Essential Oil Painting Materials

Basic Materials for Students

Essential Oil Colours (Winton/ Georgian or any artists' quality are recommended)

Cadmium Lemon Hue / Lemon Yellow

Cadmium Yellow Hue (not pale or deep)

Cadmium Red Hue

Permanent Rose / Rose Madder

French Ultramarine

Phthalo Blue

Titanium White

Click to enlarge

Additional Colours (needed on occasion)

Alizarin Crimson

Viridian Hue (Phthalo Green)

*Lamp / Ivory / Mars Black

 *For black & white paintings during Blending and Value lessons

Also see:

Click to enlarge


Linseed Stand Oil


This is a denser version of linseed oil, so named as the original method of thickening was to let the oil stand in the sun. It is more suited to and is actually much closer to that used by the old masters. It is also more flexible than plain linseed oil and yellows less over time.



Turpentine can be added directly to oil paint as a thinner or used in combination with oil in various proportions, depending on the consistency of paint required and the stage of a painting when building in layers.

Palette or Painting Knife?

Palette knives come in many shapes and sizes and are often also called painting knives. Technically speaking, palette knives are more flexible and painting knives usually have a large crank to keep your knuckles off the wet paint when using it to paint with, but really it's whatever you're comfortable with.

You are not advised to buy a pointed knife for mixing:

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The Value of a Good Palette


A good palette is an invaluable item for successful colour mixing. Having a good quality palette can make a real difference to the end result on the canvas.

Large Palette

It is worth buying a palette which allows sufficient space to mix colours precisely and in the correct quantity.

This is a 81 x 61cm sheet of plain white melamine board (furniture board) as available in hardware shops for building kitchen units, etc. You may also use a sheet of glass (with edges sanded) painted white on the underside or with a sheet of white paper underneath. Large plain white ceramic tiles work well also.

The hand-held palettes that are available in art shops are not suitable for real colour mixing with a palette knife, although you may find them useful for painting outdoors or holding paint that has already been mixed on the larger palette so as to take it nearer to the painting .

Oil Painting Brushes

The exact brushes needed for oil painting will be discussed once lessons begin.

Brushes will be available to use during the initial lessons.

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oil painting brushes - how to oil painting lessons

Oil Painting Paper / Canvas Paper

Oil painting paper or canvas paper can be used as a cheap substitute for canvas as it does have a canvas-like texture, but has more value as a surface for oil painting exercises where the use of a canvas would be a waste.

How to Clean Oil Brushes

To clean brushes I would recommend 'The Masters Brush Cleaner and Restorer'.
Alternatively, you can use white spirit followed by washing up liquid and warm water.

How to Clean your Palette

White spirit or low odor solvent can be used to clean oil paints from a palette, or for less toxic fumes use Clean Spirit or Zest-it. It is wise to wear rubber gloves to protect skin when using white spirit, as regular use can lead to skin damage.


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oil painting cleaning materials - how to oil painting lessons

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