I already wasted money on crappy brushes and icky paints so you don't have to - You're welcome! Here are some tips to help you save money:
1. Buy a good brush and take care of it
I love a size 12 Synthetic Mongoose Angled Flat! Clean it with odorless thinner and special soap. Check out my favorites page for links and tips.
2. Buy the right colors the first time
To start with a minimum set of colors, use these Gamblin oil colors: Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Winsor Violet, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light and Titanium White. Check out my favorites page for links and tips and also my Color Mixing Post.
3. Upgrade a cheap canvas
I use level 2 or 3 canvases from Michaels but I ALWAYS get them on sale or with a coupon. I also prep the canvas with Golden Gloss Medium Acrylic Liquid after drawing on it with pencil. This firms up the canvas and creates a smooth surface to paint on while preserving my initial drawing.
I just finished this commissioned portrait but not after starting over! If your painting is beyond wrong, just start again on a new canvas. Let the old canvas dry and then gesso it, gloss it and use it for a future painting!
4. Recycle Thinner
Clean your brushes with odorless thinner after wiping the paint off the brushes. After a day, the yucky stuff settles to the bottom of the jar so you can slowly pour the clean thinner into a clean jar. This way, you only have to dump the remaining dirty thinner.
5. Save extra paint
When I finish a painting and have too much of certain color, I scrape it off my palette with a palette knife and preserve it in a Sta-Wet Handy Palette. Check out my favorites page for links and tips.