Artist Supplies that I use in producing my works. 

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The best artist supplies and materials you will need if you plan to begin oil painting.  What makes this list different?  These are the actual items I have been using for many years of painting.  Sure, I change things up a bit just to try something new, but for the most part, this is what stays on my table within close reach.

All the active links when clicked will open a new page and send you over to a great artist supplies store.  I do buy these products locally to support my economy in the local area, but sometimes they don't have what I need, or a really great deal shows up on the Dick Blick site.

I've never been disappointed with the products or the service they provide me.

Below is just a minimum list.  It doesn't include things like studio lighting, easels, palettes, Taboret (a rolling cabinet for artist supplies), mahl sticks and mahl stick devices, or any of the thousands of neat little things that make our jobs as artist a bit easier.

I'll get into those items when I discuss studio practices.

Drawing Supplies

  • #2 pencils
  • Gummy Erasure
  • 36" Ruler (metal)
  • Waterproof ink and/or ink pen (calligraphy style, rounded or small chisel point)

Painting Supplies

  • Canvas should be sized to your comfort level.  Start with a few small 9" x 12" sizes then move up as your confidence improves.
  • Masonite panels.  I have these cut to size for me. 1/8" thick for really small works and 1/4" thick for larger sizes.  These need to be smooth on one side.  Some can be purchase with gesso already applied.

Brushes:  This is just a small collection shown.  As time goes by, this will grow to fill drawers!

  • assorted rounds from "00-1"
  • a few flats around the same sizes.  3-5 total
  • 3 large mop end, squirrel or artificial do fine
  • an exploded tip 1" and 3" house painting brush

Below is a picture of the different sized mop brushes I use.

mop brushes I use

I've had some folks say, they have trouble finding the Mop brush that I talk about in the lessons.  Here's a great example of one at a great price.  Some call it a wash brush, some call it a blending brush. 

Clicking the pictures will also get you to the Dick Blick page.

One's with squirrel hair are called "dusters" because they are used in dusting gold flake onto a painting.  They're real expensive, but serve the same purpose in a very soft final dry brush blending of the paint.


This is a great start.  With just these colors, I am able to make a very broad assortment of colors, including greens.

You'll notice there are 2 red, 2 blues, and 2 yellows.  Check out my color section for the reason why.

As your skill and your confidence increases, you can add additional colors, but for now, you can create any color you need from these.

I'll give you more info later on additional colors and art materials that will give you a true color spectrum and how to mix them. But for now, don't complicate your head, keep your palette simple. 

The old masters did!  Partly because the more different colors you mix, the muddier the result! 

Other Items:

Damar Varnish

Turpentine or low oder turps (do remember, if you decide to use Damar Varnish, you cannot use "low oder turps" or mineral spirits.  It will not dissolve the natural resins in Damar properly.  You must use a natural resin cutting product like real turpentine!)

Linseed Oil, (not boiled, but raw refined artist grade)

Lavender Oil (found in health food stores under aromatherapy)(just a small 3 oz. bottle)

Liquin Alkyd Medium

Modeling Paste


The first 3 are a must, the next 2 can be purchased as you get more into the work. The last two items you need to prepare the canvas for painting using this technique.

If you don't like using Blick for your art supplies, you can find most of these items on Amazon too.  Just follow the link below and type in the search block what you are looking for.  It doesn't hurt to shop and compare!

Your next step after getting your artist supplies will be to understand how to set up your objects for painting.

Check out my in-depth discussion on composition for what you'll be doing next in the process!

Below is a great little video showing you another artists setup.

Click here to head back to the top of my best artist supplies page.

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