Equipment Used For Oil Painting

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Oil Painting

Subject : General

Tutor : Nolan Clark

Class Length : 46 minutes

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Class Description

The equipment that is used for oil painting is explained in this art class.

After viewing this class you will be able to select all the necessary equipment that is needed to start painting in oils. You will learn about the different brushes and heaps more.

Instantly unlock this 50 minute class (recorded live on Paint Basket TV), to follow from the comfort of your own home. Your tutor, Nolan Clark, will not only explain and demonstrate everything what is needed to set yourself up as an oil painting artist in this easy to follow step by step manner, but Nolan also answered questions during the live class.

Some of the questions Nolan answered were:
1.    What types of brushes you get.
2.    Why paints have different grades.
3.    How to clean your brushes.

As part of the “Equipment” class you will also get access to download a reference list of all the art supplies that are needed, this includes a budget list as well as a ‘nice to have’ list.

In this great equipment for oils course you will learn:
1.    What brushes to buy and what brushes not to buy
2.    How paints are made and what paints to buy for oils painting
3.    Why we don not use turpentine to thin our paints
4.    Plus all the other equipment you will need in order to paint in oils.

Latest Reviews

Clear and to the point. Very useful not to buy uncessary equipment.


Class Video

Class Tutorial

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Since canvases are relatively inexpensive today, most people buy them ready made.  Look for a PRIMED canvas.  Nolan explains the difference between double and triple primed and goes over the three types of canvases (stretched, gallery, and panel).

If you prefer a stretched canvas, note how to apply the wedges on the back.  Stretched canvases are made to be framed.

A gallery canvas is much deeper and is displayed without a frame.

There are also canvas panels. Be sure to buy one of good quality.  If it is not pressed properly, it could buckle and not be suitable for framing.


All paints for whichever media you choose start out with a pigment base.  What is added to it - the medium - creates the difference, be it oil, watercolor, pastel, or acrylic.

If you want to create your own colors, you need three basic colors (red, yellow, and blue), plus white.


There are two basic kinds of brushes:
Bristle brushes to use for most of your oil painting needs.
Hair brushes which are soft and used for more detailed work.

Two particular hair brushes that are important to have are the rigger brush (used for long thin branches and other very fine work) and a fine round (used for signing your name).

Also, get a set of hardware or pastry brushes in pure bristle (not plastic bristle) for covering large parts of the canvas such as sky and background.

Painting medium

Nolan recommends using a painting medium to make the paint flow more easily and speed up drying.


There are two types of knives to use for oil painting:
The palette knife has a straight handle and is used for mixing paint.
The painting knife has a bowed handle and is used to apply paint directly onto the canvas.  It can also double as a palette knife.

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Palettes can be as simple as a smooth floor tile, a pane of glass, or a store-bought palette.


Mineral turpentine is used ONLY for washing brushes, not for mixing paints.

Watercolour pencils

Because graphite pencil marks are difficult to erase from the canvas, use watercolor pencils to sketch the picture onto the canvas.

Turps dish

Use a small container such as an empty tuna fish can to put your turpentine in to wash brushes.

Recycling your turpentine

Nolan demonstrates a method of recycling turpentine so that you can reuse the used turp in about a week.

Other odds and ends

Other essential items needed:
Dry lint-free cloth for drying cleaned brushes.
Roll of kitchen towels (paper towels) for wiping off palette or cleaning brushes in mid-painting.
Rulers of different sizes.
Easel for holding your canvas.
Reference books.
File binder for reference materials.
Tool box to hold equipment for en plein air painting.
Masking tape and scrap paper.
Craft and carton-cutting knives.
Clear cellophane tape.
Color Buster.

Nolan Clark

About Nolan Clark

Nolan Clark has been painting and drawing since 1996. He enjoys working in many mediums and styles, but realism is his favourite. He teaches drawing, painting as well as scratch board classes on the site.
Read more about Nolan Clark

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