Saturday, April 8, 2017

144 Square, oil on canvas - Review of oil paint brands by ( has done a review of many popular brands of oil paints, from student grades to the highest brands of handmade paints. I have used various colours in most of the brands and found the reviews to be pretty spot-on. While many artists swear by the high end handmade paints, some of them are very stiff and require oil to be mixed into them to make them more workable, while other brands are too oily, and some are perfect right out of the tube. Some of the colours are simply so luscious that they are well worth the effort to either soften up, or soak up excess oil, but usually I want to get right into painting. My own preferences are for Winsor and Newton, Gamblin, M Graham, and Rembrandt, with special colours in Old Holland, Holbein, and Williamsburg. Different things work for different work and I like to stay flexible with my selections.

When it comes to 'student grade' oils, many workshop instructors stress in BOLD type for students to avoid such a choice, yet many fine, successful artists use Winton Oils (Winsor and Newton student grade) when covering large canvases. I spot the tubes in videos of studio visits. I have used them for background work on larger pieces and they have worked well. The pigment load is definitely not what you find in the artist quality, but there is a place for them.

Materials choices are highly personal and the Wonderstreet review is very useful, particularly for painters starting out in oils.