Sharon Teal Coray
Teaching in my Art Academy for over 30 years gave me the opportunity to see lots of different brands of oils that my students purchased. The students always wanted to know what to buy. Here is a list of the most popular oil paints of today and a little about each one.
First lets cover the student grade oils, these are less expensive because they have more filler and less pigment.
Student Grade Oils
Amsterdam Oil Colors
An economical Quality oil paint. Specifically designed for painters who use large quantities, but still attach importance to quality. All colors are made from pure pigments ground in linseed oil (or poppy oil in whites). Expensive pigments have been replaced by reliable modern substitutes. The colors possess a good to excellent degree of light fastness, marked on the tube. The range of 28 colors is consistently buttery from tube to tube, and is completely stable for permanent painting.
Blick Oil Colors
Formerly called The Art Store Oil Colors, These colors are made with quality ingredients, offering artists an oil paint with a buttery texture, strong pigmentation, and consistent performance. Use them with a palette knife or a brush. .
Daler-Rowney Georgian Oil Colors
Thomas and Richard Rowney began manufacturing artist's colors in England more than 200 years ago. Daler-Rowney's Georgian Oils have been the UK's best-selling oil colors for decades, and now they've gained a reputation around the world.
This high quality line of color is produced at a uniform and economical price. Daler-Rowney's Georgian Oils are made in the same way as Rowney's Artist Oils, to the same high standards. The main difference between them lies in the choice and strength of pigments.
Daler-Rowney Graduate Oil Colors
Graduate Oils are distinctive for their high permanence rating with a drying time that is half that of traditional oil colours. Available in twenty-four brilliant colours that dry to a low-gloss sheen, they can hold a variety of brush strokes and a large number of layers. Quicker drying time allows for more to be done to the painting and opens up new creative possibilities. All colours have been specially formulated and stability-tested to assure that wherever used in the world the colours are made to last.
Gamblin Art Sketching Oil Colors
Gamblin student-grade oils are perfect for those who desire colors with good working properties at a reasonable cost.
Made from half the colored pigments of artist grade oil colors, they’re extended with high quality colorless pigments. No chemical additives are used.
Gamblin Art Sketching Oil Colors are compatible with all oil painting mediums and other brands of student-grade oils.
Grumbacher Academy Oil Colors
Grumbacher Academy oil colors offer a quality line of paints at an affordable price. Only finely ground pigments are used in making this smooth, rich paint. Either straight from the tube or when mixed with mediums, colors remain rich and vibrant.
Maimeri Classico Oil Colors
An exquisite treat for professional or student artists!
Maimeri Classico contains no waxes or fillers and dries to a beautiful uniform rich satin glow. The finely ground, heavily loaded colors are suspended in the finest linseed oil and have a great thick body, buttery consistency and short tack for the ultimate painting experience. Whites are blended with non-yellowing safflower oil to retain their brightness.
Maimeri Italian Natural Earth Oil Colors
Maimeri’s Italian Natural Earth Oil Colors are created with pigments of antique origin that historically characterized not only the regional schools of painting throughout Italy but also the facades of palaces and monuments in Italian city centers. They encompass the colors of Roman houses, Venetian palaces, and Umbrian and Tuscan hill towns.
Even throughout the production process, the 11 natural shades in the Italian Natural Earths line retain their ancient formulation. The grain size of the dispersed pigment is larger, the paste is denser, the appearance is more opaque due to a different light refraction, the tone is more natural, and the applied paint coat is thicker than traditional oil paints.
Despite the fact that the pigment grain size and milling process are different from that used to make other oil colors, Italian Natural Earths can be mixed with these oil colors, and confer to the paste a denser and more material aspect. Slight variances in the product are a guarantee of the authenticity and natural origin of the colors, which do not contain additional colorants.
Pebeo XL Studio Oil Colors
Decidedly modern, XL Studio Oil Color from Pebeo has been developed to fulfill the needs of contemporary expression.
These colors mix easily and quickly, and their fast drying time allows artists to add new coats after only three days, perfect for glazes and impastos. They're also great for acrylic artists who want to try oil paints without the odor.
The Pebeo XL palette includes both modern and classic fine art colors.
Reeves Oil Colors
The popularity of Reeves Oil Colors can be attributed to their extraordinary versatility. Great for students and beginning artists, they offer high quality and a value price.
Reeves Oil Colors are excellent for traditional painting techniques such as blending, glazing, and scumbling. Strong and vibrant with a thick consistency, their long open time permits colors to be blended over extended periods of time.
Sennelier Etude Art Student Oil Colors
Sennelier Etude Art Student Oil Colours are traditionally crafted with the same attention to quality that has made Sennelier Artists' Quality Oil Colours the premier name in fine art oils. The vibrant and intense colours of this range feature excellent stability in colour mixing and lightfastness.
The buttery texture allows smooth brushwork in thick applications or glazing. A comprehensive 36 colour range features a traditional palette of established colours, perfect for artists of any ability. Three accurate primaries are optimized for colour mixing, enabling the artist to create a vast palette of colours.
Etude's very affordable price allows students and beginners to experience the renowned Sennelier quality that has made it the standard for over a century. For professional artists, the large 200ml tubes are the perfect combination of price and quality, especially when working in large format or thick application. Price per tube.
Van Gogh Oil Colors
Van Gogh Oil Colors have been developed for artists who are searching for quality and exceptional value.
These pure-pigment paints are particularly easy to mix and work with because all colors in the range have virtually the same degree of gloss and viscosity, and require about the same amount of time to dry. With good to excellent lightfastness, the colors remain powerful and brilliant over time.
Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colors
The Winton range of oils provides the highest quality colors at an affordable price. These colors have a high level of pigmentation, providing great covering power, and are stronger than many artists’ quality ranges. They also have a uniform consistency that retains brush and knife stroke textures.
Professional Grade Oils
Blick Artists' Oil Color
Every rich, vivid color is formulated using the finest genuine hand-ground pigments, combined with pure, first-press, non-yellowing safflower oil.* Thirty of the 60 colors in the line are made from a single pigment.
Qualities of these extremely responsive oil paints include a high pigment load, a dense, buttery feel, and a luminous satin finish. They’re an exceptional value for artists of all levels, particularly for single-pigment colors
Blockx Artist Oil Colors
Blockx Extra Fine Oil Colors In 1865 a Belgian chemist named Jacques Blockx embarked on the manufacture of what has become the artists oil color range by which all others are judged; artists oils that to this day more than meet the standards of the worlds most demanding oil painters. Four generations of the Blockx family have continued the tradition of uncompromising qualities laid down by the firms founder. Salvador Dali Rene Magritte and Paul Signac are a few of the many noted artists who have painted with Blockx colors. Blockx oil colors are made from the finest most select oils and pigments. Fillers extenders and driers are never used in Blockx formulations while pigment concentrations are taken as far as possible. Blockx oil colors are slowly ground on old fashioned stone mills to prevent pigment burning and to achieve the soft buttery consistency for which Blockx is so famous. All colors are available in 35ml tubes whites are available in several sizes. In 1865 Jacques Blockx perfected his formulation of dissolved Amber. Dissolved Amber was used by the "Flemish Masters" whose technical superiority is acknowledged in most art galleries. Many modern artists most notably Salvador Dali used amber as a medium with his oils and as a final varnish in his paintings. As a medium amber adds depth to paintings. As a varnish amber provides a tough elastic top coat that actually penetrates and becomes part of the paint film.
Bob Ross Floral Soft Oil Colors
Bob Ross Soft Oil Colors are luscious, pigment-rich colors picked from nature's gardens. They have a luxurious soft smooth flowing consistency and are perfect in tone and texture for floral painting. Ultimately blendable, they can combine to create unlimited hues of unimaginable beauty. Each tube supplies pigment contents and lightfastness/opacity ratings
Bob Ross Landscape Oil Paint
Bob Ross' 14 landscape oil paint colors are specially formulated to a stiff but smooth consistency, necessary for the Joy Of Painting wet on wet technique. Background colors are heartier in body than the lighter highlight colors. These pigment rich colors yield an endless number of natural color combinations.
Bob Ross Wildlife Soft Oil Colors
These richly pigmented colors have a luxurious soft and smooth flowing consistency perfect in tone and texture for wildlife painting. Like the other Bob Ross Oil Colors, Bob Ross Wildlife Soft Oil Colors are non-toxic and can be combined.
Chroma Archival Oil Colors
The benefits of Archival are so unique that its formulation is patented. It is the only flexible oil paint in the world and offers unsurpassed freedom of technique, fast drying time, paintings that will not crack with age and a safe working environment.
Archival Oils are produced from the finest colour pigments, chosen for their purity, brilliance and performance. 75 colours are available in 40ml 1.3 US fl oz tubes, 120ml 4 US fl oz tubes (Series 1 only) and selected colours in 300ml 10.1 US fl oz cartridges.
Da Vinci Artists' Oil Colors
This company has been formulating reliable artists' colors since its beginning. With over 70 years experience, dating back to northern Italy, it was the first manufacturer to give artists a complete line of highly lightfast colors.
Today, as it operates from California, Da Vinci continues to be the only company formulating all colors exclusively with ASTM permanent pigments approved for artists' quality. Selecting and using the highest quality ingredients, and producing artists' colors of high-tinting strength and excellent quality, are daily standards at the Da Vinci Paint factory.
Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors Gamblin oil colors are luscious, intense, pigment-rich colors. Colors that do not succumb to age. Colors true to historic working properties, in a palette carefully constructed by America's premier colorman.
Rather than copy any other style of paintmaking, Robert Gamblin developed his own. Made from the finest quality raw materials, Gamblin's oil paints invite artists to enjoy each color's unique tinting strength, transparency and texture.
Grumbacher Pre-Tested Artists' Oil Colors
Proudly made in America using only the highest quality ingredients and a closely monitored manufacturing process that tests the paint throughout production, Grumbacher Pre-Tested Oil Colors have been a favorite of artists for decades. Made from highly lightfast pigments milled in alkali-refined linseed oil, Pre-Tested oils are smooth, brilliant, and permanent.
Holbein Artists' Oil Colors
Holbein ranks as one of the world's finest lines of professional oil colors. The formulation of each color is modified individually to compensate for the inherent differences in the working characteristics of pigments. The result is an even consistency across the entire palette of color.
Holbein maintains its quality standards by test inspection of pigment purity, color tone, applicability and adhesion, physical stability, light stability, thermo-stability, and anti-bacterial stability. Pigments are ground from three to five times as necessary to achieve a universally consistent viscosity. The manufacturing process in each of the preparation, mixing, grinding, adjustment, and filling stages is monitored by reference to optimum quality standards.
John Howard Sanden Pro-Mix Portrait Artists' Oil Colors
Formulated by John Howard Sanden and used nationwide for over a quarter of a century by leading professionals, the Pro Mix Color System colors are a professional, highest quality product for fast, accurate portrait color mixing. The system consists of ten specially formulated colors, thirteen standard palette colors, and white. The ten Flesh Color Spectrum colors are used in combination with the traditional palette of standard colors to produce a wide range of clean, exact, flesh tones.
Lefranc & Bourgeois Artists' Oils
The skill of the Old Masters meets modern research in this premium line of oils, designed to exceed the demands of artists today and tomorrow.
Lefranc's Artist Oils use a distinctive Mediterranean palette and exclusive colors, 91% of which contain just one or two pigments, guaranteed to be wax-free.
Each color has a creamy, even consistency, with outstanding lightfastness and outstanding tinting strength, striking the perfect balance between opacity and transparency. The colors have perfect mixability, and even drying times.
M. Graham Artists' Oil Colors
Artist and master paintmaker Art Graham put years of experience at other companies behind him and started his own business based on his own vision and values. The result is a paint, manufactured without fillers or additives, that goes back to some of oil painting's finest traditions.
Graham creates fine artist oils in small batches, using his knowledge to bring out the finest color from each pigment! Each color is rich and saturated, with the highest possible mass tone and tinting strength. Most colors are based on a single pigment.
Maimeri Mediterranean Oil Colors
"Nature is extraordinarily beautiful here," wrote Vincent van Gogh of his time spent on the Mediterranean coast.
This simple range of 11 fundamental hues is formulated to reflect the unique warmth, light, and color of a region that for centuries lay at the very center of the known world and united different continents and cultures.
Maimeri Mediterranean Oil Colors are coarse-ground and highly pigmented to provide a unique, dense texture that retains the ego of the brushstroke. The colors are ideally suited to plein air painting and work in perfect harmony with Maimeri Italian Natural Earth Oil Colors, which are recommended for underpainting to enhance the beauty of the finished work.
Old Holland Classic Oil Colors
These colors are made in the oldest artist's paint factory in the world! Established in 1664, Old Holland Classic Oil Colors have been used by Van Gogh, Vermeer, Van Ruysdael and other Dutch masters. All colors are completely lightfast except Madder Lakes and Cremnitz White which are nearly lightfast. All colors are manufactured using stone rollers that won't change the color of the paints (metal will oxidize Cadmium colors). Only pure cold-pressed linseed oil is mixed into the pigment.
All colors are free of cheap fillers and artificial driers. Therefore all colors have the highest possible concentration of pigments providing great covering power, strength of color and color intensity. These colors are extremely concentrated and may be blended to a huge variety of shades. Although they are expensive at first glance, these colors are an excellent value when comparing the amount of pigment that you are buying. Due to their high pigment concentration these colors will go farther than other oil colors when you're covering your canvas due to their opacity or when mixing with white or gels to obtain a desired shade. They are one of the world's finest and available in an incredible array of 162 colors.
Pebeo Fragonard Artist's Oil Colors
Milled with the utmost care, Fragonard professional oils specifically utilize mono-pigments, a single pigment per color, wherever possible. This allows the artist the widest range of color mixing potential, retaining hue purity and intensity.
Rembrandt Artists' Oil Colors
Rembrandt Oil is the choice of professionals because it is a name that stands for premium quality and reliable oil paint This is because only the finest raw materials and the most advanced production methods are used for each and every line of Rembrandt art supplies. The Rembrandt Oil color range includes 120 paint colors with an even balance across the color spectrum and a good assortment of opaque and transparent colors throughout the line. Rembrandt Oil paints. also includes a large number of specialty items that are not available with other artist oil paint lines such as: pearl white, real cadmium and cobalt colors, ultramarine green and extremely lightfast permanent yellows and reds. Artists also choose Rembrandt because of its exclusive combination of features like the unmatched brilliance, maximum color durability and the highest degree of Lightfastness. Don’t miss out on what so many artists have come to rely upon for years. Add Rembrandt Oils to your collection of oil painting supplies
Schmincke Mussini Oil Colors
Schmincke has been producing artists' colors since 1881. Mussini resin-oil colors are truly the pinnacle of their paint making experience. Mussini offers brilliance and purity with the highest lightfastness.
Schmincke oils are stored for three months before the tubes are filled. This allows each pigment's oil absorption rate (the amount of oil needed to bind the pigment) to be optimized. Varying amounts of damar resin are then added to ensure that all colors dry at the same time. This guarantees tension-free and durable color layers.
Mussini offers an Old Masters palette that dates back over 100 years: an extensive range of transparent and semi-transparent glaze pigments. Schmincke Mussini Oil Colors are available in 1.2 oz (35 ml) tubes.
Sennelier Artists' Extra Fine Oil Paint
Sennelier Artists' Extra Fine Oil Paint's classic oil color palette has expanded to include 50 new, original shades that encompass contemporary trends and tastes. These new paints are produced using the same time-honored, exacting methods that have been used to create Sennelier oils for over one hundred years. Dense yet buttery, Sennelier oils are more highly pigmented and firmer than ever. The slightly heavier body retains its unique creaminess, while offering greater versatility. Sennelier oils continue to be made with the finest pure pigments and no fillers. The entire range of 144 colors is made with non-yellowing safflower oil, which provides the creamy texture and dries with an attractive satin finish.
Shiva Signature Artist Oil Colors
Shiva Signature Oil Colors, manufactured since 1929, have gained a reputation for being a fine-quality paint with a friendly price tag.
Each pure Shiva pigment is ground to its own correct degree of fineness and formulated individually under exacting laboratory controls. Signature Oils are guaranteed to be absolutely permanent, and free from darkening, yellowing, fading, and cracking. A free color chart is available upon request.
Weber Permalba Artists Oil Colors
These professional oil colors are formulated from refined linseed oil, safflower oils, and highly concentrated, lightfast pigments. Colors are creamy, smooth, and consistent.
Permalba White with FREE Turpenoid Gel — This 150 ml Permalba White comes with a FREE 37 ml Turpenoid Gel. Turpenoid Gel is a fast-drying medium that increases the transparency of oil colors and can create an impasto effect. Clear, semi-soft, smooth, and extremely flexible, it holds brush strokes and dries to a matte finish.
Permalba White — Since 1921, artists have relied on original Permalba White for superior quality and permanence. An exclusive blend of Titanium White and other pigments prepared by a special process, Permalba White is the result of extensive laboratory testing and practical experimentation. Lead-free, acid-resistant, and alkali-resistant, this highly ranked, highly opaque paint has great covering power. Permalba White yields tints of true color value and brilliance that won't yellow over time, and its smooth, buttery consistency dries to a non-cracking, elastic film. Painting mediums won't affect its integrity.
Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colors
Premium grade paints – include all the best paints with the best pigments, the best production oversight, the best tubes, the best – best! These paints have the highest pigment load, the best opacity, the cleanest transparencies, even when diluted with mediums. These are usually the most expensive, but you get more for your money in most cases. Consistency of the paint is another area where the premium paints shine – they spread well from the tube, or they are so laden with pigment that slight additional oil might be desired to blend to suit the artist.
Here are list of premium grade paints some are hand made.
Blue Ridge Oil Colors were created out of an extreme desire to create the best possible oil colors, with a traditional American approach to high quality craftsmanship. Each Blue Ridge oil color is hand crafted from the finest pigments available, in a refined walnut and linseed oil blend. Strict attention is paid to all facets of production to create an oil color, with an optimum pigment load, and a luxurious feel under the brush straight from the tube. Try Blue Ridge, and you will soon see why artists who use Blue Ridge oils become completely addicted to what they feel are some of the finest artist oil colors in the world.
A unique line of paint that is made from only the purest material, that includes pigments that are imported from dozens of countries. Each color is then ground to enhance the beauty and luminosity specific to the particular pigment. Pigments are ground in pure, premium, alkali-free and pH balanced linseed oil and made in batches no larger than 5 gallons at a time. Williamsburg Oils are made in a small factory with extreme quality control where all the materials are hand-measured and every ounce of paint is scrutinized.
Oil and pure pigment, nothing else.
The product of a dream and outstanding technical achievement, the colors in Maimeri’s Puro line are the most advanced and yet the most traditional of oil colors.
Restoring the outstanding simplicity and quality of original oil colors to paint formulas: that was the dream of painter and paint manufacturer Gianni Maimeri, though his dream would not take concrete form as paste in a tube until three generations later.
By striving for simplicity and purity, and employing years of technical expertise, Maimeri’s company came up with formulas for the 80 colors in the Puro range one by one. Using the best-quality non-yellowing safflower-poppy seed oils and stable pigments that require no additives to produce a perfect impasto, Puro combines top quality, the perfect manufacturing process, and the correct balance between pigment and binder.
Squeeze a tube of Maimeri Puro, and you’re squeezing the very idea of oil colors
My paints are made by hand, using techniques which date back to the days of the Old Masters. There is a very simple reason for this painstaking process. As an artist and painter I wanted to create colours that were true and vibrant, and paint which was beautiful and durable.
The greater the pigment content of a paint the greater the resistance it has to fading. Nearly all manufacturers use various fillers to extend the volume of the oil paint. It may increase profits but it compromises on quality. I totally refuse to do this. Why make something exceptional and then dilute it?
I will not claim that my paints will turn you into a great painter, but I can promise they will have a profound effect on your work. Your colours will be stronger and richer, and you will find the texture of the paint incomparable. You will love working with them.
MUSSINI® - finest artists' resin-oil-colours from Schmincke, are unique artists' colours produced by means of a particularly sophisticated manufacturing process to meet the very highest requirements. It goes without saying that they contain only the best traditional artists' pigments together with several outstanding newly developed artists' pigments, each in the highest possible concentrations and in pure form.
This results in artists' colours of the utmost brilliance and purity, which also mix more readily than premixed colour tones based on a limited selection of pigments. Schmincke employs more than 250 different artists' pigments, almost 100 of which are contained in the MUSSINI® range.
The old masters of past centuries had to make do with a very limited range of good pigments. They would have been delighted at some of the many new artists' pigments which have now been developed, such as bismuth vanadate, spinel pigments, rutile pigments, diketo pyrrolo-pyrrole and perylene. They add particularly lightfast nuances to the professional spectrum available to today's artists.
Thanks to the particularly extensive range of glaze pigments, their fine processing and the specially adapted formulations, MUSSINI® provides for fine glaze colouring with outstanding brilliance, luminosity and light depth.
Five generations of chemists in the Blockx family have been working since 1865 to perfect the Blockx Oil Colors. Today, Jacques Blockx IV and his daughter Catherine Blockx (Generation V) carry on this great tradition. Their workshop in Belgium resembles a winemaker's chateau more than a modern industrial factory. Together, they produce color in the tradition of the Flemish masters.
In the Blockx tradition, paint is still handground using a slowly rotating three roll stone mill. Only pure pigment is used. All colors have a minimum lightfastness rating of 7 out of 8 on the blue wool scale, so the entire line can be considered perfectly lightfast.
Iron oxides, earth pigments, and blacks are ground with linseed oil. All other pigments are ground with poppyseed oil, which prevents yellowing and dries without wrinkling or mottling. Each pigment is used at its best saturation, and no additives or fillers are used, whatsoever.
Established in 1664, Old Holland is the world's oldest paint factory. Now considered by many the gourmet of oil paints, Old Holland served such great Dutch painters as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Skilled craftsmen have kept up with the latest in pigment and medium technology but still do many of their colors by hand, like they've done for hundreds of years. The superb intensity of these colors provide great covering power. They contain no fillers or waxes and only lightfast pigments are used. The ultimate in color range and performance!
Professional Grade- Formulated with only the finest of pigment and float, this grade of paint will go through a creation process unique to each color.
Higher pigment load allows for the professional to manipulate to desired consistencies with use of mediums.
Concentration of pigment insures a greater light-fastness.