I am really glad that Blue Ridge Paints is taking orders again. I learned last month about their fire when I went to their web site to place an order. I was concerned that they might not be able to recover. Their paints are very good and are offered at a reasonable price. More and more the market is splitting into two camps: cheap but poor quality paint, or good paint at premium prices. Blue Ridge along with some few others–RGH, Winsor Newton, to name a few–make professional-quality paint at reasonable prices.
Importantly, Blue Ridge also makes excellent flake white. Lead-based white is a critical element in my palette. Most of the low-grade producers no longer provide lead-based whites, a clear indication that they are not intended for professionals. The photo above shows my remaining tubes of Blue Ridge paint. I used the whites long ago.
Here are my two paint cabinets. Each of the six drawers contains one family of color. I have tubes from almost all producers. I have my favorites but I’m always looking for new producers. Not all manufacturers produce all colors, or I prefer one vendors version of a color over another. For example, Cadmium Red Purple is a staple in my palette but not all manufacturers make it. I prefer Blue Ridge’s version, which can be seen in the top photo.
As a young apprentice I ground my teacher’s oil paints. I didn’t believe then and I don’t believe now that handmade paints are significantly better than top-quality commercial paint. At least not significant enough to justify the time commitment required. Not to mention the safety issues involved with heavy-metal paint, which are important to me.