Welcome to our selection of Artist Oil Colour. We have a very extensive range of brands and we hope that this brief introduction will help you decide which one, or two, or three are the ones for you. We have arranged them in an approximate order of quality. However many are of equal standard and the difference between them may be the consistency of the paint or the range of colours that they offer.
First of all what is Oil Paint? In essence it is pigment dispersed in an oil. This is usually linseed, and added to this could be a number of other ingredients such as fillers, binders and thinners. The more expensive colours tend to contain only high quality pigments and oil. Cheap paints such as the ones you might find in a market will have inferior pigments, oil and a lot of cheap fillers. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. We do not offer the lowest grade because there is little point. If you are working to a budget or on a large scale the student quality paints we offer will certainly be adequate for your needs. The difference between the ‘artist’ quality and the ‘professional’ quality is usually down to the number of single pigment colours in the range, as well as the pigment to oil/binder ratio. Artist quality is our recommendation for beginners and serious amateurs, however many professional artists use artist quality very happily. We suggest you buy the best that you can afford as you will be rewarded by the quality.
The beauty of oil paint is in its versatility, durability, lightfastness and the rich colour that can be pushed, scraped and wiped across a huge variety of substrates. Its slow drying time allows you to re-work over days and weeks until you are happy with the results. The downside of oil colour is that it needs to be washed with detergents or thinners, however over recent years eco friendly and pleasant smelling solvents have become widely available.
‘Hue’ colours are made from synthetic pigments that are made to look just like the real thing. They may mix differently to the original pigments but will undoubtedly be cheaper.
Which white? Titanium white is the most popular white because it is reasonably opaque and inexpensive. Zinc white is a useful tinting white because it is semi transparent, Flake white is very opaque but contains lead and is mainly only used by professionals.
To accompany your selection of oil colours you may want to explore the wide variety of mediums that can thicken up, thin, turn colours into glazes, speed up drying and much more.
Water-mixable oil colours are exactly what you might think. Oil colours made with special oils that can be mixed with water and hence used at home without the strong odour of thinners and mediums. They can also be cleaned up with washing up liquid. As with traditional oils they are available in various grades although the colour ranges are not as extensive.