Water Soluble Oils Trial – Artists Review

Can water soluble oils really be mixed with water?

It is true that you can water soluble oils with water, achieved by means of a specially developed linseed oil in the paint. This is achieved by the use of an undisclosed surfactant that allows the linseed oil to "bond" with water.

water mixable oils

The Trials

I have been trialling various water mixable oil paints as an alternative to traditional oil paints where solvents are needed to thin paints and to clean up brushes.

All the brands I have tried make pretty much the same claim that you can thin their water mixable oils with water and clean up in water too. While it is true that you can thin these oil paints with water, the paint will be much more workable using the particular manufacturers' mediums. It mixes with the medium more smoothly than with water.

The Brands

I have tried Winsor & Newton Artisan, Weber wOil, Reeves Water Mixable Oil, Daler-Rowney Georgian Water Mixable Oils and Monte Marte Water Mixable Oils covering a large range of prices.

The Results.

5th. The Monte Marte. Mixes easily, Vibrant colours, beginner paint mainly because it is rather thin out of the tube.

4th. Reeves. Somewhat thicker in consistency than the Monte Marte brand and mixes well. Good range of colours and a definite step up. Takes to the knife well.

3rd. The Winsor & Newton. Smooth consistency and texture suited to detail work and knife works. Colours mix well and blend well. A good all rounder.

2nd. Daler Rowney. This paint was a pleasure to use. It has a thick buttery texture that is great for laying down large areas when thinned with their medium.

1st. Weber wOil. Of all the paints I tried this came out tops due to the buttery texture and the ability to leave brush strokes where needed and not there when you do not want them. On top of this, the majority of colours appear to be of single pigment origin. This gives an extra level of vibrancy and life to the work.

Art is, of course, objective. As indeed are the materials preferred by a given artist. The best way forward if you want to free yourself from solvents is to give them a go. Perhaps try just the primary colours to see if you like the results first off.

PS. I tried mixing combinations of different brands and had no issues doing this. Also, I found clean up much better using a brush cleaning soap as well as water.

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