View Full Version : Seeking Help With Oil Paint Texture

12-25-2018, 05:40 PM
I have Holbein Artists’ Oil Colors and M. Graham Oil Colors, and I find both to be a little coarser than I’d like, albeit in different ways. M. Graham is very smooth, but there are occasionally larger pieces of pigment that look off and coarse, especially in miniature paintings. The Holbein paints are much more consistently milled, but they’re a little grainy.

Are all oils paints grainy? Has anyone tried the Holbein Vérnet oil paints and found them to be meaningfully different? Are there other alternatives? I’d appreciate any help and explanation you can offer.

12-26-2018, 02:09 PM
Are Blockx and Blue Ridge more finely milled than M. Graham and Holbein Artists' Oil Colors? Does anyone know?

12-26-2018, 03:38 PM
I cannot compare since I don't have Graham or Holbein. I can tell that Blockx are really very fine milled.
The "grain" also depends from the pigment. It is not always a milling defect. It is the very pigment's nature. Of course it is not normal to discover big lumps in your paint. But even after the strongest milling, red ocher will always exhibit a more grainy texture than cadmium red.
If all colors are constantly smooth and shiny whether you press the red ocher or the cadmium tube, it is suspect. The pigments may not be the real stuff.

12-26-2018, 05:31 PM
Thank you for your help! It's great to know that Blockx is a finely milled paint. :)

12-26-2018, 05:47 PM
I have seen this grainy texture in Earth colors, such as Siennas and Umbers. The problem is more common in hand made paints, and some students quality lines.

12-26-2018, 09:28 PM
Are there other alternatives?

Williamsburg has a list here (http://www.williamsburgoils.com/pigment_chart)of their paint's relative particle size, it is the column to the far right side, paints are categorized according to the grind.

12-27-2018, 02:06 AM
My understanding is that grind can affect hue, at least in some colors.

I don't have many M. Grahams, but the ones that I do have are both very concentrated and very fine.

12-27-2018, 08:01 AM
It does seem to be more of a problem with earth colors. Thank you all so much for helping! The way that different pigments are ground is best for the appearance of the pigments. It seems like some inconsistency from pigment to pigment is common across brands.

12-27-2018, 06:46 PM
As you have found, earth colors and several other pigments are indeed more grainy by the very nature of the pigment themselves. That said, if you are looking for finer ground paints, aim for synthetic pigments in general. Those tend to be extremely fine pigments: phthalos, mars/transparent colors, and the like.

12-27-2018, 08:10 PM
Some brands are more viscous than others. All if leeched of their carrier oil will have some grain.

12-29-2018, 01:32 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2018/1893054-AB0712D1-D5EE-4857-ABB3-025BBD3B355C.jpeg Thank you all! After going through the Williamsburg chart, I did a little experimentation. The Holbein paints I have are very stiff.

Raffless, I added some oil like you suggested, and the texture did improve.

As for the M. Graham paints, the earth tones are grainy, which is unfortunate because I purchased most of them, but Titanium White, Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Quinacridone Rose, and Nickel Azo Yellow are all smooth and free of lumps, so I’ll stick with them when using M. Graham. Thank you for the advice, Delofasht.

I did order a few tubes of the Holbein Vernét to try, and I’ll see how they compare. If they’re great, I may get my earth tones from them just to ensure a consistent texture. I find it interesting that so many watercolor paints, such as Schmincke, have incredibly finely ground pigments and remain luminous and beautiful. I’d like to know more about the decision-making process in pigment milling.