Monday 15 March 2010

Artist or Student Quality?

I found this the other day. It is a series of swatches I did quite a while ago. The top three rows are Cotman and the bottom three Windsor and Newton artist's quality. The Cotman are from tubed paint and the artist's quality pans. Since I did this I believe Cotman has changed slightly, possibly for the better. If only Windsor and Newton did the right thing by UK artists and gave us the same deal as the Americans enjoy on the Cotman range. Certainly food  for thought given the increasing cost of buying artist's quality paints.  Do most amateurs, particularly the once-a-week hobby painter, need to spend these eye watering sums, approaching anything from £8 - £10 ($12 - $15)  for 14ml tubes even for lower series?  The figures quoted are mail order and prices are even higher at local art shops.

Many members of local painting groups have limited means yet are exhorted to buy `the best materials' by book after book and article after article. Ron Ranson was scathing about this and used Cotman paints, a few, very few, synthetic brushes and Bockingford paper. He also painted on the reverse side of `failed' paintings. You can paint on both sides on most makes. I'm afraid I'm sceptical about the motives of some of these professional artists who push this theme. I'm sure some are genuine but others have commercial links with manufacturers. Having said all this I confess to being one of those who have fallen for the `buy the best' chorus. Do they make me a better painter? I'm not at all sure.

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