The Jackson’s Professional Oil Paint range is expanding with five versatile new colours: Bright Green Lake, Warm White, Cobalt Teal, Scarlet Lake and Neutral Grey. I was excited to test them out, and look a little closer at their ingredients, application, and mixing properties.
The Jackson’s Professional Oil Paint Range Qualities
The Jackson’s Professional Oil Paint range is made with the finest pigments, bound with high quality refined linseed oil, and ground in specialist mills. Before packaging, these paints are also batch tested for consistency, so you are guaranteed to receive the highest quality paints. In cheaper oil paints, the pigment concentration can be as little as 23%, with the rest made up of filler and additional chemicals. Jackson’s sets itself apart by being 75% pigment, 23% linseed oil, and 2% Magnesium Stearate (which ensures the pigment stays evenly distributed).
None of the colours contain drying modifiers, which some companies add to even out the drying times of different paints. This means there is some variation in drying time with the Jackson’s Professional Oil Paints. From these new paints I found the Bright Green Lake to take the longest to dry.
I tested all of my swatches on the Jackson’s Oil Paper Block 8 x 10 in.
Price and Volume
In terms of volume the paints are available in 40 ml and 225 ml tubes, and are hand filled. This eradicates the issue of air pockets that cheaper machine made paints have, so you are getting the full value of the tube size. The pigments contained in the paints are printed in circles on the front of the tubes, making this information very easy to read, unlike most brands where it’s hidden on the back.
The higher series colours are at a slightly higher price point than a cheaper mass produced paint brand, but this is due to all of the quality materials and processes I have described. Compared with equivalent quality level brands they are very good value, for instance the Jackson’s Cobalt Teal is £24.00, whilst Michael Harding is £31.00, and Langridge is £53.00 for the same 40 ml volume. I’ll detail the individual prices for each of the new colours ahead.
Bright Green Lake
The new Bright Green Lake is an eye-catching acidic, yellow green. Think freshly cut spring grass and green apples. It contains the pigments PY3 (Hansa Yellow Light), PG7 (Cu-Phthalo Green), and PY73 (Arylide Yellow), and is transparent. It’s almost a warm fluorescent green in appearance, but when thinned with solvent its yellow core is revealed. This makes it very versatile, and in my following samples you’ll see it even produced some lovely oranges when mixed with the Scarlet Lake.
Since this colour is the only transparent one of these new additions to the range, I thought it would be apt to test it as a glaze on top of one of the others. Here I have done a glaze with the Bright Green Lake on top of a dried down Neutral Grey underpainting:
Warm White is a neutral creamy white, with a hint of yellow pigment providing its warm effect. As an artist’s colour it was created simply for those wishing to replicate warm lighting in their works. For example this would apply to painting the effect of a yellow light bulb glowing on the face of a portrait sitter, or how sunset may colour a building. It contains the pigments PW6 (Titanium White) , PW4 (Zinc White) and PY42 (Transparent Oxide Yellow), and is opaque.
Warm White subtly adds heat to your whole palette if used consistently in one painting. In my mixing test sheets, I have a few rows of tinting the four other new colours with the warm white, and this effect is evident.
Cobalt Teal is a stunning colour, bright like the Mediterranean Sea. It’s my favourite paint from the new five, and would be a real stand out in any painters kit, regardless of subject matter. It’s a single pigment colour – PG50 (Cobalt Green Light) and is opaque.
As a pigment in artworks, it was first used in the 18th Century, made from a byproduct of the production of Cobalt Blue pigment. It was used for centuries as a staple in glassmaking, ceramics, and enamelling. Cobalt Teal was eventually used in oil paints for the first time in the 19th Century, and quickly became a favourite of the Impressionists who saw its vitality as a breath of fresh air from the traditional blues and greens of the time. I think this still rings true, with its particular crisp inimitable colour.
The new Scarlet Lake is a vibrant blood red, leaning on the orange side. It contains the single pigment PR170 (Naphthol Red), and is opaque.
Scarlet Lake is a contemporary solution to a historic problem, made to replace its unreliable predecessor, Red Lake. Since Red Lake pigment was a natural dye made from insects, it was fugitive, meaning over time and exposure to light the bright red would fade away. It was commonly used in painting luxurious fabrics in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and later as a glaze to heat up paintings. It was finally effectively replaced by Scarlet Lake, which is lightfast, so will always retain its brilliance.
Having a Neutral Grey in your kit is an underrated asset. Although not the most exciting colour to look at on the palette, a good neutral grey is indispensable when colours need to be knocked back or muted. It also makes for a perfect grisaille underpainting, which I tested earlier in the article under the Bright Green Lake.
The Jackson’s Professional Oil Neutral Grey contains the pigments PBr7 (Brown Iron Dioxide), PBk9 (Ivory Black) and PW6 (Titanium White) and is opaque. It is a true neutral grey, with the coolness of the Black and White balancing the warmth of the Brown Iron Dioxide.
Colour Mixing Tests
For my review I also tested many of the possible combinations between these 5 new colours, and together they made a very interesting palette. Here are some images of these sheets to demonstrate the potential they have as additions to your current kit.
The five new colours in the Jackson’s Professional Oil Paint Range are great additions to the existing collection, from timeless painter’s essentials to punchy fresh colours. All of the paints were lovely to handle, mix and experiment with. I would recommend them to all oil painters, especially those looking for professional artist grade paints for a reasonable price point.