Best Oil Paints For Artists

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.

01) ZenART Oil Paints for Artists

8 x Large 50ml Tubes – Impressionist Palette of Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, Lightfast Paint with Exceptional Pigment Load – the Infinity Series

ZenART Oil Paints for Artists main image


  • 8 different colours
  • Large 50 ml tubes
  • Eco-friendly
  • Lightfast paint
  • High pigment load


If you’ve ever stood in front of hundreds of oil paint tubes, you know how bewildering it can be. What paints are essential? Many manufacturers make 120 or more hues to entice you to buy them all, making it difficult to choose the correct ones.

Ardak Kassenova, co-founder of ZenART, produced limited palettes containing only fundamental oil colours. She studied the colour palettes of historical masters and current artists who proved that with a limited palette of fundamental colours, they could create stunning work.


ZenART Oil Paints infinity series paints are one of the best oil paints for beginners. In the world of oil paint brands ZenART is a trusted name. The student grade paints are best for beginners, the switch to these will instantly make your paintings more vibrant, the water mixable oils in this paint is a drastic improvement on cheaper oil paints.

The thick paint is satisfying to use and the deep, rich colours create a drastically better painting compared to other brands. The set has only a few colours, which I find comforting for younger painters, as they are not overwhelmed with a bunch of hues that they won’t use if they were not included. If you are a young artist trying to improve your painting, this limited colour range is perfect for you.

02) Castle Art Supplies 24 x 12ml Oil Paint Set

Great Value Set for Adult Artists, Beginners and Advanced | Vibrant Variety of Smooth-to-use Colors | In Impressive Presentation Box With Tutorial

Castle Art Supplies 24 x 12ml Oil Paint Set main image


  • 24 different colours
  • 12 ml paint tubes
  • 5 stage tutorial
  • Affordable prices
  • Intense pigments


The greatest galleries of the world have oil paintings. Be inspired, not daunted. Inside the presentation box, their professionals have handpicked the best assortment of artist-grade oil paints. The 24 airtight 12ml tubes are arranged in two rows of easy-to-pick colour families. Always expect high-quality, brush-ready paint.

These flexible paints are skillfully created with a combination of oil and pigment that creates a hard, smooth, uniform texture. Unique fold-out instruction teaches oil painting skills by recreating Lady Guinevere on the box lid in five steps.


When it comes to student and novice oil paints, Castle is one of the best brands available. Although it might not appear to be of the same high quality as other brands of paint, the oil paints included in this package are some of the best available for student use. If you want your paint to be thick and have the consistency of butter, this is the product for you. Throughout my experience, I’ve discovered that the colors are rich and easy to work with.

There is hardly any paint bubbling or separation. The fact that the paint takes a very long time to dry is compensated for by the use of high-quality oils. There are a variety of oils available, such as poppy oil, walnut oil, linseed oil, and safflower oil. Finding the best option can be challenging, so it’s helpful to begin with a collection that covers a wide range of possibilities.

03) Williamsburg Oil Traditional Colors Set

9 Piece Assortment

Williamsburg Oil Traditional Colors Set


  • 8, 11 ml colours
  • 37 ml tube of titanium white
  • Handmade paints
  • Excellent lightfastness
  • High-quality pigments


The Williamsburg Traditional Handmade Oil Paint Set is the perfect starting place for artists looking to experience traditional colour ranges with great quality paint. This set contains 11ml tubes of Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue (Genuine), Raw Sienna, and French Raw Umber, as well as a 37ml tube of Titanium White.


Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors are one of the oldest paint manufacturers creating artist-grade paint for millions of oil painters. In my usage, I have discovered that the traditional pigments here are amazing. Most oil paints take a long time to dry which makes the process longer, but the professional grade paints used here have a balanced drying process.

Williamsburg paints and golden artist colours have created an amazing offering here in this set. These paints belong at the top of the list for oil paints of our times, and I cannot recommend these enough. If you are one of the professional artists of our time, you must try these at least once.

04) Gamblin Artist Oil Colors

Introductory 9 Color Set, 37 ml Tubes

Gamblin Artist Oil Colors Introductory Set main image


  • 9 different colours
  • 37 ml paint tubes
  • Glossy pigments
  • Great consistency
  • Great value for money


This is a brand new collection of 9 Gamblin Artist Oil Colours in 37ml bottles. Oil paint colours that can be used in any kind of painting are included in this collection. Cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, burnt umber, cadmium red light and alizarin crimson are all included, as are viridian, ultramarine blue and viridian. One pre-primed birch painting panel is also included.


One thing I loved about these Gamblin oil paints is that unlike other oil paints here you get much more of the pure pigment than in any other brands in their price range. For student-grade oil paints, there is no better option than Gamblin oil paints. The paint separation is minimum, and the modern colours and buttery consistency is far greater than different brands in this space.

For students and amateur artists who are looking for high-quality paint at a cheaper cost, this is a no-brainer purchase. This is definitely one of the best oil paints for those just starting out.

05) Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint

Basic Set, 10 x 21ml Tubes

Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint main image


  • 10 colours
  • 21 ml tubes
  • Individually formulated colours
  • Excellent lightfastness
  • Easily intermixable


Winton produces a traditional line of oil colours. They’re made with reasonably priced pigments and designed for student and amateur artists, as well as more accomplished artists who need large amounts of colour at a reasonable price. This set includes ten 21-millilitre paint tubes (cadmium yellow, pale hue, cadmium red, deep hue, French ultramarine, phthalo blue, viridian hue, burnt umber, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ivory black, titanium white).


Winsor & Newton are one of the world’s oldest paint manufacturers, they are the best in making oil paints, and this set is a great example. While using these artist-grade paints, I was in awe of how beautiful the quality paint was. The colours were vibrant, and the paint was a bit thick, but it still had a good consistency that paired well with oils such as safflower oil, refined linseed oil, walnut oil, poppy seed oils and other artists’ oil.

Among the different oil paint brands, Winsor Newton sits above other brands. I can always recommend any high-quality paint produced by Winsor Newton.

If you want to start oil painting to your full potential, Winton oil paints is the set for you.

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 oil paint brand do professionals use?

Most professional artists use high quality paints from brands such as Winsor Newton, Sennelier oil paints, Holland Classic, Van Gogh, Paul Rubens, Castle, 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.