Start Oil Painting- On the Cheap! Part 1

I love oil painting! I love it. The best thing about it is the versatility of the medium. There is something so beautiful about it and it's my absolute favorite thing to do.  It's magical and I can't quite describe if it's the rolling the paint brush in the paint or placing the brush on the surface and just creating.

Oil painting can be such a hard practice and extremely intimidating.  It has been around for over 500 years! which means there are a ton of choices and decisions, that have nothing to do with composition or even a small idea of a painting.

The first thing to figure out when starting to oil paint is how to shop and then the supply list.  Having good quality material enhances the quality of the work but I have discovered it can be a lot less expensive then acrylic painting with out sacrificing the quality of materials.

Oil painting can be and get really expensive.  Some tubes of paint can cost around $30 and that's just one tube! So before I go into a basic supply list (part 2). I don't want you to go down a rabbit hole with buying a bunch of unnecessary supplies. I want to give you a few tips on when, where and how to buy.

Here are some tips and tricks, to start your oil painting on the cheap.

1.  Shop at your local art supply store and ask if they have any sort of discount program. Most art supplies store offer a preferred customer program for free. Then you get an automatic discount every time you buy or get coupons.  Being on their mailing list, you will get notified when the big sales happen.

2.  Find out when your favorite oil painting brands have sales. Most companies have a big sale around August because it's back to school time. Gamblin Paint has two big sales a year, and its the best time to buy the really expensive tubes of paint. To find out about the sales, just ask specifically when a brand is having their semi annual sale.

3.  Buy paint at garage or estate sales. I love thrifting! If it's an estate sale, the person usually has some sort of hobby, if it's sewing, photography or painting. which means lots of art supplies. The biggest tip in buying second hand paint is squeezing the tube and making sure the paint is still good. It just takes a second but squeeze the end, make sure it's soft in the tube and not dried out. Since it's a garage sale- always negotiate for the best price. Always.

4.  Check to see if your town has a used art supply store. Used art supply? could it be true? In Portland, the used art supply store I've Been Framed.  They have new stuff too but they have a ton of stuff at reduced cost and not just oil paints but lots of other different types of media. It's worth checking out.  If you do buy used paint or thinners- check the liquidity of it to make sure it's still fresh.

5.  Discover if there are any local oil painting brands in your town.  I live in Portland and there are two that make paints here in town. Gamblin and Grumbacher They love connecting with local artists and usually have special sales for their small local art supply stores and also do tours! It's a great way to connect, support locally and learn how it's made.

Part 2 is having a basic oil painting supply list- so stay tuned.

I am painting art everyday in 2015.  This is also Day 138. If you want to read more about this project click here.

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