6 Oil Paint Brands and How They Compare
Since I began my oil painting adventure many years ago, I have always used the brand of oil paint called Georgian by Daler Rowney. I used to stockpile these paints when I could. Unfortunately, when I had what I thought to be enough I stopped buying it. Fast forward several years and this year I started to run out. But when I went back to the store I discovered they no longer carried that brand of paint. Forced to buy another brand I decided to do an experiment and see which brand I enjoyed the most. At the time I bought Master’s touch because that’s all that was available at my local store. After some browsing, I found several other brands through Blick Art Supply online.
All of the paints are titanium white. The Brands we are going to look at today are:
- Master’s Touch (mixed with refined flax oil)
- Georgian by Daler Rowney (Unknown)
- Winsor & Newton – Winton Oil Colour (safflower oil)
- Blick Studio Oil Color (safflower oil)
- Gamblin (linseed oil)
- Rembrandt (safflower oil)
To started, I painted an 8 x 10 canvas with blue acrylic paint so that the paint could really stand out. Then I lined up the tubes of paint in the order listed above and doled out a dab of oil paint on the canvas so that we could compare.
Immediately the Master’s Touch squeezed out a larger blob than I had originally intended probably because of the size of the tube and the hole in the tube for the content to be dispensed. The size of the dab for the rest was approximately the same size.
- Master’s Touch had a smooth texture but came out with a larger amount of oil that visibly spread out onto the canvas.
- Georgian had a nice grainy texture to the paint and only a small amount of oil spreading onto the canvas.
- Winsor & Newton and Blick had a smooth buttery texture and a small amount of oil seepage.
- Gamblin and Rembrandt also had that smooth texture but both of these paints had almost no oil escape onto the canvas.
To measure the dry time I grabbed a brush and pulled the paint out and left the canvas in a high and dry place for several days.
Four Days Later:
I decided to check the streaks of paint to see how they had dried. At this point, all of the paints had oil that seeped onto the canvas around them, except the Blick paint. The Blick paint had no oil seeping onto the canvas.
- Master’s touch was still very wet it had a little bit of pull to it when I rubbed my finger along the paint. This was an indication that it was starting to dry. If I start to paint again after 4 days I would still be able to easily blend this paint with another color.
- Georgian, was still a little wet and it had a bit more pull when I ran my finger over it. I could pull paint off with my finger but if I wanted to paint over this with another color I could without too much worry that it would blend with the new color.
- Winsor & Newton after four days was almost dry. I could still pick up paint when I ran my finger over it but there was a lot of drag. I had to apply a little pressure to get the paint to come off and the canvas moved when I did this. This would be easy to paint over and would not blend with another color unless you used some paint thinner or like product on it.
- Blick was completely dry. I was able to run my finger along the paint and it was a smooth dry surface. You could paint over this with no blending of colors.
- Gamblin was still wet, there was no trouble picking up paint by running my finger along the streak. However, it did have a sticky feel to it and had some drag, indicating that it was beginning to dry. At this stage in drying, you could still do some blending with this paint.
- Rembrandt was the same as the first day it was spread, smooth, silky, and still wet. This would be a good paint if you are wanting to take a long time working on your painting and need the paint to remain workable for long periods of time.
Nine Days Later:
Nine days after I first applied the paint I decided to check the dry time on the paint again.
- Master’s touch was completely dry but had a rubber feel to it. The thicker blob of paint was not dry to the touch yet but it was sticky indicating it was starting to dry.
- Georgian, was completely dry. The thicker part of the applied paint was still wet but slight pressure had to be applied to pick up the paint. It was well on its way to drying.
- Winsor & Newton was completely dry. Pressure had to be applied to the thicker globs of paint to pick up paint, otherwise, even the thicker part was at surface dry as well.
- Blick was completely dry. Even the thicker part of the applied paint was firm and dry.
- Gamblin was completely dry. The thicker paint was soft to touch but more than surface dry. No paint could be lifted even after applying pressure.
- Rembrandt was mostly dry on the paint streak but the thicker blob of paint was still completely wet and workable.
Oil painting is my particular favorite because I can start a piece and return to it several times over the next few days and still be able to work the paint. Not to mention it is a very forgiving medium, if you make a mistake or don’t like the look you are coming out with you can easily blend it away. That being said I am also impatient and I want to work and progress through it at a steady pace. So for me, one of the moderately fast paints would be best. Windsor and Newton or Blick will be my future go-to paints because I feel like they will dry at a rate that will allow me to rework them but not take so long that I will have to wait weeks for the base colors to dry.
Choosing which paint will serve you best in your work will depend on how much time you have to paint and what kind of texture or feel you are going for. I hope this post has helped you further in your journey. Let me know what your favorite brand is? Also, feel free to check out the YouTube video version of this post by clicking here.