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Tutorials and artistic advices

Choosing oil painting accessories

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A palette and an easel are ES-SEN-TI-AL! Take the time to make the right choices: you'll have them around for some time…


1. Palette


A palette for oil painting should be flat, made of oiled wood and the shape that works best for you…

  • Are you left- or right-handed? There is a significant difference. Note that left-handed people hold their palettes with their right hands. And conversely. Both kinds of palettes are available: you can tell the difference by where the thumb hole is located, near the notch where you hold your other fingers.
  • Having the right palette is essential, so take the time to make sure it works for you before getting it: put your thumb in the hole and curve your fingers around the notch, with the palette resting on your forearm. You should find that position comfortable.
  • Neither too small, nor too big! In the first case, you'll only have a little room for blending colors. In the second, it could be too heavy, tiring you while working.


2. Oil paint box


These boxes, whether they come empty or with a whole range of colors and paintbrushes, have room for storing your paints and transporting them.

  • Size and quality vary from one model to the next: get the one that is right for you!


3. Easel


A must-have when you are starting to gain experience. There are three types: studio easel, student easel and table easel. Before acquiring one, ask yourself a few questions:

  • do I do large or small format paintings?
  • am I happier working standing up or sitting down?
  • do I have enough room?


Once you have made those decisions, note that:

  • Studio easels usually take up a lot of room: the biggest ones are around 1.80 m, and you can adjust the height and tilt. They are perfect for people who do large format work, like working standing up, and have a studio or a room dedicated to their passion.
  • Tabletop or desktop easels, which measure no more than 60 cm, are not very cumbersome. They are the right choice if you don't have much room.
  • Student or outdoor easels are perfect if you like to paint outdoors: they weigh less than 2.5 kg and have adjustable telescopic legs. Note: their major defect is their lack of stability.


4. And also


  • A paper pencil or charcoal for sketching.
  • A sponge, a soft rag, a roll of paper towels, and some water.


See also

Selecting a support for painting with oils
Choisir son support pour peindre à l’huile
When you think about oil painting, are canvases what pop into your mind? You're right! Nowadays, canvas is the standard support. Here’s some advice: don't limit yourself!
Oil: Cleaning and maintaining your materials
Nettoyer et entretenir son matériel
Oil painting supplies and materials require tender loving care! They need to be thoroughly and carefully cleaned after each use.