Oil Paintings for Sale

Learn about the oil medium and shop our collection of original oil paintings.

Oil Paintings for Sale

Tell me more about the oil painting medium!

All of the artworks below are original oil paintings on canvas (predominantly gallery-wrapped canvas), meaning they are ready-to-hang without a frame.

Select any artwork to learn more, or to reserve / purchase the piece.

If you are a collector local to the artist, we offer free shipping, and the artist is often able to deliver the painting in person and tell you about their inspiration. Our mission is to build local connections!

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A [Oversimplified] History of Oil Painting

For many people, oil painting calls to mind centuries-old, austere portraits (e.g. Rembrandts) hanging in major art institutions across the world. But, of course, oil remains an essential medium in contemporary art, having stood the test of thousands of years.

The earliest known (surviving) oil paintings are murals depicting buddhist imagery in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, dating back to the 7th century CE. Many instances of oil painting followed, however a significant breakthrough which popularized the medium occurred during the Northern Renaissance in the 15th century. The artist most commonly credited with this breakthrough is Flemish painter Jan van Eyck, who perfected the use of oil as a pigment binder, allowing the build up of paint in translucent layers to create realistic depictions of surfaces and natural light.

This innovation spread across Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, influencing artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the formalization of oil painting techniques in academic settings, establishing oil painting as a staple through to present times, where it remains a dynamic and enduring medium.

Why Oils Over other Mediums?

When we ask artists what draws them most to oils, they often mention the gradual drying of paint, which maximizes control over the painting’s development.

Artists can work slowly and build up layers thoughtfully, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. This can be more forgiving (a mistake can be scraped off before drying) and allows for more modification than acrylics, which dry soon after being applied. This longer drying time allows painters to develop incredible depth of colour and nuance in tone.

The smoothness of the medium allows for unparalleled blending of colours. Brush strokes can be applied seamlessly within the composition, making the oil medium attractive for life-like works and capturing light and colours accurately.

Due to the versatility of oils, and the huge variety of mediums which they can be worked with, and (of course) the infinite creativity of artists, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact “characteristic” which is common to all oil paintings. Our favourite aspect of the medium is the intentionality of it – when an artist chooses oil, they are knowingly choosing the “scenic route”, as much faster-drying paint mediums are available.

Oil painting is a commitment to nuance, attention, and patience in the artist’s process.

Is Oil Paint Sustainable?

We are often asked if there is a paint medium which is more environmentally sustainable than others. Unfortunately, this is not a straightforward question. Each medium has pros and cons from an environmental standpoint, and artists cannot easily switch between them as it takes years to develop skills in any single one. There are, however, more eco-friendly paint products within each medium.

One thing we can say from direct experience is that artists are incredibly inventive with reusing and giving life to materials which would otherwise be thrown aside. Little is wasted in a world where everything can be used for inspiration!

Take me to the oil paintings!

cecile albi artwork mocked up in interior

ArtMatch is a curated online art gallery & consultation service connecting clients seeking quality Canadian art with outstanding artists from their community.

Operating since 2015, we have supplied art for hundreds of spaces and projects, both residential and commercial. We offer flexible art consultation services and a diverse, approachable collection, working with emerging and experienced artists across a range of genres.

“This is my second time purchasing art work at ArtMatch and like the first time, it was conducted in a very professional manner, very fast delivery and most importantly, the pieces look exactly like how they are presented and described online. It is nice to support very talented local artists.”

– Shalina O.