Which Oil Paint Colours to Buy

Which Oil Paint Colours to Buy Lorna Robertson Fine Art

Here's the secret. You only need four oil paint colours. And these colours are: red, yellow, blue and white. You can mix all the other colours you need from just these four. 

Oil paints are a great medium. For years I used acrylics and then began working with oil paints and liked the richness and vibrancy of their colours. Oil paints are buttery and take a long time to dry. This means you can take your time and build up the colours slowly. You can also makes changes more easily than with acrylics.

I like to keep my collection of oil paint colours simple. If you paint in this way, it also means there is no need to splash out on lots of different shades - unless there is one you really fall in love with - I am a sucker for Sap Green.


The Oil Paint colours I keep in stock in my studio are:


Titanium White 

An opaque paint. I use this to lighten the tone of the other colours. Good for highlights too.

French Ultra Marine Blue 

A warm blue that covers surfaces well. Can be mixed into sky blue or olive green.

Cadium Yellow Medium Hue

A rich deep yellow and very versatile.

Cadium Red Hue 

A strong vibrant red.


Once you have your core oil painting materials together, some additional extra colours I like to add to my collection are:

Cerulean Blue
An opaque lighter blue with a hint of green.

Burn Sienna

A semi transparent earthy pink colour.

Sap Green

A dark green that I use to create a wide range of tones, from light and thin, to dark and thick.