Saturday, January 26, 2013

Michael Harding Oils Review

(transferred from original post - May 2010)

I have been using Robert Doak oils for years and I would highly recommend them to anyone knowing that they will get a high quality, high pigment load, artist grade paint for the price of student grade. But unfortunately he has a minimum order for shipments and since they’re in New York and I’m in California, buying that one tube of paint that’s desperately needed presents a problem. So I went on a search for a comparable paint that could be ordered in small quantities.

After asking for advise on facebook, seemingly endless googling, and thoroughly reading many different manufacturers websites (keep in mind that I live in the Sierra Mountains so I’m not exactly surrounded artistic input), I finally looked to rationalpainting.org for some experienced advise.

Note: rationalpainting.org is an exceptional forum occupied and administrated by some of the worlds finest talent with the primary focus of discussing the science of representational painting.

So, after reading multiple raving reviews by some of the Rational Painting contributors, I decided to give Michael Harding Oils a try and, as luck would have it, Dick Blick carries their line of oil paints.



On first inspection, the tubes looked to be of high quality, but wait…they used actual paint on the label to identify the color of contents in the tube…nice touch Michael!!! It bugs me when I open a tube with the color printed on the label that’s far from the color of the actual paint.

Now to open one: My first thought was that the opening of the tube was a bit small and that this could be an issue for the colors that require a higher pigment load, but after squeezing a little out I realized that the paint has a near perfect consistency - not too buttery, not too grainy, not too chalky or stiff. Some of the smaller paint manufacturers tend to have a big variance in consistency from color-to-color. Although their paints are usually of the highest quality, adding medium to the paint nuts while preparing your palette is required to make the paint ”longer” and more manageable . This is not the case with MH oils and reducing additional steps = more painting time.

Finally, application:

I was surprised to find that all of the colors were very close in consistency without sacrificing opacity. The covering strength is excellent which proves all of the claims of MH’s high pigment load.

Summary:

I’m now a true fan of Michael Harding Oil Paints! The colors are beautiful and vibrant, the pigment load is high and the covering strength is excellent. The consistency is so perfect that it seems to have been tailor made for my needs. Although I am a loyal user of Robert Doaks ‘flake and titanium white’ and I don’t plan on using any other whites anytime soon, the seven MH colors that I now have are going to be staples in my painting palette and I would highly recommend them to anyone who paints in a similar style.

"Duet" by Slade Wheeler
Painted with Michael Harding Oils and Robert Doak's Flake and Titanium White.



9 comments:

  1. (transferred from original blog post)

    Pamela Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I love your art and your articles. Thank you so very much for sharing. I am eager to try Michael Harding paints and mediums!

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      Slade Says:
      May 15th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks so much for the note and compliments! It’s always nice to hear that the posts are appreciated. I hope that the M. Harding paints work out well for you.

      Slade

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  2. transferred from original blog post)

    James Bright Says:
    February 12th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    A store that allows special orders in Toronto, Curry’s has just started carrying them…as I am in Ottawa…it is a convenience that I am grateful for. As you note that all of the colours are even and smooth in consistency…that is wonderful. I have been using Gamblin paints for some time…but..sorry to say…the reliability upon opening has been of late inconsistent…from an oily mess to over stiff consistency. I hope this is just a rare off time for them but otherwise their consistency is great…good quality…
    But thanks for the review of “Michael Harding Oil Paints” , I will put in my basic order to obtain some to try. Thanks.

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      Slade Says:
      February 13th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Hello James,
      I don’t know if you can order from dickblick.com in Canada but they have the best prices that I’ve been able to find. Although I still love the overall quality of Michael Harding’s oil paints, I have found there to be more oil separation (over time) than I originally reported in my review – but nothing dabbing with a paper towel doesn't take care of quickly. I hope that you enjoy them!

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    Michael Harding Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you so much for mentioning my paint and thanks for your observations.

    Michael

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      Slade Says:
      June 26th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Michael! Your paints are a pleasure to work with!!!

      Slade

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  4. Enjoyed reading the post about 3 wheelers! Awaiting for more fantastic posts!

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