Welcome to the Jackson's Art Supplies Oil Painting section. Below is an overview of what we have to offer you - everything an oil painter could want and need!
Oil Colour - What are the best oil paints for me?
In this section you will be able to browse our extensive choice of oil colour ranges. We offer the best oil paints available in the world today as used by the most successful professional artists – brands such as Michael Harding, Vasari, Old Holland and Schmincke Mussini have international reputation. We also offer less expensive artist and student quality oil colour ranges – however although the prices may be low the quality is still high, with no fillers used in any of the ranges that we offer. Our ranges are roughly in order of quality and can be mixed with one another, allowing you full control over your chosen palette.
Water Mixable Oil Colour
Ideal for those who work at home, or those who are more sensitive to harmful and abrasive solvents, water mixable oil colour allows you to enjoy the rich and luscious nature of oil colour whilst being able to wash brushes and thin colour with water – the best of both worlds! All watermixable oil colour ranges can be mixed with one another. Holbein Duo Aqua and Winsor and Newton Artisan also have their own range of water mixable thinners and mediums. Please note that while these colours are water-mixable, they are still oil based, and so supports should still be sized and primed properly to prevent the oil from rotting the support.
Oil sticks by R & F, Sennelier and Winsor & Newton are made of artist’s quality oil colour blended with wax – this allows you to draw with oil colour and is a really versatile and exciting way of applying colour. Oil sticks can be used on their own to make bold, crayon-like marks and can also be thinned down with solvents into washes and stains, just like conventional oil colour. Use them to draw into wet oils, over dry oils and acrylics, or use to draw your composition prior to working in normal oils over the top….there’s a lot to explore with this medium!
Oil Colour Sets
Set of oil colour are ideal for beginners looking for a basic set of colours. More expensive sets can be purchased for or by artists who would like to try out a new brand of colours or benefit from a discount that would not be enjoyed if the same individual tubes were bought.
Our recommendations for oil paint sets for beginners include Daler Rowney Simply Oil Sets, Pebeo XL Oil Sets, Winsor and Newton Winton Oil Sets, and the Reeves Water Mixable sets
Watermixable oil paints are great for those who are sensitive to solvents or those who paint at home, where water is a much preferred alternative to turpentine for the clean up operation. Watermixable paints dry at the same speed as regular oils. We offer sets of Reeves Water Mixable set, Jacksons Aqua Oil Sets, Holbein Duo- Aqua Sets and Winsor and Newton Artisan Water-mixable Oil Sets.
Buying professional oil colour can become a very expensive activity, so buying a set of basic colours can help soften the blow! Our favourite professional oil colour sets are:
Michael Harding Sets
Old Holland Sets
Winsor & Newton Artist Oil Sets
Shin Han Artists Oil Colour
Oil paint can be manipulated can applied in many ways, and can look very different. Mediums can alter the behaviour and appearance of oil colour in a whole spectrum of different ways. Linseed oil will increase its gloss and extend the colour - linseed oil is often used as the binder in oil paint, so the behavious of the paint will not dramatically change. The more linseed oil you add to a colour the more transparent it will appear as the concentration of pigment in the paint lessens. Adding only linseed oil will make an oily consistency paint - fairly viscose but fluid enough to have some flow. Many painters add some solvent such as Zest It, turpentine or low odour solvent to thin the consistency. Some mediums contain alkyd resins which speed up the drying process. Impasto mediums will thicken the paint, increase gloss and transparency but also make thick applications of paint more solid in their structure, meaning that they are less likely to crack.
Glaze mediums are made up of oil, solvent and small quantites of non permanent varnish (such as damar or retouching) and will increase gloss and transparency - glaze mediums are best used when layering very thin, transparent colours over one another to achieve luminosity.
There is a very comprehensive guide to the mediums and oils that we sell for use with oil colour on the oil mediums page so it is well worth having a read to find the medium for your needs. Some of the Roberson and Michael Harding mediums are very specialised and are based on recipes that have been used for hundreds of years, and known for longevity as well as a beautiful finish. The more you experiment with and explore the mediums the more you will love painting with oils.
Oil Thinners and Solvents
The oil thinners and solvents page lists solvents that can be used to clean your brushes and palette after a painting session. These same thinners and solvents, including turpentine, low odour solvent and Zest It, can be added to linseed oil to make a fluid, even flowing oil painting medium. White Spirit is too abrasive to use in an oil painting medium, and using Turpenoid for oil painting mediums is also advised against as it is very slow drying.
Retouching damar varnish can be used during the painting process to speed drying as part of a medium, or used as temporary protection during the painting process, whereas final picture varnish will protect a fully cured painting from UV rays as well as dirt and dust. Visit this section to find the right varnish for your requirements.
Oil Painting Tools
Exploring the ways you can apply oil colour to your canvas or panel can be a fantastic learning experience as well as a good way to make your work vibrant and visually rich. Investigate the implications of using different types of brushes would have on your work and consider impasto mark making with palette knives. Etch into wet oil paint or move it around using colour shapers, and explore what marks the different shapes and sizes can make. The more fun you have in applying colour to your support the more chance you have of success!
With the right priming and sizing, oil paintings can be created on many surfaces. At Jackson's we sell a choice of different traditional surfaces that you might like to try painting on.
Stretched Canvas - canvas stretched and fixed on to a wooden frame. The tension of the canvas on the frame is important - a tightly stretched canvas is much more enjoyable to paint on than a slack canvas. We sell both cotton and linen stretched canvases - cotton is cheaper because the threads are not as strong as linen, which is very hardwearing.
Canvas Panels and Boards - these are boards that have canvas glued to one side, which provides a nice texture on to which you paint. Our canvas boards have shear edges, but the canvas panels have the canvas glued around the edges and fixed to the back. Canvas panels and boards are often used for oil sketches, and once framed they look just as professional as a stretched canvas.
Oil Painting Canvas Sheets, Pads and Blocks - The canvas sheets, pads and blocks section lists a number of unstretched surfaces that are suitable for oil painting - finished oil paintings can be made on these but they would need to be mounted on a backing board and framed for presentation. They are usually used by students and professional painters for experimenting or or for large, quick oil sketches
Unstretched Cotton and Linen on the roll - Unstretched canvas is best fixed on to a rigid support prior to being painted on, so that it does not move around when you are painting on it. A frame is the traditional support on to which canvas can be stretched, but some painters like to glue it on to a board, or staple it to the wall to be stretched after the painting is finished, as Pierre Bonnard was thought to do himself.
It is vital that oil colour is applied to a properly sized and primed support in order for it to adhere and maintain its vibrancy, as well as stand the test of time. Traditionally, rabbit skin glue was used to size the canvas and protect the canvas from the harmful effects of oil paint. These days you can use acrylic primer or an acrylic medium such as fluid matt medium to do the same job. Read on in the oil priming section for some top tips on how to prepare your support in the best possible way – the last thing an artist wants is for his or her best painting to sink into the substrate or fall off the support months later! So make sure you do all you can to prevent this from happening.
Oil Painting Studio Equipment
Visit the oil painting studio equipment section to browse our huge variety of different easels including studio easels for indoor use, table easels for use on table tops, and field and sketching easels for use out of doors . In this section we also list our selection of planchests for storing works on paper, and drawing boards that will allow you to work with optimum comfort. The right studio equipment will free up space, time and allow you stability and peace of mind, while you work.
This section contains our fantastic range of book titles, covering all aspects of the oil painting process. As well as this we have some inspirational and informative DVDs made by Town House Films and APV, featuring such reputable painters as Ken Howard RA, David Curtis and Fred Cummings.
To view our YouTube Oil Painting Playlist please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnTWkyaIC-I&list=PLi86B3jOHkDZ81FSVR60v-qw-_1rmgz4y