Old Holland Oil Paint Review

PROSPECTUS:_Old Holland has been making artist colors since 1664, making it one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the art supplies industry.

The company is known for uncompromising adherence to traditional techniques and standards. All color making is done by hand, and all processes are controlled by artists. Pigments are ground in stone rather than metal rollers.

Old Holland Oils are produced according to traditional recipes, those used for paintings made in the 17th century. These paintings retain the clarity of their colors to this day. That’s durability. Like hundreds of years ago, only the best pigments and binders are used to produce very concentrated and light-fast paint, resulting in higher color strength, hiding power, and intensity.

That goes for all 168 colors listed here. Only cold-pressed linseed oil from the first pressing is used for the binder. This optimizes oxidation (drying) of the paint and also promotes permanence. The brush strokes flow out better too.

  • SELECTION_168 colors provide the largest range available among the brand’s beings tested and reviewed.
  • PROPRIETARY COLORS_When one has multiple pigment recipes they have a great many proprietary colors, their Coral Orange is outstanding.
  • PIGMENT LOAD_High, but pigment load is not the end-all for determining the quality of a tube of paint. Some pigments are very light in weight so heavy extenders are added to increase the weight. The better brands such as Michael Harding, Schmincke Mussini, Sennelier, Rembrandt and others add the appropriate chemistry for maximum performance. This process of course requires very exacting formulations. If not enough of the right stabilizers binders and extenders are added one will have problems will the paint film created and cracking will occur.
  • CONSISTENCY AND TEXTURE_Milled with STONE ROLLERS. Romantic, but irrelevant, their pigment load is high the dispersion and tinting strength is noticeably weaker than Extra-Fine brands milled with metal rollers. The texture is noticeable and preferred by some. We find the consistency rather stiff and not brushable out of the tube without adding medium.
  • BINDERS_Primarily Cold-Press Linseed Oil though other additive are present. According to their owner Mr. De Beers they added 2% or less to most of their pigments. This of course is what is known as a weasel in the marketing trade. “We have added 2% or less to most of are pigments.” The Means They Probably Have Added Much More To The Rest.
  • ADDITIVES_They seemingly skirt this issue by claiming the only medium used is Cold-Pressed Extra-Virgin Linseed Oil. Many pigments are unstable without the addition of various additives rather one calls them that or not. Waxes, Succitives, Zinc Oxide, et al.
  • FINISH OR SHEEN_Linseed Oil produces a Semi-Gloss to Gloss finish depending on the pigments.
  • PACKAGING_Not impressive, inadequate information, the tubes are some of the heaviest in the industry.
  • TOXICITY_Large group of Cadmiums, and Two Lead Whites
  • TRANSLUCENCY_Linseed is not as translucent as Walnut, Safflower, or Poppyseed, Old Hollands range is heavy on the opaque side… they identify their transparent’s as ‘Lakes”
  • OPACITY/COVERAGE_Excellent, the vast majority of their pigments fall in the opaque and semi-opaque range.
  • LIGHTFASTNESS_Highly sispect, their watercolours line launched in 1985 have numerous issues.
  • DRYING TIME_ Varies depending on the pigment.
  • AVAILABILITY_ Good Presence at Art Supply Retailers.

SYNOPSIS:_’Old Holland has been making artist colors since 1664, making it one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the art supplies industry.’ We find no source material that connects them to 1664 or the Guild of Saint Luke. The Company is said to be started by Willem Roelofs in Brussels 1870, there seems little support for this as well, Willem Roelofs Wikipedia page mentions nothing about paint manufacturing. It is likely Roelofs made paint for his own purposes. The actual manufacturing of paint and the first appearance of the Old Holland name occurs when Albert Roelofs, Willem’s son opened a factory in Scheveningen in 1905. We know at some point the factory closed because of the war but could not verify a date. Old Holland was purchased by Theo de Beers in 1982 which was re-located and re-opened in Dribergen. Old Holland reformulated and modernized their whole line in 1985. Theo’s son took over the company in 2000. Wikipedia also has a problem verifying this lineage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Holland. These paints have virtually nothing in common with paints used by the Old Masters.

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