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  • Zev

Winton Oil Paint - Should You Use It?

WInton (Winsor Newton) Oils are one of the most ubiquitous oil brands, they're found in the majority of art stores (Michaels, etc) and have a long history. The brand has a reputation for being somewhat of a "starter" brand with it's popularity among students and beginners. This is by no means saying that winton is only for amateurs, Winton is a fine brand and many seasoned painters use it. I used Winton for years and years when I was starting out. The first oil paints I ever cracked open were Winton, I stole a crumpled half tube of their ivory white and alizarin crimson from my friend's box and went to town on a panel. The rest is history. Winton oils are known for being thick, heavy, and slower drying. Straight out of the tube they have a consistency similar to creamy peanut butter. Using these straight out of the tube is fine, but you may want to use a medium to get them more supple and "buttery." I love that word. They apply just fine and blend beautifully, but you'll notice due to their thickness it takes a tiny bit more pressure and work to spread them around. Finish a piece to completion with winton and you'll see how you feel about them. Their drying time is a bit longer compared to other brands out there, especially to Lukas. I used Winton for years and eventually switched to Lukas brand oils. I didn't intend to switch at first, it was a happy accident. My favorite art supplier (Jerry's Artarama) was liquidating their Winton supply, by the time I got there all that was left was a giant tube of Indian Red which I don't like. I wasn't prepared to pay $80 per tube for the suave french brand nearby, leaving Lukas looking like a good bet. I took home an ivory white, ivory black, and payne's grey and experimented on scrap. Amazing. They were beyond fantastic, creamy, smooth, and buttery, not peanut buttery. I fell in love with them. Right out of the tube they were perfectly mixed and perfectly smooth, no medium needed, good flow, perfect blending, just plain slick. That was that, I went back and bought every color I used. I've been using Lukas ever since. Wasn't this a Winton Review? Ok. All of this was my specific experience, I encourage anyone to try out any and all brands they can, experiment and dabble. Winton is by all means a decent line worth using, it is not a crappy value brand or student's choice, it is just more available in big box art stores than say charvin, lukas, old holland, etc. A lot of blogs and forums have people looking down their noses at Winton, they have their reasons: "they've raised prices", "it's too thick", whatever. Try it out for yourself and make your own judgments. I personally like a thinner, faster drying oil paint and Lukas was a jackpot. That doesn't mean Winton was automatically worthless, I just found something perfect for my needs and style. Overall...Winton works if you let it. It may not be the best of the best, it's quite thick and heavy, it dries slower, but it works. If you work in an impasto style it is ideal. That's about up, my ode to Lukas.

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