Best Oil Paints For Artists
Looking for the best oil paints for your art? Check out our top picks, ranging from student-grade to professional-grade oil paints.
Oil painting is a popular medium for artists of all skill levels. It’s versatile, forgiving, and produces stunning results. But with so many brands and types of oil paints on the market, it can be tricky to know which ones are the best for your needs. Do you need student-grade or professional-grade oil paints? What colors should you get? And what about oil paint sets?
As an artist, one of the most important tools at your disposal is your paint. Different paints offer different textures, finishes and colors, so it’s important to choose the right kind for your needs. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best oil paints on the market and round up reviews from what I found when trying them.
We’ll also share our top picks for the best oil paints for artists, regardless of your experience level or budget, so read on to find out more…
The first thing you’ll want to consider when choosing your oil paint is the color. You can find oil paints in just about any hue imaginable, so it’s important to select the ones that will best suit your needs. If you’re working on a portrait, for example, you’ll want to choose colors that will produce skin tones accurately. For landscapes, you’ll want a set of colors that will capture the different shades of the natural world.
Another important consideration when choosing oil paint is the finish. Some oil paints are designed to produce a matte finish, while others will give your paintings a glossy sheen. It’s important to consider what kind of finish you want before making your purchase.
The last thing to consider when choosing oil paint is the texture. Some paints are thick and creamy, while others are thin and runny. Depending on your painting style, you’ll want to select a paint with the right consistency.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the things to consider when choosing oil paint let’s take a look at some of the best options available to you.
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01) ZenARTProfessional Oil Paint Set for Artists
8 x 50ml Big Tubes – Non-Toxic Artist Oil Paints. Lightfast Oil Colours with High Pigmentation, Creamy Texture, Impressionist Palette
- 8 different colours
- 50 ml paint tubes
- Vibrant modern pigments
- Cold pressed linseed oil
- Fast drying time
If you’ve ever stepped in front of a wall of dozens of oil paint tubes, you understand how perplexing it can be. What paints are required? Many manufacturers produce 120 or more colors in order to encourage you to purchase them all, rendering it extremely tough to select the right ones.
Ardak Kassenova, ZenART’s co-founder, created restricted palettes comprising just basic oil colors. She examined the color palettes of classic masters and contemporary painters who demonstrated that they could make great work with a narrow palette of core colors.
You don’t need to be an expert to use them, but your work will improve.
Experience is the only way to really appreciate the Impressionist Palette by ZenART, which features genuine colours and a smooth texture. Because this set is positioned as student grade, I went into it with the understanding that I would not be working with oil paints of a professional calibre. In spite of this, the paint in the kit was of excellent quality, and I enjoyed working with it when I painted.
The majority of brands of oil paint have a propensity to overpromise and underdeliver, but these student-grade paints have exceeded well beyond all of my expectations in that regard. ZenART may be the answer for you if you are a beginner painter who feels overwhelmed by the variety of oil paint brands.
02) Paul Rubens Oil Paint
20 Bright Oil Colors with High Saturation, 50ml Large Capacity Tubes, Faster Drying Time with Creamy Texture and Consistency for Artists, Students, Beginners
- 20 different colours
- 50 ml tubes
- Rapid drying
- Rich colour selection
- Great lightfastness and permanence
Paul Ruben has developed its own unique pigment craftsmanship after 20 years of testing and experimenting and as such is committed to providing artists with high concentrations of finely ground pigment with high permanence ratings. Paul Rubens oil paints have a high pigment content, are carefully blended, then ground and have excellent lightfastness. The colours are vibrant and provide excellent coverage, and the creamy texture makes it simple to handle and apply.
Among the various paint brands, Paul Ruben always comes into the discussion when talking about artist-grade paints. While both professional artists and students use these paints, the set is definitely made up of professional-grade paint. Personally, my oil painting has improved since using Paul Ruben. Their amazing consistency is a result of their use of the best oil and high-quality pigments.
All the top oil paints have a delicate and creamy texture to them, and Paul Ruben is no different. Professional artists all over the world use these artist-grade paints to improve their paintings. One thing I always suffer from is what medium to use, the choice among walnut oil, safflower oil, linseed oil and other water mixable oils is still a mystery. Paul Ruben is one oil paint brand that lets you create amazing oil paintings without using any additional oil. When acquiring high-quality paints I cannot recommend this set enough.
03) Mont Marte Oil Paint Set
36 Pieces x 18ml – Water Mixable – Ideal for Oil Painting – Brilliant lightfast Colours with high Opacity – Perfect for Beginners, Professionals and Artists
This unusual oil painting set comprises a total of 36 bright colours. These Mont Marte oil paints which can be mixed together and are water-soluble are now accessible in Europe for the very first time. A great degree of colour vibrancy distinguishes these earthy tones. They are also water-soluble, which results in not only a more pleasant aroma but also a creamier consistency that can be applied to the canvas. This allows the paint to be spread more easily.
However, despite their low prices and good quality, these colours possess all of the qualities of the conventional oil colours, making them an excellent choice for usage within the home. It is possible to construct a colour-intensive and profoundly powerful oil painting with these earthy tones in a relatively short amount of time.
Simple to mix, with a large colour palette contained in a single box. If I had to be slightly critical, I would point out that there is only one tube of white paint, and I have used approximately half of it in just one oil painting. Therefore, it is recommended that more white be purchased to go along with them.
The fact that the colours are mixable with water opens the gate to using all other brands of paint you have lying around in your house. The best oil paint is the one which is reliable, and you can reliably use these high-quality paints for years. Among the various oil paints I have used in the last few years, Mont Marte is one of the highlights. If you can paint in other mediums and are looking for a way to get into oil paints and oil painting, this is the set for you.
04) Castle Art Supplies 24 x 12ml Oil Paint Set
Great Value Set for Adult Artists, Beginners and Advanced | Vibrant Variety of Smooth-to-use Colours | in Impressive Presentation Box with Tutorial
- 24 different colours
- 12 ml paint tubes
- 5 stage tutorial
- Great value
- Easy to blend
Oil paintings as you would expect are in the best art galleries in the world. Be encouraged, not scared. Inside the presentation box, their experts have put the best mix of artist-grade oil paints they could find. The 24 airtight 12ml tubes are set up in two rows of colour families that are easy to choose from. Always expect good paint that is ready to use with a brush. These paints are made by mixing oil and pigments in a way that makes them hard, smooth, and uniform in texture. The unique fold-out instructions show how to paint Lady Guinevere in five easy steps on the box lid.
For anyone learning oil painting, the search for the best oil paint can be a daunting one, Castle Art Supplies easily solves this problem with their set of student-grade paint. When you are learning you cannot start with the best of the best, but you should also not start with a low-quality set of oil paints. Castle sets are filled with high-quality paints that can be used by both professional artists and beginners.
If you want to paint in a thick, buttery way, this is the right thing for you. I’ve found that the colours are bright and easy to use. Castle is one of the best oil paint brands in the world and their offering for students is no poor attempt by any means. My only complaint is that, since it’s for students, I would have liked for these colours to dry faster when used with linseed oil or safflower oil. Apart from that, this set is of great value for beginners, and I could not recommend this enough.
05) Ohuhu Oil Paint Set
24 Oil-Based Colors, Artists Paints Oil Painting Set, 12ml x 24 Tubes Great Mother’s Day Back to School Gifts Ideal
- 24 different colours
- 12 ml tubes
- Vibrant pigments
- Great for beginners
- Good value
This set includes a gorgeous array of 24 different vibrant colours, ranging from sunny lemon yellow to striking cobalt blue to luscious crimson red, allowing you to freely express your creativity.
Creativity knows no bounds and should not be restricted to the home. Bring these paints outside! Because of its small and portable size, it is ideal for painting cityscapes and gardens. From the aspiring artist to the professional painter, the Ohuhu Professional Paint Supply Set is the ideal complement to a mind full of colour and creativity.
These might not be one of the professional-grade oil paints, but the paint here provides a high quality that can be used in student-grade painting. The colours are smooth and they dry quickly which is easier to use for beginners. The best oil paints are lightfast and vibrant, both can be said about Ohuhu.
Many student grade oil paints fail due to their use of student grade oil, but the best oil has been used here. You can make your experience even better by using walnut oil, linseed oil and other brands of professional oils. One other use of this set is, due to their light size is, these tubes are great for travel. For learners, this is a set worth getting.
General Information About Oil Paints
People have been using oil from walnuts and poppies to decorate their caves since the 7th century. Oil paintings have progressed a long way since then. What we now call oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint made up of pigment particles suspended in a drying oil, most commonly linseed oil. We still use walnut oil in our oil colours on occasion.
Oil paint brands have evolved since their inception. Portrait painter John Goffe Rand invented the current paint tube in 1841, replacing pig bladders and glass syringes as the primary tool of paint transport. Artists or their assistants ground each pigment by hand before carefully mixing the binding oil in the appropriate proportions. Paints could now be mass-produced and sold in tin tubes with caps. The cap could be screwed back on and the paints saved for future use, allowing for greater flexibility and efficiency when painting outside. The manufactured paints had a balanced consistency that could be thinned with oil, turpentine, or other mediums by the artist.
Conclusion / Roundup
The world of oil paint is one that is huge and complicated, looking from the outside this industry can be seen as daunting and highly complicated. The search for great oil paint is not simple as many great oil paint brands dominate this space such as Winsor Newton, Sennelier oil paints, Holland Classic oil colours, Van Gogh paints, Paul Rubens, Castle and so on. Whenever you are talking about the best oil paints, these will definitely come into that conversation.
Most people look for the best oil paints when they start oil painting, but not all high-quality paint is for everyone, some of the best oil paint is created with a high pigment load which not everyone can use, many of the best oil paint brands are for students. It is important to understand these nuances when searching for the best oil paints…
…and hopefully, this article has fulfilled that challenge.
1) What oil color paints do professionals use?
Most professional artists use oil paints from brands such as Winsor Newton, Sennelier oil paints, Holland Classic, Van Gogh, Paul Rubens, Castle, Michael Harding oil paints and others.
2) What are the highest quality oil colors?
The best oil colors are made by Mont Marte or Winsor Newton and contain rich, bright pigments and high-quality oils.
3) Are Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour paints professional?
Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour are used by artists that are professionals in their field. But it can also be used by students who are getting into oil painting.
4) Do professional artists use oil color?
In addition to other mediums, the majority of the world’s most renowned painters work primarily with oil paint. There are artists working both professionally and unprofessionally.
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Written By Adam Rushton
Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.
His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.