My Oil Painting Materials

The most Frequently asked questions I receive is about my materials, “what brush is that” “what paint is that” “what are you painting on”. 

I do not want to scold those people for asking those questions, when I was a younger student I often asked the same questions, but as you gain more experience you learn that the materials dont matter as much. As long as you purchase quality materials, it mostly comes down to personal preference that has been gained through experience.

I always enjoyed the thought that if you gave Michelangelo and bucket of mud and a broom he would still be able to paint masterpieces. Great skill does not happen in the materials, it happens in the artist.

Trust me I understand, the pros make it looks so effortless, when they use a pen it looks NOTHING like when you use that exact same pen, and that is usually because they have been drawing and practicing their stroke for longer than you and they can achieve a similar effect with almost any instrument.


THAT BEING SAID, I want to share some of my materials for oil painting, these are by no means the correct materials. and they certainly will not be the same materials I use for the rest of my life, but I am still learning the medium so these work perfectly for me.

My Colors are arranged the same way I like to arrange them on my palette, basically is consist of a warm/cool version of each primary color with a few outliers that I could mix with my primaries, but since I use them so frequently it is time saving to just get them out of the tubes. Titanium White ( The best white) Lemon Yellow ( A more subtle and warm yellow) Cadmium yellow Light ( The only yellow I really need) Yellow Ochre ( This one is often left off my palette) Cadmium Orange ( A shortcut color, I can mix this easily but I use it so often) Cadmium Red Medium ( The warmer of the cad reds) Cadmium Red Dark ( The cooler of the cad reds) Alizarin Crimson ( A must have on any palette) Cerulean Blue ( The warmest Blue) Cobalt Blue (A cooler Blue) Ultramarine Blue ( A standard for painting) Burnt Umber ( A great shortcut color, but i dont use it often) Dioxazine Purple ( a great purple for mixing into shadows) Permanent Rose ( I dont use this color much) Viridian ( Great for mixing greens) It is also worth noting that I use Windsor and Newton Artisan water soluble oils, I do not plan on using these paints forever but for now they are affordable and I have no problems with the quality.

My Colors are arranged the same way I like to arrange them on my palette, basically is consist of a warm/cool version of each primary color with a few outliers that I could mix with my primaries, but since I use them so frequently it is time saving to just get them out of the tubes.

Titanium White ( The best white)
Lemon Yellow ( A more subtle and warm yellow)
Cadmium yellow Light ( The only yellow I really need)
Yellow Ochre ( This one is often left off my palette)
Cadmium Orange ( A shortcut color, I can mix this easily but I use it so often)
Cadmium Red Medium ( The warmer of the cad reds)
Cadmium Red Dark ( The cooler of the cad reds)
Alizarin Crimson ( A must have on any palette)
Cerulean Blue ( The warmest Blue)
Cobalt Blue (A cooler Blue)
Ultramarine Blue ( A standard for painting)
Burnt Umber ( A great shortcut color, but i dont use it often)
Dioxazine Purple ( a great purple for mixing into shadows)
Permanent Rose ( I dont use this color much)
Viridian ( Great for mixing greens)

It is also worth noting that I use Windsor and Newton Artisan water soluble oils, I do not plan on using these paints forever but for now they are affordable and I have no problems with the quality.

Most of my brushes come from [rosemaryandco.com], a fantastic supplier of affordable and quality brushes. I prefer to use an assortment of Brights (square) and Filberts (round) as well as some old hog hair brushes for texture. I carry them in a bamboo brush sleeve, simple and easy, It's important to note that I clean my brushes after each use or before each use. A dirty oil brush is essentially useless.

Most of my brushes come from [rosemaryandco.com], a fantastic supplier of affordable and quality brushes. I prefer to use an assortment of Brights (square) and Filberts (round) as well as some old hog hair brushes for texture.

I carry them in a bamboo brush sleeve, simple and easy, It's important to note that I clean my brushes after each use or before each use. A dirty oil brush is essentially useless.

For my general Painting materials I have an assortment of tools that Ill talk about briefly here. Plastic Razor Blade - Great for scraping off my palette and keeping it clean. Small Metal Lid - For putting my painting medium in Small leak proof bottle - For holding my painting medium on the go Palette Knife - Great for mixing paint and for painting, a perfect tool. Painting Medium - This medium is proprietary to the type of paints I use Masters Brush Soap - Clean you brushes every time you use them Cup for water - That about sums it up, it’s a cup for water Not pictured : Paper towels - Lots of paper towels (preferable VIVA)

For my general Painting materials I have an assortment of tools that Ill talk about briefly here.


Plastic Razor Blade - Great for scraping off my palette and keeping it clean.
Small Metal Lid - For putting my painting medium in
Small leak proof bottle - For holding my painting medium on the go
Palette Knife - Great for mixing paint and for painting, a perfect tool.
Painting Medium - This medium is proprietary to the type of paints I use
Masters Brush Soap - Clean you brushes every time you use them
Cup for water - That about sums it up, it’s a cup for water
Not pictured : Paper towels - Lots of paper towels (preferable VIVA)

When I first started oil painting I mostly used cheap canvas boards that are not archival and were not very smooth. These boards were just fine for learning, but I wouldn’t want to sell my work on those boards because they will warp and degrade over time. As of now I exclusively use RAYMAR panels, both Canvas and Linen of various sizes.

When I first started oil painting I mostly used cheap canvas boards that are not archival and were not very smooth. These boards were just fine for learning, but I wouldn’t want to sell my work on those boards because they will warp and degrade over time. As of now I exclusively use RAYMAR panels, both Canvas and Linen of various sizes.

This paint box folds up nicely and fits in my backpack and has plenty of table space for all my junk that we listed above. For a long time I was using a homemade wooden paint box similar to the STRADA. But I saved up some money and purchased this as a gift to myself last christmas, It was a great investment!

This paint box folds up nicely and fits in my backpack and has plenty of table space for all my junk that we listed above. For a long time I was using a homemade wooden paint box similar to the STRADA. But I saved up some money and purchased this as a gift to myself last christmas, It was a great investment!

One of the complaints I hear about oil paint is that it takes forever to set up and get going. This can absolutely be true, but I take pride in my setup and it generally takes me about two minutes to unload everything from my backpack and get painting.
It’s also worth noting that all of this stuff fits nicely in my back pack, since I am primarily a plain air painter I needed to make sure I can be on the go quickly. Of course I did not choose all of these materials by myself, many of them were recommendations from fellow painters like Dennis Perrin, Richard Schmid, Daniel Keys and many more!
My tools and set up will continue to evolve with me as I grow as a painter and I look forward to that! 

Thanks for reading!


Best,

Nick