Understanding Quality in Artist Oil Paint Brands

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Understanding Quality in Artist Oil Paint Brands

When it comes to the question of quality in artist oil paint brands, it all comes down to one issue: Purity of Pigment.

Have you ever wondered why some artist oil paint brands are so expensive?

Have you used inexpensive artist oil paint brands and been disappointed with the results?

Have you ever wondered what is the main difference between the high quality expensive artist oil paint brands and the low quality cheaper brands?

These are excellent questions. And knowing the right answers can put you on track to using artist oil paint brands successfully.

Just to let you know, all of the product links in this article are Amazon affiliate links. That means I get a small commission if you buy anything from Amazon, but it doesn’t cost you any extra. Don’t worry, I’m always honest, open, impartial with my reviews – I only recommend the good stuff – but this affiliate income helps keep the site running.

Purity of Pigment is the Key

When it comes to the question of quality in artist oil paint brands, it all comes down to one issue:  Purity of Pigment.

Simply stated, an artist oil paint brand that uses more pure pigment is going to be higher quality.

Higher quality means that the colors will be brighter, more vibrant and have greater coverage capacity. It is also going to be more expensive because pure artist oil pigments are expensive.

The more pure pigment that is used equals higher quality and higher cost.

When a manufacturer wants to make a less expensive artist oil paint brand, they simply add more fillers such as wax or other inert materials and put in less pure pigment.

The inert materials or fillers that they add dilute the pure pigment and make the colors weaker, duller and less vibrant.  The fillers also dilute the the coverage capacity of the oil paint, meaning that you have to use a great deal more paint to cover a given area.

Does this make sense?

Think of it this way.

Imagine that you are buying a gold ring.  If you buy a 24K gold ring it is going to be more expensive because it has a higher percentage of pure gold.  But if you buy a 10K gold ring, it will be less expensive because you are getting less pure gold.

It’s really as simple as that.

So other than price, how do you know if you are getting better quality in artist oil paint brands?

artist oil paint brands

Winton is Winsor & Newton’s student grade oil paint. It is less expensive and less quality than their professional grade oil paints.

To help you in this area, the manufacturers have divided artist oil paint brands into 2 broad categories.

They are:

  1. Student Grade
  2. Professional Grade

Some artist oil paint manufacturers, but not all, make both grades of oil paints.

They make a less expensive Student Grade and then a more expensive Professional Grade.

Winsor & Newton is one of these manufacturers that makes both grades.

They make their Winton series, which is Student Grade. And then their Professional Grade, which is labeled just as Winsor & Newton.

Other manufacturers just make one quality of oil paint, but try to hit a balance between the two grades. They try to bring as much quality of pure pigment as they can but at the same time trying to offer a lower price point.

artist oil paint brands

Gamblin has hit that happy, ideal area between quality and price with their oil paints. Many professionals use Gamblin because of their superior quality. But many students use Gamblin because of their more moderate price points.

Gamblin oil paints is one of these manufacturers.

Gamblin has hit that happy, ideal area between quality and price with their oil paints.

Many professionals use Gamblin because of their superior quality. But many students use Gamblin because of their more moderate price points.

Personally, I like Gamblin oil paints, and have used them for years.  I find the quality to be excellent and the price is usually to my liking.

So, I highly recommend this oil paint brand to both students and professional artists.

And still other oil paint manufacturers go for quality only.  Holbein is one of the oil paint companies that goes strictly for quality.

Holbein’s strict quality control standards creates an oil paint that is unsurpassed. The buttery consistency of the paint creates a fluid and dynamic oil painting experience.

artist oil paint brands

Holbein is one oil paint manufacturer that goes strictly for quality. And so their oil paints are more expensive.

Would you like to know which manufactures use more pure pigment and less fillers?  I’ve written a blog post and rated the top 9 artist oil paint brands. 

So next time you are putting your artist oil paint brands supply list together, consider the differences that a higher quality paint could make to your finished oil painting.

Let us know about your experiences with artist oil paint brands in the comments below.

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