Oil painting can be traced back to the 7th century which makes it a very old art form that is still practiced today. To get started with it, all you need is to find the best oil paint set for beginners that fits your needs.
To me, I want everything I need except my hand. This means I need paint, brushes, canvas or paper, maybe some kind of easel, and preferably at least a palette. With at least these pieces I can set up and start actually painting. Following that logic, all of the kits I have on my best oil paint set for beginners list contain most of these pieces at a minimum. You won’t find cheap sets that include nothing but paint and brushes because they are really worthless to the beginning painter.
With oils, however, there is one component that you won’t find in any kit, at least none that I have seen, and that is paint thinner. The reason for this is simple, most kits are shipped and paint thinner is flammable and can explode under the right conditions so shipping it is problematic. Fortunately, you can get paint thinner at any art supply, craft store, home repair, or hardware store (and even department and grocery stores!).
For the price, it is hard to beat the XXL Oil Paint Set by Free Hand 1It comes with everything required to get started immediately. While I wish it had some kind of easel with it, I can make do without it.
While this is very much an introductory set aimed squarely at the first time painter, it does a fine job in that regard. The brushes are not bad and can be reused for other projects, as can the palette and foam brushes. I will say that the foam brushes don’t like paint thinner very much so they tend to fall apart fast. I don’t mind this since they are literally pennies each when purchasing in packs such as this 25 pack for around $7.
Personally, I would have preferred if the kit came with an oil painting tablet of paper rather than a single canvas, but that is easy enough to remedy.
Overall, I think this is probably the best oil paint set for beginners if you are unsure how serious they are. It is an excellent and inexpensive gift.
Next up we have the U.S Art Supply 42-Piece Oil Painting Set with Aluminum Tabletop Easel which is what I call an excellent starter kit with absolutely everything you need to get started except inspiration. Here you will find plenty of brushes, a palette, two canvases, 12 oil paints, a color wheel, and finally, a desktop easel.
US Art Supply has long been one of my favorite art supply houses and I particularly like their starter kits. Like me, they believe in giving the starting artist absolutely everything they need to get started the minute they open the box. This is one of those kits. Add some paint thinner and you can get painting within minutes of opening the package.
I would like to note that the easel in this kit looks a little flimsy, and while it is not a large floor standing professional artist easel by any means, it is more than good enough for what it needs to do. In fact, I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it held the canvas. They have this same model in both their watercolor and acrylic kits and the only time it really moves is when painting the corner areas since there is nothing holding the top of the canvas to the easel. This is nothing more than a minor annoyance and certainly does not detract from the value of probably the most complete best oil paint set for beginners in this price range.
You are probably going to think I am paid by US Art Supply by the end of this article, but if you look at my other articles you can see that isn’t the case. I do very much like their kits, and this U.S. Art Supply 35-Piece Oil Painting Table Easel Set is no exception.
This kit contains a series of brushes, a couple of canvases, 12 oil paints, and a color wheel just like the last kit. Where things get interesting is that they included a much nicer tabletop easel which solves my complaints about the last kit, a very nice tablet of oil painting paper so you can practice before using a canvas for the first time and a wooden palette which is by far my most preferred type of palette.
You will also note that you get two 11″x14″ canvases instead of one 11″x14″ and one 8″x10″ as in the previous kit which is a nice little upgrade for the price.
If you think someone is really interested in learning oil painting, this is the best oil paint set for beginners for them.
The final kit I have here is the U.S. Art Supply 63 Piece Oil Artist Painting Kit 4which is the set I recommend for anyone who is wanting to start this art in earnest. Think of this set as the previous set with more and better.
While this set includes more canvases, more colors of paint, a set of paint knives, and more brushes, the shining star of the whole thing is the easel with storage.
I do really like this kit as you can bundle everything up into a little package and carry it to where you want to paint. It works great at home too because you can fold everything up and store it beside a desk, under the bed, or in a closet.
I was also surprised at how well the easel actually worked because I was not expecting much. For the money, it did quite well. Is it as stable as my large lyre easel? Well no, but then again my big easel cost way more than this kit did so that isn’t saying much. What I can say is that the one in this kit was more than stable enough to do the job, is portable, and has great storage. My lyre easel has no storage and is only portable if I bring along a bouncer named Guido.