View Full Version : How long have you been painting with Water Mixable Oils?

08-16-2009, 11:27 AM
Hi everyone! :wave: I was wondering how long everyone has been painting with WMO. I started painting with this wonderful medium a year ago. I'm still learning the medium. This forum is helping so much. :)

08-16-2009, 03:10 PM
I don't really remember just when it was - sometime around '97 or '98, I got a sample set of W&N Artisans. I still painted with my regular oils, until I ordered some more Artisan colors, then I switched over from the regular oils. So I'll go with 10+ years.

08-16-2009, 06:04 PM
Over 10. I believe it was in '93 or '94 when I started using Grumbacher's Max, soon after they first came out. I remember the art store in Berkeley near where I was living then had just gotten them in for the first time.

08-16-2009, 07:15 PM
I think it is 4 or 5 years or more. I can't remember. I use so many different mediums depending on my mood or the subject.

My first trial with them was with WN artisan because that was alll could find at the time, and I was having such a bad time with the fumes from the oils and cleaners because of asthma, that I was really thankful when I came across them. I love them and learn something new everytime I use them.


Susan H
08-16-2009, 07:26 PM
I've been using WM oils for about three years after switching from watercolor, then gouache and finally to oils. The last year my paintings have gotten a lot better...it was tough adjusting from thin paint to thick paint. For watercolorists, I think WM oils are a good choice for exploring oil painting.

08-16-2009, 08:24 PM
I tried Max when it first came out. Found it to be hard to work with. A few years ago I tried another brand and was hooked. Great to paint with and clean up is so easy!

08-17-2009, 08:27 AM
I was so happy to see MAX water miscible paints because I had gotten a hangover from conventional oil mediums and quit painting on account of that.. I started using MAX in about 1993. I still have some of my original tubes of MAX from 1993 and they are fine with the exception of Titanium White, which I have to stand on to get some paint out of the tube!

08-17-2009, 10:14 AM
I just started using them. I bought a set earlier this year after seeing an ad for the Holbien Aqua Duo. I had been wanting to get back into oil painting but didn't want to have to deal with needing ventilation or possibly having to paint out side. I just started my first painting a few weeks ago, I'm still working on it.

Brenda Y
08-17-2009, 10:43 AM
I think I'm the youngest. . . I've been using them for 6 WEEKS :lol:
I'm a watercolorist and thought it would be beneficial to expand my horizons. I found an online class and have thoroughly enjoyed this medium and have found it much easier than watercolor. I'm definitely enjoying the exploration and look forward to learning more. I'm using the Van Gogh H2Oils and find them satisfactory. I haven't tried any other brands, but will be using the Holbeins for two workshops I'm signed up for in October.

08-18-2009, 12:46 AM
I started using them when they first came out, whenever that was. :)


08-18-2009, 01:24 PM
Actually none of those... 1-2 years (more than 1 year but less than 2) but there's no option for that. Never mind though :) Only just over a year I guess.

08-18-2009, 09:13 PM
I painted a few then put them down because I moved to a smaller place and I have children :D ... and that mixes like, well, water and oil!:lol:
But now I have my very own studio (a small room but still) and I have brought them out and I remember how much I enjoyed them!

08-18-2009, 11:20 PM
I was using Alkyds when Max came out and was not impressed. Later when the Docotr said, "NO MORE Solvents," I tried Artisan and made it work.

Stoy Jones
08-19-2009, 10:26 AM
It has been going on five years for me. I can't say those years have been productive for me doing a lot of experimenting since I have never painted prior to that. I still have a lot to learn and consider myself a beginner.

08-24-2009, 09:21 AM
We certainly have a well balanced and diverse group! Wonderful to see! Thank you for taking the time to vote and post your comments. :)

08-24-2009, 12:27 PM
I used them years ago and then stopped and went to traditional. Now I am back. I share a house with a gentleman who has major lung issues and didn't want to use ANY solvents (I used to use walnut oil to clean brushes but more about that later)

I am VERY happy with Holbein Aqua Duo. Good selection of colors and mediums though I mostly just use the linseed oil.

What I like a lot is the easy cleanup... not just the brushes but my hands. I could never stand getting paint on my hands and with traditional oils (even using walnut oil for cleaning) keeping the hands clean was a problem. Used gloves then. Now if I get a little paint on my hands, just a quick clean up with soap and water....

Happy we have this forum.



08-24-2009, 01:22 PM
(Secretly I sometimes think of them as the slow drying acrylics everyone is hoping for.)

08-24-2009, 02:20 PM
I agree. They do have some things in common with both conventional oils and acrylics. Somewhere in between the two. :)

08-26-2009, 09:26 PM
I started using Artisan in 2000. I wanted to be as solvent-free as possible in my studio, since the last 15 years of my career has involved LOTS of chemicals and solvents. Plus, my turtles and rats live in my studio in the winter and their respiratory systems are far more sensitive than humans. I'm very happy with Artisan!

08-29-2009, 10:09 AM
I began learning oil painting two and a half years ago and use W&N water soluble oils.

09-08-2009, 07:48 AM
I've just started working with them and absolutely LOVE them! I love working on canvas and, by painting the sides of my canvas, hoping to eliminate framing costs. If interested, you can see how I'm using them at my blog: http://bugstumper.blogspot.com.


09-10-2009, 08:29 AM
Can't remember exactly how long, but it was soon after W&N brought out Artisan. Someone had told me my watercolours looked more like oil paintings, but rough, rough, rough. As I react to turps I was thankful to know that I could avoid this. I do however compare my work with other traditional oilies and on some occasions wonder how they get a much richer and deeper effect? Is it a 'flattening' effect caused by the water solubility, for most of my painting is done with paint straight out of the tube? Occasionally I utilise walnut oil.

09-10-2009, 09:37 AM
Hi Kopo,
The water evaporates, so that shouldn't affect the finished painting. When I look at my older paintings (when I first started to use WM oils), I can't remember which ones are traditional oil and which are WM oil - they look the same.
Have you tried varnishing your paintings? It evens out any flat/dull areas and really brings out the colors.


09-10-2009, 03:50 PM
i have never used them but i am going to try some soon

09-11-2009, 01:39 AM
Thanks Callie for your response. The only varnish I have used is Retouch. I'll dig out one of my older works and give it a coat of gloss varnish and see what happens.
Thanks again

09-23-2009, 03:25 PM
I've only been using W&N WS oils for a few weeks. I have nothing to compare with as I've never used trad oils. I bought a few colours on recommendation from my tutor on the course I am doing which includes painting animals in oils.
Although I have no known allergies it is nice to be able to work in my studio with something that has very little smell.

09-23-2009, 09:13 PM
I started using WMO's about a year ago. I've played with enamels, lacquers, epoxies, oils, water, and acrylics, and I'm most pleased with the results I'm getting with the WMO's. They have a few foibles, like the faster drying than traditional oils, but but seems to me they're far outweighed by the health, cleanliness and plain convenience factors. I'm lovin' it.

03-24-2010, 09:32 AM
I've done 9 oil paintings with WMOs so far and I'm still trying out mediums to see what works for my style of painting.

I've tried rubbing linseed oil on the canvas between layers but found the oils were too slick; next painting I tried rubbing stand oil on the canvas between layers and this seems to work better than the linseed oil. Though it takes more rubbing to get the thicker stand oil smeared over the surface of the canvas.

03-24-2010, 06:13 PM
I think I got mine last October some time. I've only done two paintings with them and in the middle of the third. It's learning time versus painting time and invariably looking and learning wins.

Never mind, I feel painting will soon catch up.

03-27-2010, 10:59 AM
I received my W&N 10 tube set two days ago and spent yesterday afternoon trying them out on a simple landscape painting. I really enjoyed the ease of blending the colours and getting used to the slow drying times. Being able to remove the paint and easily correct my many mistakes was great. I'm unable to use conventional oils due to the effect of the solvents, so I have a feeling these paints will become my favourite.

03-28-2010, 06:28 PM
I've been painting with them for about 9 months. I've used Max, Artisian and Van Gogh H2O and like all of them. I feel they work great for me and quadrupling my cost be using the Holbein Duos the art store clerks (with nose in air sniffing) say I should use only is not going to make me a great artist if I don't have the skills and talents. I've been very pleased with the colors available from the three brands I use...like Van Gogh lacks some opaque tones that MAX and Artisian have. I am very interested in trying the Weber W20 ones...how has everyone else liked them? They also are very reasonably charged, same with Lukas Berlin...haven't tried those yet either.

08-11-2010, 11:49 PM
Love love love the w/m oils!! I have been using them since mid-May this year, and what a joy! When using traditional oils, I hated having to use/dispose of turp/toxic sludge and to fill up a landfill somewhere with soooo many paper towels. W/M oils enable me to paint free of turpentine and other toxic solvents, to easily wash and reuse rags, and to travel without worrying about disposing/storing/transporting turpentine. All the joy of oil painting (including, for me, the lovely lovely smell of the oil paints!) with none of the drawbacks. Blessings on the brilliant person who invented w/m oil!
Peace and joy,

08-12-2010, 01:37 AM
I bought them in June 2010. I am a beginner. I purchased Winsor & Newton Artisan and like them very much.

Many year ago I used tradional oils. Then stopped painting to have more time for computer stuff.

So glad I have begun to paint again.

08-12-2010, 09:14 AM
...When using traditional oils, I hated having to use/dispose of turp/toxic sludge and to fill up a landfill somewhere with soooo many paper towels...

Most of that "sludge" is pigment which still should be disposed of properly, even if you used miscible oils and water.

08-12-2010, 10:25 AM
The issue of safe disposal has been discussed many, many times in this forum and at other places on WetCanvas.

I am very well aware of the need to protect the earth and of how to do so in my studio. Just because a person is happy not to mess with turps doesn't mean she is unaware of proper environmental behaviour. In my previous post, I wanted to express something of the joy and satisfaction in using water miscible oils, not get into logistical matters about my studio practices. Perhaps I misunderstood the purpose of the thread -- I believed it to be a place to discuss and celebrate our mutual enjoyment of this lovely medium.

Thanks for the reminder to vigilance, dbclemons. It is good to know that you are ready to sound the call.


08-25-2010, 04:18 PM
10+ years for me but I've only done a handful of paintings. I usually work in colored pencil.

08-28-2010, 06:31 PM
I've used water-mixable oils for over 10 years. I also use and teach other mediums in addition to wso. I started using them while our community center was being rebuilt and the gossip was that no oil paints would be allowed in the new community center. Several years after the new center was built I was able to convince the Director of that center that the wso would not be an explosion hazard and I was then allowed to teach them.

10-31-2010, 12:22 AM
10 years ago. Winsor and Newton.

This was my first work ...


11-08-2010, 02:36 PM
I bought some in 2008 off of ebay. I did a few still lifes but put them down for awhile and now I am back in the swing of things.

I have four young children and my studio is in my house so these are perfect. I'm happy I can also integrate acrylics and create mixed media pieces.

12-09-2010, 03:18 PM
I took painting in 2003 and my teacher suggested the water micsible paints then. I used the wmos for one painting, but I was mostly hooked on acrylics at that point. I spent the next 7 years getting really confident with acrylics, and now I am back to wmos.

12-22-2010, 02:11 PM
About a year and a half, first with W&N Artisan, but now moving tube by tube to Lukas Berlin.

02-06-2011, 08:32 PM
I've wanted to paint for a long time. So I bought W&N and have been using water mixable oils for a couple of years on and off. I'm very much an amatur and I'm having difficulty getting the oils to a consistency that works for me. Most of the time I paint over and over the base layer which mixes with the new paint and I see through to the canvas!

I figure if I practice enough, I'll eventually get it! I'll be very grateful if anyone has a few tips to encourage me, especially if you've used W&N. Thanks. :wave:

02-07-2011, 09:18 AM
...So I bought W&N ... I'm having difficulty getting the oils to a consistency that works for me. ...

Try another brand. Artisans are okay sometimes, but consistency is not one of their strengths. Same for Grumbacher MAX. Holbein DUOs are the best of the bunch, in my opinion. I've also just gotten a line of Talen's Cobras and they all seem to work well. Lukas Berlins are okay but I'm not as thrilled with their color selection.

06-01-2011, 01:20 AM
I've just recently started uing WMOs. A friend bought me a set of Artisan colours, but I was afraid to try them, as I am used to traditional oil paints...I just love the idea of not having to use solvents!! :D

06-01-2011, 07:16 AM
Hi livelovelaugh! Welcome to the forum! Their is a learning curve to WMOs and the Artisan may be stiffer then what you're use to. Most people who use the Artisan don't like using water with them so the Artisan thinner might be a good idea. Adding a little oil to your paint piles is a way to bring them to the consistency that you prefer. Just dive in!

06-02-2011, 01:44 PM
30+ years ago I painted with regular oil. Then I put it down and got busy building web sites.

After discovering Wet Canvas a year ago I started reading and studying and purchasing supplies, Artisan Water Mixable Oil. Now I am beginning to paint thanks to all of you. I use 50% off coupons.

I use Artisan Cad yellow pale hue (PY65 and PY3, Magenta (PR 122) and Cyan Phthalo blue (red shade) (PB 15) plus white. I love Tali's paintings..........http://talyajohnson.com

I use walnut oil for my medium and have no problem getting that stiff Artisian Cad yellow pale hue soft. dor :cat:

06-02-2011, 02:45 PM
I have been trying to get off the ground with water mixable paints for about 10 years now, and life keeps getting in the way. Dor, Talya is my favorite artist too, and has been since I joined WetCanvas in 2009. You might want to take a look at: http://www.connievanwinssen.nl
She reminds also uses the brighter colors in her paintings.

06-03-2011, 02:19 AM
:wave:Hi Dayle
Thanks for the link. Enjoyed looking and was impressed. dor