Oil Paint and Brand Reviews

I have used a wide variety of paint. I thought it might be useful to share my thoughts on different oil paint brands comparatively, and what I have come to value having experience with so many different brands (and price points).

There are three main levels to the manufacture of oil paint for artistic use. At the base level is raw pigment suppliers. Most raw pigments nowadays come from commercial suppliers who sell to many different types of industries. Most pigments in artists’ paint are therefore not particularly special unto themselves, but there are few which are very special indeed. The second (and perhaps most important) level is the artist holbein oil paint review manufacturer. These run the range from tiny companies of (sometime lone) colourmen to industrial scale automated complexes, and the quality and qualities of paint can vary widely. It can be confusing. The best artist paint manufacturers source quality pigments and mill them consistently and to the highest pigment load possible. Certainly each brand and paint line has it’s own characteristics (such as oil used or paint consistency), which is based on the manufacturer’s philosophy, taste, and price point target. Some paint manufacturers also make their own raw pigments – Michael Harding makes Cremnitz white pigment in-house, for example. The last level is the artist. Though no longer common, some artist still make their own paint because they want to control quality, create a particular colour mix, or are simply interested in the process.

I believe the quality/qualities of the paint an artist uses should depend on what it’s being use it for. For example, if you are toning a gessoed canvas with extremely thinned out mars red or earth green or something, it’s just a well to use cheap paint. Further, it really isn’t necessary to buy more economically produced pigments (Burnt Umber for example) in premium brands. With colours like these, the pigment load is less important than the preferred consistency of paint – a bit over-oiled might actually be preferable! Lastly, with some experience, I think it is very important to use good or even very expensive paint when required. The cost may be high, but the rewards are great. For a common example, cadmium red hue is worthless to most serious artists – you simply have to spend the money on the real thing. A proper Cremnitz white truly acts differently than Flake or Lead white, and a real Naples Yellow (also with lead in it) is a different colour than most manufacturers Naples Yellow, which are either single pigment approximation (like one that Williamsburg offers) or a hue (like everything else it seems). Consequent to this viewpoint, I use paints which sometimes have a massive price point difference side by side.