Some of you out there might want to get started oil painting but you’re worried that it’s going to be super-expensive. It’s actually not as bad as you think, though. While there are expensive pigments, when you are just getting started a student set of paints and your supplies really aren’t so bad.
So, how expensive is oil painting as a hobby? You can probably get started for anywhere from $150 to $175 if you just get the basics. By this I mean get only your primary colors (start with red, yellow, blue, and white) along with some basic supplies such as your brushes, solvents, and mediums to practice on.
While we’re on the subject, I’ll tell you a few more tips about starting off with oils. We’ll go into whether or not it’s cheaper to make your own paints, why some paints are so expensive, and what oil paintings on canvas tend to sell for.
After that, you’re on your own! Let’s take a brief look into getting started with oil painting!
Is making oil paint cheaper?
Making your own oil paints is quite a lot cheaper than buying pre-made ones and it’s also a useful skill to have. If you have friends who also paint, you might even sell them some discount paints and fund your own work or make large batches to sell in your own Etsy store!
It’s not something that you will pick up overnight, but you can definitely learn to do it and bank some savings. It essentially involves grinding down pigment materials so that you can add them to a proper oil suspension. If you are curious about making your own paints then I would recommend this 3rd party link here.
It will give you a crash-course in making your own paints and if you do a little research at your local library, you might even be able to find some old paint recipes that might just have some market value to traditionally-minded artists!
Just a little food for thought. In any case, once you’ve got your gear, the rest is just going to be practice. So, give it a try and see if you can do it. If you master this skill, you’ll have a lifetime of discount paints and that’s a pretty sweet deal!
Why are oil paints so expensive?
With the very expensive paints, it all has to do with the process of manufacture as well as the exotic pigment components involved. Some pigments are rarer than others and the refining process to use these properly may be more involved than with some of the more common pigment materials.
The pigments have to be ground down into a fine powder first, then milled (sometimes up to 3 times). There’s even time involved in the settling process… but you get the picture. They’re basically complicated to make and the ingredients are rare and expensive.
You’ll get a better idea of this when you are making your own paints, but this gives you a general idea why some of the fancier paints tend to cost so much. It’s because those paints cost more to make!
What makes an oil painting valuable?
Well, the value of art is subjective for the most part, so aside from the creativity involved and the feeling that people get from your composition, there are other factors that play in for the overall value of an oil painting. For instance, if it has been owned by someone famous, then that can raise the value in the eyes of collectors.
The overall history of owners and the painting itself, in fact, is important with older works. If a famous gallery has shown the work, then this adds to the value, or if the artist that made it was quite the eccentric, then this adds to it as well.
The medium that it’s on is also important, with canvas being worth more than paper, and even colors can raise the value. Red, for instance, is quite popular and in older paintings, a lot of red in the work can actually raise the price.
Finally, overall recognition. If people are familiar with it, then it’s going to be more valuable. There are certainly more factors, but these are some basics to give you a good idea of what determines the value on older oil paintings.
Some closing words on oil painting as a hobby
Well, there you have it. Oil painting doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. While there are certainly some high-end paints that cost a pretty penny, you can cut on costs by mixing your own paints and cobbling together some of your supplies (making your own palette, creating canvases from old fabric).
It’s all about getting a little creative, after all. So, if you want to get started with oil painting, then why not start gathering up what you need today? It will take practice and time, but with a little perseverance then who knows?
Your own art might be on display in a gallery someday!