That one was a hard decision to make! We ended up going with Art Spectrum, as it is a well known professional Australian brand, Blockx, because is probably one of the very (if not THE) finest artist range in the world, Langridge to support another Australian brand and one which aims its artist extra fine colours to be up there with the very best and Sennelier for its huge range of professional colours. Please read on…
- Art Spectrum : 96 colours
Available in 40ml and 150ml tubes, 500ml (series 1 to 4),1L and 4L (only in Titanium white) Art Spectrum is a very good value Australian professional oil paint. To make their oils AS use only lightfast pigments and pure linseed oil (safflower oil in whites). All colours are triple-milled to ensure that every pigment particle is completely coated with the vehicle, and evenly dispersed. This results in a stable paint film which has even surface tensions. All Art Spectrum’s oil colours are permanent and improved permanency information and new pigments have enabled them to replace the toxic and fugitive colours with non-toxic and cleaner colours of superior lightfastness. AS does not substitute pure pigments with blanc fixe (a heavy filler) to simulate quality by artificially increasing the weight of oil paints. Their careful selection ensures clean colours and superior colour mixing without muddiness. Their colours include a unique range developed for the Australian landscape.
- Blockx : 84 colours (9 series + 3 whites) Available in 35ml tubes also 200, 500ml & 5litres.
This small family-owned company has been making the finest artist quality oil paints since 1865. Jacques Blockx, a brilliant chemist, was sought out by French and Belgian artists for his advice on pigments and as a response, commenced manufacture of his selection of oil paints. (If you want to know more about this company, you might enjoy reading the post in bed with Jacques Blockx in my blog.)
The brand is synonymous with the highest of quality and no compromise is made in their manufacture, either in the cost of pigments or the time… for they are still made today on the same slow moving stone three-roll mills that have been used for a century. But where many other companies make the “handmade paint” claim and, of course, triple mills are emptied by hand the world over, here pure pigments are still ground on the premises by stone cylinders operated by hand. These cylinders rotate at a slow speed without heating or polluting the paint and thus duplicate, as much as possible, a handmade work. Iron oxides, earth and black pigments are ground in linseed oil, others in the much more expensive poppy seed oil which never yellows. Difficult pigments are put through the three-roll mill up to five times to ensure perfect wetting and fluidity with the maximum quantity of pure pigments without a trace of fillers. Many of the colours are unique to Blockx and are a tribute to the vision of the original Jacques Blockx. In 1918 the factory employed 30 staff, today they employ only 6, no mass production here!
- Langridge : 40 colours available in 40ml, 110ml tubes 500ml, 1L and 4L tins
Langridge is an truly serious and creative Australian company I discovered when researching for my art supplies.. there are some competent and passionate people behind these labels and everything they produce is of the very highest quality… enjoy buying these whilst knowing they are home made! (If you want to know more about this company, you might enjoy reading the post in bed with David Coles in my blog.)
Langridge oil paints have been developed to excel in saturation of colour and physical handing qualities. All colours are made without modifiers, opacifiers, fillers or anything that might interfere with the true brightness of the pigment. The paint is triple-milled in the best tradition and their range (limited but growing) has the fullest chromatic strength, intense tinting power, excellent lightfastness and extreme clean colour-mixing potential on the palette. They are aiming at producing the finest oil paints in the world… no less!
- Sennelier : 145 colours Available in 34ml, 200ml & 1kg tin (whites & blacks only)
The development of Impressionist painting is almost in parallel with the development of Sennelier oil paints when French artists began to break loose from the Academie’s rigidity and, to better experience their bold new sense of gesture, requested that the feel of the new colours match their expressive style. The evidence of quality and long-term consistency is visible in most of the world’s major art collections where Sennelier paint is present on the canvases of Monet, Bonnard, Chagall, Kandinsky, Modigliani or Yves Klein. In keeping with early manufacturing traditions, the paint of today is highly concentrated without fillers, employing special methods of manufacture. Difficult colours are milled on granite stone rollers and the paint base comprises oil of Carthame, cold-pressed, which gives the paint its specific buttery feel, drying to a satin finish, a more natural look than the heavy gloss typical of many oil paints. Carthame oil also does not have the yellowing effect of linseed oil, used as a base by many paint manufacturers.
With its current range, Sennelier has retained many unique colours, such as Genuine Naples Yellow, Madder Lake Pink, Pouzzoles Red, Pink Brown or the beloved, Neutral Tint. New hues have been added in recent years such as Chinese Orange and Permanent Intense Red.
- Talens : Van Gogh H2Oil: 40 colours Available in 40ml tubes… will stock lasts!
H2Oil colour is a student oil paint with very special properties. It has a short drying time and can be thinned with water. It is no longer necessary to use turpentine or white spirit. As a result H2Oil colour is very easy to use and is also environmentally friendly, while the finished painting looks like a real oil painting and can be varnished much sooner.
Also check the oil sticks as, after all, they are oil paints in a stick!