Michael Harding Artists' Oil Colours are manufactured to the very highest standards. They have a high pigment concentration and mix perfectly. The consistency is better described as "silky" rather than "oily".
Only the very best raw materials are used, and the handmade production of Michael Harding Artists' Oil Colours provides artists with a first-class result with every brush stroke.
Michael Harding Artists' Oil Colours are unrivalled, making them very popular with artists such as David Hockney, Sir Howard Hodgkin and Chris Ofili. These artists give testimony to Michael Harding's claim: 'I only want to make the world's greatest oil paints.I cannot afford to compromise.'
Michael Harding Artists' Oil Colours are available in various sizes.
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Price per unit.
Michael Harding, even now, is a relatively small manufacturer, and inconsistencies such as the example of the dried oil skin flakes inside the tube, are more likely to happen in small manufacturing operations. This is where I prefer the backing of a larger manufacturer, with much better resources, labs and so on. In 20 years or so using Winsor & Newton, LeFranc & Bourgeois, Royal Talens, Sennelier and such, I have never encountered a fault like the flakes in tubes. Larger manufacturers have standard, very strict industrial quality control procedures, and the reliability is just there. I never found a tube with faulty paint in any of them, the colours are always consistent, the oil paste is always the same quality and viscosity, etc. I like this reliable standard, it meets expectations all the time, every time.
Then we have the prices and the heavy metal toxic/poisonous and in some cases carcinogenic pigments used in some of Michael Harding oils. The common excuse that artists are supposed to be careful, does not wash because careful or not, when it is time to clean your brushes, the toxic waste has to go somewhere, and in most studios, a lot of that toxicity goes down the drains into the waterways. Let's face it... In the 21st Century, it is possible to produce top of the range colours using safer pigments. This brand is another case of hype and clever marketing by trying to persuade artists that only genuine toxic pigments will produce the right colours and therefore professional results. I do not subscribe to any of what I explained above.
Prices are also too high, and the main reason is because the prices have to match the hype, so they are inflated. Pigment and oil bought industrially in bulk are relatively cheap to buy and even the added extra of saying that MH are handmade oil colours is at best an overstatement and at worst, a misrepresentation of sorts. MH paints produced on this scale have to be mixed in mechanical vats to wet the pigments, and then the mixes have to be put through triple roll mill machines to grind the pigment into the oil and obtain an oil colour, as we all know it.
Save yourself some hard earned cash, don't buy into the excessive hype; there is plenty of excellent oil colour, artist grade paint out there, better than Michael Harding, more reliable in my view, colour matched, batch after batch after batch; and at a far better and more realistic price.
There's problems with some batches of Titanium White. The large tubes with code 02 15 have flakes in them which appear towards the end of the tubes. I've been told by Michael Harding that the tubes have been withdrawn but GreatArt have still supplied them. I have since contacted GreatArt about this and they are aware of problem.
They mix beautifully and the tones are not harsh unlike the cheaper paints I started out with! I love the warmth of the brown umbers, The vibrancy of the orange and lemon yellow.
I paint local seaside scenes mixing lots of blue/greens and stormy purples. The rich tones of the pigments in the cobalt blue and aquamarine blue combining with the cad yellow and the beautiful turquoise tones give me all the range of sea and skies I want. I am now selling paintings, prints and cards! I am sure the comments I get about my colourful pictures is in part down to the wonderful Micheal Harding paint I use. I would recommend them to anyone beginner or experienced. I liken it to learning a musical instrument. It is not good if the instrument makes a horrid noise however well you play it!