Understanding Oil Painting Materials

All my insights from 25 years of oil painting rolled into one summary covering paints, brushes, surfaces, mediums and even cleaning brushes!


Combining useful reference notes with lectures and demonstrations of the differences between brush and surface types alongside explanations and examples of the various mediums available and their uses.

There is even a video demonstration on how to clean your brushes with just soap and water –no need for solvents. Suggestions for practical exercises to encourage the exploration of your own preferences are included too.

Contents: Slide talk, practical demonstration and skill building exercise.
Running time: 1hr 28mins
Time required for exercise: 30mins

Materials List

For this lesson you may just want to watch the video and read the notes before you decide what materials to use/buy!

If you already have some oil painting materials we will discuss/experiment with the following:
• Oil paints in any colours you like
• Brushes – some stiff bristle brushes and some softer brushes
• A wide variety of surfaces from rough canvas to smooth aluminium panels
• Rectified gum turpentine
• Refined linseed stand oil
• A variety of ready-made mediums for diluting and thickening/bulking paint
• Re-touching varnish
• Brush soap

If you have some of these materials you might like to use them to replicate some of the experiments you will see in the lesson. If you are part of an art group or have friends who paint it can be fun to get together to pool your resources and share/swap surfaces and mediums between you to allow you all to experience a broader variety of ways to paint.

Related products