If you remember from earlier blog posts, I mentioned that I am moving away from watercolor painting and towards alternate mediums for my primary art style. Lately I have been exploring the idea of working in oil paints. One of the things that I love about watercolor paintings is the nice and smooth gradations – or blending – of colours. Working in oils is very different to watercolor, but it gives me the potential drying time to actually achieve smooth blending.
In this post I am writing all my notes on the oil paint brands that I have easy access to in Kuwait. I compare quality (student vs artistic grade), sizes, number of colors, and any special characteristics that may affect purchasing decisions. This list does not currently include paint that can be shipped via companies such as Amazon.
Student Grade Oil Paint
Lefranc – Oil Colors
An economic medium that’s ideal to use to learn the techniques of masters such as Cézanne, Pissarro, Bonnard, Picasso, and many others.
The colors are vibrant and intense, resist yellowing over time and are lightfast. They are designed to offer a perfect balance between opacity and transparency.
Apparently Lefranc brand does not use cadmium in their paints, rather matching the parent colors with modern recreated hues.
They have an uncharacteristically fine grind. The buttery consistency of the paints are excellent for thick applications as well as thinned glazing.
There are a total of 48 different colors, coming in 40 and 150ml sizes.
Maimeri – Classico Oil Colors
Maimeri guarantee no waxes or additives are added to any of their oil paints, resulting in a perfectly balanced drying time. Unlike Sennelier which is moving away from traditional cadmium, Maimeri includes authentic cadmium pigments in concentrations of 20-25%.
They come in 77 colors, with 73 being rated for maximum lightfastness. Of these colors, they come in 20ml, 60ml, 200ml and 500ml sizings.
Sennelier – Etude Oil Colors
Sennelier is an old and internationally known brand. Their Etude oil paints allow students to experience the Sennelier brand and quality without the typical cost of artist grade paints.
The colors are known for their intense pigment and excellent lightfastness. The buttery texture is good for both thicker applications of color as well as thinner glazing.
The primary colors are Cadmium Yellow Light Hue, Cerulean Blue Hue, and Cadmium Red Deep Hue.They have focused on more traditional palettes of colors, however designed paint perfect for color mixing to create a vast array of colors.
Sennelier Etude oil paint comes in 36 different colors, consisting of 34ml and 200ml sized tubes.
Artist Grade Oil Paint
Lefranc – Extra Fine Oil Colors
The oil paint has a creamy butter consistency that have been designed for even drying time. With 120 colors, they have been designed with mix-ability in mind. They have the perfect balance of opacity and transparency, allowing for both thicker layers and glazing.
91% of their paint colors contain just one or two pigments and are guaranteed to be wax-free. Lefranc advertises that they do not use cadmium in their extra fine oil colors. The paint is apparently ground to an extra fine consistency on triple roll granite or steel mills.
They feature excellent lightfastness.
They come in 120 different colors in 20ml, 40ml and 200ml sizes.
Maimeri – Puro Oil Colors
The Puro oil colors are made from exclusively oil and pigment, with absolutely no additives or waxes mixed in. However the official website then states “…just a minimum quantity of additives to improve the paint’s rheological properties.”
There are 83 colors in this series that are designed for excellent lightfastness and chromatic results. They come in 40ml sized tubes, with white coming in an both 40ml and 80ml.
Maimeri – Olio Color
Mairmeri’s Olio oil colors are designed for a less-than-traditional palette. They feature high concentrations of inorganic pigments to create vibrant colors. The colors are not opaque like most oil colors but rather are vividly transparent, making them excellent for building layers of glazes. The transparently also allows the artist to work with speciality canvases and surfaces, such as pale surfaces prepare with pearly micaceous primers.
Not all the colors are extremely lightfast.
The Olio oil colors come in 30 different shades in 20ml tubes.
Maimeri – Artisti Extra Fine Oil Colors
The Artisti Extra Fine Oil Paint is strongly based upon traditional colors and traditional formulas that many Italian painters used. Just like their other series, Maimeri declares they use only oil and pigment, with no other additives.
They feature 102 different shades of colors that include 5 different whites, seventeen natural earth tones and three chrome yellows. The colors are all made to have good lightfastness.
The selection of 102 colors can be purchased in 20ml or 60ml tubes. The selections of whites also come in 200ml and 500ml tubes.
Sennelier – Extra Fine Oil Colors
Sennelier’s finest quality pigments are groun very slowly to create an extra-fine consistency. They are then combined with safflower to create the most saturated colors possible. They have incredible tinting strength with a satin finish.
Sennelier’s history is long, with their paint being used by artists such as Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, Bonnard, Modigliani, Chagall, Ernst, Hockney and others. Their paint has been “modernised” to provide a firmer body as often required by 21st century artists.
Their range of oil paints consists of 144 colors, coming in 21ml, 40ml and 200ml sizing.