Review: Utrecht oils

It’s hard for me to understand this but until this week I never used Utrecht brand oils.  I’m not sure why this is.  I’ve visited their shops in NYC and Cleveland and ordered plenty of other things from them.  True, I was disappointed with the easel I bought from them, but that was recent and doesn’t explain why I’ve never tried their oils in the past.  Whatever the cause, I rectified it this week. 

I bought four tubes including a 150ml tube of the all important flake white.  Here is my palette with my usual assortment of straight-from-the-tube colors and mixtures.

  1. ultramarine violet
  2. burnt sienna
  3. Naples yellow
  4. flake white
  5. cool grays made from paynes gray and flake white
  6. warm grays made from ivory black, raw umber, and flake white
  7. flesh tones mixed from burnt sienna and flake white (between 2 and 4)

Before using the palette

Here is the palette after several painting sessions. The flake white is acceptable.  This is a big deal because reasonably-priced flake white is becoming harder and harder to find.  I will certainly buy more.

After using the palette

Most colors are single-pigment paints, which is a good thing, of course.  I like the ultramarine violet.  I use this color for cool grays so I use a lot of it.  The burnt sienna is too orange for me.  This isn’t much of a knock against Utrecht.  Many other brands also make too-orange burnt sienna.

The Naples yellow is a blend of several pigments.  Utrecht labels many blends as ‘hues,’ (as do other manufacturers), but not all of them.  Keep this in mind when buying this brand.

Grade

Decent mid-range paint. I updated the Oil Paint Brand reference.

Quality: B-

Price: B+

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