you are to pick an oil paint if it does not contain info on the pigments that is a negative sign. Every pigment possesses its own distinct feature that includes transparency, drying time, hue bias and tinting strength. Having an idea about the properties enables you to make informed decisions regarding pigments used in the paint. Furthermore, certain pigments are more expensive than others, which is why you should know exactly what you are buying.

This does not refer to the features of pigments, but rather the amount of information contained in the product as well as the openness of a manufacturer to discuss your questions in an honest manner. While there are established standards such as ASTM D4302, they are not compulsory. Artists are left to decide on which product information is right and the product they can put their trust in. Nobody wants to sell paints without making money, so you should not believe every statement a manufacturer writes about their product. Do not buy oil paints out of marketing romance, but go with facts and scientific proof. A good starting point will be to look for an artist-owned company. This is because a company that does not have a painter as the head will not invest the kind of passion, time and energy required to make a point that a real artist will love.


It is better to pay more for quality paint rather than student grade paint. It is certain that the more the pigment, the costlier the paint will be. However, be careful not to pay higher because of a brand name or just for the sake of marketing romance. This is very common in the clothing industry, where many people prefer to pay more money for the same product as long as it has a known brand name on it. Don’t think that this does not happen in the oil paint industry, it does. It is possible to get extremely good paint for a very decent price and vice versa.

Quality of tube

It is very frustrating when a tube cap splits or the tubes break, spilling its contents on other tubes. It is not only messy; it can prove costly because it can mix up with other paints, making the entire collection useless. Therefore, go for paints that are package in decent tubes.

How to Clean oil Paint Brushes

You cannot be a painter without paint brushes and if you add the fact that they are expensive, you will appreciate that it is necessary to care for them. They will last for a very long time if you look after them. The best way to care for your brushes is to apply rigorous cleaning procedures.

If you plan to paint again within a few days, here is an easy way to clean your brushes:

  • Wipe them down to get rid of any excess paint
  • Dip the tip of the brushes in slow drying oils like Winsor and Newton Safflower or artist level poppyseed oil
  • Keep your bushes in a rack to dry
  • When next you want to use the brushes, all you need to do is wipe them down. However, if you want to use pure color, you have to wipe them thoroughly.

However, if you are not going to use your brushes for some time, it needs rigorous cleaning. To do this, you will need paper towels or newspaper, paint thinner, soap, old cup or mugs, oil paint brush cleaner, and gloves if you don’t want to soil your hands. Do not use detergent or paint strippers.

  • The first step here is to remove excess oil paint from the brush as much as you can. Use paint thinner to rinse it first before wiping them with paper towels. After that, rinse them in warm water and repeat it until you have removed the majority of the paint.
  • Wash the brushes individually with a bar of soap and if you are doing it well, you will see some color bleed into the soap. Do not push the bristles into the soap, but work in a pulling motion. Rinse with warm water and repeat the process until you no longer notice any color bleed in the soap. If you utilized strong colors in your painting, you have to include an oil paint brush cleaner into the process so that it will break down the oil paint.
  • Finally, you need to mold the tip of your brushes into a neat edge and place it on a brush holder in an inverted position. Keeping the bristles folded against something will damage it permanently.
  • It is advisable to use gloves when cleaning your brushes because some cleaning products are toxic

How to Remove Oil Paint From Clothes

To remove oil paint from your clothes, you will need the following: a paint thinner or turpentine, liquid detergent or bar soap, bowl, and water. By following the following steps you will be able to remove oil paint from your clothes:

  • Pick the thinner that corresponds to the type of paint that stained your cloth. If you don’t know the exact paint thinner or cannot find it, use turpentine instead.
  • Stretch the cloth and apply the thinner on the stained portion. It is better to pour the thinner from the back of the cloth to the front as this removes the stain faster.
  • Next, rinse with clean water
  • If you find that the stain is not completely removed, repeat the process
  • Rub soap or detergent on the area
  • Rinse in the water again

How to Remove Oil Paint From Skin

As a beginner or professional painter, there will be times oil paint will smear on your skin. Do not panic, you will learn effective methods of removing the oil paint without causing harm to your skin.

  • Mineral oil (such as coconut, olive, and flaxseed) or baby oil is very effective for removing oil paint from the skin.
  • Pour a good quantity on the area that affected by the paint
  • Rub on it lightly and allow it to soak for 2-3 minutes
  • Use your fingertips to rub the oil on the skin and gently scratch off the paint. You can also use a washcloth or cotton balls to remove the paint
  • Use nail polish if the stain is still remaining on your skin
  • Wash the area with water
  • For tougher stains, you can use a pinch of salt and turpentine.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Oil Paints

  1. What brand has the best oil paints?

This oil paint review has succeeded in revealing the 10 best-rated oil paint brands in the market today. That means that you can choose from any of the oil paints reviewed here. However, your choice may depend on whether you are a beginner or a professional artist. Take your time to read the review so you can make an informed choice

  1. What do I need for oil painting?

If you want to start oil painting, you can get the following supplies from an art store before you begin: oil paint of different colors, proper painting brushes, newspaper (to clean your brushes while painting and afterwards, turpentine or paint thinner, linseed stand oil (optional for mixing colors), a charcoal pencil, a palette (anything comfortable can serve), messy clothes, a painter’s easel and a canvass or any other painting surface such as paper. For a start, you need the following colors: Cadmium Red, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black, Cadmium Yellow Light, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Pthalo Blue.

  1. How do you make your own oil paint?

If you want to save yourself some money, create the exact colors that you need or feel closer to your materials, you may want to make your oil painting yourself. You need the following materials: binders, grinding slab, pigments, empty paint tubes, a muller and pallette knife. Here are the steps you need to follow to make your own oil paint:

  1. Add the desired amount of pigment to a small quantity of linseed oil on the grinding slab.
  2. Mix the pigment and linseed oil slowly using the palette knife. Do it slowly to avoid scattering the particles.
  3. After it has mixed completely, add more pigment or linseed oil to enhance its consistency.
  4. Shift the entire mixture to one side of the glass, and pour a tablespoon full. Grind the paint in a circular pattern and remove when done to one side of the glass. Repeat for the rest.
  5. Move the entire mixture to the center and add more pigment or linseed oil if needed. Repeat the process again until you get a soft, buttery consistency.
  6. Use the palette knife to place the mixture in empty paint tubes.
  7. Make it airtight at the bottom and top.
  8. Label the paint tube with the color and date.
  9. Can you paint with oil paint on paper?

If you do not want to spend too much money on surface preparation, working on paper is your best bet. It is cheaper, simple to prepare and less formal. Professionals like paper because of its texture and drag. Also, well-prepared paper can be a permanent medium for sketches and paintings.

Best Oil Paints: Tips for New Painters

Oil paints aren’t exactly new to use. In fact, painters have been using this medium for hundreds of years. Due to their versatility, color, and high quality, oil painting has never subsided in popularity. It is easy to get started with oil painting. With this said, there is a bit more to it than painting with acrylics. Oil paints involve working with toxic solvents. In addition, the drying time for the paint is much longer. Artists who have been working with oil paints for a while have developed their favorite brands, palettes, brushes, and tones. To make the paint selection process easier for you, we have compiled a list of helpful tips when it comes to the best oil paints.

Start Out Small

Start out small. If you are new to painting, this will give you the chance to hone your techniques and play with color. You don’t want to invest too much in the materials when you are just starting out. Buy some 8×10 inch canvases to paint on. You can even paint on paper if you want. Spread out your tools and supplies in a well-ventilated area. Giving yourself plenty of physical space will allow you to take a step back and think about your work and what you want to create. The more you paint, the faster you will improve. This is the practice of creating art.

Invest in Good Painting Supplies

First off, you are going to want to invest in some good paint brushes. You will also want to purchase professional grade paints instead of student grade ones. What does this mean? Professional grade paint has a much greater ratio of pigment to the binder. You will only need a few high-quality paint brushes to start out with. As you progress in skill, you can expand your collection to include other shapes. Synthetic brushes will work fine. There is also a wide range of natural hair brushes on the market you can invest in as well. Bristle (hog) brushes are one of the most common types of natural hair brushes.

Make Sure to Prime Your Painting Surface

You can paint on many types of surfaces. Canvas, paper, and wood are all viable options. The best oil paints will smoothly coat them all. Before you begin painting, you need to apply primer to the surface of your chosen canvas. This prevents oil from seeping into the surface. It also protects the surface from acids present in the paint. Last but not least, it helps the paint to adhere much more easily. For those who would like to get a little bit more creative, you can get pre-primed boards or canvas and apply a second coat of primer to them for a smooth and easy-gliding surface. This is especially important when you are mixing colors. Primary colors lean towards yellow and blue. If they lean towards yellow, they are ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ if they learn towards blue. This affects how the primary colors blend to produce secondary colors.

Keep Your Palette Limited

One of the best tips we can give new painters is to keep your palette limited. Don’t feel the need to use all of your colors at once. That can create a big mess. Remember to start out small. Try a monochrome painting. When you feel that you are ready, you can try to add warm and cool tones to other paintings.

Begin with an Oil Sketch

Even when you use the best paints, it is easy to get overwhelmed, use too many paints, too much water, and have all the colors run together. Give yourself some painting boundaries. Start out your oil painting with a sketch. Then, all you need to do is paint between the lines. Use a thin underpainting made of color and turpentine. This dries quickly so you can add additional layers of paint and color. You won’t have to wait long for it to dry. Whether you work on a white canvas or end up toning it with a neutral gray, your art will look clean and come together well.

Learn the Order of Paints

How do you begin an oil painting? Start out with thin layers first. This will allow them to dry quickly and prevent your paint from cracking. Underpainting helps. After you complete this coat, move on and paint a medium with a combination of turpentine and linseed oil. This is usually a two to one ratio. Keep in mind that linseed oil can turn yellow with age but dries faster than most of the other oils in paints.

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Brush

One of the biggest rookie mistakes you can make is to forget to clean your brush. Between colors, use soap and water to rinse it out. Anyone who has painted with oil colors before knows that it can get messy quickly. Have extra paper towels and rags on hand so you can wipe excess paint and turpentine off of your tools after you rinse them off. Make sure that you have at least two containers on hand for painting. Use one for turpentine to clean your brush between colors and the other for medium to mix with your paints.

Stay Tidy

Oil paints and mediums are messy. Even worse, they are toxic if ingested or absorbed by the skin. Keep them out of reach of young children and pets. Make sure that you dispose of your paints, mediums, turpentine, rags, paper towels, and any other objects containing toxic materials properly. Soak wet rags and paper in water before you throw them out. Paint is flammable and things can heat up when they dry out.

Learn How to Gauge Drying Times for Both Oil and Color

Even the best oil paints can take some time to dry. Working with oil color allows for some flexibility while you are painting. Why? Oil takes longer to dry than other paints. While that can be frustrating for artists with low patience levels, it has some perks. For example, let’s say you make a slight mistake and want to change your art piece days into a project. Oil color allows for this. Due to its malleable nature and its depth and purity, it is a favorite among well-versed artists.

Familiarize yourself with the properties of oil colors. Their drying rates will differ by brand, color, and style. Do you want to achieve the best results possible? Avoid layering paints too early on as this will cause cracking. Oil colors become touch dry within two to twelve days (yes, this is a big time window). With this said, it is understandable that each pigment reacts with oil differently to produce dramatically different drying times. Needless to say, this affects the quality of your work. We have gathered helpful bits of information about key color ranges and the drying rates of different colors. Read on to find out how to choose the best oil paints and which ones dry the fastest. Keep these tips in mind when you are working with oil colors.

  • Avoid drying your paintings in dark and humid conditions. This may cause the oil to turn yellow.
  • Utilize slow drying practices whenever possible to prevent paint layers from cracking.
  • Explore various color mediums to alter drying times. There are plenty of options on the market to speed up the drying rates of the best oil paints.

What You Need to Get Started on Oil Painting

Are you inspired by Monet, Rembrandt, and Homer? Who hasn’t fallen in love with the works of the greats? It is an amazing experience to create a piece of art that you are proud of. While the best oil paints are not cheap, purchasing the right tools is an investment in a wonderful hobby. To get you started on your artistic journey, we have crafted a list of the things that you need to get started.

High-Quality Paint

Invest in high-quality paint. You might be wondering ‘what are the best oil paints’ and what colors should I choose? First, double check that you are actually buying oil paint and not water-soluble paint. There is a difference. While water-soluble paint is also a great product, let’s save that for another time. Invest in a small, rich color. The higher the pigmentation, the less you will need to use. A small tube will do. Some greens and nice, earthy browns are always fun to have on hand. You can’t go wrong with raw sienna.

Good Paint Brushes

You don’t need to break the bank to get good paint brushes. Start out with the basics until you learn how to use oil paints. Once you get the hang of the brush strokes, you can invest in different types of paint brushes and shapes.


With oil paint, you don’t need to clean your brush off in the water. Instead, you should use a paint thinner. Mixtures of scentless mineral spirits are commonly used in place of turpentine.

A Jar for Your Paint Brushes

Have you thought about how you are going to store your paint thinning solution? Using a jar for your paint brushes is a handy way to clean them on the go. Jars with a coil inside are ideal. Fill them with your turpentine or mineral spirit mixture and gently rub the bristles of your paintbrush against the coil. This removes excess paint and will keep your canvas clean. Nothing is worse than having paint colors run together and ruin your art piece. Keep your paint brushes clean at all times. You can find these jars at your local art and craft supply store.

Use an Oil Medium

Do you remember that we mentioned you should use an oil medium? Consider linseed oil. Similarly to mineral spirits, it acts to dilute the paint. It is a softer solution that you can use to thin them and keep the texture. Linseed oil is one of those essential tools to have on hand. We bet anything you will use it as much as water to thin out the best oil paints in your collection.

Newspaper, Paper Towels, and Rags

You have to dry off your brushes after you clean them. Cloths are great for doing this. Depending on how frequently you are changing out your paint colors, you may get more use out of using some good old fashioned newspaper for the job.


Every artist needs a palette. While this might sound like a fancy term, the palette is just what you choose to mix your paint on. You could use a large ceramic tile, disposable palette, paper plate, or really just whatever you feel comfortable with. Leave plenty of room to mix colors and allow them to spread out on the palette. You do not want to feel overcrowded. Generally speaking, you should have a palette space about one half the size of your finished canvas art.

Painting Surface

When you are ready to get started, you will need a surface to paint on. You don’t need to use a canvas. As long as you prime the surface first, you can use whatever you want. Glass is a fun option. Does anyone else remember the stained glass DIY art trends in the 1990s?

Pencils and an Easel

As we mentioned earlier, some artists prefer to sketch out their painting before they pull out the best oil paints. Using a pencil is a great way to give yourself some boundaries and map out shapes. Since oil paints are opaque, feel free to use a broad-tipped charcoal pencil and then paint right over it. There is no harm done and no one will be able to see your sketch by the time you have painted over it. We highly recommend this method to both new painters and skilled artists alike. It ensures accuracy and helps you to stay focused on what your vision is.

Many artists like to paint using an easel. While this isn’t required by any means, it can help your posture while you work. If you are just getting started on a project, you should try to find one secondhand or cheap on Amazon. Investing in the real deal can be expensive right off the bar, so make sure oil painting is a hobby that you want to continue before you make any big purchases.

Painting Clothes

The best oil paints aren’t the only necessity on our list, you know. Do you have any painting clothes? While you don’t need a smock, you should think about items in your closet that you could use. Don’t try to dress nice and paint. If you get oil paints on your clothes, they could stain. Find an old tee shirt and some sweatpants you don’t care about. These will work well for your painting clothes. Consider yourself warned.

Why You Should Make the Switch Over to Water Soluble Oil Plants

Artists who have used only oil-based paints may be hesitant to take this step. But we’re here to tell you (and them) that water soluble oil paints are not going anywhere. In this section, we will address several reasons why you should consider switching over to these types of paints yourself. If you are a painter prone to allergies, these are better suited to your unique needs.

What are Water Soluble Oil Paints?

Before you run and out buy some, you should know what water soluble oil paints are and how they work. It is important to make the distinction that they are not water based. They are soluble in water, which is a very different thing. These paints have the ability to be mixed and cleaned with water. The term ‘water soluble’ means that you can thin the paint oils with water. Traditional methods such as linseed oil can also be used. Sure, we were taught as children that water and oil do not mix. However, water miscible paints have been designed to accept water and go around that chemical barrier. Here’s the best part. You don’t have to sacrifice quality. Water soluble paints retain nearly all of the same aspects as oil paints that artists love most. They are also more convenient. With practice and attention to detail, water-soluble paints can serve as a useful tool to produce stunning works of art.

What are the Advantages of Using Water Soluble Oils?

Painters have considered oil paints to be the top medium for centuries. Artists take great care to utilize them to produce vibrant colors are textures. Oil paints are appreciated for numerous reasons, primarily their longevity. However, as great as this medium is, it comes with drawbacks. As we previously mentioned, long drying times and toxins are among the most-cited complaints from artists who use oils. This can scare off new artists and painters with allergies. If you are working in a home studio or around pets and young children, you should be particularly cautious with the type of paint that you use.

Water soluble paints address these issues in a very helpful way. Not only do they have a faster drying time than traditional oil paints, but they also lack the harsh toxins and fumes found in turpentine and other oil paint compounds. Then, there is the obvious. They mix with water, linseed oil, and other solvents to produce beautiful effects.

How Do You Work with Water Soluble Oils?

Our guess is that you will be pleasantly surprised when you begin to work with water-soluble oils. You will find that they are very similar to traditional oil paints. They smell like oils and you can also use them with a myriad of solvents. You can use water to thin out water-soluble oil paints but this might not be your best option. Water alone can create a duller color and stickier paint. Needless to say, this does not work well when other oils are added into the mix. Water is best reserved to clean up the paints.

What should you use then? Linseed oil is a great option. Not only does it give your painting a nice glow but it also adds a great deal of depth to the paint’s color. You will find that there are special formulas of linseed, safflower, and other oils designed to work in synergy with non-traditional oils. You can use plenty of other mediums to make your painting experience highly personalized. Keep an eye open for fast drying mediums. These are always handy to have when you are working with the best oil paints.

Work at Your Own Pace

Don’t rush yourself. While this might sound cheesy, it is one of the best pieces of advice for new painters. You can’t rush oil painting – not even water soluble oil paints. These dry much faster than traditional oil paints but you still need to be patient. Only acrylics dry faster. On average, you will need to wait forty-eight hours before the paints lose their elasticity.

Mix Your Water-Soluble Oil Paints with Other Paints

One of the most convenient things about water-soluble paints is that they can be mixed with both oil and acrylic paints. You need to choose wisely but it is definitely doable. When you mix them with traditional oil paints, you will lose part of the ability to mix these paints with water. Artists have found that using a small amount of oil is good to retain some degree of water solubility. Oil-based solvents (e.g. linseed oil) provide superb results. Check in with the manufacturer of the acrylic paints to ensure they can mix with water soluble oil paints. After all, you cannot use just any type of acrylic with this paint. Make sure to research the brands that you want to use.

The Colors Mix Well

Mixing water soluble oils is often much easier than mixing traditional oils with new colors. Artists who have switched over have been impressed by the vibrant colors. Did you notice that some pigments are more transparent than others? Some artists have noticed this in viridian green and cobalt blue in particular. Generally speaking, water-soluble paints feels like painting with any other type of oil. You may even find that they provide better coverage with the right consistency.

Drying Time

When it comes to drying time, the best oil paints take a long time. The formulas take many different factors into account. There is so much that goes into the creation of water soluble oils. One of the upsides is that they are designed to prevent yellowing. Did you know that the drying time can take anywhere from a week to a few months depending on the thickness of the paint and the type of solvent that you used?

While it may seem obvious, avoid dark or damp rooms. If you want to facilitate the speed of your drying time, add a quick-drying medium to your paint. Feel free to varnish your paintings as you would normally. Since water-soluble oil paints are relatively new to the world of painting, it is not easy to estimate their longevity. Artists familiar with them have not been able to notice a difference in them versus traditional oil paints. Use a finish on your paintings to prevent cracking, yellowing, or fading.

Clean Up is a Breeze

Cleaning up has never been easier. The only downside we can think of painting is having to clean up the mess when you are done. If you have ever avoided using oil paints for this reason, then water-soluble paints are the right option for you. Not only is your cleaning time cut in half but you can also breathe without worrying about toxins and paint without worrying about staining your hands. All you really need to clean your paint brushes is soapy water. For stubborn paint, you can loosen the bristles with some oil.

Final Words on the Best Oil Paints

In this best oil paints review, we have given you information that should show you the right direction with regards to oil paints when you want to start painting. The recommendations of the best oil paints for artists aim to assist you in deciding on the type of oil paint to purchase. For professional artists, this review will remind you of the best selling oil paints or those you can consider for your work. For you to succeed in your painting business or project, you need to pick the best in the market. So, take a step and pick the top oil paint brands for your business or project.

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