What’s in my oil painting kit -
Lean Medium (Archival brand), odourless solvent
Paint: A cool and a warm of each of the primaries. There are lots of different shades, but I use lemon yellow (cool), Cadmium yellow medium (warm), Cadmium red scarlet (warm), Alizarin Crimson (cool), Ultramarine Blue (warm), Pthalo blue (cool)
Other paints in my kit: Titanium white, naples yellow, yellow ochre, light red ochre, viridian green, burnt umber, raw umber, paynes grey
Rags, preferably soft cotton
A little tin for medium
2 glass jars for solvents to clean your brushes
Oil painting boards or paper
Gesso for preparing your paper or board
Brushes - one or two wide flat brushes and a smaller filbert brush, about size 4 (see notes on brushes, below), as well as an old brush or sponge roller for applying gesso (the only one that can be rinsed out in water).
A note about Brushes
I am always on the lookout for inexpensive brushes to recommend to people for workshops because I feel bad suggesting you buy the super expensive ones, but I have come to realise that there’s no getting around the need for a good brush.
My favourite brushes are the Neef Flat Stiff Synthetic brushes with the long green handles. I buy mine from http://www.theartshop.com.au.
I have also come to like a brush called Isabey Isacryl 6582, which seems to keep its sharpness for longer than the Neef, and is nice and springy. I order them from Jacksons in the UK - they have free shipping worldwide on brushes, if you spend over 20 pounds. https://www.jacksonsart.com/isabey-isacryl-brushes-6512-6562-6572-6582
I have managed to find a cheap soft brush, which you can get from China at this website (which is very easy to get carried away on!). I have tried heaps of cheap brushes from this site, hoping they would change my life, but they are mostly awful. These are the only ones that were any good: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/6Pcs-Set-Qishuixuan-Top-Quality-Nylon-Hair-Flat-Tip-Paint-Brush-Hard-Hair-Gouache-Oil-Acrylic/32281050254.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.umrTcw and https://www.aliexpress.com/item/6Pcs-Set-Brand-Squirrel-Hair-Paint-Brush-Smooth-And-Soft-Hair-For-Gouache-Aquarelle-Oil-Painting/32276715073.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.umrTcw
Boards vs Canvas
This is personal preference really, but I quite like the smooth surface of board or paper, as opposed to the toothy surface of canvas. I buy 3mm MDF from Bunnings, the sort with the white shiny backing, and I cut it with a stanley knife and a metal ruler and use two layers of gesso to prime it.
That’s when I’m feeling cheap, anyway. A good professional surface (that’s actually square to keep those pesky framers happy) is the Ampersand panel https://www.thesydneyartstore.com.au/product-group/833/category/149 which you can also get at http://www.theartshop.com.au
If you would like to learn more about colour theory, two books to have a look at are Colour Choices by Stephen Quiller, and Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green by Michael Wilcox https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Yellow-Dont-Make-Green/dp/0967962870