Interesting to read the choices of oils. I don’t use mine quite so much at the moment, but can’t face ditching them entirely. I have W&N and a few Rowney (both artist quality), but also acquired two or three Michael Harding tubes in a sale, merely out of curiosity because so many people have said they were good paints. I’m afraid that cost usually dictates what I can purchase but fortunately most of my stuff is fairly small-scale so the paint lasts a long time!
I have found that my oils last longer the less ‘precious’ I am about my painting. If I begin to get attached to a piece of work before it is finished there is a danger I will tighten up…end up wiping over and wasting more. So I try to be as relaxed as I can and paint faster with a larger brush. Somehow, the less time I take the more paint I save…if you see what I mean?
That actually is a very good question as I struggled in my early years with what brand to use. I am very happy to have found my favorite which is OLD HOLLAND CLASSIC Oil Colours. The texture of the paint is very important for me and really great. Not too wet. When painting plein air I want to put colour down on the cnavas quickly without using much medium. Just a bit of turpentine and oil. And the colour brightness is fantastic I find
Just replenished my primary palette with Daler Rowney brand Cad Red, Ultramarine and Lemon Yellow. I must say I like them a whole lot for my landscapes. Definitely keepers and priced right!
I’ve always liked H20 oils because I live in New England and have closed Windows 3/4 of the year. They clean up with water and soap. I recently discovered Daniel Smith brand H20 oils and can highly recommend them over most other brands, even Holbein. They are very oily and like butter. They are rich in pigments so you use less paint to cover surfaces. Windsor Newton is waxy in comparison. Once you try them you won’t switch. They are double the price but you use less paint, so worth the extra bucks. You can only buy them at Dick Blick and most of the colors are on back order because they are in demand now. So stock up when you buy them. I don’t even have to varnish my work they are so glossy.
I used to buy Gamblin almost exclusively. He really does care about what he does and how he does it. As I have painted for a few more years I found his line to dry way too fast compared to others. Oil paint is so expensive I hate coming back to my palette the next day and find some have skinned over already? I know to some people faster drying is a plus but not for me. I also changed the way I paint by realizing I prefer transparent colors to opaque ones. His line leans toward thicker opaque mixes. Winsor Newton has some very good paint. Their colors are very concentrated for the price. My number one brand now has to be Rembrandt. They are the most transparent across the whole range and they are packed with pigment. Well worth the extra money. I would also call myself a paint junkie and have a dozen other brands. The only one I would warn people against is Holbein. They were a horrible syrupy mess. Richeson is a great value for new artists and is the best of the cheaper lines.
Hi Anne, I have been using Blue Ridge Oils for sometime now, and I love them as well. Unfortunately, Eric had a fire in his facility, so he will be out of commission for awhile.
Hello Linda, I saw on Facebook about the fire. It was a caution to me to make sure my rubbish/oil soaked rags/paper are taken out of my studio when I have finished. They are good oils. He will be missed until he gets going again.
For years I have used Gamblin and Robert Doak paints, but recently I’ve started switching to Blue Ridge and love their buttery high chroma paints plus the owner studied with Robert Doak.
The one color I buy from Daniel Smith is their Violet Umber which was recommended to me years ago by a teacher. It is a grayed neutral dark violet that is great for landscapes in shadows, mountains, aerial perspective etc
I’ve been using the Windsor Newton water soluble oils for the past few years, but recently picked up some Cobra paint and loving them. So I will probably get more colors of those when it is time to buy more.
As far as cost, yes the paints are expensive, but I find that they go such a long way. I also buy large and smaller tubes, the large one I keep in the studio, and the small ones I take out for plein air painting.
I’ve used Winsor & Newton’s water-miscible Artisan oil paints every since I became a father and worried about toxic fumes in the home environment… but the hues seem muted, particularly the blues, and now that my son is grown I’m tempted to switch back to the hazards of breathing turpentine (whether it’s odorless or not). I’d be interested to hear from other members who have tried water-miscible oils.
Like many of you, I have found Utrecht paint to be high quality and reasonably priced. Utrecht now is making cadmium-free colors with great tinting strength and color. I don’t like to wear gloves so these are a god-send! One color I especially must have is Sennelier Cobalt Violet Hue which fills a gaping hole in my color spectrum. I use Lukas 1862 Titanium White because of it white-fastness, recommended by Jonathan Linton’s extensive research on whites staying white – http://blog.jonathanlinton.com/2010/05/white-test-5-years-in-making.html
I am in love with Vasari Oils - insanely expensive but always buttery and fully, intensely and beautifully pigmented. An absolute dream to paint with on any surface. I can depend on every tube to be perfect all the way through.