best oil paints to buy in 2021

For artists, the tradition of using oil paints goes back to hundreds of years. Some of the oldest oil paint brands date back to somewhere in the 1600s. Old artists like Rembrandt to Monet and Picasso to Matisse all have used oil paints. They became fairly popular during the Northern Renaissance. Using best oil paints can help you create some masterpieces, similar to the ones painted by great artists of history.

The benefit of using oil paints over other media is its slow drying time which allows manipulation and flexibility for the artists. Oil paints can be mixed with different media such turpentine to change the consistency and sheen of the paint.

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What to Consider While Buying Best Oil Paints?

Oil paints are costlier than acrylics because they contain pure pigments. There are student grade oil paints available that are budget-friendly but they have fillers and stabilizers incorporated into them.

On the other hand, artist grade oil paints have vibrant and permanent hues. So, you will also need a lesser amount of paint to get the denser and brighter color.

Oil paints have different textures. Some are smooth and some have a grainy consistency. So, you need to get what works out for your painting. Suppose you are making a portrait it may require smoother paint because you will need to blend the colors well to achieve the features and contouring.

But remember, thinner oil paint will take more time to dry as compared to stiffer ones.

Best Oil Paints

Using oil colors can be daunting for beginners as it can allow various options for mixing and also different brands. Plus, the slow drying time. Just to ease the process we have enlisted some of the best brands of oil paints which will be suitable for both beginners and professional artists.

Grumbacher Academy Oil Paint

First oil paint set in our list is Grumbacher Academy Oil Paints. This high quality student grade  set contains 10 colors including (Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ivory Black, Thalo Blue, Thalo Green Blue Shade, Thio Violet, Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Light Hue, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue)

Grumbacher deserves credit for using finely ground pigments in the creation of their colors. The colors have excellent tinting strength. The paints maintain their colors well through the course of time. It has an ASTM lightfast rating of 1-Excellent. 

The Grumbacher Oil Paints are on the cheaper end when it comes to their price. Combine that with their great quality, it is a go-to paint for beginners. Their easy to handle nature helps beginners to adjust to oil painting.

  • Excellent tinting strength
  • Good permanence
  • Affordable Price
  • Easy to handle
  • Beginner Friendly

Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint

Winsor and Newton Winton Oil Color Paint is designed for students and beginner level artists. They offer great quality for an affordable price, making it a suitable pick if you are looking to buy oil colors for the first time.

It maintains balance between quality and price, therefore moderately priced pigments are used instead of using less pigments. Consequently, the quality is not compromised. It provides good tinting strength for colors and permanence. It has fantastic brush retention and palette knife strokes. 

The set contains 10 colors (cadmium yellow pale hue, cadmium red deep hue, french ultramarine, phthalo blue, virdian hue, burnt umber, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ivory black, titanium white) in 21ml tubes. The Winsor and Newton oil paints are intermixable with other brands.

  • Decent tinting strength
  • Good brush stroke retention
  • Suitable for beginners

Van Gogh Oil Colors

Van Gogh Oil Colors offer superior quality student grade oil paints. This Dutch made Oil Paint Set contains 20 ml tubes of 10 colors including Titanium White (105), Azo Yellow Light (268), Azo Yellow Deep (270), Azo Red Medium (393), Quinacridone Rose (366), Ultramarine (504), Cerulean Blue Phthalo (535), Permanent Green Deep (619), Burnt Umber (409), and Ivory Black (701).

Van Gogh Oil Paints are highly pigmented for intense colors, with uniform thickness and consistency. Moreover, they have great tinting strength. Their lightfast ratings vary from decent to excellent, depending on the color. 

They are easy to use and are moderately priced. They are a perfect alternative for above mentioned student grade paints if you are looking to upgrade the quality.

  • Superior Quality Student grade
  • Vibrant Colors
  • Uniform consistency
  • Great tinting strength
  • Affordable price

Bob Ross Oil Paints

Bob Ross is a beloved name in the world of painting. Similarly, Bob Ross Oil Paints are one of the go-to Oil paints for artists. They are designed according to the specifications needed for Bob Ross’s wet-on-wet technique. A technique which he discussed extensively in his show.

Made from high quality pigments, the colors are unique with great intensity.. The consistency of the paint plays well with Bob Ross’s wet-on-wet technique. When it comes to pricing, they are moderately priced as compared to other artist grade oil paints. 

For artist grade oil paints, Bob Ross oil paints are relatively easier to handle. Hence, they are a perfect fit for those artists who want to advance from student grade oil paints.

  • Designed according to Bob Ross’s wet-on-wet
  • Vibrant and Intense Colors
  • Easy to handle
  • Suitable for professionals 

M. Graham Tube Oil Paint

M. Graham Tube Oil Paint Set features 5 basic colors(Azo Yellow, Napthol Red, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Green and Titanium White) in 1.25 Ounce tubes. It also includes one 4-ounce Walnut alkyd medium and one 4-ounce Walnut oil medium.

It is a solvent free paint. What makes it unique is that it is created using Walnut Oil instead of traditional Linseed Oil. Using Walnut Oil reduces toxic smell from the paint. You can work with M Graham Oil Paints in a smaller workspace without having to worry about the smell of paints. Moreover, the paint is non-yellowing so paint would maintain its color for years to come. 

The pigmentation is free from extenders or adulterators. Colors are more rich and vibrant. This Oil Paint Set is worth the money if you are looking for professional grade oil paints.

  • Solvent free
  • Non-toxic smell
  • Rich and Vibrant colors
  • Great permanence
  • Suitable for professionals

Winsor & Newton Artist Oil Color

Winsor and Newton’s Artist Oil Color line features a collection of around 120 professional grade oil colors. Winsor and Newton Oil Paints have focused on using single pigment to create individual colors and as a result about 74 colors are created from single pigment. This ensures great strength of colors and adequate color mixing.

To increase tinting strength of colors and achieve better coverage of every individual color, pigment to oil balance is curated carefully. In Winsor and Newton Oil Paints, longevity of colors is prioritized, therefore colors are formulated for lightfastness and permanence rating of (AA or A). You wouldn’t have to worry about colors fading with time. 

The prices of individual color tubes might seem to be expensive, but it is a fairly affordable price for a top quality artist grade paint. It is a fine choice for professionals who want to work with supreme quality artist paints.

  • Great color strength
  • Lightfast rating of (AA or A)
  • Uniform coverage
  • Suitable for professionals

Michael Harding Artist Oil Colors

The British based company has specialized in the use of rich pigmentation to produce oil colors of highest quality. Michael Harding Oil Paints offer exceptionally vibrant colors with uniform coverage. 

Consistency is set precisely to ensure a buttery consistency, making it easier to handle and manipulate according to your needs. Top-notch artists love working with paints that allows them to manipulate the medium to their effect. The colors are free from any form of extenders or driers. This increases drying time but in return it prevents the paint from cracking up during the drying process. 

Michael Harding Artist Oil Colors include 10 colors (Unbleached Titanium Dioxide, Warm White, Yellow Lake Deep, Yellow Ochre Deep, Venetian Red, Scarlet Lake, Burnt Umber, Italian Green Umber, Phthalo Blue & Zinc White, and Ultramarine) in 40 ml tubes. 

The price is fairly moderate for oil paints with extremely rich pigments. This set is our top pick for professional grade oil colors.

  • Rich and Vibrant Colors
  • Butter-like consistency
  • Easier to manipulate
  • Free from extenders and driers
  • Crack-free
  • Top pick for professional grade oil colors

We hope that you would find this best oil paints list helpful. 

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