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scottb
08-26-2002, 03:41 PM
EDIT: This was the original thread in the Oil Painting forum. It has been moved to the temporary project forum.

EDIT: Here is the link to the demo, for ease of reference (original article and ongoing discussion follows):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Products

As some of you may be aware, for the past year or so, one of my side projects has been to put together a robust product review system for use here at WC! Well, the software is pretty much completed, and it is time to begin thinking about actually implementing it. I have chosen the Oil Painting area as the first area to focus on, primarily because of its popularity, as well as the fact that I know we have some pretty knowledgeable folks here who could add tremendous value as we roll this thing out.

Okay ... if you are interested in helping out, bear with me and read on ...

The product review system itself is a VERY complicated piece of software. It is based on what I call "rating types", or "rating questions". Each category (such as Oil Paints for example) can have up to 10 rating questions assigned to it. I could take the easy way out and just use a single question (such as "Overall Quality") for each item/category, but that wouldn't add a lot of value. What I would rather do, is focus on developing a very "niche" set of rating questions for each category, so that a member can browse Studio Easels, for example, and compare the "Durability" of those easels, or perhaps the "Value for the Money", etc.

What I'd like to do is work with everyone here and develop a list of rating questions, and possible answers for them, for the first product type that we'll roll out, wihch are Oil Paints.

Some additional notes:


There can be no more than a total of ten (10) rating questions
All questions must have exactly 5 possible answers, numerically ranging from 1 to 5, but with short phrases assigned to them. Example: Professional Quality: 1=Poor, 2=Adequate, 3=Average, 4=Good, 5=Excellent. This is just an example, the phrases could be anything (Durability: 1=Shoddily Built, 2=Not very stable, 3=Average Ruggedness, 4=Solidly Constructed, 5=Excellent Construction).
Once we finalize the list, and begin to add reviews, we can't go back and change it. Due to the architecture of the software, once a rating "scheme" has been put into place, we have to live with it. So, I want to work with everyone here to ensure that we come up with a very good list the first time. :)
Remember, these must be "measurable" questions. Things like "Professional Grade", which are more of a product "attribute", with, or simple Yes/No type attributes can come later.


Some examples of rating "questions" to get us started in this discussion (note that these may or may not apply to oil paints!):


Durability
Value for the Money
Pigment Quality
Longevity
Overall Quality


I already have a list of initial vendors and products that I will be loading up. Once we can come up with a solid list of questions/answers, I will roll out the review system with Oil Paints, so we can all take a peek. :) Afterwards, we'll roll out other categories, such as Watercolors, Acrylics, Brushes, Mediums/Varnishes, Solvents, etc.

Okay - post your rating question/answer suggestions here in this thread! :D

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-27-2002, 12:18 AM
I haven't thought these through, but just to get some more thoughts out here, I'll list some things that were important to me when I was shopping for oil paints. I'll leave the wordings to Scott or discussions.

Overall consistency: very oily, oily, smooth/creamy, thick, very thick

Drying time: Very Long, long, normal, short, very short

Pigments, Hues, richness of color. I'm not sure how to seperate or quantify these. Especially since some colors are better than others in all brands.

We are talking about a LINE of oil colors, not individual oil tubes, right? That makes lightfastness another tough one to quantify as they will all be different.

Titanium
08-27-2002, 06:19 AM
Scott ,

You might wish to look at pigment load,proper
machine mulling,and the paint suppliers who
are small,but still offer quality.

Names like - Old Holland or Rembrandt for
large suppliers. There are a few more.

With Robert Doak,Williamsville,Michael Harding
for the smaller supplies.There are a few more.

I would look for covering power out of the tube,
opacity.
Use of driers.Pigments dry at their own rate.
[ For speed use self introduced driers,whatever
form that may take.]

However,who are you going to ask these questions
of - Professional,Sem professional,Hobby,Sunday or
Students?

Each of the above would have very different expectations
from their Paint,Canvas, Easel,Brushes...
Titanium

DraigAthar
08-27-2002, 07:39 AM
The more I think about this, the more I wonder if there's something easier to start with for this new feature, lol! Rating oil paints can get SO complex, because the different qualities of tube paints vary from color to color even within the same brand. Opacity? Some pigments are more or less opaque than others normally. Drying time? Some pigments dry faster than others normally.

I remember someone posted a link here a while back to a review that compared most of the common brands of oil paint. It was a chart listing all of the information on a webpage, and I've been trying to hunt it down again, but I can't remember who posted it or what it was called exactly, so I'm having a hard time finding it in the archives. That would be a good place to start, though, if I can ever dig it up.

Amy

scottb
08-27-2002, 08:50 AM
Good thoughts all ...

robinsn
08-27-2002, 09:04 PM
Yes, of course each pigment dries at its own pace, but I was thinking of how Mussini oils dry extremely fast because they include resins in the tubes and Blockx dries, I think, slower than most because they use poppyseed oil instead of linseed. But most brands would be the same so that would not be a useful category.

Regarding attributes that vary within a line, like opacity, how about if we split them up like an opacity rating for opaque colors and a transparency rating for transparent colors.

Yes, I think Scott's starting off with a tough category! Perhaps only attributes like overall pigment quality and quantity could be easily quantified. Unless it's more of an opinion poll type thing like imdb.com for movies. Where we'd have some categories like workability, color brilliance, quality, support materials and such things that are very subjective, but if we had hundreds of people rating them, it would mean something. If Blockx, for instance, had an overall rating of 10 and Brand X had an overall rating of 2, then someone shopping for a brand would have an idea of quality. (Nobody noticed my plug for my favorite paint brand, did they?) :)

scottb
08-27-2002, 09:44 PM
Randy is hitting the nail on the head - the categories we pick must be subjective in nature, and something measurable on a scale of 1 to 5.

Cheers.
Scott

nicoletta
08-27-2002, 09:57 PM
just a thought on this ,,,
my big deal is in the pigment of any oil paint,,,how much does it have in it.

i absolutely hate "hues" and do not buy anything that says hue in the title

so, "quality control" pigment, given in amounts,as small to large or in numbers as 1/4 1/3 1/2 etc. seems to me an easy way to judge the quality of the paint. as well as the the consistency, i personally like a creamy paint, so i go along with judging that somehow, aslo thr drying time.


another comment, what about the genesis oil paints? will they be included in this ?
yes,robinsn, i noticed the plug!!!!!

nicoletta
08-27-2002, 10:03 PM
forgot to mention,,,,your questions scott seem okay..i would ask the same

how much oil in the paint
what kind of oil(some are alergic to some types)
drying time
consistency
durability
i would include price, lest exp to most expensive.
also availability,, do we order on line or is it available locally
will they give a discount to wc'ers

nicki

scottb
08-28-2002, 12:17 AM
Good thoughts ...

Also remember, that in each review, aside from being able to provide numberical "ratings" for the questions, each reviewer will also have a "free text" area that they can add their own comments. :)

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-28-2002, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by nicoletta
forgot to mention,,,,your questions scott seem okay..i would ask the same

how much oil in the paint
what kind of oil(some are alergic to some types)
drying time
consistency
durability
i would include price, lest exp to most expensive.
also availability,, do we order on line or is it available locally
will they give a discount to wc'ers

nicki

As far as price goes, we are leaving that out, for a variety of reasons. One, we aren't selling anything, just reviewing it. Second, if we do that, whose price do we use? Each retailer runs their own pricing model. The MSRP really means nothing to someone like Dick Blick, who does a lot of volume. Also, if we did that, it would be a nightmare to keep current. :) Finally, we are rating the products, not doing comparative shopping - hope that makes sense. :)

Also, with regard to drying time - it really depends primarily upon the pigment, not the line, although as Randy pointed out, there are a few exceptions, but not something that we can easily make subjective and valuable at the same time.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-28-2002, 12:31 AM
Just to recap, here are the suggestions thus far (at least the ones that I feel we can be subjective about):


Consistency: very oily, oily, smooth/creamy, thick, very thick, etc.
Pigment Quality (poor, average, good, exceptional, etc.)
Durability
Workability
Overall Value


Anyone want to provide some brief descriptions of durability and workability?

Keep those suggestions coming. :)

scottb
08-28-2002, 03:46 PM
I should also point out that water-soluble oil paints will be in their own category, so the attributes there may be slightly different.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-28-2002, 04:45 PM
Also, with regard to the consistency of paint:

As the rating are numerically based (higher being better), is this something that can defined that way? I assume that the more "oily" the paint is, the cheaper, or worse, it is, while the thicker/creamier it is, the better the paint (i.e. more pigment, less binder).

?

scottb
08-28-2002, 05:15 PM
Ok, time for a demo to illustrate where I'm going with all of this.

First some notes:


This is draft.
I have put two products with reviews in the system. Look under Painting, then Oil Paints. See the mock reviews for Gamblin and Rembrandt. Play around.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Products

Feel free to add a test review for one of these 2 products. Other products are not configured completely, and they will likely not work. Anything you add will be wiped out later.

Cheers.
Scott

lori
08-28-2002, 07:09 PM
hi scott..

i think its a nice idea, but there are so many facits to oil paint, quality, reason for use, price, etc...

that i think the rating system won't be comprehensive enough to give a good OVERALL rating. it is so relative based on so many factors that it seems given the outline you have now, it could be very misleading.

on the other hand, if you were going to accomidate all the factors into the rating, you'd have a much too complex system for a quick review...which in the end, is all that is offered here because the only way a person can know if an oil paint product works for them is to try it.

all the other factors aren't relevant...its all in the touch of the paint.

for example: i use about 6 different brands (and grades) of oil paint, for different purposes, etc. if i was to rate these paints, i wouldn't be able to give a correct reading because some i use for underpainting, some for glazes, some i like the color that is provided by a certain brand over others that are the same quality...and the list goes on and on...

why not just have a page that says...experience is the best way to get to know a product...and take the rest of the day off...LOL!

pax.lori

hey its a nice idea though...

nicoletta
08-28-2002, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by scottb
Also, with regard to the consistency of paint:

As the rating are numerically based (higher being better), is this something that can defined that way? I assume that the more "oily" the paint is, the cheaper, or worse, it is, while the thicker/creamier it is, the better the paint (i.e. more pigment, less binder).

?

IMHO i dont think so.....
thicker paint can be very useful for the palette knife, harder on brushes

oilier paint is good for a wet on wet feel , or to put over thicker paint
also good for washes(underpainting)

creamier (which is my favorite) is good for most paintings

so it cant be a numbered system, should be defined as oily,thick,creamy etc.

scottb
08-28-2002, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by lori
hi scott..

i think its a nice idea, but there are so many facits to oil paint, quality, reason for use, price, etc...

that i think the rating system won't be comprehensive enough to give a good OVERALL rating. it is so relative based on so many factors that it seems given the outline you have now, it could be very misleading.

on the other hand, if you were going to accomidate all the factors into the rating, you'd have a much too complex system for a quick review...which in the end, is all that is offered here because the only way a person can know if an oil paint product works for them is to try it.

all the other factors aren't relevant...its all in the touch of the paint.

for example: i use about 6 different brands (and grades) of oil paint, for different purposes, etc. if i was to rate these paints, i wouldn't be able to give a correct reading because some i use for underpainting, some for glazes, some i like the color that is provided by a certain brand over others that are the same quality...and the list goes on and on...

why not just have a page that says...experience is the best way to get to know a product...and take the rest of the day off...LOL!


I understand what you're saying, Lori, and that is why we need to come up with easily measurable, subjective criteria. Everyone will have a review area that they can type specifics (such as the things you've mentioned above). Moreover, it is only with the volume of reviews, does any of this become useful. If 300 people tank a certain product, there's probably a reason behind it.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-28-2002, 11:04 PM
I don't see durability as something we can rate. Workability is mostly related to consistency. Consistency is best in the middle in most cases. Not too oily, not too thick. Maybe we don't have oily vs thick, but just "consistency" as a rating, so if it's too oily or too dry, it would be rated low and if it's nice and creamy, it would be rated high.

I think it's going to have to be much more general to work.

Here's my list:
[list=1]
Consistency/Workability
Color Quality (how do you like the colors)
Pigment content (purity of color?)
Worth the cost (value)
Covering ability of opaque colors
Transparent qualities of transparent colors
Variety of colors available
Container/tube quality
[/list=1]
Regarding the tube quality, some have caps very difficult to get off, some tubes develop holes with too much squeezing, some have really well designed caps (like mussini) with a slot in the cap, etc, etc.

By the way, the demo looks very good. Very nice work, Scott!

scottb
08-28-2002, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Randy. :) As I mentioned before, the software itself is done. Oddly enough, that was the easy part. Implementing it with the right marriage of categories, rating types, etc is the hard part, but will be well worth it, me thinks, in the long run.

I like your list. A lot. I will try and update the demo with it either tonight or tomorrow. Any chance that you (or another oil cohort here) could put together a brief description of each?

I hadn't thought of tube quality - that's a good one. I also like the breakdown of covering ability and transparent qualities.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-28-2002, 11:56 PM
Okay, I've updated the demo ...

robinsn
08-29-2002, 12:19 AM
A quick comment. I just went in to see how it worked to add a review. On the review page, there is no reference to what product you are reviewing. It might be good to add a reference at the top as to what you're reviewing.

Also, what if you're experienced with the product, but not every single category? For instance, with Gamblin, I used it and know what I think about most of it except I don't recall exactly how the transparency was. For each category should there also be a "N/A" or "Don't Know" so that the review wouldn't be lost by not submitting it because of one category you can't answer or skewed by entering info you're not sure about?

More later...

Axl
08-29-2002, 12:24 AM
I don't know much about oil paints to be of help to you. However, I just wanted to say that I think this is a really fantastic idea. Perhaps this might not be so relivant to the person who has painted oils for many many years and already has a great understanding of how different brands are and such, but I think it will be really wonderful for people like myself who may not have the money to go out and try every different brand of oil paint known to man *g* This will be a great help to those of us who are still in the process of learning how to paint, and great to figure what we need to get started.

On that, perhaps I can add my thoughts. How about saying something in regards to how good this paint is for the beginner artist, or if it is better left for the pros, just so we can get an idea of what brands to look for if we are just starting out ;)

scottb
08-29-2002, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by robinsn
A quick comment. I just went in to see how it worked to add a review. On the review page, there is no reference to what product you are reviewing. It might be good to add a reference at the top as to what you're reviewing.


Good idea...


Also, what if you're experienced with the product, but not every single category? For instance, with Gamblin, I used it and know what I think about most of it except I don't recall exactly how the transparency was. For each category should there also be a "N/A" or "Don't Know" so that the review wouldn't be lost by not submitting it because of one category you can't answer or skewed by entering info you're not sure about?


The current review engine doesn't facilitate 0-based answers. It is something I have considered adding, however.

I have to be careful about pushing features in, as this is a product that I sell commercially through incursio.com as well. Changes to the review engine will take longer than changes to stuff here at WC!, as I maintain a single codebase.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by Axl_Happy_Goth

On that, perhaps I can add my thoughts. How about saying something in regards to how good this paint is for the beginner artist, or if it is better left for the pros, just so we can get an idea of what brands to look for if we are just starting out ;)

Good idea - but it may be best served by the actual testimonial/text from the reviewer, as I don't think we can rate this on a scale of 1-5, at least not easily.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-29-2002, 12:40 AM
It doesn't appear to have a "browse" feature where you can see all the reviews together, like 5 or 10 per page. Would this be a difficult feature to add? (or did I just miss it)

scottb
08-29-2002, 12:43 AM
You missed it. Use the category browser. I assume you are clicking on the images/links on the left side of the home page - those go to the individual review.

robinsn
08-29-2002, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by scottb


The current review engine doesn't facilitate 0-based answers. It is something I have considered adding, however.
Perhaps, then, some instructions on how to handle that. I immediately ran into that when doing the test review. Do we just put "average" or skip the review all together if we don't have an answer on all categories? Perhaps describe the difficulty in the text?

robinsn
08-29-2002, 12:51 AM
Originally posted by scottb
You missed it. Use the category browser. I assume you are clicking on the images/links on the left side of the home page - those go to the individual review.
Hmmmm. Perhaps we are talking about different things. I'm referring to seeing the entire review text listed one after the other (like Amazon). All I can find is a list of reviewer, date, summary, and rating for each review. But to read them you have to click on them one at a time. Is there something else I'm missing?

scottb
08-29-2002, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by robinsn

Perhaps, then, some instructions on how to handle that. I immediately ran into that when doing the test review. Do we just put "average" or skip the review all together if we don't have an answer on all categories? Perhaps describe the difficulty in the text?

Good thought. Obviously, the more qualified the reviewer, the more valuable the aggregate of reviews. The intro text for the review form could inform the reviewer that unless they felt comfortable providing values for the questions that are asked, they should refrain from posting a review.

Of course, not all categories of items will be as complex as this one, so that particular issue will likely not exist for the easier categories (easels, for example).

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by robinsn

Hmmmm. Perhaps we are talking about different things. I'm referring to seeing the entire review text listed one after the other (like Amazon). All I can find is a list of reviewer, date, summary, and rating for each review. But to read them you have to click on them one at a time. Is there something else I'm missing?

Ah, I see. No, that does not currently exist. But I can add it pretty easily ...

nicoletta
08-29-2002, 04:28 AM
scott, went to submit a response to the list and found it easy to do.

question.....some mfg's have more than one "line" of paint that they offer, student,artist,professional. Should that not be noted as to what we are reviewing?

Titanium
08-29-2002, 07:17 AM
Oh boy,this is getting complicated.

Could this not be simplified to stating that
oil paint is simply - pigment and oil.

That some companies modify the paint so
that every tube behaves the same.

What your looking for is the pigment's
individual quality - opaque,translucent,
,drying speed and so on.

When you get into oily,creamy,whatever,
your looking at Personal Taste.

You should be looking at how much pigment
you get and does it follow it's own properties.
Also if you are willing to use Safflower as a
binder.

Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine Blue are problem
pigments,with just oil they give poor brushing
qualities as they age in the tube.You have to
add fillers to modify this.
You can have great creamyor stiff paint,but no covering
power.

The best paints are just pigment and oil with
little or no fillers[modifiers],no driers and preferably
the cleanest colour quality.
You have to make adjustments for the individual
paint handling qualities.
They cost.There is no cheap way out,no bargain
for your money.

You are not supposed to use Student paint to sell
professionally,no matter what a Commercial Paint
company may encourage.
Professional painting requires Professionally prepared
materials.

Hobbyist,Sunday and Student painters can do whatever
they wish,as long as they are not selling.
Titanium

scottb
08-29-2002, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by nicoletta
scott, went to submit a response to the list and found it easy to do.

question.....some mfg's have more than one "line" of paint that they offer, student,artist,professional. Should that not be noted as to what we are reviewing?

Each "line" of paint would be one individual item in the review system, so they would all be eligible for their own reviews.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Titanium
Oh boy,this is getting complicated.

Could this not be simplified to stating that
oil paint is simply - pigment and oil.

That some companies modify the paint so
that every tube behaves the same.

What your looking for is the pigment's
individual quality - opaque,translucent,
,drying speed and so on.


Have you seen the latest demo? This sounds close to where we are now ... :)

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 10:55 AM
Another update. I've added another test item (Schminke's Mussini Oils).

Also, check the item detail page for Talen's Rembrandt Oils. You can see the product attachment feature in action. :)

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 11:08 AM
Another update.

On the Rembrandt item details page, you can also now see the use of "custom attributes". Look below the snapshot ratings on the left. There, you'll see a simple attribute I've added, which is the "Grade" of the paint.

I've also added Grumbacher Pre-Tested and Academy oils to the demo.

Titanium
08-29-2002, 12:31 PM
ScottB,

apologies,I would be a tick in your butt,so after
this I will stop.

Try it like this -

Commercial Tube Company X.
Professional Grade .

Colour/Pigment/Hue -
Example - Mars Red,Iron Oxide Red,synthetic Iron Oxide,
Indian Red [ all the same pigment ]

Opacity - Opaque [ thinnest coat applied to a white canvas]
then there is a draw out for purity and what do they call
it again the colour that shows.

___________________________

Does not matter which Company you use.The performance
should be the same.Pigment + drying Linseed Oil.

The commercial companies can then battle out just who
machine or stone mills/mulls well or is underbound/overbound.

Apologies again.
Titanium

scottb
08-29-2002, 12:47 PM
Titanium - no apologies necessary. You have to do a lot more than that to become a tick in my butt. :)

You have some good thoughts - I need to go back and digest it all. Perhaps Randy and the others can expand on what you've posted.

The trick is here is still to continue refining our rating questions (if they need to be further refined), to ensure that we present solid, broad, subjective criteria to each product. What you have posted is excellent information - I'm just struggling to try and encapsulate it all subjectively, in a rating scheme. That's all. ;)

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 12:50 PM
Another update ...

I've spent the past few hours loading up some more Oil Paint products and vendors. Still work to be done, but it is looking good. There are now over 40 different products, including Old Holland, Sennelier, Pebeo, Daniel Smith, Holbein, and just for Randy, BLOCKX. :)

I've also create a new category called "Oil Sticks" - I feel this is something that is better addressed in a separate category. As far as the Genesis paints go, we will probably need to create a separate category for so-called "heat-set oils".

Another link to the demo here:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Products

Remember, any reviews that you post now will be erased before we go into production, so feel free to play around some.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-29-2002, 05:01 PM
Latest update ...

We are now up to 46 items in the oil paint category. Wow. I have been scavenging the net all afternoon to try and find even the most obscure brands. If you know of one I've missed, use the "suggest an item" link and provide what info you can and I'll take a look. If the vendor isn't in our database, you'll have to suggest the vendor first, though.

Also, I've added 2 new custom attributes for oil paints:

AP Seal?
CL Seal?

These, of course, are the ASTM D 4236 Toxicity labels (AP = approved/non-toxic, CL=Non-toxic, but caution label!)

I have gone back through and updated all the items for the new attributes, but there are in nonetheless.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-29-2002, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by Titanium
Could this not be simplified to stating that oil paint is simply - pigment and oil.

That some companies modify the paint so that every tube behaves the same.

What your looking for is the pigment's individual quality - opaque,translucent, ,drying speed and so on.

When you get into oily,creamy,whatever, your looking at Personal Taste.

You should be looking at how much pigment you get and does it follow it's own properties. Also if you are willing to use Safflower as a binder.

Titanium - You are extremely knowledgeable in this area and I definitely see your point. But I think that the idea IS "Personal Taste."

As an analogy that I hope will demonstrate my idea on this - Take movies, for instance. If you go to imdb.com you can see a similar system. Movied are rated between 1 and 10. "I liked it" or "I hated it" or "I loved it", 6 stars or 1 star or 10 stars. It's personal opinion. If 9000 people rated a movie and the average is 9 out of 10, it probably means it's not a terrible movie. If 9000 people voted and it averaged 1 star, you might want to wait till it gets on tv.

When most people just want to see a movie, they probably don't care if they used an Arriflex camera or Panavision, or whether the negatives were Kodak 5293 or SFX200/Fuji. To a movie pro, these might mean something as to the quality of the movie, but not to some guy with his date that just want to see a movie that doesn't stink. Know what I mean?

So I'm not saying that your criteria is not valid, but I think the personal opinion will mean more to more people. If you rated pigment PBk11 as the best thing since sliced bread, it wouldn't mean a thing to me even though it is more precise by far. But when I want to go buy a tube of Mars Brown, how does that help me decide which one to buy? (I had to look up the pigment for mars brown) :)

Does not matter which Company you use.The performance should be the same.Pigment + drying Linseed Oil.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't different companies vary a great deal in the use of that pigment, for instance, how well they grind it, what quality (and type) of oil they use, do they add resin, how much pigment do they put in and in what ratio to the oil, do they overheat the oil in processing, do they add fillers, do they use dirty bins (or whatever they mix the paint in), and how well do they mix the paint before putting it in tubes?

scottb
08-29-2002, 08:37 PM
Just a thought - would it make sense to split the so-called "student" grade paints away and put them into their own category?

From a rating/review standpoint, obviously W&N Winton Oils aren't going to hold a candle to Old Holland. Old Holland might rate a 5/5, while Winton Oils rate a 1/5. However, Winton might get a 5/5 if it were in a category with other student grade paints.

Thoughts?

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-29-2002, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by scottb
I've spent the past few hours loading up some more Oil Paint products and vendors. Still work to be done, but it is looking good. There are now over 40 different products, including Old Holland, Sennelier, Pebeo, Daniel Smith, Holbein, and just for Randy, BLOCKX. :)
LOL! I saw your review - you really know your paints! :D

You've been quite busy. I'll go put a couple reviews in and see how it works.

robinsn
08-29-2002, 09:04 PM
When you put it in the perspective of comparing with other products in the same category, yes, it might make sense to seperate them. OTOH, if someone is wanting to buy oil paint, it might also make sense for Winton to be 1 and OH be 5 in the same category. Maybe the student will decide to buy the good stuff and improve their art!

scottb
08-29-2002, 09:14 PM
Okay, I've moved the student grade paints to their own category. If you come across one that I missed that is still sitting in the "Oil Paints (Pro) category", let me know. :)

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-29-2002, 09:54 PM
Okay, here's another feature I'd like to see - sorting by total reviews and average rating.

scottb
08-29-2002, 10:03 PM
Advanced sorting criteria is on my to-do list, but it may be a little while until I can get to it.... :(

scottb
08-29-2002, 10:11 PM
Some more things to think about as we chug along with this project. :)

I assigned the same rating types/questions to Student-Grade Oils as we used for the professional-grade oils. I didn't really see much deviation necessary there.

However, we do have Alkyd-based Oil Paints and Water-Soluble Oil Paints to contend with next. Any thoughts? I imagine that many/all of the attributes we have already come up with will be useful here, too, but given the specific nature of these 2 categories, there may be something specific that could be used.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-30-2002, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by scottb
Any chance that you (or another oil cohort here) could put together a brief description of each?

Sorry, I didn't quite know what description you meant so I put it off just long enough so that you did it instead. But you did a great job! :)

scottb
08-30-2002, 12:58 AM
Randy - disregard my earlier message about the timetable for implementing the additional sorting. Sorting on total reviews is in, and I hope to have the sorting by average score in by the weekend. :)

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-30-2002, 01:09 AM
Wow! Looks good!

scottb
08-30-2002, 09:45 AM
Okay, Randy - the sorting based on average score is in when browsing categories. ;)

robinsn
08-31-2002, 12:51 PM
That sorting by rating is extremely useful and works great. Thanks!

scottb
08-31-2002, 02:31 PM
OK, are there any last thoughts on the rating questions we've used for the demo?

As a refresher, they are:

Color Variety

How would you rate the variety and variation of colors within this line?

Consistency/Workability

How would you rate the consistency and workability of this paint? If too oily or too dry, give it a lower rating. If nicer and creamier, give it a higher rating.

Color Quality

A simple measure of how much you like the colors in this line.

Container/Tube Quality

How would you rate the construction quality of the container/tube? Does the tube develop holes easily? Caps hard to get off? Does the tube have a well-designed cap with a slot in it?

Pigment Quality

How would you rate the "quality" of the pigment used in this line of paints? Good purity of color?

Opaque Covering Ability

How would you rate the "covering" power of the opaque colors in this line?

Transparency Rating

How would you rate the "transparency" qualities of the more transparent colors in this line?

Value for the Money

How would you rate the value for your money when buying this product? Keep in mind that even poorly made products can have a high rating here, if they are priced right.

I am debating the importance of the "Color Quality" question. Given the fact that we have "Color Variety" and "Pigment Quality", do we even need this one?

This initial rollout into Oil Paints is critical, and will shape the way future categories are implemented.

Are there any other categories necessary for Oil Paints? So far, we have:


Oil Paints (Pro)
Oil Paints (Student)
Oil Paints (Water-Soluble)
Oil Paints (Alkyds)


Should we add "Oil Paints (Water-Soluble - Student)"?

Thoughts welcome!

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
08-31-2002, 03:18 PM
Re: Color Quality
Color variety is just how many colors they have and is it a good variety. Doesn't mean they are any good.

Pigment Quality to me is difficult to grasp the meaning. I think it means that the colors are not weak and full of fillers or oil.

Color quality, to me is the more important. How brilliant are the colors. How aesthetically pleasing, etc.

An example, and I would love it clarified if I have it wrong.
I think everyone agrres that Old Holland has great pigment content. I've read that many places. However, when I bought several brands and compared colors there was a big difference in some. Take Cadmium Yellow Light. Old Holland's, which I had been using for a long time, looked like a dull dead color compared to Blockx Cad Yellow Light. I like Blockx's much better than Old Holland's, but for some reason, I can't say it has more/better pigment. Am I wrong about these pigment vs color?

robinsn
08-31-2002, 03:26 PM
Value for the Money

How would you rate the value for your money when buying this product? Keep in mind that even poorly made products can have a high rating here, if they are priced right as well as expensive products if they are worth the price.

Another word on the pigment vs color thread. The question of how do I like the colors would be so much easier to answer than the pigment question, and TO ME would mean much more. I'd like to hear other's opinions on this.

scottb
08-31-2002, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by robinsn
Re: Color Quality
Color variety is just how many colors they have and is it a good variety. Doesn't mean they are any good.

Pigment Quality to me is difficult to grasp the meaning. I think it means that the colors are not weak and full of fillers or oil.

Color quality, to me is the more important. How brilliant are the colors. How aesthetically pleasing, etc.


Perhaps we could merge the two questions into one: Pigment/Color Quality

?

scottb
08-31-2002, 03:39 PM
We should also now begin thinking about some of the related categories of oil-painting products.

One category that we have now is "Mediums (Oil)". Obviously, there are lots of different things that could be classified as a medium, or additive. Siccatives, driers, oils, waxes/resins/balms, etc. Any thoughts on how best to approach this? What would be a logical breakdown of these categories, and what possible rating questions could we ask in each?

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
08-31-2002, 10:00 PM
Something else to consider:

Currently, we have a subcategory under "Drawing/Illustration" for Oil Pastels. We also have a subcategory under "Painting" called "Oil Sticks". Are these the same thing? If not, what is the difference? If they are basically the same thing, do they belong under Painting or Drawing/Illustration?

scottb
09-01-2002, 01:52 AM
Just an update - I've loaded up another bazillion products. Mostly in Mediums (Oil), but in several other areas as well (some watercolors, Oil Sticks, Pastels, etc. Most of them don't have any sort of rating questions assigned to them yet, so browsing them will be difficult. Browse around and see ... :)

The Mediums (Oil) category should definitely be broken up, me thinks. Perhaps things like Waxes/Resins/Balms could be put into another category. I keep going back and forth. The reason categorizing everything is so important, is that the rating system's true value comes out when we are able to compare like-items. In order to facilitate this, we need to make sure things are where they should be.

Thoughts?

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-01-2002, 10:42 AM
It has been suggested that we create a category called "Oil Paints (Mid-Range). This is what was suggested (unfortunately, there was a bug in the review system that truncated the description). Hopefully, whoever suggested it can post their thoughts here.

--------

Hi Scott, I believe there is room to include an Oil Paint Mid-Range sub-category. The reason for this is that some brands do not fit the PRO nor the Student grades. Taking TALENS as an example, we have REMBRANDT as the PRO, AMSTERDAM as the Student, bu

--------

If we were to do it, who would be the judge of what constitutes a mid-range item vs. a pro item?

Cheers.
Scott

Luis Guerreiro
09-01-2002, 11:01 AM
Hi Scott,

Firstly I would like to say that this is an excellent project, I personally like the idea of putting pressure on Art Materials Manufacturers, because that can bring them closer to the artists.
Thanks for your Msg alerting me for this project.
I have indeed thought about it and have some ideas...

I - OIL PAINTS

I think Oil Paints should be divided into the following categories first:

1. PRO
2. STUDENT
3. MID RANGE
4. BULK / LARGE VOLUME

Some products cross ref more than one category, because of the Manufacturers policies, etc. An obvious case is AMSTERDAM from Royal Talens. Although classified as STUDENT grade, it also is recommended for professionals working with very large paintings.
A mis-conception (and an enormous snobbery!) is to think that only paints using traditional pigments should be considered professionalk grade. Wrong! Some modern pigments or pigments more associated with mid-range paints are just as good, only cheaper and sometimes safer. In the case of AMSTERDAM, it has a top range of 500 ML tins, that makes it attractive to Professionals (including myself) using them for very large panels, especially in abstract painting.

An example why a mid-range class could be useful is LUKAS STUDIO. This is not a PRO paint, strictly speaking. It is however used by professionals together with leisure painters, less by students, hence its somewhat "Mid-Range" characteristics. Another example of this is WINTON from W&N which for years has been considered strictly "student grade" when in reality it is stronger in pigment concentration than say, Lukas Studio.

So sometimes, things get blurred thus making it difficult to place things correctly in a project like this.

As a criteria for classifying oil paints, I would like to suggest the following:

1. Pigment Concentration
2. Binder (linseed oil, poppy oil, waxes or resins mixed in, etc...)
3. Additives and siccatives/driers
4. Traditional Pigments Ranges used
5. Modern pigments used
6. Covering Power
7. Balance opaque vs transparent colours
8. Total colour range
9. Properties out of the tube (long or short oil?)
10. Volume packaging catering for all, inclusive of big works painters?

Another point to make is the need for this project to cater for what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, so the more manufacturers are included, the better.

As for oil mediums, I honestly did not check its current configuration, but I suggest the system complies only with:

1. Is the medium traditional based? That is, does it use as ingredients just traditional oil painting ingredients (such as oils, damar, mastic, bees waxes, balsams, hard resins such as Copal, etc...) and as such, is it compliant with a more traditional technique?

2. Is the medium modern? Does it use synthetic resins, alkyd components, modified oils, etc?

I really do not think it is appropriate to create categories for ingredients, because it is virtually impossible to classify them. Who is to say that bees wax is better than microcrystaline wax? Well, it is for me, but not necessarily for the painter next door and here is where we get into a very slippery ground indeed. Also although, for example, it is fair for me to say that DAMAR BATAVIA is better than CHIOS MASTIC, this may be not true at all for another painter.

Finally, I saw an entry for primers, I presume that includes all sorts of primers.

I am going back to the system now to suggest some products I think should be listed.

I think this is a BRILLIANT IDEA Scott. Count on me for any ideas f necessary, I'll be more than happy to help.

Kind regards

Luis

robinsn
09-01-2002, 11:34 AM
Personally, I think we're going a little overboard. You get too many categories, and you don't know where anything is. I wasn't even convinced that we should split up the student grade. But at least the manufacturers split it up for us, saying that the paint is student grade or professional. I don't recall ever seeing a tube of paint with "Mid-Grade" written on it. What is a mid-grade?

Luis Guerreiro
09-01-2002, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by robinsn
Personally, I think we're going a little overboard. You get too many categories, and you don't know where anything is. I wasn't even convinced that we should split up the student grade. But at least the manufacturers split it up for us, saying that the paint is student grade or professional. I don't recall ever seeing a tube of paint with "Mid-Grade" written on it. What is a mid-grade?

I dare to disagree. So long as there is a search facility in the system, obvious and fool-proof enough, there shouldn't be a problem about having as many sub-categories as necessary. Besides, if a sub-category is not there to cater for a particular type of painter, I would consider the system incomplete.
Personally, I hope the system caters for professional like me who work large, sometimes as large as 8ftx12ft.

Personally, I don't give a toss about what the manufacturers say. Usually, what they say serves only their marketing and multi-national sales objectives. Nothing else.
It is up to us the Artists, with an independent and objective view about materials we use everyday, to have our SAY.
The fact that you do not recall any manufacturer classifying their own paint as MID-RANGE speaks for itself. It is al either PRO or Student, a ludicrous way of classifying oil paints. There are indeed brands that only fit in the middle of the two and it is up to us to expose such details, so Artists benefit from the Information and Manufacturers learn the lesson once and for all, that we are "switched-on" people who do not take "labels" for facts.

Luis

scottb
09-01-2002, 11:51 AM
Luis - thanks for stopping by and providing your insights. I was hoping you'd show up here. ;)

Comments below:

Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
Hi Scott,
I think Oil Paints should be divided into the following categories first:

1. PRO
2. STUDENT
3. MID RANGE
4. BULK / LARGE VOLUME



Interesting thoughts. Who/how do we decide which products get listed in mid-range vs. pro, etc.?


Some products cross ref more than one category, because of the Manufacturers policies, etc. An obvious case is AMSTERDAM from Royal Talens. Although classified as STUDENT grade, it also is recommended for professionals working with very large paintings.


A great example of my previous question. Obviously, they are going to complain that their product is not in the "professional" category. But if we did that, it would likely get lower ratings than the more high-end paints, which are, in fact, targeted to the professionals.


A mis-conception (and an enormous snobbery!) is to think that only paints using traditional pigments should be considered professionalk grade. Wrong! Some modern pigments or pigments more associated with mid-range paints are just as good, only cheaper and sometimes safer. In the case of AMSTERDAM, it has a top range of 500 ML tins, that makes it attractive to Professionals (including myself) using them for very large panels, especially in abstract painting.


I agree. But, obviously, professional artists already know that the properties of mid-range paints have their merits. In a "review" scenario, we have to be able to solidly "put" each product somewhere.

Perhaps we should determine a products final placement based on its target market, as determined by the manufacturer. THe good news is that as long as the various categories of oil paints have the same rating "map" (list of rating questions), then we can easily move them from one category to the next if we need to. This will be an ongoing endeavor, of course. :)

So sometimes, things get blurred thus making it difficult to place things correctly in a project like this.


Indeed! :D


As a criteria for classifying oil paints, I would like to suggest the following:


Hmm, very interesting, and definitely at the level we are talking about here.


1. Pigment Concentration
2. Binder (linseed oil, poppy oil, waxes or resins mixed in, etc...)
3. Additives and siccatives/driers
4. Traditional Pigments Ranges used
5. Modern pigments used
6. Covering Power
7. Balance opaque vs transparent colours
8. Total colour range
9. Properties out of the tube (long or short oil?)
10. Volume packaging catering for all, inclusive of big works painters?


Some of these we touch on now, others we haven't thought about. Some I don't think we can provide a numeric rating scheme for (such as volume packaging - that's more of an "attribute" - a yes or a no, rather than a 1-5 rating).

I'd love to hear thoughts of others on this list, specifically, how we might incorporate some of these into the system.


Another point to make is the need for this project to cater for what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, so the more manufacturers are included, the better.


Indeed. In fact, if you look at the items I've already added, you'll see that both sides are well-represented. Lots of hard to find stuff, too. Of course, if I've missed something, suggest away! :D


As for oil mediums, I honestly did not check its current configuration, but I suggest the system complies only with:

1. Is the medium traditional based? That is, does it use as ingredients just traditional oil painting ingredients (such as oils, damar, mastic, bees waxes, balsams, hard resins such as Copal, etc...) and as such, is it compliant with a more traditional technique?

2. Is the medium modern? Does it use synthetic resins, alkyd components, modified oils, etc?


Again, these are more "attributes" than anything else. Yes or no, rather than a question we can ask a potential reviewer.

I honestly don't know how we create a rating scheme for mediums. Perhaps just an overall rating is good enough (of course, all reviewers have text areas in which they can expand on their rating scores).


I really do not think it is appropriate to create categories for ingredients, because it is virtually impossible to classify them. Who is to say that bees wax is better than microcrystaline wax?

But where do we put them? Perhaps just one big category for all the waxes, balms, etc?

As far as the category breakdown, I am thinking something like this (all under the primary Painting category):


Oils: which wuold include linseed, poppy seed, black oil, etc.
Siccatives: Courtrai, cobalt additives, etc.
Pigments: Not every individual pigment, but the brand (i.e. Kama Pigments, Blockx Pigments, etc.)
Miscellaneous Ingredients: waxes, balms, etc.
Mediums: These are created by manufacturers and are the result of adding siccatives with oils, and other ingredients. (examples: liquin, Gel mediums, etc.)
Varnishes and Coatings: damar, picture varnish, retouching varnishes, etc.


Things like mineral spirits, turps, etc., would go under the existing Cleaning:Solvents and Cleaners category.


Finally, I saw an entry for primers, I presume that includes all sorts of primers.


It's all tentative now - everything is subject to change. Basically, whatever makes the most sense. If we need to create new categories, move old ones around, delete some, etc., we'll do it.

I think this is a BRILLIANT IDEA Scott. Count on me for any ideas f necessary, I'll be more than happy to help.


Thanks! I'm sure your participation will be critical in this. If there are others that you think might find this project of interest, feel free to invite them to participate. I don't want this to turn into a "debate" - lol - about where products go, what is mid-range vs. pro, etc., but I think if we keep it subjective and simple, we'll have a tool that everyone can benefit from.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-01-2002, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by robinsn
Personally, I think we're going a little overboard. You get too many categories, and you don't know where anything is. I wasn't even convinced that we should split up the student grade. But at least the manufacturers split it up for us, saying that the paint is student grade or professional. I don't recall ever seeing a tube of paint with "Mid-Grade" written on it. What is a mid-grade?

I agree with you, Randy, but also see Luis's point as well.

For example:

Michael Harding and Robert Doak make some very high-end stuff. Definitely professional quality. Are things like Grumbacher Pre-Tested really at that high-end level? Dunno.

This is one of those really gray areas with Oils, and with the review system.

I'm not concerned with visitors not being able to find things - the search tools work well for that. I am concerned, however, that if a product is in the wrong place, it won't be there for the purposes of comparison with other products in the same category. Obviously, if we create a "mid-range" category, it won't be as easy to compare that item to paints in adjoining ranges. So for each product, we have to have a "hard and fast" YES or NO with regard to where it belongs.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
09-01-2002, 12:17 PM
But what do we gain by having it separated out into another category?

I'm pretty sure that this whole review section is aimed at the beginners, not the professionals. I would think the pros, such as yourself, already know which paints are mid-range, student or pro grade and which are good and which aren't. The beginners need to see what the pros say about them so they can make an intelligent purchase without experience.

If a manufacturer labels their paint as pro, then I think it should 'compete' with the other pro grade paints and let it stand on its own merits. If x brand pro grade doesn't hold up to a comparison with OH then people will know it's not as good as OH, right?


There are indeed brands that only fit in the middle of the two and it is up to us to expose such details, so Artists benefit from the Information and Manufacturers learn the lesson once and for all, that we are "switched-on" people who do not take "labels" for facts.

Exactly, and a review rating pro grade "x" as a 4.5 and pro grade "y" as 2.3 will show exactly that.

If you split them up, the pro grade "y" could rate as a 4.5 in mid-range. That doesn't give the same message.

scottb
09-01-2002, 12:24 PM
Timely post, Randy. I just ran downstairs and had a late breakfast with my wife (a non-artist) who pointed out the same thing.

If we do too much splitting of the categories, we lose the value of having highs and lows.

I think we gain a lot more by grouping the paints based on the manufacturer's target market. If their paint is sub-par, it will be reflected in the ratings. At the end of the day, the product has to survive on its own merit. The expertise of the professional artists will serve to "put them in their respective place", as they review the various products.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
09-01-2002, 12:51 PM
Scott, I was in the middle of a long post on different points but saw your reply and have deleted most of it. But in doing this, I came across another point. Price. I know you've said you don't want to do this and that it would be difficult, but I'm thinking that the price is a major point in purchases and because there are no prices or price ranges on these paints, a potential user would have to do a lot of jumping around to find out how expensive it is. Let me include part of my other message that led me to this:

My best guess is, that there are basically 3 kinds of people shopping for a paint. Those who want cheap paint and those that want the best paint they can afford, and those who want the best whatever the price.

The first type would probably look in student grade and look at what other people like and if it's cheap enough, buy that paint. Although with my experience in other areas (not art), the 'cheap' buyers aren't even concerned about quality. They just want cheap, so maybe they wouldn't even use this system.

The next category would want to look in the pro grade (or student grade if on a tight budget), sort by rating, look at the top rating and work their way down until they find a brand that sounds good for them that they can afford.

The last category would examine all the top brands and decide which they like best.

So, Scott, if my assumptions are close to reality, most people are going to want to know how expensive these paints are as they are reading the reviews and they'll have to be searching the web while reading to come up with prices.

Could there be some example prices somehow? For example, include prices for common colors like raw sienna, Cad Yellow, Cobalt Blue just to give an idea of price? Maybe it could be suggested retail as of a certain date with disclaimer that it's just an estimated price? Or maybe even some kind of price rating like they do for restaurants. 2 stars means a meal costs $4-6, etc. I don't know the answer, but I just think some idea of how expensive things are in this system would help tremendously.

scottb
09-01-2002, 12:56 PM
Hi there, Randy.

I wanted to stray away from prices initially, just because it would be a PITA to maintain - and whose prices would we use? Blick's? Jerry's? MSRP?

Your idea of a price "rating" has some merit, but prices do fluctuate. I wonder if price is best addressed by each reviewer in their review? Example: "I found a set of these at Pearl for $19.99 each. Cheapest place I've found!".

At the end of the day, I want what is best for this community, so if you guys feel we need to put a "price rating" in, we'll do it.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-01-2002, 01:03 PM
Luis - I noticed you are putting in some reviews - great!

However, I just wanted to make sure you read the notice on the front page of the review system:


NOTE: This review system is in development/testing. Feel free to put in some reviews of your own for testing. However, any reviews that you put in now will be erased when we roll the system out!


The reason for this is explained (I believe) somewhere toward the beginning of this thread (re: rating questions).

If these are reviews that you would like to use in the production system, my recommendation is to copy/paste them to a file, and when we roll the system out with the final set of rating questions, you can paste them back in.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
09-01-2002, 01:18 PM
One small thing: When you're looking at the rating of a product and it says, "Ratings for this Item:", how about including how many reviews it entails like "Ratings for this Item (9 reviews):"?

robinsn
09-01-2002, 01:20 PM
The system has already been useful to me. Because of Luis's reviews, I'm going to have to try Michael Harding's paints!

scottb
09-01-2002, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by robinsn
One small thing: When you're looking at the rating of a product and it says, "Ratings for this Item:", how about including how many reviews it entails like "Ratings for this Item (9 reviews):"?

Making a note ...

Luis Guerreiro
09-01-2002, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by scottb
Luis - I noticed you are putting in some reviews - great!

However, I just wanted to make sure you read the notice on the front page of the review system:



The reason for this is explained (I believe) somewhere toward the beginning of this thread (re: rating questions).

If these are reviews that you would like to use in the production system, my recommendation is to copy/paste them to a file, and when we roll the system out with the final set of rating questions, you can paste them back in.

Cheers.
Scott

I know Scott, not to worry. When the system is finally rolled out, I'll do my reviews then in a much more professional way. For now I am having fun and enjoying the testing process.

Luis :D

scottb
09-01-2002, 02:02 PM
Whew! I was afraid that you didn't see the notice - lol. :)

nicoletta
09-01-2002, 03:48 PM
just a note from an inexperienced oil paint shopper.

usually i dont know ( am really not interested in) the pigmentation values,cause it would drive me crazy to have to look up all of this and figure out which one is the "best",watch the fillers and oil in each etc...... i leave that up to the more detailed orientated and follow their advise.
igwill however go by a "name" Rmbrandt,w/n , old holland, etc. not getting technical, i never heard of Talens in reference to rembrandt oil paints. when listed in a catalog, it doesnt say that. Usually goes by the name of Rembr., old holland, blockx etc. then by grade, either student, professional etc.
i guess what i am saying is are we getting a little to detailed in why and wherefores that we are missing the point of being able to look up a oil paint by name(as is listed in a catalog), get a rating for consistency,coverage, etc. and make a choice depending on what one can afford at the time(for the professional artist) and ones own preferrences. each reviewer, depending on one's knowledge, preferrences and
skill gives a rating and naturally the more people that use a particular paint will have more ratings.

i agree that, if possible, all oil paints form all over should be given fair show
in the listing as i have observed some paints may be avail in one area and not another,,,maybe i am missing out on some really good paint LOL

nuff said
nicki,

DraigAthar
09-01-2002, 04:48 PM
I've been following this thread closely, because i think there are some great things happening with this whole product review system. I'm sorry that I do not have more useful suggestions to add, but I simply have not tried very many different brands of oils, so I don't feel I know enough to comment!

I did want to say, however, that I think Randy makes a very valid point about the three kinds of people (in regards to prices). Reading all of this has made me REALLY want to start exploring some of the more professional brands of oils out there, but I will be limited somewhat by my budget. So having some sort of pricing info along with the rating would allow me to make decisions about what to buy and what I am able to buy.

I realize that this would make a lot more work for you, Scott, so is there some way we can help out? I know I would be willing to offer my time if it's a matter of scouring the web for prices on things and helping keep the system updated, or whatever. I want the whole product rating system to work, because I think it will be very useful to many people, so I'd be happy to help out if I can. :)

Amy

scottb
09-01-2002, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by DraigAthar
I did want to say, however, that I think Randy makes a very valid point about the three kinds of people (in regards to prices). Reading all of this has made me REALLY want to start exploring some of the more professional brands of oils out there, but I will be limited somewhat by my budget. So having some sort of pricing info along with the rating would allow me to make decisions about what to buy and what I am able to buy.


I think have a general "pricing" rating value will be better for us in the long run, than having manual prices entered. As has been pointed out before, manual/real prices simply aren't feasible.

So, if an item gets a 5 star rating in "priciness", it is expensive. A 1-star rating means affordable by just about everyone.

*EDIT*

After I posted this, I realized something. By having a "pricing" rating (from 1 to 5) would invalidate all the reviews. Why? because it isn't a good, or bad thing, that a product is a 1 or a 5 in this category. Let's say there is a fantastic product, that is very cheap to obtain. It might have 4's or 5's in most categories, then a "1" in the pricing category. The "1" would serve to pull down it's average score across the board. :(

The "value for the money" field that we have now is good, but doesn't provide an indication of how expensive, or inexpensive, an item is. Perhaps I will devise a way to have the rating not factor into the overall scores. Dunno.

We need to keep thinking about this one ...

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-01-2002, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by nicoletta

usually i dont know ( am really not interested in) the pigmentation values,cause it would drive me crazy to have to look up all of this and figure out which one is the "best",watch the fillers and oil in each etc...... i leave that up to the more detailed orientated and follow their advise.
igwill however go by a "name" Rmbrandt,w/n , old holland, etc. not getting technical, i never heard of Talens in reference to rembrandt oil paints. when listed in a catalog, it doesnt say that. Usually goes by the name of Rembr., old holland, blockx etc. then by grade, either student, professional etc.
i guess what i am saying is are we getting a little to detailed in why and wherefores that we are missing the point of being able to look up a oil paint by name(as is listed in a catalog), get a rating for consistency,coverage, etc. and make a choice depending on what one can afford at the time(for the professional artist) and ones own preferrences. each reviewer, depending on one's knowledge, preferrences and
skill gives a rating and naturally the more people that use a particular paint will have more ratings.


Hi there, Nicki. No, I think we're going down the right road. While you may not currently be interested in the "pigment qualities" or "opaque behaviors" of a certain brand of paint, you may, in fact, one day reach that point in your artistic career. At that time, you would have access to the information you need.

Also, by creating detailed, and specific, rating schemes, we are essentially soliciting reviews on products from people who understand (at the technical level) what each of the rating categories is. In other words, a subject matter expert. Most categories will not be as complicated as this one (palette knives for instance). However, I think we have an enormous amount of knowledge out there in the community, and if we can create a conduit to effectively (and accurately) capture the opinions and thoughts of the people who know it best, we will have a very valuable tool here.

Now, with that said, I will also say that I think it is possible to go overboard with the rating system as well. We need to strike a good balance between rating questions/categories that are easy to understand (and use), yet still adequate enough to add value.

Ten people telling me that Rembrandt oils are good doesn't tell me much. Seeing "why" they thought it was good, in a searchable/sortable way tells me a lot. Now, let's say I don't care about the detailed rating schemes - no worries - as all of the rating questions average up (and roll up), so I can stay at that level as well. I can easily see that 10 people reviewed it, and it's average rating was a 4/5. Of course, the details behind it are there as well. We need to cater to all levels, and the only way to effectively do that, is to capture the data at the low-level from people who are qualified to rate the product, and then roll it up at a high level for the folks who either don't understand it all, or don't care to.

Hope all of this is making sense ... :)

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-01-2002, 06:32 PM
Luis/Randy - any thoughts on how best to split apart the Mediums (Oil) category? I created a "Siccatives" category, and moved a few things into it.

Do we do have a single category for "Raw Materials", which would cover all gums, waxes, resins, etc?

Do we need the specific Siccatives category? Or will one suffice, for all off-the-shelf additives?

I've also added a lot of new items (Varnishes, Cleaners/Solvents, etc.) If you have a moment, can you doublecheck to make sure things are in the right place? If you see something that should be somewhere else, let me know.

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
09-01-2002, 07:08 PM
I'm thinking why don't we just put all "paint additives" into one category. I have been thinking about this and can't figure out how you're going to have any kind of meaningful questions with this kind of product anyway. I'm thinking put them all together and just rate for how much you like the product and let the review take care of the details. In this way, anything that the artist adds to his paint could be in one category. I always say, the simplest solution that solves the problem is generally the best.

I just visited all sorts of user review sites to see about ideas on the price. Most sites had the MSRP which isn't feasible (maybe for things like easels, but not paint), some had a link with retailers, and a couple didn't have prices. So I didn't really see anything that would help. Perhaps finding one color in the middle of everyone's price range that all lines would have and give an MSRP for that as a comparison?

Hmmm. How about a radio button group that says something like: "Is the general price range of this line
way below avg
below avg
avg
above avg
way above avg
(in comparison with other products in this category).

and let the reviewer choose.

I dunno...

scottb
09-02-2002, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by robinsn
I'm thinking why don't we just put all "paint additives" into one category. I have been thinking about this and can't figure out how you're going to have any kind of meaningful questions with this kind of product anyway. I'm thinking put them all together and just rate for how much you like the product and let the review take care of the details. In this way, anything that the artist adds to his paint could be in one category. I always say, the simplest solution that solves the problem is generally the best.


Yes, that seems to be direction I am leaning. There are simply too many varieties of mediums to really dig into - we'd be here all year working that out - lol. I can come up with some of the standard rating questions and use those (usefulness, overall quality, value for the money, etc.)

Hmmm. How about a radio button group that says something like: "Is the general price range of this line
way below avg
below avg
avg
above avg
way above avg
(in comparison with other products in this category).



The software doesn't currently support anything other than numerical ratings. :(

Cheers.
Scott

sarkana
09-02-2002, 03:36 PM
as a small manufacturer, i am overjoyed that you have added this feature to wetcanvas! this seems to be a *very* common question on the oil painting thread and i think its awesome to automate this service so everyone can easily access it and contribute.

and now i can vote for all my favorites!

scottb
09-03-2002, 02:10 AM
Originally posted by sarkana
as a small manufacturer, i am overjoyed that you have added this feature to wetcanvas! this seems to be a *very* common question on the oil painting thread and i think its awesome to automate this service so everyone can easily access it and contribute.


Actually, one of the driving reasons behind my desire to build this system, was that I wanted to give the small manufacturer an outlet. The best products come from small manufacturers, but (as you know), creating good distribution channels in the art supply retail world is an exercise in futility (or at least exhaustion) for most.

Cheers.
Scott

chookbrown
09-03-2002, 03:07 PM
Hi, not sure if you have these and just haven't put them up yet but here is the logo for Jerry's Artarama and Rexart listed under retail vendors:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Sep-2002/thejerryscatalog_1694_476069

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Sep-2002/rexart_bar_title.gif

Colleen :)

hilo
09-03-2002, 08:33 PM
how about product safety, toxicity, fumes, etc.

scottb
09-03-2002, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by hilo
how about product safety, toxicity, fumes, etc.

I'm wondering if this isn't best left up to the reviewer to discuss in the body of their review. Dunno - I'm open. Anyone want to build onto this idea?

robinsn
09-03-2002, 10:36 PM
Safety, etc are attributes of individual tubes of paint and not a paint line, so I don't see how it could be done in the system.

robinsn
09-03-2002, 10:37 PM
Oops. Or are we now talking about mediums? That makes more sense. I could go either way on that.

scottb
09-03-2002, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by robinsn
Oops. Or are we now talking about mediums? That makes more sense. I could go either way on that.

If we are talking about paints, I agree. One color in a line might be incredibly toxic (lead white, for example), while another color, a synthetic, will be totally safe. Tough to guage.

Mediums is another story, but with so many, how will we determine this information and get it into the product entries? Again, this may be best served by the actual review itself.

BTW, Randy, did you notice that the reviews are now more detailed in browse mode ... :)

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-09-2002, 01:46 AM
Any thoughts on how to best handle the growing # of items in the Mediums (Oil) category? Over 200 now, I think.

Perhaps we could split it up into obvious subcategories where appropriate, such as:


Linseed Oil
Poppyseed Oil
Walnut Oil
(or just a category called "oils", with all of the above in it)
Wax Mediums
Siccatives (driers, copal medium, alkyds, etc.)
etc.


We had originally decided to just lump them all together, but now with so many items in that category, perhaps it makes better sense to try and group them into smaller categories.

Thoughts?

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-11-2002, 09:46 AM
Sigh - could use some feedback here, gang.

I'm also struggling with the placement of several items.

For instance, "thinners", turps, etc. Currently, I have them under: CLEANING >> CLEANERS AND SOLVENTS

Because, in reality, that's what they are. Of course, they just happen to be used for mediums and paint thinning as well.

Also, certain "varnishes" are more of a medium base than a varnish. For instance:


TITAN DUTCH VARNISH

Oil based. Brightens colours to give them an effect of greater transparency. When mixed with oil colours it gives them more life, drying power, solidity, flexibility and brightness. Prevents splitting. May be used as a varnish for paintings when thinned with Turpentine to give a high quality, Flemish style finish. May be applied between coats of different colours to provide greater adherence (restoration). Dries by oxidation. Reduce drying time by adding a small amount of Cobalt Siccative. Available in bottles containing 100 and 250 ml. and 1 litre.


I currently have this item under PAINTING >> VARNISHES & COATINGS rather than under PAINTING >> MEDIUMS (OIL).

I was contemplating possibly trying to figure out a way to have items be listed under more than one category, but I don't think that is possible.

However, I've added the concept of "also see" categories. Check it out:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Products/censura.php?tsid=1&cmd=browse&category_id=420

In the raw materials category, there are related links to Mediums (Oil) and Cleaners/Solvents.

Thoughts?

scottb
09-11-2002, 09:48 AM
Also looking for information on some obscure vendors and their brands of paint:

Ticiano
Pallio
Clouet

If you know of some that I have missed, let me know.

robinsn
09-11-2002, 11:08 PM
Sorry Scott. Have family in town as well as several deadlines coming due. I also lost the thread for a while when you moved it! :)

On top of that, I'm not sure what to think about all of this. I still don't think it's that bad being lumped together. The categories you've split them into so far look good too. All I think is that you shouldn't try to break it down too much or you're just adding complications - especially for you.

I'd still vote for "paint additives". :) Mainly 'cause I don't know what else would work. Probably whatever you come up with will work good.

I'm not being any help at all, am I?

scottb
09-12-2002, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by robinsn
Sorry Scott. Have family in town as well as several deadlines coming due. I also lost the thread for a while when you moved it! :)


Doh! That explains it... :)


On top of that, I'm not sure what to think about all of this. I still don't think it's that bad being lumped together. The categories you've split them into so far look good too. All I think is that you shouldn't try to break it down too much or you're just adding complications - especially for you.

I'd still vote for "paint additives". :) Mainly 'cause I don't know what else would work. Probably whatever you come up with will work good.


I know. I keep going back and forth on it. Take a look now at the Mediums (Oil) category. Seems a bit more manageable. If we decide to collapse them back down into one big category, that is easily done.

Basically, I've created subcats for cobalt driers, alkyd mediums, amber mediums, etc. Why? Well, if they are all in one category, the comparisons become sort of blurred. In other words, we'd be comparing the ratings for Grumbacher Copal Medium to Sennelier Stand Oil. Not sure if that would be as helpful. Basically, I have the more common subcategories, and everything else still in the main category.


I'm not being any help at all, am I?

Actually, you are. I wish we could get some more participation on this project. There are only a handful of us really providing input, and I am beginning to feel as if this project will inevitably be of little value as a result. :(

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-12-2002, 12:14 PM
As a test, and proof of concept, I moved the items under Mediums (Oils) around and came up with these subcats:

Alkyd Mediums (17)
Amber Mediums (9)
Balsam Mediums (5)
Black Oil (4)
Copal Mediums (12)
Driers/Siccatives (27)
Linseed Oil (66)
Miscellaneous Mediums (63)
Other Oils (15)
Poppyseed Oil (14)
Safflower Oil (4)
pecialized Turps (9)
Traditional/Historical Mediums (16)
Walnut Oil (11)
Wax Mediums (4)

Take a look.

Cheers.
Scott

ellenf
09-12-2002, 01:11 PM
I'd love to try to help, Scott, but don't really feel qualified. Up till now I just grabbed whatever brand was on sale at Michael's. No kidding. I'm just recently studying properties of paints, mediums, and solvents.

Man. I don't know nuthin.

Best of luck with the project. I'll keep checking in. If I can contribute I will.

scottb
09-17-2002, 12:32 AM
Oil Paints (Pro) has been officially rolled out!

Thanks to everyone for their input ...

More to come. :)

Cheers.
Scott

robinsn
09-17-2002, 12:51 AM
Kewl!

DLGardner
09-29-2002, 01:37 AM
Wow, I just found this thread and I have some thoughts. Its late and I haven't read all the posts here so if I'm repeating something someone else said, than please just ignore this. I've been painting all my life but my formal art schooling ended quite a few years ago. Needless to say there are many new products on the market that I never even heard of. When I go to an art supply store, I see them and have no idea what they do. What if, instead of making the mediums the category, you make the function the category and then list certain mediums that fall under that function and compare them that way. For instance "Driers" and then list products that speed the drying time of oils. Many products may fall under different categories, but that could be summed up somewhere so that the viewer would see the various functions of one particular product. Don't know if this is what you had planned, but it seems it would make it a lot easier to read and understand.

Just my thoughts,
Dianne

scottb
09-29-2002, 01:48 AM
Actually, we've already done that. :) If you do to Painting, Mediums (Oil), you'll see a number of subcategories. I've added descriptions for most of them ... more to come.

Cheers.
Scott