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 Professional and Student grades defined

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Professional and Student grades defined   Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:04 am

I'm using Artisan Water Mixables, and recall someone on the forum telling me that Artisan are student grade paints, with perhaps less pigment in the formula than those of other manufacturers.

Does anyone have a weblink to a page that tells me which Water Mixable brands are student grade and which are considered professional grade WMs?

thanks

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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:56 am

http://www.grumbacherart.com/index.html
http://holbeinhk.com/
http://www.lukas.eu/
http://www.cobra.royal-talens.com/
http://www.winsornewton.com/

Winsor & Newton don't declare it. It's not on the label, the press literature, or their website. For their whole product line of oils (griffin alkyds, wintons, artists, and artisans) only the wintons are stated to be "formulated for student and amateur artists." When pressed for more information about Artisans, W&N has said in emails that they fall somewhere inbetween "pro" and "student" grade based on pigment load.

Talens says their Cobras are "artists quality oil colour" in brochures. Grumbacher's MAX is "professional quality" based on their website info. Holbein's Aqua DUOs have "genuine oil color for the professional." Lukas Berlin is called "professional quality," but to me it appears their pigment load is low and the pricing is close to that of Artisans. Did I miss anyone?

For me, it's isn't just a matter of pigment load, but consistent quality of the paint handling that separates "pro" from "student" grade. MAX and DUOs I'd rate as "pro" grade, based on my experience with them, at least to the same level as their regular oil "pro" paints, but I've had probelms with consistency of handling with several of the MAX paints in the past. I haven't yet tried out the Cobras, so I'll just take the word of other users on that for now. DUOs are the best wmos I've used.

The good news is even a student grade paint shouldn't self-distruct, unless it's used incorrectly, in which case you'd have problems with any paint.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:03 am

I agree that Duo's are my favorites. I have mostly Artisans and have been very satisfied with them, but as I buy new ones, I've been going over to Duo. I liked the Cobra sample, but I haven't purchased any addition ones yet so I can't give a fair opinion.

Judy

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:21 am

Thanks David and Judy!

It is certainly a challenge to assemble the ratings of the different brands. Sometimes the vendor sites offer more about the paints than do the home pages of the manufacturers.

I will likely try the Cobras and the Holbein Duos. I am still relatively new to painting, so I can't compare a traditional oil to a watermixable oil in terms of feel or pigment load. But to invest a significant amount of time into working with student grade paint just seems unwise to me. Might as well use the best materials I can find, and now's the time to experiment with them.


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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:15 pm

David - you missed the Van Gogh H2O, which I'd class as Student grade. I'd say that the Lukas Berlins are of similar quality. Artisans perform much better than both of these.
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Kyle at Royal Talens



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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:10 pm

Hi Sofie,
The vG H2Oil was up until this year available as a student quality water mixable oil color. Some stores may still sell it as they transition to Cobra, but it is likely hard to find. We made the choice to move to a better quality artist grade watermixable oil color, which in our terms at Royal Talens simply means that there are more variety of colors, including cadmiums and cobalts, as well as higher pigmentation load and finer ground pigments, for stronger tinting strength. There are a couple of other brands that I personally would consider artist quality on the market, and some that say they are but I wouldn't. I'll leave it at that. As an artist I would say that what to me constitutes artist quality is what I've listed, but I also sometimes use "student quality" paints for underwashing and larger coverage areas.

If I were to make the most accurate comparison, I'd say Cobra is the Rembrandt equivalent in watermixable oil color category.

Kyle at Royal Talens
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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:03 am

Thanks Kyle - I wasn't aware it was being discontinued. I do know that it was on clearance at Opus last time I was there in November. I haven't tried the Royal Talens yet, but I'll keep it in mind as I use up my Artisans.
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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:09 pm

Sofie wrote:
David - you missed the Van Gogh H2O...

That was intentional since it's been discontinued, as has been mentioned. I also didn't mention Weber's wOil, or MAX2, for the same reasons. There may still be some of those out there. I've heard that Reeves sells wmos as well, which I understand is student grade. I don't think Reevs makes a pro grade oil.

The main measurement I use to help figure out what's pro and what's student grade is to look at the manufacturer's list price, (since it's pigment that is the pricey part of paint) and then compare it to what you know to be (or is declared to be) pro grade of the same pigment. You could also compare the pricing to that company's pro grade regular oils of that pigment. For example, Artisan Cerulean Blue (PB35) in 37ml is shown at Blick to have a list price of $16.95. The W&N Artist Oil paint of that pigment has a price of $35.25. Cobras offering of that pigment (in 40ml) is listed at $24.95 and Rembrandts are $39.25. Holbein DUOs are $38.75 (40ml) and $43.25 for their Artists oils.

The caveat is that the manufacturer may be setting the price a bit lower for their wmos in order to appeal to a wider market even though it may have a higher pigment load than student grade. They may also be pricing their paints competetively if you compare one brand to another. Still, it gives you a place to start comparing. Ultimately you'll have to test them out or ask around. Be sure that you're comparing the same size tubes, the same pigment, and you're not looking at sale prices.

Some artists also distinuish a rating of artist grade and a higher quality as professional. Old Holland or Vasari are often placed in that higher level above many of the others. There's no standard for that to accurately measure, however. For those that I mentioned earlier to be declared as "artist" quality (MAX, DUO, Cobra, & Berlin) it's reasonable to consider that these would be no better than what each of those companies sell in their regular oil line.
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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Professional and Student grades defined   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:11 pm

Sofie wrote:
David - you missed the Van Gogh H2O...

That was intentional since it's been discontinued, as has been mentioned. I also didn't mention Weber's wOil, or MAX2, for the same reasons. There may still be some of those out there. I've heard that Reeves sells wmos as well, which I understand is student grade. I don't think Reevs makes a pro grade oil.

The main measurement I use to help figure out what's pro and what's student grade is to look at the manufacturer's list price, (since it's pigment that is the pricey part of paint) and then compare it to what you know to be (or is declared to be) pro grade of the same pigment. You could also compare the pricing to that company's pro grade regular oils of that pigment. For example, Artisan Cerulean Blue (PB35) in 37ml is shown at Blick to have a list price of $16.95. The W&N Artist Oil paint of that pigment has a price of $35.25. Cobras offering of that pigment (in 40ml) is listed at $24.95 and Rembrandts are $39.25. Holbein DUOs are $38.75 (40ml) and $43.25 for their Artists oils. The main reason I like to use cerulean is that it's never offered in student grades.

The caveat is that the manufacturer may be setting the price a bit lower for their wmos in order to appeal to a wider market even though it may have a higher pigment load than student grade. They may also be pricing their paints competetively if you compare one brand to another. Still, it gives you a place to start comparing. Ultimately you'll have to test them out or ask around. Be sure that you're comparing the same size tubes, the same pigment, and you're not looking at sale prices.

Some artists also distinuish a rating of artist grade and a higher quality as professional. Old Holland or Vasari are often placed in that higher level above many of the others. There's no standard for that to accurately measure, however. For those that I mentioned earlier to be declared as "artist" quality (MAX, DUO, Cobra, & Berlin) it's reasonable to consider that these would be no better than what each of those companies sell in their regular oil line.
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