A Guide to Oil Painting – What You Need to Get Started


In this film, Lisa Takahashi covers everything you need to know about getting started in oil painting, including pigments, brushes, palettes, and much more. Watch the film and find a list of contents with timestamps below to navigate your way through the various topics and commonly asked questions that Lisa discusses.





Part One – Artist Oil Paint

6:32 The history of oil painting.

8:05 How to choose your artist oil paint colours.

15:18 How to tell the difference between high grade and low grade artist oil paints.

17:22 An explanation of artist oil painting terms.

17:44 Understanding transparency and opacity in artist paint.

18:50 Lightfastness explained in painting.

19:55 What does permanence mean in artist paint?

20:29 Understanding pigment numbers and colour names in artist paint.

21:14 What is the difference between hue and genuine artist paint?

22:06 What extra means when it’s added to an artist colour paint name.

23:17 What does staining capacity mean in painting?

23:43 What is tinting strength in painting?

24:15 How do drying times differ from paint to paint, and colour to colour?

24:58 Understanding masstone and undertone in oil painting.

25:55 What is the fat over lean principle in oil painting?

28:36 What is alla prima painting?

29:27 What tube sizes are available in artist oil paints?

31:13 How to minimise paint waste with a tubewringer.

31:48 How oil sticks can bring a textural drawn element to your painting.

33:46 What are water-mixable artist oil paints? A solvent-free oil painting experience.

34:55 How can alkyd artist oil paints help speed drying?


Part Two – Oil Studio and Surface

35:34 How to keep your artist oil painting sessions safe.

37:35 What is the difference between artist oil mediums and artist oil solvents?

40:06 How to choose the right solvent for your artist oil painting session.

43:00 What are the best artist mediums to use whilst oil painting?

45:14 How to choose the right artist oil painting palette.

46:17 How to hold an artist kidney painting palette.

47:25 What are the benefits of using a melamine palette for artist oil painting?

47:39 What are the benefits of using a tear off palette for artist oil painting?

48:14 Alternatives to a purpose made artist oil painting palette that you may already own.

48:39 How colour mixing can help you to get to know how pigments behave.

49:43 How to keep artist oil paint wet for longer.

50:48 Why palette knives are so useful in artist oil painting.

53:06 The benefit of wearing an apron for artist oil painting.

54:14 How to choose the right easel for your artist oil painting practice.

56:43 How to choose the right surface to paint on for artist oil painting.

1:00:00 How the surface you paint on can influence the artist painting process.

1:02:00 What is the difference between gesso and primer?

1:03:40 How to use gesso and primers for artist oil painting.


Part Three – Oil Brushes

1:04:00 How to choose the right artist oil painting brushes for you.

1:06:41 Understanding how to care for your artist oil painting brushes.

1:08:58 How using a brush egg can help keep your brushes ‘as new’ for longer.



1:10:26 Summary: what you need to get started in artist oil painting



Further Reading on the Jackson’s Art Blog

Art Terms Explained: Oil Painting

Oil Painting for Beginners: What You Need to Get Started

Jackson’s Canvas Series

A Guide to Oil Painting Mediums

Making a Paint Mulling Slab


Shop oil painting at jacksonsart.com

Lisa Takahashi

Lisa Takahashi has been a contributor to the blog since 2013 and a Jackson’s team member since 2006. Her love of art materials spans oils, watercolours, acrylics and relief print techniques. Alongside her writing she regularly exhibits her artwork, and teaches linocut and painting in Bristol and Somerset.


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