The Best Oil Paints For Beginner And Professional Level Artists

Michael Daly
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Are you a beginner? Or a professional artist looking to find the best oil paint for your artwork?

Due to the numerous brands and options available in the market, I've put together this list of the best oil paint for beginner and professional artists that you can consider buying.

Now you're asking yourself, "How do I know which brand or type of oil paint to buy?"

Here's how you can select the best oil paint for yourself:

NameCategoryProduct
Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Basic SetBest OverallWinsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Basic Set
Winsor & NewtonBudget PickWinsor & Newton
Sennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8Upgrade PickSennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8

1. Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Basic Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Basic Set

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Pros:

  • Highly rated by professional art students
  • Excellent for mixing with other colors
  • The oil paint can be mixed with more mediums than other products
  • Relatively low cost per ounce
  • Wide range of color choices
  • Small bottles can be taken with you and used to paint on the go
  • Very friendly to the environment
  • Amazing vibrant colors
  • Produces bright colors

Cons:

  • Can appear quite bright when initially painted
  • Can have a lower pigment density than some other brands
  • Has a unique smell
  • Packaging can be difficult to transport
  • Depends on the artist, some users are very picky about specific pigments and colors

Oil paints are a great way to create a great indoor or outdoor work of art. In the beginning, oil paintings go on very thick and can be seen in a vibrant color layer. Often, students buy cheap or student materials, but those are best suited for hobbyists. Winsor and Newton is a name that is trusted by painters around the world. A ten-pack set of oil paints will give you a great range of colors that are perfect for either professional or novice artists.

2. Winsor & Newton

Our rating: 9 / 10

Winsor & Newton

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Pros:

  • Made by a brand that is respected in the industry
  • French Ultramarine is a good basic color for blue
  • Excellent color
  • Mixable and compatible when paired with other brands
  • Affordable price for the product
  • Long lasting products
  • Good quality products

Cons:

  • Very small tube, only 37ml
  • Quality is iffy in some batches
  • Not for beginner artists
  • Not for artists who paint often

Trusted artist brand Winsor & Newton is known as a go-to brand for starters and professional artists alike. This particular product, the French Ultramarine, is a good basic color for blue. It is highly pigmented and has excellent color. It’s comparable to other brands while having Winsor & Newton’s good quality and especially their affordable price. Their tube is on the smaller side, only 37ml compared to most brands which are anywhere from 102-150ml. It’s also not suitable for artists who paint often or want to have more than one tube of blue.

3. Williamsburg Oil Traditional Colors Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Williamsburg Oil Traditional Colors Set

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These professional-grade oils are perfect for use on any canvas, birch panel, or gesso surface. The Williamsburg Oil colors are very highly rated by both experienced artists and artists just starting out. Each tube contains 2.6 ounces, so you can get quite a lot out of each jar.

With the Williamsburg Oil colors, you get a complete set of 12 elementary colors. These are the traditional primary and secondary colors that you probably learned about in art class. Each color has been formulated to the highest standard and is vegan-friendly.

They’re made using only natural pigments to give you a rich, thick consistency. The pigments in the Williamsburg oil are infused with a sand to stabilize them and prevent them from drying out on the palette.

4. Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Exclusive Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Exclusive Set

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Gamblin is a brand we love for their high-quality oil paints. While every oil paint shade is different, the Gamblin 1980 is a great representation of the brand as a whole.

The palette is split into two halves, with one side dedicated to the more subdued and subtle shades in the middle. You can also separate the two, so only the brighter shades are exposed.

As for the colors, you’ve got an assortment of the usual go-to colors like burnt sienna, thalo blue, and permanent rose. The set also includes some more unique colors like Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Saphire Blue, and Quino green.

5. Blockx Rose Lake Oil Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blockx Rose Lake Oil Paint

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Pros:

  • Has a light and smooth consistency
  • High quality pigments
  • Lightfastness is excellent
  • Amazingly vibrant and smooth flow
  • Can be used both on canvas and wood canvases
  • Available in multiple variations

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Hardly any variation in color
  • Sometimes inconsistent
  • Paraffin wax contamination can easily happen

Blockx is one of the most popular paint brands for painters, especially oil painters because of the quality it offers in it’s paints. Blockx rose lake is one such product that most painters love.

Blockx rose lake is a bright earth colored paint and it has been formulated to give the paint a smooth and silky feel.

6. Van Gogh Oil Color Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Van Gogh Oil Color Paint

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The Van Gogh Oil Color Paint is a basic oil paint set from Van Gogh. It’s a basic set of only 10 colors, so you may want to add some more colors, or color mixes, to expand your color palette.

The Van Gogh oil paints are highly pigmented and have a wide number of uses in the artistic field, from fine art painting to model airplanes. The color range is also very rich, including colors such as cadmium yellow light, viridian hue, emerald green, Naples yellow light, permanent rose, terra rosa, nickel azo yellow light, cobalt azo red light, ivory brown, and light umber.

7. M. Graham Tube Oil Paint Basic Color 5-Color Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

M. Graham Tube Oil Paint Basic Color 5-Color Set

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Pros:

  • Made from only the purest and finest ingredients of the highest quality
  • Long shelf life
  • Excellent value
  • Blendability
  • Excellent mixing
  • Even coverage
  • Excellent brightness
  • Excellent lightfastness
  • All pigments are 100% pure
  • Good dispersibility

Cons:

  • Hard to remove the caps completely
  • Thick
  • The item should be shipped in a protective box

If you want to know more about M Graham Oil Paint Reviews, read this.

The M Graham tube set is a high-quality oil painting reach that comes in a tube.

This set contains the following colors: titanium white, yellow ochre, raw sienna, Spanish orange, rose dorée, and the walnut oil medium which is a cold press, low odor, surface preparation medium.

8. GAMBLIN ARTISTS COLORS CO Gamblin Galkyd Painting Medium 4 oz Bottle

Our rating: 8 / 10

GAMBLIN ARTISTS COLORS CO Gamblin Galkyd Painting Medium 4 oz Bottle

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Pros:

  • Comes in 2.5 and 4 oz bottles
  • Creates a smooth, durable paint film
  • Quick-drying and brushable

Cons:

  • May dull and dry out brushes
  • Expensive

9. Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits Bottle

Our rating: 8 / 10

Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits Bottle

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Pros:

  • Odorless
  • Not flammable
  • Good selection of colors

Cons:

  • May not be as odorless as advertised
  • Price may cause some people to balk at purchase

We love that this brand offers six different options for their oil paints. Gamsol is a odorless mineral spirit that comes in a convenient bottle. It’s a great option for people that don’t want to use to odor causing paints.

Some people might find the price tag a burden, but you’ll need a good, odorless paint if you’re going to be working in a studio with other artists or with family. That means that you’ll need a small bottle of this paint to do multiple paintings. You can also keep some in your car for touch-ups during your work day.

Keep in mind that this paint cannot be used in vitrines or glassware.

10. Michael Harding's Artist Oli Colours

Our rating: 8 / 10

Michael Harding's Artist Oli Colours

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Pros:

  • *Non-toxic

Just as the name suggests, this is an oil-based paint set. The set contains 40ml tubes of six different colors, all within the primary colored spectrum. They are water-soluble, which is great for beginners as it’s easy to play around with these colors until you get the hang of layering them to create more unique tones.

The paints are great for beginners as they can be used for a wide variety of applications. You can use them for painting, drawing, or even mixed media arts! Not only that, the paints are non-toxic, which means you can feel at ease when your toddler finds them.

All colors come from higher quality pigments for amazingly rich and vibrant colors. The paint also dries a bit slower, which means you have plenty of time to blend it out or add more layers.

11. Yellow Ochre

Our rating: 8 / 10

Yellow Ochre

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Pros:

  • This gorgeous color is a deep yellow with unrivaled pigment and precision of tint.
  • This is an excellent choice of color for any type of artistry.
  • Beginners and experts alike will be able to find a use for this top shelf choice.
  • The paint thickness holds well on canvas and on walls, making it a fine choice for multiple mediums of various applications.
  • It is made with high quality oils.
  • It has a strong citrus tang with incredible adhesion to different kinds of surfaces.
  • It measures 35mL and comes in a 9ml tube.
  • The paint has an ochre hue that nicely contrasts with blue, green, and earth tones.
  • The color is quite translucent, allowing many layers if you want a darker tone.
  • A little bit of this paint goes a long way.

By M. Graham & Co.

It has a long shelf life when kept in a cool dry spot.

The colors are thickened with pure gum arabic, so the paint can be thinned and re-thickened if necessary.

12. Gamblin 1980 Oil Phthalo Green 37Ml

Our rating: 8 / 10

Gamblin 1980 Oil Phthalo Green 37Ml

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Pros:

  • Best-selling paint
  • Maintains high color quality
  • Made of non-toxic, odorless heavy oil
  • Comes in a range of colors

The Gamblin 1980 Oil Phthalo Green 37ml is a heavy oil made of non-toxic, odorless heavy oil. This particular paint is a foreign oil and is a high concentration of a modern, synthetic oil paint. It doesn’t require a support for proper adhesion, and it should be used at a temperature of 50-67 degrees Fahrenheit.

This specific brand is great for beginners because it maintains high color quality even after many days. It’s a great choice for both artist and hobbyist.

13. Bob Ross R6137 150-Ml Artist Oil Color

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bob Ross R6137 150-Ml Artist Oil Color

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Pros:

  • True to color
  • It has a generous amount of paint
  • Can be used on canvas, wood, paper, stoneware, and masonite
  • Perfect for beginner
  • Can also be used by professionals
  • Easy to clean up once dry
  • Both durable and affordable

Cons:

  • Needs thinning
  • Can easily distort if too much water is added

This is a highly recommended paint for artists of all levels due to its relative ease of use. It’s really a good deal for its price. Just be sure to follow the instructions when cleaning the paint off your brushes to keep it at its optimum for use.

14. Sennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8

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If you're looking for an oil set that is suitable for every season, this may be it. The Sennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8 Tubes, is a high-quality short and thick oil with resin for keeping a wet edge. This is one of the best paint sets for a beginner who would like to try out mixing a bit of everything.

This artist grade oil paint will not crack or harden with age so the picture that you keep in your mind for long periods of time can be transferred onto your canvas or paper.

You can easily adjust the thickness of your oils using white spirit or Turpenoid. Since you'll be using these Sennelier Artist Oils paints for long hours, the subtle and refined colors can be painted directly from the tube and onto your canvas or paper. Either way, it's your choice if you'd like to purchase frames and canvases separately.

15. Old Holland : Classic Oil : Intro Set of 6 x 18ml Tubes Oil Colours

Our rating: 6 / 10

Old Holland : Classic Oil : Intro Set of 6 x 18ml Tubes Oil Colours

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Anti-static
  • Economical especially if you’re a novice
  • Smooth and dense for a professional finish
  • Ideal for students
  • Creates a durable surface

If you’re looking for the best oil paint brands, then look no further than this small but powerful set by Old Holland.

The set includes 6 18ml tubes of high-quality oil color paint. The set contains a wide range of colors that should be enough to kickstart your painting career. These paints are made in traditional styles, and are ideal for young artists.

This set includes neutral, warm, and cool colors like raw umber, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, orange vermilion, yellow ochre, and cool grey. The set also includes a booklet with step by step guidance and basic instruction on how to paint. There is also a chart with mixing color recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best professional oil paints?

If you need a high quality oil paint with the best pigmentation to use for professional use, then we would recommend either Winsor & Newton or Grumbacher in a dark shade like burnt sienna, sienna or venetian red.

If you’re still just starting with oil painting, you may want to try a starter kit. This includes beginner oil paints, and can be bought in bundles of 12 and 24, depending on your needs/usage.

Where can I buy professional oil paints? Do you have any recommendations on buying quality oil paints?

A lot of art stores sell a variety of oil paints in their store. They include Dick Blick, Artist Oil Color and Signature Select. For a safe guarantee of quality for your oil paints, we recommend you check out Ebay for oil paint rollers and brush sets.

Do you have any suggestions for buying quality oil paints on Ebay?

What is the best oil paint for artists?

From personal experience, I would recommend either Winsor & Newton, Old Holland or Grumbacher oil paints. All of them are exceptionally pure and naturally richly pigmented. The three different brands do differ somewhat in their method of production but all three still blend quite efficiently. If you want to change the consistency of your paint, you can either mix it with the others or with a linseed oil, which is generally advisable.

What is the best type of paint for a beginner artist?

One of the most frustrating aspects of art for a beginner is getting started. There are a ton of supplies to choose from and nearly all of them can cost a lot. However, when you are a beginner, a cheap investment for supplies can reap big benefits. You can find the best set of paint brushes for beginners.

Here is a breakdown of the four best types of paint for beginners.

What paint do professional artists use?

Professional artists generally use acrylic paint for its affordability, durability, and overall versatility.

Acrylics are non-toxic and safe to use, especially when it’s cleaned up properly with soap and water. Artists appreciate how it dries quickly and can be reused. They also appreciate how acrylic paint can be applied thickly or thinly, has superior covering and coverage power compared to oils, and is very versatile in that it can be used in different styles.

Despite its versatility, many artists choose not to use it. While artists may appreciate aspects of acrylic and may use it, it’s not necessarily the most preferred paint of choice.

Conclusion

An oil paint can have a certain appearance, texture and behave in a particular manner, lot of people are confused as to which is best out of all the oil paints available in the market. In this article, we will give you a comprehensive guide to the best oil paint brands that are available in the market.

We have done extensive tests and comparisons before we put together this list.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Basic SetBest OverallWinsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Basic Set
Winsor & NewtonBudget PickWinsor & Newton
Sennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8Upgrade PickSennelier Artist Oils Plein Air Set of 8