I have been in the market for new art supplies after giving away my paint and brushes.
In the past, I used Winsor & Newton oil paint, which was the first and only brand I used. This is a good reason to experiment!
Before buying anything, I researched different student and professional artist oil paint brands. To help others, I listed below as many companies as I could find that make oil paint and sell at art supply stores.
Note: The list, which contains a lot of popular manufacturers, is not comprehensive.
37 oil paint manufacturers
- Bob Ross
- Caran d’Ache
- CAS Paint
- Da Vinci Paint Co.
- Daniel Smith Artists’ Materials
- Gamblin Artists Colors
- Genesis Artist Colors
- Holbein Artist Materials
- John Howard Sanden Paint
- Lefranc & Bourgeois
- M. Graham
- Michael Harding
- Old Holland
- Pebeo Fragonard
- R&F Handmade Paints
- Rembrandt Artists’ Oil Colors
- Richeson Oils
- Soho Urban Artist Oil Colors
- Utrecht Art Supplies
- Van Gogh Oil Colors
- Weber Permalba paints
- Williamsburg Handmade Oil Paints
- Wilson Bickford Artist Oil Paints
- Winsor & Newton
Options, options, options
Buying paint is over-whelming. There’s a zillion different grades and different colors.
Paints come in two grades: Student-quality and professional / artists / studio quality.
Student quality paint contains less expensive than the professional counterparts.
Student-grade paint is not as lightfast or does not have the same permanence as the pro counterparts.
In addition, student-quality oil paints may have lower pigment concentrations, lower color strength, and slightly different mixing characteristics than artists quality.
For learning and getting started, there’s nothing wrong with student-grade paint.
If you are selling artwork, giving art as gifts, or expecting it to last in any long-term capacity, spring for the professional grade products.
The artists quality paints are worth it, especially if you can afford them.
Oil paint colors
Color choices are vast. It is always good to start with a limited color palette. (Colors can be mixed into different shades.)
If you are just starting from ground zero, consider a pre-made set, which comes with a basic color palette.
As you confidence level improves with mixing and using the colors, consider adding more.
If you buy individual tubes, a good starting palette includes:
- Titanium white (get a big tube of this!)
- Ivory black
- Cadmium red
- Permanent alizarin crimson
- Ultramarine blue
- Cadmium yellow light
- Cadmium yellow
What makes oil paint?
Oil paints are particles of pigment and a drying oil. The oil varies depending on the manufacturer and color. Example oils include linseed and safflower — and sometimes combinations of oils.
Why did I use oil paint?
When I started painting, I loved how oil paint did not dry like acrylics. Oils dry slowly, which means I could rework and blend paint on canvas to my liking.
They also can be thinned, which can change transparency levels.
Besides, artists have used good oil paints centuries.
Other art supplies
Oil paint is only part of the equation.
Additional supplies include brushes, turpentine or mineral spirits, linseed oil, palette, painting surface — i.e., canvas, rags, jar, old clothes, and an easel.