20 Best Oil Paints In 2022: For Both Beginners And Professionals

Best Oil Paints

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on how we conduct reviews, click here.

Oil paints are a popular medium for artists of all skill levels. Whether you're just starting or have been painting with oils for years, it can be hard to know which brands are the best. This article will help you make an informed decision by providing reviews of some of the most popular brands and answering frequently asked questions about oil paint in general.

Our Top Picks

U.S. Art Supply Professional Oil Paint
Check Price Button

Best Overall: U.S. Art Supply Professional Oil Paint

Non-toxic & acid-free
Conforms with ASTM D-4236 and EN71 standards
Eligible for full refunds

Best Beginner Set: Norberg & Linden Oil Paint Set

Complete oil painting set
Very economical
100% money-back guarantee

Best Limited Palette: ZenArt Oil Paint, Portrait Palette

High pigment load
No solvent fumes
Suitable for vegans

    1. U.S. Art Supply Professional Oil Paint - Best Overall

    U.S. Art Supply Professional Oil Paint
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Creamy consistency
    • Long working time
    • Non-toxic & acid-free
    • Conforms with ASTM D-4236 and EN71 standards
    • Eligible for full refunds
    • Colors not as pigmented as advertised
    • Too oily

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    According to several users, this set is a steal, especially for its quality and price. They are easy to apply and blend easily with their creamy consistency. Professional and newbie artists love using these oil paints. It is a little oilier than most oil paints, so artists recommend using liquin instead of oil mediums for mixing and blending the colors.

    U.S. Art Supply Professional Oil Paint

    Why We Think It's Great

    Bring your artwork to life with high-quality, professional oil paint from U.S. Art Supply. The paints use high-quality pigments mixed with high-quality linseed oil for a long working time and creamy application.

    The paints are non-toxic and acid-free, ensuring that your paintings will be safe and beautiful for years to come. They also conform to ASTM D-4236 and EN71 standards, making them perfect for artists of all levels.

    The company is also confident of their product's quality that they offer full refunds on their oil paints if the paints don't satisfy your discerning taste.

    The set also comes with a complimentary color mixing wheel and an easy mixing guide to help newbies mix their colors. You don't need to worry much about mixing, though, since the set comes with 36 colors in 18ml tubes.

    Who Should Buy It

    We recommend this oil paint set to newbie and professional artists who want to work directly with colors without worrying about messing up, especially when trying to get the proper skin tone.

    2. Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint

    Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • High-quality pigments
    • Affordable price
    • Lightfast
    • Permanent colors
    • Mixable with other brands
    • Drier than most traditional oil paints
    • Poor packaging

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Many art teachers recommended these oil paints to their students, though some find this set very good for practice work. They're also very affordable for their value, and this set makes an excellent gift for your artist friends.

    Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint

    Why We Think It's Great

    With Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Paint, you'll get high-quality pigments in an affordable package. These paints are lightfast and permanent. They are also mixable with other brands, making them versatile for any project.

    The paint has a buttery texture, so it is easy to apply. Gloss varies on the pigment used, though. The tubes are in a plastic tray, sealed with a plastic covering before being packed in a cardboard box.

    The set has 10 colors, and each tube packs 21ml of highly-pigmented oil paints. The colors included are Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Cadmium Deep Red Hue, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue, Viridian Hue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ivory Black, and Titanium White.

    Who Should Buy It:

    This set is suitable for anyone who wants to try out oil paints. It is an excellent choice for beginners and professional artists alike, with its good quality pigment and easy application.

    3. Magicfly Professional Oil Paint Set

    Magicfly Professional Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Includes 38 regular and 2 metallic oil paints
    • Thick consistency
    • Opaque coverage
    • Non-toxic
    • Lightfast colors
    • Takes a very long time to dry
    • Oil separates from the pigments

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Customers love the colors of this oil paint because they are affordable, and each 18ml tube goes a long way. It has an extended drying time, though. Depending on the artist you're talking with, it can be a pro or a con. You may have to wait for a long time (sometimes weeks) for the paint to dry, but it also allows you to retouch your painting if you find any fault with it.

     

    Magicfly Professional Oil Paint Set

     

    Why We Think It's Great

    With Magicfly Professional Oil Paint Set, you can easily create beautiful art pieces with vibrant colors that are lightfast and opaque. The thick consistency makes it easy to apply, while the lightfast pigments will keep your paintings looking great for years to come.

    The paints don't dull with time and are best for creating wall art, abstracts, portraits, and landscapes. You need to thin it with oil painting mediums, especially when working with lower layers.

    The set comes with 35 tubes of classic colors. It also includes different shades and tints of reds, violets, blues, greens, yellows, and oranges. It also contains three tubes of Titanium White and a tube each of metallic gold and metallic silver, Noir, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Gray, and Light Apricot.

    Who Should Buy It

    The set is ideal for professionals and emerging painters already familiar with oil paints. It also works excellent for serious artists who want to expand their oil paints collection or get a gift for an artist friend.

    4. Williamsburg Oil Native Italian Earth Set

    Williamsburg Oil Native Italian Earth Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Handmade oil paints
    • Lightfast
    • Concentrated pigments
    • Translucent
    • Made with imported Italian earth colors
    • Inconsistent quality
    • Gritty texture

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    According to many professional artists, Williamsburg Oil Native Italian Earth Set is the best oil paint. It also lasts a long time, and the colors are outstanding. It has inconsistent quality because these are handmade, but a few drops of oil paint medium and thorough mixing on the palette solve the issue.

    Williamsburg Oil Native Italian Earth Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Williamsburg Oil Native Italian Earth Set is a handcrafted set of oil paints made from imported Italian earth colors. The concentrated pigments are lightfast but translucent, making them best for glazing and for creating unique undertones.

    The colors included in the set are Orange Ochre, Lemon Ochre, Italian Yellow Ochre, Terra Vertex, and Green Ochre. Other colors are Terra Rosa, Rosso Veneto, Pozzuoli Earth, Roman Earth, Pompeii Red, and black.

    Each set contains 10 tubes of 37ml oil paints, individually mixed to get the right consistency for each pigment. 

    Who Should Buy It

    We recommend this set for professionals because of the extra work needed to ensure the oil paints' proper consistency and price. You may also want to buy a separate tube of Titanium White because the set doesn't include one. All the other colors are available in individual tubes of varying sizes.

    5. Norberg & Linden Oil Paint Set - Best Beginner Set

    Norberg & Linden Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Complete oil painting set
    • Applies easily out of the tube
    • Very economical
    • Good customer service
    • 100% money-back guarantee
    • Not pre-primed
    • Brushes not for professional use

      

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    One user received it as a gift for Christmas, and she loved using it. This set is perfect for beginners with oil painting. It's a good value for your money and easy to clean too.

    Norberg & Linden Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Norberg & Linden Oil Paint Set is the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of oil painting. This set comes with everything you need to get started, and the paint applies easily out of the tube.

    It's very economical, but the accompanying brushes are not the best quality. The canvas is not pre-primed, so you need to apply gesso before you start painting.

    The set includes an 8x10-inch stretched canvas, 23 oil painting brushes, 2 sponge brushes, 24 oil paints, and a plastic palette.

    Who Should Buy It

    This oil painting set is the best gift you can give to anyone starting with oils. You'll need a new palette, though, since the included palette is not best for oils. Otherwise, you have everything in one pack.

    6. Castle Art Oil Paint Set

    Castle Art Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Consistent texture
    • Vibrant pigments
    • Airtight and resealable tubes
    • Ready for painting out of the tube
    • 100% money-back guarantee
    • Not opaque
    • Too small tubes

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    These paints take a while to dry, even for oil paints. The tubes are small, but they go a long way. The texture is very silky and easy to apply. It also comes with a step-by-step guide that newbie users love to use.

    Castle Art Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Our Castle Art Oil Paint Set provides you with the perfect texture for your painting projects. The vibrant pigments give your paintings gorgeous depth and vibrancy, and the airtight tubes keep them fresh for future use.

    Some colors are not opaque, though, so they're best for undertoning and underpainting. The set has 24 colors, each tube containing 12ml of excellent oil paint for beginners and advanced artists.

    The colors are Chinese White, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Coral, Cadmium Orange, Grenadine, Vermillion, Scarlet, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine, and Cerulean Blue. Other colors in the set are Emerald Green, Sap Green, Viridian, Hooker's Green, Violet Lake, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Payne's Grey, and Ivory Black. 

    The company offers a 100% money-back guarantee on all our products so you can shop with confidence. You can also join the Castle community of artists through their social media pages and emails.

    Who Should Buy It

    If you want to skip the hassle of mixing your colors, this 24-tube oil paint set is an excellent choice. You also get a 5-part tutorial for just purchasing this set, so we recommend it as an ideal option for newbies.

    7. MozArt Oil Paint Set

    MozArt Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Works on white or black canvas
    • Non-toxic and ASTM D-4236 certified
    • Opaque colors
    • Lightfast
    • Dries quicker than most oil paints
    • Small packaging
    • Oil bleeds out of the tube

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Customers don't agree on the length of drying time of the oil paints, but many agree that they're a good starter set for newbies and young artists. The colors are darker, though, so some artists had to mix it with white to lighten the colors. Overall, it is an excellent paint given its price and size.

    MozArt Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Ease your artistry with the MozArt oil paint set. These paints are opaque and lightfast, perfect for creating vibrant pieces that will last. The quick-drying formula means you'll be able to complete your masterpiece in no time.

    The paints are non-toxic because they do not have heavy metals and harmful contaminants. It also conforms with ASTM D-4236 certification as it lists all the ingredients in the packaging to check if you have allergic reactions to some of its components.

    The colors in the set are Lemon Yellow, Yellow Med, Deep Yellow, Orange, Brilliant Red, Rose Red, Purple Red, Violet, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, and Compose Blue. On the second row, the colors are Sap Green, Viridian, Permanent Light Green, Yellow Ochre, Ripe Sienna, Burnt Umber, Crimson Red, Raw Umber, Flesh Tint, Ivory Black, Payne's Gray, and Titanium White.

    They also have good customer service to respond to your queries and complaints.

    Who Should Buy It

    Each of the 12ml tubes in this 24-color oil paint set is perfect as a gift for younger children because they don't have contaminants that may endanger these young artists. The tubes also have the necessary information regarding the paint, so newbie artists love using them too.

    8. ZenART Oil Paints, Impressionist Palette

    ZenART Oil Paint, Impressionist Palette
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Rich, buttery consistency
    • 50ml large tubes
    • Non-toxic & vegan-friendly paints
    • Excellent coverage
    • 100% money-back guarantee
    • Poor tube packaging
    • Oilier than traditional oil paints

     

      

    What Customers Have to Say

    ZenART Oil Paints is a smooth paint and has excellent customer service. The box is also great for protecting the tubes, which is perfect because the tubes are not as sturdy. They are also very inexpensive, but the paints are spectacular.

    ZenART Oil Paints, Impressionist Palette

    Why We Think It's Great

    ZenART Oil Paints are notable because of their rich and buttery consistency, making them perfect for creating beautiful masterpieces. They also come in 50ml large tubes, so you have plenty of paint for your projects.

    This paint is non-toxic and vegan-friendly, so you can create your artwork with peace of mind, knowing that the paints won't harm your health or the environment. It uses high-quality pigments and cold-pressed linseed oil for excellent coverage.

    The 8-tube set also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied with your purchase. The colors are Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Indian Yellow, Rubine Red, Viridian, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, and Prussian Blue.

    Who Should Buy It

    This paint set is best for professional artists working on large paintings because it has more paint than most paint sets. It is also perfect for artists who prefer working with a limited palette.

    9. Ohuhu Oil Paint Set

    Ohuhu Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Highly pigmented oil paints
    • Conforms to ASTM D-4236 and EN71-3
    • Non-toxic paint
    • Thick consistency
    • Very affordable
    • Small tubes
    • Very long drying time

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    According to some artists who have tried it, the colors are amazing, but the paints take a long time to dry. Some artists even gave it a 10/10 rating because it has an excellent quality, and they blend smoothly for alla prima painting.

    Ohuhu Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    The vibrant colors of this oil paint set are highly pigmented and will give your artwork that extra pop. They're non-toxic and conform to ASTM D-4236 and EN71-3 safety standards, so you can rest assured when using them.

    This 24-tube set has a low price tag, making it perfect for canvas painting for beginners. It has a thick consistency for excellent coverage. It also has lots of colors, so there's no need to mix your paints a lot to get the colors you want.

    The colors are Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Medium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Flesh Tint, Orange, Rose, Vermilion, Scarlet, Crimson Red, Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue on the first row. On the second row, the colors are Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Emerald Green, Sap Green, Viridian, Violet, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Payne's Grey, and Ivory Black.

    Who Should Buy It

    We love this oil paint set for several reasons, mainly because it's an excellent choice for beginners. It has the best colors and is more affordable than most other oil paint sets out there on the market today.

    10. MyArtscape Oil Paint Set

    MyArtscape Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Highly pigmented colors
    • Lightfast
    • Lustrous sheen
    • Non-toxic and ASTM D-4236 certified
    • 1-year replacement guarantee
    • Runny consistency
    • Funky smell

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    The customers are delighted with this set. It has the quality of more expensive paints, and they work well with other oil paint brands. The colors are bright and blend well with oil painting mediums. The company is excellent too, for putting up a 1-year replacement guarantee for each set they sold in the market.

    MyArtscape Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    MyArtscape oil paint set is the perfect way to start or add to your collection of artist-grade paints. The colors are highly pigmented and lightfast, with a beautiful lustrous sheen.

    These paints are non-toxic and ASTM D-4236 and EN71-3 certified, so you can feel good about using them. Each tube has an opacity and lightfastness rating, so you know the type of paint you're using. Every color has an excellent lightfast rating. Except for the Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red, and Phthalo Green, all the other paints have excellent opacity.

    The company also offers a 1-year replacement guarantee because it believes so much about their product.

    Who Should Buy It

    We love the MyArtscape Oil Paint Set because it is affordable and has excellent quality. It is perfect for newbie artists who recently discovered oil paints.

    11. Art Accelerators Oil Paint Set

    Art Accelerators Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Vibrant colors
    • Buttery consistency
    • Glossy finish
    • Lightfast colors
    • Affordable
    • Some tubes are dry
    • Too thin for alla prima painting

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Artists love this paint set because it dries well with a lovely gloss that artists plan to buy more once they finish with this pack. It has many colors that even young kids can work with without issues.

    Art Accelerators Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Oil paints are a traditional medium for artists, and the Art Accelerators Oil Paint Set provides everything you need to create beautiful pieces. The paints have a buttery consistency that makes them easy to work with, and they dry to a glossy finish.

    The colors are lightfast and stay for a long time even when exposed to the sun. You should get yourself a set of artist-grade paintbrushes as the free brush in the set is not always the best one.

    Who Should Buy It

    We love this 32-paint set for all young artists. The colors are vibrant, and the paint is easy to work with, making it perfect as a gift for beginners.

    12. Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors

    Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • High-quality pigments
    • Good texture and tinting
    • Excellent opacity and lightfastness
    • Fast-drying
    • Less funky smell
    • Wrong colors in the set
    • Too stiff and dry to apply

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    These oil painting sets are fantastic to use, even for beginners. Gamblin is also a reliable brand, and many users are repeat buyers because of its excellent features.

    Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors

    Why We Think It's Great

    Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors seem a little dry because it uses mineral-based pigments. They still behave as much as the traditional oil paints, only less funky. Gamblin oil paints also dry faster.

    You need to use oil painting mediums to paint with these oil paints. Aside from the Ultramarine Blue and Viridian, all the paints in the 10-tube set have excellent opacity. Since these paints use mineral pigments, they also have a superb lightfastness rating.

    The set includes 37ml of mineral-based paints in Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Ivory Black, and Titanium White.

    Who Should Buy It

    This set works for people who work with a limited palette. It allows them to practice mixing colors and become more comfortable with oils. Both beginners and professionals will benefit from this set.

    13. ZenArt Oil Paint, Portrait Palette - Best Limited Palette

    ZenArt Oil Paint, Portrait Palette
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • High pigment load
    • No solvent fumes
    • Mixes easily
    • Non-toxic
    • Suitable for vegans
    • High oil content
    • Tubes easily get damaged

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    According to users, this portrait oil paint set is impressive, very affordable, and applies smoothly. Users also love that they're non-toxic and vegan-friendly, so they don't have to worry about preferences, especially when giving them as gifts. Someone even decided to ditch her toxic paints to shift on these paints.

    ZenArt Oil Paint, Portrait Palette

    Why We Think It's Great

    ZenArt Oil Paint is perfect for artists who want high-quality paint with a beautiful, consistent finish. The paint has a high pigment load, blends well with other colors, and applies smoothly.

    They're non-toxic paints and are vegan-friendly, making them safe for everyone to use. It also has an ASTM D-4236 certification. The set also comes with a small sketchbook to get you started with oil paints.

    The set has eight tubes of earth paints consisting of 50ml each. Titanium White, Yellow Chrome, Vermilion, Permanent Red, Chromium Oxide, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Raw Umber are the colors in this set.

    The best part about this company that should convince you to buy these fantastic paints is their support of art programs for disadvantaged children.

    Who Should Buy It

    This set is best for vegan artists and those who love working with earth tones. They're also larger at 50ml per tube, yet very affordable, so they're perfect for art students too.

    14. Bob Ross Landscape Oil Paint Set

    Bob Ross Landscape Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Thick consistency
    • Best for alla prima painting
    • Blends with other paints well
    • 200ml per tube
    • More affordable by volume
    • Inconsistent texture
    • Too oily

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Users love Bob Ross Landscape Oil Paint for all their landscaping paintings because of the vibrant colors. It's worth the value of your money, and one set can make several paintings because you only use a small amount and get good coverage.

    Bob Ross Landscape Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    The Bob Ross Landscape Oil Paints have a thick consistency, making them perfect for alla prima painting. However, some are too oily to use for alla prima technique.

    They also blend with other paints well, so you’re set to create that perfect landscape masterpiece. At 200ml per tube, these paints are more affordable by volume than most other brands.

    The 14-tube set comes in Bright Red, Phthalo Green, Midnight Black, Indian Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium Yellow. Other colors are Van Dyke Brown, Prussian Blue, Sap Green, Titanium White, Yellow Chrome, Dark Sienna, and Mountain Mixture.

    Who Should Buy It

    This paint set is best for oil painting artists who prefer Bob Ross's alla prima painting technique. Bob Ross fans also love using this brand since it makes them feel like one with their idol.

    15. Mont Marte Premium Water-Mixable Oil Paint Set

    Mont Marte Premium Water-Mixable Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Water-mixable oil paints
    • Mixable with water-based paints
    • Does not need chemical solvents
    • Easy clean-up with water
    • Semi-gloss finish
    • Small tubes
    • Not artist-grade paints

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Even beginners love this paint set because they are easy to clean with water. The colors are rich and creamy. Most importantly, users love it because it mixes well with other paints, including acrylics, gouache, and watercolors.

    Mont Marte Premium Water-Mixable Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Mont Marte Premium Water-Mixable Oil Paints are perfect for artists who want the convenience of water-based paints without sacrificing the quality and control of traditional oil paint. You can mix these paints with water-based paints without the need for dangerous chemical solvents.

    They give a semi-gloss finish that's perfect for home décor projects. Not artist-grade quality, but still a great option for beginners or anyone wanting to try out oil painting. You get 36 colors for each set, though the plastic tubes are quite small at 18ml each.

    The colors are Titanium White, Porcelain, Lemon Yellow, Medium Yellow. Yellow Ochre, Yellow Deep, Orange, Vermilion, Cadmium Red, Permanent Red, Carmine, Magenta, Permanent Crimson, Permanent Rose, and Red Ochre.

    Other colors are Mauve, Purple, Ultramarine Violet, Sky Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, and Phthalo Blue. The other colors are Yellow Green, Light Green, Turquoise, Viridian, Olive Green, Sap Green, Phthalo Green, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Neutral Grey, and Ivory Black.

    Who Should Buy It

    This paint set is best for artists who don't want to work with chemical solvents. It is also great for younger artists because it is water-based to avoid the mess of stains from oil paints. We also recommend this set to art teachers who teach several students because it doesn't have fumes or a funky smell.

    16. Van Gogh Oil Paint Set

    Van Gogh Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Excellent tinting strength
    • High-quality pigments
    • Excellent lightfastness
    • Affordable artist-grade oil paints
    • Complete set with wooden box
    • Colors are named in numbers
    • Inconsistent texture

     

      

    What Customers Have to Say

    These paints blend well and apply smoothly. According to the users, they don't have strong odors, and the box is so sturdy and great for organizing their supplies.

    Why We Think It's Great

    Set includes two oil paintbrushes, a bottle of painting medium, a bottle of OMS, 10 (40ml) tubes of oil paint, a double palette cup, a wooden palette, a cleaning cloth, and a wooden box for keeping your supplies. 

    The colors use numbers as identifiers, which is not the best choice for newbie artists who are not familiar with the numbers and the colors they represent.

    The colors are Titanium White (105), Azo Yellow Lemon (267), Azo Yellow Medium (269), Azo Red Light (312), Azo Red Deep (313), Quinacridone Rose (366), Cerulean Blue Phthalo (535), and Sevres Blue (530). It also includes Sap Green (623), Emerald Green (615), Ultramarine (504), Yellow Ochre (227), Burnt Umber (409), Ivory Black (701).

    They also have the lightfastness index (indicated by plus (+) signs and opacity index, represented by squares. Three plus signs mean excellent lightfastness, while 2+ signs mean medium lightfastness. Black means opaque, white means transparent, and half black and white means translucent. 

    Who Should Buy It

    This set is best for professional artists who prefer to keep their supplies organized in one box. You can reuse the box for other art supplies once you've finished the paints. 

    17. Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Set

    Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Handcrafted oil paints
    • Pure pigments
    • Rich colors
    • Bonus cradled wood panel and solvent-free gel
    • Affordable
    • Too thick
    • Wrong colors

     

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Gamblin 1980 oil paints are best for impasto painting with a painting knife because of their thick consistency. Some essential colors are missing, so you have to get what you need separately and in individual tubes. Manu users highly recommend these paints.

    Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Gamblin 1980 are artisanal oil paints made with pure pigments and rich colors. The set includes a bonus cradled wood panel and solvent-free gel so you can start painting right away.

    These paints are less expensive than most traditional oil paints and in larger tubes of 37ml too. As there are high-end paints, you can use these for professional artwork should you so desire. 

    Who Should Buy It

    We highly recommend these oil paints to advanced art students and professionals who paint with a limited palette. It's also a good set to start oil painting without chemical solvents since it also includes a solvent-free gel.

    18. Phoenix Artist Grade Oil Paint Set

    Phoenix Artist Grade Oil Paint Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • High-quality pigments in cold-pressed linseed oil
    • Excellent saturation & coverage
    • Lightfast colors
    • Non-toxic & acid-free
    • Large tubes
    • No pure red and blue
    • Not best for alla prima technique

      

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    According to some users, the paints are easy to mix, but they are not best if you're working on a masterpiece. They are very affordable, though, giving you enough paint to practice with if you're an art student or someone learning to paint with oils. They stain easily, so they're not the best choice for children unless you tolerate the mess.

    Phoenix Artist Grade Oil Paint Set

    Why We Think It's Great

    Experience the magic of oil paint with Phoenix Artist Grade Oil Paint Set. The set uses high-quality pigments mixed with cold-pressed linseed oil for excellent saturation and coverage.

    The colors are lightfast, so they stay the same even with extended exposure to sunlight. The acid-free formulation ensures your artwork will last for years to come. The buttery smooth texture allows for easy application.

    The paints are also non-toxic and conform with ASTM D4236 and AP standards, making them safe for all artists. They are also very versatile to use, and the large tubes let you work on several paintings before they run out.

    Each set has six 40ml tubes. The colors in this set are Titanium White, Lemon Yellow Hue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, French Ultramarine, Viridian Hue, and Yellow Ochre.

    Who Should Buy It

    Phoenix oil paints are an excellent choice for art students who want to try limited palette painting. These paints also work best for professional artists.

    19. Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Color

    Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Color
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Water-mixable paints
    • Modified linseed and safflowers oils
    • Stable emulsion
    • Large 37ml tubes
    • Thick for impasto and wet-on-wet painting
    • Inconsistent sheen
    • Safflower may affect the length of drying time

      

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    Even first-time users of water-soluble oils love using this paint set. It also includes some of the basic colors you need for painting. However, if you're not that good at mixing blacks, it is best to get individual tubes.

    Why We Think It's Great

    The Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Color is an exciting new line of paints perfect for artists who want the flexibility and texture of traditional oils but don't want the mess and hassle. It uses modified linseed and safflower oils to create a stable emulsion when mixed with water.

    The consistency of the paint is not affected by this modification as it is thick enough to use for impasto painting or wet-on-wet techniques. The modification, however, affects the overall sheen of the paints. Given this formulation also, you can clean your brushes with water instead of using chemical solvents.

    The 37ml tubes are big enough for several art students to work in shared spaces. The colors in the set are Lemon Yellow Hue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Deep Hue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue Hue, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Titanium White.

    Who Should Buy It

    This oil paint set is ideal for beginners, students, and artists on a budget or who don't want to work with chemical solvents. You can still use OMS to thin the oil paints, though, especially when working on the lower layers of your painting.

    20. Grumbacher Oil Color Set

    Grumbacher Oil Color Set
    Check Price Button
    Pros Cons
    • Pre-tested for professional use
    • Excellent lightfastness
    • Archival permanence
    • Superior tinting strength
    • Uses single pigment for the colors
    • Very thick consistency
    • Dried-out paints

      

     

    What Customers Have to Say

    The pigments use strong pigment and a nice firm paint for wet-on-wet and traditional painting. The colors are beautiful and consistent and have a nice set, fair price.

    Why We Think It's Great

    Grumbacher Oil Color Set is an excellent paint for professional artists because they went through pre-testing before putting them in the market.

    The colors are lightfast and have archival permanence, ensuring your artwork's longevity. Grumbacher also used a single pigment for each color, so the paints boast superior tinting strength and uniform texture.

    The set includes ten 24ml tubes of oil paint in Alizarin Crimson, Grumbacher Red, Yellow Ochre, Bismuth Yellow, Phthalo Green, Phthalo Blue, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Ivory Black, and Titanium White.

    Who Should Buy It

    This paint set is best for professional artists working on commissioned paintings. It is also more affordable than most professional-grade oil paints, so we recommend these to serious art students.

    Tips for Beginners on Oil Paints

    1. Start small.

    Start with smaller canvases or paper to get the most out of your oil painting experience. As you get more comfortable using different surfaces for this art form, you can move on to bigger ones.

    Starting small also means not splurging on oil painting supplies until you're ready to commit. Some may think of this step as an additional expense. However, it is a good standard to follow to avoid unnecessary expenses.

    Buy good quality student-grade paints and brushes. Buy a professional-grade brush once a month until you get a full range of brushes you often use. The same goes with oil paints, though it is best to set aside an amount each month until you get the hang of oil painting before buying a pro set.

    2. Set up your studio space.

    Even if you're a newbie to oil paintings, you can start with a small studio space. A room corner with good ventilation and natural light is a good start. If you have enough garage space, it works well too. You can add some drawers or portable organizers to corral your painting supplies while giving you the ease of access.

    A dedicated space is one thing to keep you motivated and get your creative juices flowing.

    3. Keep your space organized.

    Keep your space organized to make it more enticing to come to every day. Hang paintings or artwork you've done on the walls to keep going. Add some personal touch like plants or a hammock chair so you can comfortably relax if you need it.

    Having all of your supplies within arm's reach will also save you time during painting sessions. If you're working with traditional oil paints, it is best to restrict this space to younger kids and pets. You may also store your paints and supplies out of children's reach.

    4. Get inspired.

    Surround yourself with art books and magazines or visit art museums and galleries. Taking a moment to admire the work of others will help you develop your style and inspire new ideas.

    5. Prepare your canvases well.

    Sizing and priming your canvases is an excellent way to start an oil painting. Canvases are naturally absorbent, and it's your job as an artist to remove this absorbency from the canvas. Apply a sizing compound such as rabbit skin glue, then prime your canvases using oil painting primer or acrylic gesso.

    6. Use a limited palette.

    A limited palette improves your paint mixing skills and is useful if you want to be serious with oils. Rather than working with a 24 or 36-color palette, an 8-color palette is better if you are a newbie to painting. This kind of restriction lets explore your creativity and forces you to think of other ways to mix colors.

    7. Understand the fat-over-lean technique.

    Always start with leaner oils for the lower layers. Leaner oils mean less medium, and fatter oil paint has more medium.

    8. Keep your brushes clean.

    Keeping your brushes clean is one of your top priorities as an oil painter because the caked-over paint will damage your brushes. Remove the excess oil paint from the brush with a paper towel or rag, then dip it in turpentine.

    If you're done painting for the day, you can rinse your brushes with warm water and paintbrush soap. This soap will keep your brushes clean and condition your brushes to preserve them for subsequent use.

    9. Don't give up easily.

    Oil painting can be challenging, but don't give up so soon. You can't perfect your oil painting techniques after trying for a week. Stick to it for at least a month to get the hang of things.

    Oil Paint Buying Guide

    • Color palette

    Choose the right color palette for your paintings. Some prefer working with more colors than with a limited palette. Newbie artists prefer a full-color palette because you can skip mixing the colors. However, if you want to improve your color mixing skills, you should stick with a limited palette.

    • Quality

    Artist-quality oil paints are more expensive than student-quality paints. If you're a newbie, you're better off with student-grade oil paints because you can practice more for less.

    Pigment strength

    The quality of pigments used in the oil paint determines the quality of the paint. Most artist-grade oil paints use high-quality pigment with a lesser filler, resulting in more vibrant colors. These paints also offer more coverage than other paints.

    Here is the opacity index for oil paints. A solid black square means it is highly opaque, a solid white square means transparent, and a black and white square means semi-opaque.

    Pigment fillers

    Student-grade oil paints have more fillers than artist-grade oil paints, so they have more body for impasto applications.

    Composition

    Some oil paints use earth or mineral pigments. However, these pigments also contain heavy metals, which can be toxic. Most of them are imported from Italy and France.

    Natural pigments are also more expensive than synthetic ones. However, synthetic pigments are more consistent in quality than natural pigments.

    Other paints do not blend well, while some paints weaken other colors.

    Permanence

    Oil paints have different permanence levels. Fugitive paints are the least permanent, especially when exposed to elements. You'll see these ratings on your oil paint tubes:

    • AA - Extremely permanent
    • A - Permanent
    • B - Moderately durable
    • C - Fugitive

    Lightfastness

    Lightfastness is the degree to which a color resists fading when exposed to sunlight.

    • I - Excellent
    • II - Good
    • III - Poor
    • N/L - Not listed
    • Type

    Traditional oils

    Traditional oil paints are made up of natural or synthetic pigments, oils (organic solvent), and additives. The main advantage is the slow drying time and the artist's exposure to chemical solvents during the painting and cleaning process.

    Alkyd oils

    Alkyd oils are faster drying than traditional oil paints, so it's touch-dry after in under a day. You can mix it with traditional oil paints to speed up the drying process.

    Water mixable oils

    Water mixable oil paints are easier to use than traditional oil paints. It uses modified linseed and safflower oil for better emulsification, so you can clean your brushes with water. These paints don't have the same blending consistency as traditional oils.

    Oil Paint FAQ

    1. Are oil paints better than acrylics?

    Oil paints have bold and more vibrant colors than acrylics. Compared with water-based paints, oil paints also last longer. Most classic paintings from the earlier centuries were oil paintings.

    Oil paints also apply smoother than acrylics. Painters also use oil to create exciting effects and textures using different techniques.

    Acrylics are quick-drying, while oils take a long time to dry. This characteristic allows the painter to work on the painting longer, even repair some mistakes.

    However, acrylics are safe to work with compared with oil paints because it uses only water for clean-up. On the other hand, oil paints need solvents to clean up and oil mediums during the painting process.

    Another deterrent for pol paints is the price. They are more expensive than acrylics, especially student-grade oils.

    Overall, whether acrylics or oils are better than the others depends on the artist's preference.

    2. Does oil paint dry faster in the sun? 

    Some artists prefer to dry their paintings under the sun for a few hours to hasten the drying process. Even professional artists like Rubens do it. However, limiting the exposure or the painting will develop a film while the lower layer is still damp. It will cause the painting to crack.

    Overexposure to the sun may affect the quality of the painting surface, especially if you're working on canvas panels or boards.

    3. Can you mix oil and water-based paint?

    Mixing oil and water-based paints is not an option for realistic or commissioned paintings since oils and acrylics behave differently. However, you can use acrylics for underpainting your oil paintings.

    If you're using water mixable oil paints, you can mix them with acrylics or watercolors. Like mixing oils and water-based paints, water-mixable oils are not the best for professional and commissioned paintings.

    4. Why is my oil-based paint not drying?

    Several factors affect the drying time of oil-based paints: high humidity, too cold or too warm temperature, or applying too many coats of paint.

    You can also use dryers such as Galkyd, liquin, or spike oil to improve the drying time. Alkyds are non-toxic, and they leave a glossy appearance on your oil paintings as traditional oil paints do.

    Linseed oil dries the fastest among these drying oils. Avoid using oil paints with walnut oil, safflower oil, or poppy oil. Some oil paints use a combination of walnut oil and alkyd to balance the drying time of oil paints.

    5. What do you mix oil paints with?

    While some manufacturers say that you can use the paints directly out of the tube, it is still best to mix them on a palette with a palette knife.

    You can use mediums like linseed oil, liquin, or alkyd and solvents like turpentine, odorless mineral spirits, or citrus-based thinners to mix with your oils.

    Conclusion

    Choosing the right oil paint is essential for your oil painting journey. Our best overall pick is U.S. Art Supply Professional Oil Paint for this review. They are non-toxic and acid-free and conform to ASTM D-4236 and EN71 standards. If you're not convinced of the oil paint's quality, you can always get a full refund.

    Our best beginner set is the Norberg & Linden Oil Paint Set. Aside from having a complete set needed for oil painting, it is economical and comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

    If you want to paint using a limited palette, ZenArt Oil Paint, Portrait Palette is exceptional. The paints have an extremely high pigment load with no solvent fumes. They are also suitable for vegans, so whatever your lifestyle choices, this paint works.

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published