Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oil Paint : Student Grade or Professional Grade?

Oil Paint Quality
Student Grade oil paints are usually less expensive and of a poorer quality than Professional Grade oil paints.  They are appropriate to use if:
  • You do not consider yourself to be a professional artist (now or in the future).
  • You really, really want your paintings to deteriorate more rapidly over time.
  • You have to choose between eating and buying high quality paint.
Comparison of Oil Painting Changes Over Time
Student Grade Oil Paints over Professional Grade Acrylic Gesso on Canvas:  

Observations of a Painting Stored in the Dark for Over 10 Years; Why I don't use student grade paints:
  • Background pigment faded and patchy
  • Cast shadows have taken on violet hue versus original neutral
  • Highlights have dulled
  • Edges of objects in shadow have taken on a hard, sharp line 
  • Forms have lost 3-dimensionality and appear flattened and without structure
Due to my experience with various types of paint, I can only recommend the highest quality at any stage of your career.  Professional Artists Oil colors are even appropriate for doing studies, in my opinion.  Studies sometimes become an important point of reference in later years.  Furthermore, a study can take on a life of its own and become a painting in its own right.

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