Is it really worth it to buy expensive oil paints?

Oil paint is so simple because it is just a mixture of oil and pigment but there is a huge difference in the quality of the pigments when they are made. In this blog post, you are gonna know why these oil paints are so expensive and if is it really worth it to buy expensive ones last I am going to suggest you some oil paints which are really affordable with the same quality as inexpensive ones.

Oil painting is a choice of artists to express their creativity and no doubt that this is the most historical medium of painting Artists have been using oil paints for hundreds of years. But in modern days, there are also some mediums like acrylic paints and watercolor paints which have replaced traditional oil paints but still, oil paints have not lost their charm and beauty.

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How oil paints are made in factories?

Oil paint is a mixture of pigment and oil. It all starts from the grinding of pigment into a paste form in huge containers. It takes many processes to make this paste smooth. This smooth paste is then brought in a mixture with mixed oil in it in a ratio of 1/3. Most of the high-quality oil paints contain 75% pigment 25% oil and other additional materials.

Proper mixing of oil in pigment is so important. To ensure this, there are rollers that keep the paint in the movement to get all the pigments mixed. At last, this paint is packed in tubes or jars and sealed to keep them from drying.

Why oil paints are so expensive?

The price of oil paint depends both on quality and quantity. This quality is directly linked with pigments.

The main reason why they are so expensive is that these pigments are rare and even some pigments are so rare that they cost like the price of gold. Not just pigments make them so expensive but the quality of pigment is also directly linked

You can easily consider the worth of these pigments by this example that the imperial color (Tyrian purple) was made from the gland of sea snails. It needs up to 12000 sea snails to make 2 grams of this pigment.

There is also a pigment named Indian Yellow, it originated from the urine of cows by giving them only mango leaves to eat.

Like some of these examples, it takes a lot of effort to get these pigments. After hard struggles, they get collected by farmers and paints-making industries purchase them for further manufacturing process of oil paints. This is the main reason why it costs so much to buy a good quality oil pigment.

What is the difference between expensive and cheap oil paints

Here I have separated some differences according to my knowledge and deep research. For a person who doesn’t know much about the quality of paints, it is slightly hard to find differences between good quality and bad quality but an artist can definitely feel this when he uses them one by one. The main differences are given below:

  • Consistency: When you apply a layer of expensive paint over a canvas, it will going to be consistent but on the other hand, you have to apply a layer of cheap paint again and again until you get the same visibility. So, I can say that expensive paints are better for this because they easily set on the canvas smoothly.
  • Color quality: A cheap paint is going to look a little bit dull and you are gonna feel some incomplete and unbalanced color. Quality oil paint always going to give a good color performance.
  • Deep texture: Texture is very important, especially in oil painting because it gives a proper feel to an oil painting. Oil painting is unique just because it gives more texture and you see more deep textures in visuality.
  • Visual differences: I have found some visual issues in cheap paints because they are unbalanced and their texture is incomplete. You are going to see good visuality even with the blending technique of Bob Ross. Cheap paints are gonna cost more to create the same layer.
  • Shadowing: You can define more good shadows and highlights using good-quality paints. Expensive ones contain more oils that need to be mixed first on the pellet but in shadowing they are just perfect.

By checking these factors, you easily decide whether you have to use expensive ones or cheaper ones. If you are professional and want to create good quality paintings that sell at an even better price, you have to use the expensive ones. If your budget is low and you just want to create a painting, you can go with cheaper ones.

Which is the most expensive oil paint?

Well, there are several brands that are offering oil paints even more expensive than others but I have found a pigment that is known as the most expensive pigment in the world. It is known as Lapis Lazuli and oil paints made from this pigment are going to be way more expensive.

Old Holland is considered the most expensive and the most high-grade brand which offers oil colors for more than 50$ per single paint tube. Below is an image of an introductory Box set of oil paints with a price tag of 200 plus USD.

Expensive Oil Paints
Old Holland Classic Oil Color – Introductory Box

Is it worth it to buy expensive oil paints?

Purchasing expensive oil paints is good for professional artists because they are going to make more money than their actual price but as a beginner, it is not going to be worth it until you have good painting skills. An artist can create the quality with his hands, which not expensive paint can do.

I recommend using those paints that are affordable according to your budget and give you good-quality texture, shadow, and visual results. Below are some good brands that you can buy from Amazon to get good results on an affordable budget.

Best affordable oil paints to buy

Before recommending these oil paints, we just want to clear a misconception among many artists that only the quality of oil paints is responsible for better artwork. You also have to sharpen your skills and that can be done by using student-grade oil paints for practice. Once you are better with skills, start with these brands that are recommended below:

Winsor & Newton Oil paint Set, Studio Set

Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint, Studio Set, 10 x 37ml Tubes, Blue, Red, White, 12 Piece Set

  • Designed for professional results
  • Satin finish
  • For both Indoor & Outdoor
  • Repels water
  • Choice of artists

About Winsor & Newton Oil paints

Oil paint sets from Winsor & Newton come in four different variants:

  • Basic set
  • Intro set
  • Starter set
  • Studio set

The given set is a studio set that consists of 12 tubes with a 21-milliliter tube each. These paints come with a promise of quality, quantity, and affordability in the given price range which is true. At the time of publishing, the product has a total of 4077 Ratings with an average of 4.8 stars out of 5.

As Paintingfox covered more than sixty blogs on oil painting we are ensure about the performance of what we are recommending.

Additional Features:

Finish Type: Satin | Size: 12 pieces | Item volume: 21 Millileters | Age range: Adult | Package dimensions: 1.5 x 13 x 5.75 inches

Our Ratings: 5 out of 5

Price at the time of publishing: 51.11$

What we Like!

  • Brand image
  • Value for money
  • Oil paint’s quality
  • People’s bond with the brand

What we don’t Like!

  • There is nothing to hate!
Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Exclusive Set

Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Exclusive Set, 1.25 Ounce (Pack of 9), 11 Ounce

  • Designed for beginners
  • Easy to use
  • High value for money
  • Amazon’s Choice
  • Moderate pigment intensity

About Gamblin Oil Colors:

Gamblin 1980 Oil Color Exclusive Set is a special oil paint set that was made for beginners. Each pack contains 9 colors of multiple pigments that can mix together to form a large number of other colors. A special thing about Gamblin is their promise to deliver the same quality all the time.

At the time of publishing, this product contains a total of 456 Ratings with an average of 4.7 stars out of 5. We recommended it on the basis of our experiences and the number of ratings. We are pretty sure about its high results with a value of money.

Additional Features:

Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 1.81 x 6.5 inches | Item Weight: 4.5 ounces | Import: Made in the USA or Imported |

Our Ratings: 4.8 Stars out of 5

Price at the time of publishing: 37.99$

What we Like!

  • Huge value for money
  • Pigment intensity
  • Amazon’s Choice
  • Customer reviews

What we don’t Like!

  • It contains 9 tubes but Winsor & Newton’s set had 12

Final Words

To conclude, expensive oil paints are better in terms of the quality of pigments because their pigments are pure and give the advantages of texture, shadow, visuality, and color. If you are a skillful artist who knows how to create worth from these expensive paints then you can definitely consider them but if you are at a beginner’s level and want to get the same benefits with your paints as expensive ones then you can consider the given brands to purchase oil paints.


Why are oil paints preferred when it comes to painting?

They are preferred because of their historical background. They are used in the form of layers in oil paintings. One layer over the other gives more visuality and deep texture. This is also the reason that oil paintings are more expensive than others.

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