Oil painting can be a rewarding pastime. Your art can be used to decorate your own home or be used as gifts, or can even help you launch a business in teaching or selling your art. Starting out can be challenging though, and it is important to learn a bit about oil paints and tools before you begin.

First, choose your paints wisely. Do your research, and don’t settle for the cheapest brand you can buy. Poor quality paints will make your artistic endeavors tedious and frustrating, and may push you to give up too soon. The most basic collection of oil paints should include the following colors: cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, titanium white and mars black. Buy smaller tubes of the dark colors, but stock up on white as you will finish it quickly.

Next choose the rest of your materials, including several basic, high quality paintbrushes, a palette knife, a painting palette, canvases, jars and rags for cleaning brushes. You will also need a blending medium, which can be linseed oil, poppy oil or turpentine. Set up a work area that will accommodate your creations and allow you to access each color and tool with ease.