Get to Know the Important Tools to Have for Oil Painting

If you’ve always wanted to try out painting in oils but don’t know where to start, there’s no need to fret. With just a little know-how and the right tools, you’ll be able to get a good understanding on how each tool lends itself to the process.

Here are the most important tools you need to have to get started in oil painting:

Paint (including palette, brushes, solvent, and gesso)
What’s painting without the paint? Ideally, you want to have the basic colors down, and you can simply buy individual tubes for the basic colors and buy more paints over time.

Brushes are also important as the paint, but you don’t need to break the bank buying every single one – and they don’t need to be high quality either.

Solvent is used for breaking down the oil and make the paint more fluid, while gesso is what you prime your painting surface with to make the paint stick.

Easel and Canvas (or any other painting surface)
You can paint with oils on pretty much any surface that’s flat and will hold. This includes concrete walls, wood, and even stretched canvas over a wooden frame. As long as you prime the surface with gesso beforehand, you’re ready to go!

When it comes to wood planks or stretched canvas, having an easel will certainly help if the piece you’re working on is particularly small, as it keeps you from having to hunch constantly and strain your back.

Comfortable clothes (that you won’t mind being getting paint on)
Paint (and painting) is messy! While an apron will help a lot to keep paint from getting on your clothes, there’s still a good chance that you’ll get paint on your clothes, and while oil paint takes a long time to dry, it can also be difficult to remove.

Wearing more comfortable clothes will not only save you from having to keep your good clothes laundered for stains, but they also allow you to focus more on your painting by not being too tight or loose.

Oil
While your paint already contains a little bit of oil, you still need to add extra oil to adjust its thickness and consistency to your liking.

Unlike solvents, which are used primarily as paint thinners (they are also different from mineral spirits), oil isn’t used to thin the paint. Instead, they’re used to slow the drying time and make it more transparent, which makes it better for glazing.

Mineral Spirits
With oil painting, you clean your brushes in mineral spirits (different mixtures of odorless mineral spirits are now more widely used, since they’re much safer to handle than turpentine) instead of water or solvent.

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