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Oil Paints / Winsor & Newton

Discussion in 'Just starting...' started by Showlen, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Showlen Active Member

    Hello- I want to try painting flesh in oils. From a lot of posts that I see, Winsor & Newton seems to be a commonly used brand on figures. My local Hobby Lobby carries like 3 different grades of W&N, at a rather high price. I might try searching online for more competitive pricing. I have two questions:

    1. Which grade or type is best for figures: Alkyd Oil, Oil, Artisan Oil & Artist's Oil? The Artist's Oil appears to be the most expensive and I guess the best quality.

    2. What colors would be best for base flesh, highlights and shadows? I have Venetian Red which I have used with acrylics. I realize there is probably a plethora of different colors that could be used, but just looking for something I can get started with.

    Thank you very much for the help and input!

  2. kagemusha A Fixture

    Hi Ronnie, as with most things buy the best you can comfortably afford. I personally don't like alkyds as they don't blend so smoothly. I use W&N 'Winton' oils in 37ml tubes and have no problems. If you are in the UK then Pullingers have them at around £3.50 a tube. As for colours to mix flesh I would suggest Flake white, Raw Umber, Light Red, Naples Yellow and Magenta. If you can stretch to it, add Burnt Sienna, Paynes Grey, and Phthalo Blue. Keep in mind that they do a 'Flesh' in the tube which can be useful as a starting point.
  3. Carlos69 Well-Known Member

    Hi Ronnie,

    I use W/N oils from the artists range however I have used there standard range without problem... They are expensive but most tubes will last for years...some of mine are 10-15 yrs old now ! they are the most cost effective paint out in the long run !

    My flesh mix is Venition red,Titanium White and yellow ochre... you can mix a hundred odd shades from them,add Naples yellow and white for the highlights and burnt umber for the deeper shadows with small amounts added to the red for the mid shadows... I use Burnt Sienna instead of the red for sunny flesh tones.


  4. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    There is also Rembrandt oils, just to add a little confusion, their pigments are a bit finer than W.N. First bought them some 20 odd years ago they have been in the garage a long time and have just started using them again,still as good as new,a 40ml tube will last

    Ronnie T
  5. Carlos69 Well-Known Member

    Ron Where do you buy Rembrandt oils if you can remember ?
  6. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    I Bought them at euro militaire 20 years ago ,but i checked on google and there is a shop in England selling them just google Rembrant oils

    PS let me know howe you get on

    Ronnie T
  7. Carlos69 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ron,I know they have a good range so may take a look !

  8. marius'mules New Member

    Ronnie; if you live in the U.S. check out Dick Blick's Art Supply online. They have the best prices around on all of the different types of W&N oils. Also, they stock some of the W&N colors that can't be found anywhere else here.
  9. Showlen Active Member

    Everyone, thank you very much for the info and suggestions. Exactly what I needed! I do live in the use, Texas, and will check Dick Blick's AS online.

    -Ronnie W
  10. redhorse Active Member

    I use W&N Alkyds for figures because I'm too lazy to build a drying box and they dry over night. I've not had problems with blending, but they do dry with a sheen without the drying box. I like the sheen, but most people don't. I've used the artists oils quite a bit in regular oil on canvas painting and the are very nice. Dick Blick is great too, I've ordered from them frequently and spent way too much! But you get a lot more for your dollar there.
  11. Showlen Active Member

    Thank you for the all of the input and the help! This site has been such an amazing resource since recently joining and I'm very thankful.

  12. DaveT New Member

    Hi Ronnie,

    Whatever brand of oils you use, for red/yellow/blue it is best to use the artist quality. The student grade is cheaper because it uses a chalk filler to bulk it out, which reduces the proportion of pigment - the artist's oils will give you better handling and richer colour. It doesn't matter so much for the earth colours (Siennas and Umbers) since the two grades are virtually the same (although the price is not!). If you can get hold of them, try the oils from the Michael Harding company - these are expensive but have a very high pigment content and the quality is exceptional.

    For flesh I have had good results with a base mix of Titanium White, Gold Ochre and Burnt Sienna, with a touch of blue to mute it down. The blue is particularly useful in creating those pinky-grey intermediate shadows you see on paler skin. I then use Raw/Burnt Umber and Magenta (and touches of other colours) to develop the shading and tones. I wouldn't use Venetian Red or Pthalocyanine Blue - good colours but very strong so they can easily overwhelm a mix if you are not careful.
  13. giro Member

    I use Rembrant and is really good for me.
  14. Einion Well-Known Member

    Online suppliers for the UK are listed here:

    There's no best here, as it's partly up to individual preference but with oil paints you tend to get what you pay for, within reason. Some of the premium brands are priced out or proportion but generally speaking when you pay more you're paying for better-quality pigments, finer milling and more pigment in the tube.

    If you go with W&N their artists' oils will give you the highest pigmentation, sometimes by a considerable margin. Alkyds in general will be lower in pigment purely because the binder isn't capable of supporting the same proportion as an oil.

    The W&N student/studio line, Winton, is worth checking out for certain colours though. Since earth pigments are cheap makers can include a fair amount of them in a lower-priced range and they can be quite decent in quality (particularly since you may also be soaking out some excess oil before using, which brings them closer to artists' oils in proportion anyway). Also, with very strong pigments like phthalo blue or green the lower pigmentation of a cheaper brand makes them a little easier to handle.

    This is unfortunately a horses for courses kind of thing - in theory you could paint skintones with just primaries and white. The other colours people tend to use are there to help the process along, make the mixing of certain colours a little easier. And as I'm sure you know now, there will be nearly as many recipes for mixing skin colours as there are members here!

    Because oil paints last so long and are expensive, I think you'd be best off deciding on your palette ahead of time rather than trying a scattergun approach and seeing what works - it wouldn't be hard to end up buying £40 worth of paint that you almost never touch. There are no guarantees with paints you haven't used yet.

    Since skin is basically orange or scarlet in hue the simplest and most versatile way to mix basic fleshtones is with a red and a yellow, plus white of course, with a little something to tone the mix down. The neutraliser could be a grey, blue or green; the results are practically the same regardless, as long as you don't add too much.

    More specifics:
    Oil Painters...I need your beginners list!

  15. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    For fleshtones a very popular basic set consists of:
    Titanium White
    Burnt Sienna
    Gold or Yellow Ochre
    Raw Umber
    Paynes Grey
    Venetian Red

    I think you can achieve just about anything in caucasian fleshtones with the above. For fleshtones go with the WN artists oils as they will last just about a life time and are worth the investment.

  16. Showlen Active Member

    Thank you very much for the information! I will begin painting in oils tonight and looking forward to it!

    Einion, thank you for the links!

    Ronnie W.

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