Colors for Oil Painting

Colors for Oil Painting – Complete Guide In 2024

Selecting the right oil paint colors is one of the difficult tasks, and most people get confused even about the basic colors. It’s not easy to mix the right type of paint for people because of the increasing demand and filtration.

Colors for Oil Painting
Colors for Oil Painting

Don’t worry; down in this post, I provided complete information on colors for oil painting and the factors for which you can easily finalize the specific type of color for the painting.

Colors for Oil Painting: Start from Primary Colors

Most of you are unaware of the facts and tips that can help you get a successful oil painting color. I suggest using oil paint as primary colors, called a primary painting. Moreover, if you are confused about mixing the colors, start the process by mixing some primary colors and then use other colors you want to get shade from.

The answer would be difficult if I talked about which color you should use for the oil painting because no one can estimate or select the final color for painting. Besides primary colors, other colors can help to get an end finish of high quality.

Cadmium Red and Permanent Alizarin Crimson are top colors I highly recommend for high shining and a perfect finish at each place, no matter if it’s your home, office, or working place, including an industry. Ultramarine Blue and Phthalo Blue oil paint colors are other important colors you can use if you want to get a bluish look at your place.

Similarly, Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Yellow colors are the best selections that you can use. Still, if you are confused about the selection of oil color painting, here I listed the eight most important and top recommended colors that are good to use everywhere:

  • Cadmium Red or Pyrrole Red
  • Magenta oil paint
  • Ultramarine
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Cadmium Yellow or Hansa Yellow
  • Transparent Yellow
  • Burnt Umber
  • Titanium White
 Keep in mind that it’s not only a matter of color selection, but pigments, paint type, and color mixing tips have a huge impact on the overall color selection and painting process. 

Here I provided complete information on colors for oil painting. To start this work, you need to buy a total of 6 pigments. These six colors or pigments are primary colors, and you don’t need to buy any other colors. The reason is that these colors work as the basic colors, and a combination makes all colors of these.

Oil Painting Colours List

  1. Cadmium Red Light
  2. Quinacridone Magenta
  3. Ultramarine Blue
  4. Phthalo Blue
  5. Transparent Yellow
  6. Cadmium Yellow

Let’s know about these colors and the mixing tips one by one!

1. Cadmium Red Light (PR108)

Its shade is red and is one of the warmest primary colors, which gives an awesome look no matter what you are mixing in it. When these colors are mixed with yellow color, it gives a purple color shade that looks beautiful and shiny.

oil paintings colors
oil paintings colors

If I talk about the combination of this color, i.e., what color resulted when I divided it into other pigments, the answer would be cadmium hue and pyrrole red. In my experience, You can also buy these colors if cadmium red light is not available. The other two colors will offer similar results when mixed into any other color or pigment.

2. Quinacridone Magenta (PV19)

It is a bright green color and is similar to the color code PR122 but not exactly matched. PR122 is magenta, and both of these colors are highly similar. When this color is mixed with ultramarine, it offers a purple look, and when it’s mixed with a yellow color, it gives an orange look. Some people want to mix it with white color, and by doing so, you will get a bright pink color look. Hence, when any other pigment is mixed with this primary, it gives the brightest look.

oil paintings colors
oil paintings colors

3. Ultramarine Blue (PB29)

This primary color is blue and has a reddish look when it shines. When mixed with other colors, this blue color mostly offers purples and a green look. When you mix it with white pigment, it turns into a blue color, which is not exactly blue but chroma-radiant blue. And if you want to get a grey or blackish look, mix this color with orange color.

painting color names
painting color names

4. Phthalo Blue (PB15)

Its other name is primary cyan, which is blue cyan and has a subtle yellow undertone. If you want a greenish-blue look, mix this color with any other color. As this color has a high tinting strength, there is no need to worry about its fading or painting oil issues no matter where you apply the paint.

painting color names
painting color names

5. Transparent Yellow (PY128)

It is a bright yellowish color. If you want a green or semi-transparent color, you must mix it with cyan. This primary color is not as reputed as other colors; still, I recommend using it for the best result and improvements in the previous color system or making an awesome green color.

oil paint primary colors
oil paint primary colors

6. Cadmium Yellow (PY35)

One of the essential oil paint colors is a deeper yellow color due to its red undertones. Its alternate is Hansa Yellow color is less light and warm than the cadmium yellow color. If you cannot arrange a cadmium yellow color, you can use Hansa yellow, another best colors for oil painting. When it is mixed with red color, it offers a beautiful orange color look.

oil paint primary colors
oil paint primary colors

So, these are six basic oil paint colors that I recommend using by mixing with other earth and common colors. You can get a complete idea of the oil painting color palette by mixing these colors.

Pigments to Create Tints and Shades

Most people prefer some specific pigments to create tints and shades for beautiful coloring material from the different tips and ideas. In this section, I provided some pigments that I recommend to create tints and shades based on our experience.


Most of the time, titanium white and zinc white colors are useful pigments to create tints and attractive shades based on their finish value. Zinc white is more complicated and is used as a translucent pigment, and when you use any pigment or color on it, you will get a bitter paint film that looks attractive.

color tints painting
color tints painting


There are multiple pigments and colors available in the market which are used to create a beautiful shade. However, I recommend using a black color shade.

color tints painting
color tints painting

Some Other Colors for Oil Painting

Here are some additional colors which are useful for oil painting. These colors are beside the primary color shades and are useful for all types of pigments. Red Ochre is an example of it. If you want an intense and transparent paint look, I recommend using Permanent Alizarin Crimson, a fugitive type of pigment. Cobalt blue is another example that is useful when you want to get a sky blue color look.

In addition, some earthcolor professionals recommend a complete shine, specifically at the places where you want to get a professional look. These colors are not expensive compared to other colors; using them means saving a lot of money.

Some Top Oil Paint Brands for Color Oil Paintings

Here are some top-quality brands that provide pigments in different colors, including primary colors and other earth colors. These brands include; Gamblin, Michael Harding, Blockx, and Schmincke. For more information, you can check their official website.

Conclusion- Oil Painting Colors

I hope that now you understand enough about colors for oil painting. Remember that these colors are not fixed, but many other colors are useful for a glossy finish. All of it depends upon your interest in the look you want in your place, whether it’s a home, office, or school.

Always try to use a color that looks suitable for the specific place. For example, using highly bright colors in the office or school is not recommended. However, bright colors are useful in a children’s room or a playing place at your home.