Experimenting with water-soluble oil paints

Here’s a quick snow scene I did the other night, with some Cobra water mixable oils I was trying out:

stanage-pole-800

I only bought a very limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrole Red, Primary Yellow and Titanium White, just to give them a try and see if I liked them.

The obvious advantage of water soluble oils is that you don’t need any solvent to use them, so I was able to do the entire painting without ever opening my jar of mineral spirit. No nasty smell, no toxic fumes – bonus!

I used water to do an initial thin blue wash, and then slightly less water to sketch in the scene:

stanage-process

To me this had an almost identical feeling to using regular oils and mineral spirit.

The real beauty of the paints though is that you can still use your favourite oil painting medium too, So for the subsequent layers I was able to use walnut oil as usual, and then the paint straight out of the tube for the thickest areas of pure white snow.

And of course, cleaning my brushes was just a matter of soap and water. Can’t beat that!

Overall I was very impressed with the Cobra paints, and I suspect I will be buying a wider selection to use in future (the cadmiums are calling!) I’d like to go completely solvent-free ideally, and it seems like that might just be an option now!

Have you used water-mixable oil paints? How did you find them? Any disadvantages? Let me know in the comments.

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