Spring Cleaning in the Studio

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Time to clean out and consolidate my drawers full of paint.

Michael Harding Paints are the highest quality in my opinion and I’m steadily making the change over. Some other brands collected over the years are quite good and I will continue to use them until they are gone: Sennelier and Williamsburg are excellent, for example. Rembrandt and Gamblin are pretty good and worth using.

But I’m surprised I still have a few tubes of Winton – a name which I haven’t touched in 20 years. Winton is a “student grade” paint made by Winsor and Newton. Very little made it onto any of my canvases. Wintons are thick with fillers which make them very hard to mix. To my eye they leave a dry, chalky look.

The point of the filler material in student grade paint is to create a dependable, consistent buttery texture as the paint comes out of the tube; no globs of oil for the art student to wrestle with. This can be a convenient thing for someone just starting out who will not be mixing much color. But the more experienced artist will much prefer the oily globs, the brighter, richer pigments and the range of mixing possibilities which come with high quality paint.

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