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Old 04-04-2002, 07:44 PM
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Sadgylee Sadgylee is offline
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Brands Of Oil Paint?

I am currantly using Winsor & Newton Artisan water soluable oils.
I am not that happy with them. I want to go back to the regular
oils. Could you tell me what brand you think is best? What you use?? I don't want to get studio oils, yet I don't need the most expensive either . Your help will be appreciated. I have a
Dick Blick sales catalog and would like to place an order..but
there are sooooo many to choose from? HELP!!! LOL
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Old 04-04-2002, 10:11 PM
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Todd March Todd March is offline
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Hi SadgyLee,

I too am researching which brands of oils to work with (my background is in watercolors, pastels and egg tempera), and found many interesting previous threads around here at WC which can tell you what many of the knowlegable WC oil forum regulars think of many brands of oil paints...

The search feature (button) at the top right hand side of this very page you are reading now will take you to the WC search page; I did searches on indvidual brands and also generic searches such as "brands of oils". I would also recommend refining your search to only the oil painting forum, or the oil forum hall of fame...

Be prepared for a deluge of information though! I spent almost 5 hours (!) reading through and getting everyone's opinions... Extremely helpful information that I am so thankful for...

In a nutshell, it seems that Old Holland and Blockx and Schmincke Mussini have the best reps among the mast produced oils, as well as the highest prices (which makes sense as they also seem to have the highest pigment concentrations)... I also got the impression that Rembrandt users seemed pleased as well, and this is a much more resonably priced line. What surprised me was the low opinion overall of Winsor and Newton (a brand from my watercolor days that always seemed higher end);and the total lack of anybody's opinions of Sennelier--a line I am very attracted to because of their classic pigment choices (ie, "Vermilion, in either Chinese or French"--classic pigments that have been around for centuries... I would like to know what the heck are Old Holland's "Cadmium Red, vermilioned", or "Scheveningen Blue"...?!!?)

There were also some great new and unexpected ideas to come along in my WC oil paint research as well, such as hand made paints by Robert Doak and Sarkana Paints, both in Brooklyn, NY (I recommend paying close attention to any posts you read by Sarkana, she has some very interesting things to say that really ring true...).

Another thing I learned from my research here at WC is to ask what I am looking for and need in oil paint? I think good coverage (a heavy pigment load) is my prime concern, so I am heavily leaning toward Old Holland to start, and am very interested in Sarkana and Doak as well (I mean does it get anymore romantic than to paint with hand made oil paint from Brooklyn?!)...

Good luck in your research...


Best--

Todd
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Old 04-04-2002, 10:53 PM
walden walden is offline
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There's been a long-running thread on the improved quality of W&N's Winton line, which I use. I'm a big fan-- I get a lot of paint at a reasonable price, and as I avoid all hues, the pigments are the same as more expensive lines.
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Old 04-05-2002, 12:10 AM
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Sadgylee Sadgylee is offline
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Hi Todd, Thanks for your excellent information. WOW, you did some heavy research. I don't think I have the patience for that much searching.

If you are going from Watercolor to Oils, I have heard Old Holland
has excellent pigment, but it's harder to paint with *thicker* than other brands. I am not sure this is correct or not. You might want to ask someone that uses Old Holland.

I don't like the thicker paints. That's what I have now. Many, many years ago I used Grumbachers and it was smooth and creamy as butter. I have read almost all the ads for different kinds of oils and they all CLAIM to be smooth and creamy but we
know that not all of them are. That's why I wanted other's opinions of what they like. I like what you said about Rembrandt Oils. I will check this brand out...Many thanks for all your help

Good Luck to you, too
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Old 04-05-2002, 12:16 AM
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Hi Walden, thanks for letting me know what you use and that you like it. I have seen that thread about the better quality of W&N's
oils. Another one to think about.

Thanks
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Old 04-05-2002, 01:22 AM
DaveTooner DaveTooner is offline
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I would reccommend Lukas Sorte 1 oils. This is what I use, and I have no complaints about them. You can read about/order them here:

www.jerryscatalog.com
www.lukasamerica.com

They're actually on sale for the month of april at www.jerryssale.com
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Old 04-05-2002, 01:47 AM
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Hi Dave, thanks for posting. I am not familiar with that brand .
Thanks for your information and for the url that has those paints on sale. I will take a look!

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Old 04-05-2002, 02:01 AM
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Dave, I just checked that site out and they have all the oils mentioned on here on Sale! * Good Prices* WOW. Thanks for that! I am tempted to try a few tubes of each so I can decide which I really like best
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Old 04-05-2002, 07:26 PM
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Luis Guerreiro Luis Guerreiro is offline
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PERSONAL CHOICE

Hi,
Oil Paint brands is a matter of personal choice, more than enything else. So I leave here my own.
I use:
1. WINTON (Winsor & Newton)
2. Artists (Winsor & Newton)
3. Old Holland Classic Oil Colours (Old Holland)

I use the "professional artists" ranges (2 and 3) for the topmost layers and WINTON for building-up.

A lot of artists in London do the same. It saves you money. Unless you get a commissioned picture and the buyer is happy to pay the odds for it (in which case use only Artists ranges), give yourself the benefit of some economy. I have subscribed the idea of considering WINTON more of a mid-range rather than a student grade brand, because it has been designed for not only students, but also and more importantly artists who need large quantities of oil paint at a reasonable cost.
Please keep in mind that the classification of oil paint is students, mid-range and professional artists is highly subjective. In the thread about WINTON I give some examples by comparing WINTON with others, so I will give only one example on this thread:
LUKAS STUDIO and SCHMINKE NORMA PROFESSIONAL are often if not always classified as a mid-range and professional range respectively. I have used both and I find WINTON from Winsor & Newton superior, stronger and altogether a better "all-round" brand than any of the other two. Why WINTON tends to be classified just as "students" grade seems completely absurd in this context, I think.
Regards
Luis
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Old 04-05-2002, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for this thread Sadgylee.
I'm hoping to start oils soon, but have decided that I'll have to make do with the water-soluble type ( odour/mess etc ).
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Old 04-05-2002, 08:40 PM
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Geoff, I used water-soluble oils for a while-- a mixture of brands. To start with, I bought the absolute cheapest student grade (around here that was Grumbacher MAX 2 (that's not their regular MAX), and found them very sticky and difficult to work with, and colors not so great (lots of hues, rather than the regular pigment). I've also used some W&N Artisan and found them to be much better quality.

But, it is quite possible to use regular oils without solvents or strong chemicals, if you're willing to give up washes and paint alla prima. I did that for a while, and I'm going back to it because the chemicals are giving me sinus headaches (even though I don't use much.) Brushes can be washed in dishwashing soap or brush soap, and straight linseed oil can be used as a medium. It does require a lot of brushes, though-- although I suppose one could wash and then blow-dry them.
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Old 04-06-2002, 12:51 AM
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Hi Luis,

You have given us a lot of good information about the Winsor & Newton paints. I appreciate that. It's good to know that you can use the Winton alone or as as foundation layers.

Dick Blick has the Winton on sale now but some of them say Hues.

I am getting confused trying to compare the different brands and
sales. LOL They don't all have the same name. They have different sized tubes. One *Sennelier* has 34 ml to a tube, most have 37 ml and some have 40 ml. All these factors have to be figured in and that's not an easy thing for me. I will have to say that I am usually pretty lucky though to get in on good sales and good products.

Thanks so much for your information and for posting
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Last edited by Sadgylee : 04-06-2002 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 04-06-2002, 12:58 AM
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Geoff, if you haven't used oils before you might be happy with
the water soluables. Many years ago, I used some smooth and creamy oils. What a difference in color and smoothness. I can't forget that, therefore I want to return to that type of oils.

Good Luck with the water soluables, hope you enjoy them.. many people do!
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Last edited by Sadgylee : 04-06-2002 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 04-06-2002, 01:05 AM
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Hi Lisa, thanks for posting
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Old 04-06-2002, 01:21 AM
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Einion Einion is offline
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Sadgylee since you're looking for a given consistency above other attributes it would be worth trying a few different brands for yourself, see which feels best to you. It's always a good idea to try a few brands anyway before settling on one as a primary or sole choice. In case you weren't aware some brands are made to be almost identical in handling from colour to colour while others reflect the natural tendencies of a given pigment (the better option for a number of reasons) to one extent or another, so while one colour may be smooth and buttery another may be slightly gritty, another a little stiffer etc.


Todd, if one relied only on the opinions expressed in a forum such as this one would get a very skewed perspective on the paints of choice as such a small proportion of members actually post (regrettably). One of the best examples is all the negative opinions expressed here about Gamblin (student paint etc.) yet William Whitaker uses some and quite apart from being a superb artist, he's also no slouch with regard to thought about his materials.

Bottom line for me is this, take opinions with a pinch of salt unless they are at least based on something meaningful such as a like-for-like comparison (like Luis's above); most people who have used a single brand for years have nothing to compare with so really have nothing meaningful to contribute to a discussion of this nature other than "me like"! A good illustration of this point would be a comment like this "I for one have been using OH for longer than I can remember" right, so how do you know it's better than anything else? If one is relying on memory the paints of today can bear little or no resemblance to those of two decades ago (every brand I know has been revised at least once in that time). Besides, can anyone really remember exactly what anything was like that long ago? I used a brand of acrylics in the early 80s that I wouldn't touch today if they were the same as they were then (they're not) but apart from this the only significant things I remember about them are the complaints I had with a few of the colours (Burnt Sienna being gritty for example) I don't really recall any of their good qualities.

No need to mention my cautions about Old Holland I'm sure but a couple of points:
Blockx, although their pigment selection was updated of late to a much higher standard than previously, all their colours are bound in poppy oil which is considered by many to be one of the poorest choices for a drying oil (slow drier, prone to wrinkling) so you might want to read up on that issue before using them.
Schmincke Mussini are not oils - they are oil-resin paints. This might seem like an irrelevant distinction but there are many technical reasons why this is a questionable idea. They also use walnut and poppy oils as binders which have their detractors so again worth looking into if you want to use them and you have any longevity concerns.
As regard Sennelier, although they don't have nearly so many convenience mixtures some of my reservations about them would be similar to those for OH, their watercolours have what could only charitably be called a mixed reputation (one range reflects on another range in very significant ways no matter what some people would like to think) and a friend who has a few of their oils says they are remarkable only for their (high) price! One really has to wonder if any paint can possibly be worth six times the price of another with the same pigment!!!! BTW why would you want a choice of Vermilions when either is less reliable than other pigments and soooo toxic to boot?

P.S. "Cadmium Red, vermilioned", or "Scheveningen Blue" are not the worst names, believe me!

To rehabilitate Winsor & Newton somewhat, it's not for nothing that theirs is the best-selling paint in the world: they are one of the most highly regarded makers and have been at the forefront of permanence research for generations. They have arguably the best reputation for pigment selection (many being the best example of a given colour available) and they were also one of the earliest, possibly the very first, manufacturer to demystify paint by publishing compositions - in 1892!! That said I wouldn't choose them blindly over other brands for every colour, apart from still supplying some fugitive colours (3 out of 114 ain't bad though) I would prefer to pick and choose colours based on personal preference for hue and handling. FWIW I've been making a point of finding out the brand of choice among artists whose work I admire for a while now and there are quite a number of oil painters who favour W&N over other brands, using it exclusively or more than any other, especially surprising when they also use other "better" brands. One thing that I found especially surprising was one or two comments that went something like "I'll buy X or Y brand, depending on which is in the store" - apparently making no distinction between them for the same colour, all the more surprising considering the polar opinions of others about the two brands in question.

Einion
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