May
12
2010

All Paint is NOT Created Equal! by Deb Bartos

All paint is not created equal!

I've painted in water-mixable oils for the past 6 years, which took some adjusting from the traditional oils in ease of use. The texture of the paint was different; either too slick and slidey on the canvas (like whipped cream), or too stiff out of the tube (more like lumps of clay rather than butter). With time, I learned to adapt, and have been creating more satisfying results.

They all left me longing for a “"faster and smoother" paint, especially for larger paintings. I longed to load up the brush and have it glide across the canvas the way the oils used to do.

Recently I've tried a new brand that gives me possibilities. Jerry's Artarama exclusively offers Lukas Berlin Water-Mixable oils. I was hoping I would love them, because of their affordability. I recently purchased 4 tubes in red, yellow, blue, and violet, using my previous brand of white with them for mixing. So far, even with this limited palette, I have been able to mix colors and achieve the consistency of texture I wanted. I'm looking forward to trying more colors of the Lukas brand under varying conditions.

The one disappointing part was the first squirt out of the tubes. It was a little "watery" and I wondered how I could achieve thicker layers with this. I kept going, and it worked out ok. It was more like gouache and the best words to describe the texture were "sticky and gooey." The remaining paint in the tubes is a good consistency and I found that the following day, even the first squirt had redeemed itself in the evaporation of the initial liquid substance.

I painted a portrait with them the other day from a portable thumb box. There was paint left over, so I plastic-wrapped it and stuck it in the freezer. Another test. Will it be freezer-proof? (It is.)

Bravo Lukas for creating a beautiful water-mixable color palette in tubes with easy open caps for the plein air painter. They are very affordable and the 27 ml size fit even the smallest thumb box. I like working in 6” x 8” size on some locations and for studies and they are perfect for this.

I really like the titanium white that Artisan creates (Winsor Newton), but using more of the Lukas white also works. I'm enjoying the process of exploring what they can do, and the process of trying new paints is stretching and keeps you learning.

I've tried numerous other brands. So far, the Weber water-mixable is my favorite for consistency. Still testing the Lukas with promise. Love their cadmium red and yellow! Most colors hold up very well to the more expensive brands and testing them color-by-color is only fair. Keep on painting! And learning!

Deb Bartos

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