Differences in brands of Oil Paint [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Differences in brands of Oil Paint

01-08-2016, 12:10 PM
I use mostly Windsor Newton or M. Graham brand oil paints. Some mentioned to me that M. Graham is better quality so I started buying that exclusively. I recently opened a tube of Burnt Sienna from M. Graham and was shocked at the difference in color between that and Windsor Newton Burnt Sienna. The Windsor Newton has a very real burnt appearance where the M. Graham one looks dull and drab. This is so disappointing because I use a lot of Burnt Sienna. Now I'm beginning to wonder if M. Graham really is the better quality. I'm seriously considering going back to Windsor Newton exclusively.

So tell me what you use and what you think is the best quality (within a reasonable price range).

01-08-2016, 04:17 PM
Just like any other medium it depends what works for you and sometimes expensive doesn't means good(except pastels lol).In oils I do not use a wide palette and I use mostly muddy colors so can't really help you here.

01-08-2016, 07:01 PM
I've been using, and recommending M. Graham Oil Paints to my students. Colors such as the Umbers, and Siennas [as well as ochers, and Naples Yellow] vary all over the place depending upon brand.

Personally, I'm not enthused at all with Winsor & Newton in terms of quality oil paint. And, I would never recommend their Flake White, as it is atrocious--grainy,mealy, as if it has not been mulled enough.

In my opinion, M. Graham's Titanium White is one of the best with which I've worked. Surely some of their colors exhibit differences compared to other brands, but to me, that just goes with the territory.

Show me 5 different brands of Burnt Sienna, and I'll show you 5 different hues.:laugh:

yellow oxide
01-19-2016, 10:18 PM
This is actually a common issue that people run into with burnt sienna in a variety of media when they switch to a different brand, usually after using Winsor & Newton. The paint that W&N and a few others refer to as "burnt sienna" is actually a synthetic transparent red oxide, a variety of the pigment PR101 (the pigment label used for all mars reds, i.e. synthetic red ochres). "Natural" or "genuine" burnt sienna is PBr7, which is what brands such M Graham use for theirs. So the "burnt sienna" you've known and loved is in fact a synthetic substitute.

The reason for this, as I understand it, is that the old sources of burnt sienna actually looked more like transparent red oxide than the duller and more opaque PBr7 burnt sienna in use today. During the 20th century the old sources of various earth pigments, including burnt sienna, began to run out and paint makers did one of two things- select new sources that looked different or start using synthetic earth pigments. To complicate it a little more, I've heard that even though PBr7 (the label used for natural siennas and umbers) is supposed to be natural earth it isn't always 100% natural, but that's other issue.

Anyways, the point is that the M Graham burnt sienna is actually not inferior to the W&N one. They're simply different colors made from different pigments that happen to carry the same name, i.e. marketing label. Of course, your personal preference may still be for the W&N paint. In that case, when looking at other brands the transparent PR101 pigment that W&N uses is usually called something like "transparent red oxide" or "transparent earth red." There can be some variation in color though. For example, I have a transparent red oxide from Blue Ridge that's a little darker in masstone and redder in hue than W&N's burnt sienna, but otherwise similar. :)

01-20-2016, 12:27 PM
What a wealth of information you guys have given me. I think I'm going to keep both WN and M.Graham Burnt Sienna and just treat them as though they were different colors -- which they are.