Best Oil Paints Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Have you ever aspired to learn how to paint with oil paints? There are many advantages to taking up oil painting as a hobby. Not only is it a great way to relax; it can also be helpful at advancing our memory. Oil painting can augment our critical thinking abilities, and even develop fine motor skills. But in order to begin a hobby like oil painting, you first must get started with a good set of oil paints.
Personal preference is what makes the best oil paint sets. Most people prefer to get paints that are fade-resistant, have brilliant pigments, and are simple to work with. The most imperative colors to have in your oil paint set are reds, yellows, and blues. However, depending upon your artistic ideas you may choose to have several other colors included on your painting pallet.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
Easy for children to use
Fun to use & blend
10 Best Oil Paint Sets
1. Pentel Arts
Easy for children to use
Fun to use & blend
Works like waxy crayons
Difficult to blend
Pentel makes some oil pastels that come in a 50-piece set. These pastels come in brilliant colors and can be put on simply and merged with other colors to make so many beautiful color combinations. You will be able to create many tints, shades, and blends of color.
Simple to Use & Safe
These oil pastels are simple to use, artists of any age can get creative. Pastels are free of acid and can be used on paper, canvas, or boards.
Oil pastels are much more brilliant colors than chalky brands. They also are resilient against the effects of humidity, and your drawings will last much longer.
Cost and Value
They will prove their value the instant you open the container they arrive in. They come in a variety of sizes – 50 count is the most popular; however, they also have a 12-count and 24-count size. The price is minimal, but the value is greater than the monetary savings.
2. Royal & Langnickel
Contains all needed materials for an artist
Sketching box included
The watercolor set is great
Excellent kit for the traveling artist
Brushes and paint are poor quality
Product never dried
This product made by Royal & Langnickel is perfect for the artist that loves to travel. This kit includes special brushes with the Regis name on them. You can buy it and give it away to your student who is an aspiring artist, or even buys it for yourself if you are an up and coming artist.
Flip-Up Brush Organizer
This art kit has a flip-up brush organizer which ensures that the brushes are in good condition. All the supplies in this kit are kept in a container which stores and protects everything in a wooden box.
Easy to Use
The Royal & Langnickel Regis Oil Color kit is so easy to use when traveling or just putting away into storage for later use.
Cost & Value
The cost of this oil color kit made by Royal & Langnickel is minimal in comparison to the actual value you will receive from your purchase. For a minimal price, you are going to get all the necessary supplies you need to become a complete artist.
3. Winsor & Newton
Artists can share equipment
Contains all the primary colors
Appears just like standard oils
Does not mix well
Hard to use
This mixable oil color set made by Winsor & Newton has been created to look and act just like standard oil color set works. This is the perfect kit for budding artists who are sharing a workspace together, for schools who train artists as well as for those who are artists working from home.
Includes all the Primary Colors
This mixable oil color set includes all the primary colors needed for the right combination of colors. With all the colors included in this set, you can create new color combinations and hues.
The oils in this set are water soluble, its chemical base is only changed slightly yet its main chemical balance remains the same as all oil-based colors.
Cost & Value
This art set holds a lot of value because it is environmentally friendly and water soluble. The price is a little higher than other sets; however, you will soon discover that this is greater than the monetary value.
4. US Art Supply
Non-toxic & acid-free
Great for canvas
Excellent for media & wall art
100% lifetime guarantee
24 beautiful colors
The tubes were leaky
Labels came off
This US Art Supply has a set which includes 24 professional colors. Each 24 ml tube comes in vibrant colors that students, artists, and beginning artists are going to love. You will be able to create beautiful creations on canvas just like a professional artist does with these wonderful tints.
With these unique, brilliant colors you will be able to design your own artistic masterpieces. U.S. Art Supplies has lots of colorful tints that are superior in quality and will make your artwork look alive.
Easy to Use
These art supplies are fun to use and kid-friendly. An oil-based, acid-free, and non-toxic they are in agreement with ASTM D4236 and EN 71 codes. These items are loved by teachers and adults and even children can enjoy using them.
Cost and Value
When it comes to choosing suppliers for art, you cannot go wrong if you choose these supplies from US Art Supply The cost is minimal for what you get; however, the value is not monetary based. You are simply going to love this product made for the whole family to enjoy.
A premium brand
Dianthus Pink is a robust color
Excellent customer service
It has great coverage
Gold is not metallic color
Tube was leaking
This traditional oil color set made by Williamsburg has eight 11 ml brilliant primary colors and one tube that is 37 ml of white. These paints are handmade and recognized for the lightfastness that they provide.
Excellent Gift Giving Idea
If you have an artist (or aspiring artist) on your gift list; this item is a great idea to give them. The artist in your life will enjoy hours of creating masterpieces with this set of Williamsburg traditional oil colors.
Contains 8 Vibrant Colors
This traditional oil color set contains 8 primary colors in 11 ml tubes and a larger tube of white so that the artist receiving this set can mix and create several different hues to work with.
Cost and Value
This set from Williamsburg is worth much more than its monetary value. The recipient of this traditional oil color set is going to find much enjoyment in painting and creating works of art.
6. Castle Art Supplies
Money back guarantee
Long lasting colors that are true
Ready to use
Perfect for beginners
Seems like more oil than pigment
Oil is hard to work with
This set is made by Castle Art Supplies will make it fun and exciting to learn and experience the wonders of working with oils. The items in this set have the ultimate in coverage, with 24 tubes of colors that are vivid and beautiful.
Easy to Mix
You will be able to start painting right away because the colors available are all the fundamental shades you need. Castle Art Supplies set has easy to mix paints that enable you to create new and various shades and hues of the prime colors.
When you use the paint in this Castle Art Supplies kit you will be stunned by the magnificent consistency they have. The fascinating results will amaze you when you see great it looks on your canvas masterpiece.
Cost and Value
The quality of this product will prove their invaluable beyond any monetary means. The price is reasonable and the money back guarantee gives it even greater value.
7. MozArt Supplies
100% non-toxic—ASTM certified
Versatile- great for all DIY crafts
Does not lose its original tint when dry
Smaller than advertised
Product was dried when delivered
This art set made by MozArt Supplies comes in a set of 24 colors in 12 ml tubes. This is made by artist grade and professional artists, students, and beginning painters use it. This item is ideal for use on canvas, doing wall art, murals, landscapes, and portraits.
There are 24 luxuriously-pigmented colors in this MozArt set. All these colors can be mixed to create new shades and hues to try out.
Lightfast and Quick Drying
The colors do not fade once they have dried on your artwork; they continue to sustain the brightness of the original tint.
Cost and Value
The price of this set is affordably priced; however, the value is much more than monetary. You are going to be impressed with all you get for the money spent.
8. ZenART’s Essential Palette
Affordable high quality
Has all the colors you will need
Ideal for beginners
Excellent quality and price
No blue, yellow or black colors
Beware of plastic covering the tube
ZenArt makes a set that has all the primary colors. Non-toxic and lightfast, this set was created with the artist in mind. These colors create a harmonic balance when you are creating your palette full of unlimited colorful tints.
Made for Professional Artists
This brand is a fine value of the product which has been created with the best quality pigments that are non-toxic and create the best mixtures of color when blended together. These oils are lightfast, which means that they do not fade when exposed to light while drying.
This item has a fine consistency; it is non-toxic and thick and creamy. These colors have a quality of pigments and clarity in coverage and tint.
Cost and Value
When you purchase this brand you will receive 8 tubes of high-quality product in 1.52-ounce tubes. The quality of dye is far greater than monetary value, once you see how fantastic this product is you will agree it is invaluable.
Pigment-rich lasting colors
Hand-crafted wood panel
Product was damaged
Colors were labeled wrong
This option made by Gamblin is an ideal set of paints that are excellent and intensely rich in pigment colors that are long-lasting. The set comes in a gel-primed wood panel and includes nine 37 ml solvent-free colors that are artist grade.
These tints in this set are succulent and intense; the pigments are rich in vibrant colors that are long-lasting.
Hand-crafted wood panel
This Gamblin Artist Oil color set comes in a hand-crafted wooden panel. It has been substantiated from North American forested birch wood.
Cost and Value
This set costs a little more than other sets; however, you will soon discover that the value of this set is far greater than its cost. This fine product is going to aid you in creating many brilliant masterpieces.
10. Bob Ross
Pigment rich colors
Ideal “wet on wet” technique
Includes 14-- 200 ml tubes
Endless natural color combinations
Specially formulated stiff but smooth
Tubes are small and don’t last long
This set of landscape tints made by Bob Ross comes in a set of 14; they are available in 200 ml tubes. These Bob Ross products offer the ideal “wet on wet” technique.
All the Primary Colors
This Bob Ross product includes a 200 ml tube of each of the primary colors you need to work with. Each of the colors is rich in pigments and can be mixed into an array of combinations.
This product is formulated specially to be stiff but to still have a smooth consistency. They come in rich colors that are simple to work with and fun to discover the various colors you can create.
Cost and Value
This set made by Bob Ross will prove its value time and time again. Even though they are a bit pricier than other brands, their value goes farther than the monetary amount. You are going to love working with these colorful tints and creating beautiful, artistic masterpieces.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When you are setting up your oil painting pallet, there are only a few colors you need to start with. Those are the true primary colors of cyan, magenta, and yellow; you can three colors to match these primary colors and they are—Phatalo cyan blue, Quinacrione magenta, and Azzo yellow; you can then add titanium white and black. With oil paints as long as you have the primary colors the array is endless.
Oil paints are slow drying, therefore, you can change the consistency of the paint by adding some turpentine (paint thinner) or adding more color base to make changes to what you have painted on your canvas.
Whenever you start a new hobby, there are always accessories you need to get going. With a hobby that has to do with art, you need to ensure that you purchase everything you are going to need in order to set up the perfect art studio. You should pick a room in your home that gives you inspiration. One that has windows that look outdoors with a beautiful view--or at least an inspirational view. If you live in the city, or a small apartment, it may be hard to find such a room or view. However, you can improvise by putting up posters of outdoor scenes inside your apartment.
There are several accessories you will need to get started oil painting. First and foremost you will need a painter’s palette for your oil paints. You will also need some plastic storage jars with lids to keep your paint in when not in use on the palette. You will also need a supply of various size paint brushes, turpentine, and newspapers. One other accessory you are going to need is a painter’s smock to wear as a cover over your clothing while painting. Also, you need some type of tarp to protect the floor from oil paint droppings.
Synthetic paint brushes are a much-needed supply that is needed for any oil painter. The reason for synthetic brushes is because they are less likely to shed bristles onto your painting masterpiece. Another important material you are going to need is some type of cleanser to use to clean the oil paint from the brushes. Oil paint does not wash off with soap and water; therefore, you are going to need some turpentine (paint thinner) or odorless mineral spirits. You will need to have some type of metal container that has a good seal in which to store your paint thinner/remover in.
If you want to go the environmentally friendly route, there are other options to use instead of turpentine. There is a completely safe material called, Turpenoid Natural to use when cleaning brushes. However, you do need some form of container to store the run-off in until you can take it to a toxic waste center.
Ease of Use
Oil painting is probably one of the easiest hobbies one could have. After you have all your supplies, accessories, and materials together you set up your palette with at least two blues, two reds, two yellows, and white color. Then you can mix and stir and paint whatever comes to mind on your canvas. The wonderful thing about oil paint is that it dries very slowly; so if you are not pleased with the way your painting looks, you can add some paint thinner to change the design. You can use the paint thinner to also create different shades of the original colors on your palette. The ease of use with oil painting is endless in what you will be able to create on a blank canvas.
Believe it or not, there are water-soluble oil paints. Water soluble oils have the same texture as conventional oil paints, but minus the smell of solvents and also you can use soap and water to clean your brushes, workspace, and palette.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When the colors on your canvas accidentally run into each other they can create a wonderful new color. However, when this happens there are small inconsistencies in the color and texture that adds to the new color that has been created. If you add too much paint, too soon, you will end up with a big glob of paint that is boring and unexciting. For this reason, you need to be careful to add only little bits of paint at a time before applying the new color with your brush.
Do not scrimp with the paint at the expense of what you are painting when mixing colors together to create a new look. If you are continuously going back to your palette of paint for more with your brush, perhaps the paint is too thin and it is time to add more to thicken it up. Use your best judgment when adding paint (or thinner) to the paint you are working with. Whatever is more comfortable for you to work with should work just fine. Remember, you are the artist and what works best to fuel your creative will be fine.
You can paint you have two choices; you can paint on the canvas, let it dry completely and then paint over that—or you can paint on the wet paint to create a different effect. Painting wet on wet allows the paint to blend creating transitions and grades in what you are creating on the canvas.
Your palette knife is a much handier tool than just something you use to mix up the paint with. You can actually use your palette knife as a way to creatively add texture to your art piece, and create unusual strokes that cannot be duplicated with a paint brush. So when you are done mixing the paint on your palette, do not put the palette knife away—you can make your masterpiece really “come to life” by adding some finishing touches with the palette knife.
Other Factors to Consider
When you are looking for oil paints you need to consider what capacity you are going to be using them. Are you a professional artist? Are you buying oil paints for your child who aspires to become an artist? Do you wish to make this your new hobby? These are all questions to ponder over when looking for the right oil painting set to ensure that it will meet the needs of the painter.
Knowing to what capacity (and ability) the painter intends to use their new oil paint set will get you on the right track to making the correct purchase. As you have just read in this buyer’s guide of the top 10 oil painting kits available today, there are many kits to meet many different artistic needs.
This is another criterion that goes along with the one regarding the capacity of an artist’s needs. How effective is the person who you intend to buy the oil paints for at painting? If you are buying for a novice, you are going to need to ensure you buy a kit that is intended for a beginner. It would make no sense to buy an advanced kit for a beginner; this would only frustrate the painter and possibly cause them to give up their idea or dream of painting. So, before you spend the money, learn a little about how effective the person on your gift list is with a paintbrush and make your decision accordingly.
Before you purchase an oil painting kit; you need to check what the type of products are used to make the paints and other items. Are the products that go into the paint ecologically friendly? Some people on your gift list would be offended if you gave them a product that was not. So do some research about the purity of each product before making the final decision about which oil paints to purchase.
Are the color pigments made of natural materials? Some of the more pure, natural products you will find in paint pigments are zinc oxide, umber, sienna, and cadmium. It is a smart idea to have safety precautions in mind because of the fact that several pigments carry an increased level of toxicity. As well, the synthetic pigments are known for their lightfastness to the paint.
It is imperative to know how the person you are planning to buy an oil painting kit intends to use it. Oil painting can seem intimidating to the beginner, or to a person who is accustomed to acrylic or watercolors. For this reason, it is so important that you know what the use of the kit you buy is going to be for.
As you recall, several of the kits we reviewed mentioned they were ideal for students, teachers, beginners and/or professional artists. The reason for these descriptions is because they have special instructions to cut down on the intimidation factor that a kit meant for professional artists only might carry.
In order for an oil painting kit to have versatility, it should enable the painter to do a variety of different painting ideas. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to finish an art masterpiece and not being able to do so because you must wait for one layer of paint to dry in order to add another color on top of the first layer—such as adding snow to the top of a mountain. For this reason, there are solutions available which make a painting with oils so versatile. Such options are to apply new brands of “fast drying” white paint on top of the original titanium white which allows the paint to collaborate better. This brand of fast-drying white paint is also known as an underpainting white—some professional artists prefer to use the brand that Windsor & Newton makes.
Another frustrating thing that oil painters find difficult to do is to make a straight line with the paint. This is difficult because the oil paint contains lots of fatty vegetable oils which can make diluting with water almost impossible. Also, if you want to sign your signature to paint it can be almost impossible to do so while the painting is still wet. However, there are some options one can do to get the paint to somewhat cooperate.
One of the ways you can make the oil paint more versatile to what you want to accomplish is to take a business card and lightly tap the edges into the paint to create the straight lines you need. Another way, you can actually use acrylic paint over the dry oil paints. There is one other innovative trick and that is to use some stick oil pastels. By combining a small layer of Liquin to the oil pastel stick you can get them to harden rather quickly. This is an ideal way to create twigs on a tree, barbed wire for fences, and even telephone pole wires to give you are masterpiece a real-life look.
So as you can see, when you oil paint there are many ways you can make the paintwork for and with you; if you just realize the versatile ideas that are available.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What does “fat over lean” mean with oil painting?
This is one of the most primary sayings when it comes to oil painting terms. What it means is that it is a way to decrease the chance that the paint is going to crack as it dries. Oil paint when it comes directly from the tube is considered the fat—to get it fatter, you add more oil. However, if you want to get it “leaner” you need to add some paint thinner such as turpentine. When you begin a painting, you should start out with leaner paint and as you continue, cover it with the fatter paint. This is what “fat over lean” means and the result is less cracking of the paint as it begins to dry.
q: Should a finished oil painting be varnished?
Varnishing your finished painting will guard it against any damage that smoke, dust, or other pollutants in the air may cause. If you do not varnish your painting, then any harmful air pollutants can result in darkening or yellowing the exterior of your artwork. By putting on a layer of varnish to the painting's surface, you are making a coating in which to guard your precious artwork.
Every so often you are able to clean or even take off this coat of varnish and put on a fresh layer to give it a renewed appearance. However, this should be done only every six months or more—depending on how thick the original oil paint was applied to begin with. If you have never varnished a painting before, it can be a bit tricky. Therefore, before beginning such a project for the first time, do some research on how to do it or contact a professional who is familiar with how to do this project correctly.
q: Any oil paint that I do not use can I save to use at a later time?
There are ways you can re-use oil paint that you have left over; however, you should do so with caution. A couple of ways some artists preserve unused oil paint is to place it in a plastic baggie and freeze it till you are ready to use it again. Another idea is to place the paint onto a piece of glass and place it under water.
q: What type of support should be used with oil paint?
There are a number of surfaces that you can choose from to apply oil paint too. However, the most common is to use a stretched canvas. One can use canvas made from linen, but it is a little costlier than the stretched canvas choice. You can also opt to use Masonite or even some kinds of panels made of wood.
q: What are the best types of brushes are advisable for a beginner oil painter to use?
The answer to this question is another tough one. Because paint brushes are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and brands; also, the type of brush you eventually go with is going to be a matter of personal preference. As a general rule, you should have a number of different shapes and sizes of brushes that are available for you to use when you first begin as a painter.
As you become an experienced painting, you will develop your own preference for the type of brush you prefer to use. As a word of advice, avoid the cheaper brushes. These brushes tend to lose hairs and the hairs will fall out rather quickly. The brand “Silver Brush” makes an excellent set of 11 paint brushes that are perfect for the artist just starting out. You can also do your own online research about paint brushes that are best for the beginning oil painter.