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Doing the maths for non-US painters

I'm in New Zealand, so am unable to buy Geneva paints. So, I've been doing the maths on other paint options that I can buy locally.

Note that there's over 100% markup compared to the US. And Kiwi retailers wonder why we shop online from overseas! Unfortunately, paint isn't typically shippable (liquid=special), although I am going to try Blick as they seem to do it.

Here's where I'm up to, for 37ml tubes (except where noted):

Pebeo XL $30.00
Winton $62.00
W&N Artisan $86.95
W&N Artists (this is my baseline)
Sennelier Artists' Extra Fine (40ml)   

This is for equivalents of Mark's recommendation of Winsor & Newton Artists Oils, and my prices are in NZ dollars.

Anyone have experience with the non-W&N options? Worth stepping up the price range a little?


  • I'd go for Schmincke Norma, they are very good quality. :)
  • Hi @Observer

    Have a look at this thread

    Some of us southern-hemispherians here use Langridge paints (made in Melbourne), and we all swear by them. When I switched to them I couldn't believe how vibrant they remain in mixture. I use the DMP recommended pigments, but with Quinacridone Red for the red. Not sure if they are available locally for you though, but postage from Oz shouldn't be a big deal.

    I hear your frustration in trying to obtain something-slightly-out-of-mainstream from NZ. I'm in Oz now, but grew up in Dn.
  • B-gger. I was in Melbourne a couple of weeks back too! Sadly, it looks like they're no longer available in NZ. I'm going to Canberra in September, so might pick some up then. In the meantime, looks like I'm destined to become a Norma guy.

    Having now done some more research, the Schmincke Norma Madder Ruby uses Pyrrole Rubine (PR264) as its pigment. The other four are pigment matches to Geneva too. Perfect! I also tracked down some Venetian Turps, so I'm finally getting closer to approved scripture.

  • edited April 2018
    I am sharing this video. Watch this before you make a decision. All the paints that you have listed from Schmincke are of good quality and there is an Australian paint Langridge which is excellent and used by professionals there. Do not overspend with extremely pricey ones.

  • Observer said:
    I'm going to Canberra in September, so might pick some up then.
    I'm in Canberra. Bad news is no-one in the national capital stocks Langridge oil paint. I have to buy mine online, or stock up when I have work trips to Melbourne or Hobart.  
  • Ha! Oh well - another plan thwarted. :'(

    Kaustav - I do get what Mr Baumann is saying, and yes, this is a paint company video, but still:

    Like, at my level does it matter at all? Probably not. Undoubtedly not?

    Saying that, to me it's about degrees of freedom. After reducing what I'm thinking about, I feel that I'm now making faster progress. Limiting my palette has helped me a lot. I now have better lighting, a better easel, and a number of brushes to hand. Next, it's about not worrying about paint quality. All of these things force introspection, and make it all about me and the act of painting.
  • edited April 2018
    @Observer Winton is a student grade brand. So it will have some issues. Again when you compare between say W&N artist grade paint against Michael Harding or Vasari there will be a huge difference. I paint with not so high quality paints but still I manage to get enough brightness. It is actually a trick rather than paint quality. Obviously, when you can afford premium grade, you can achieve something very different. But moneyyy...  :s :'(

    Again watch this:

  • @Kaustav - sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying that there was no real benefit of paying more for artists grade paint? That's what Baumann states on the Youtube clip you posted:
    As for the cost of the paint you choose, except for the white, it does not make any difference if you use a cheap name brand paint that you find at Michael’s or the high-end paint like Vasari or Old Holland. They all produce the same effects when mixed.
    I'm not sure I believe that, although who the heck am I to argue - the guy's lightyears ahead of little ol' me!

  • I am painting currently with Maimeri students grade paint, 12 small tubes for 40 euro in total. I bought also 3 tubes of Ferrario colour for 15 euro in total. I didn't try other paint. For what concern brightness I think for some pigments it's true, expecially for the one made with expensive pigments (not the earth ones..). I noticed changing in brightness when I paint more I guess if the percentage of pigments for oil units it's different in more expensive paint there could be a difference...
  • @Observer the thing is with premium grade is that you don't use a lot of paint. A little will do the work for you. Whereas, in lower grade paints you need to use a lot of paint to match that level of efficiency. There are other differences too. But it is better that you don't buy premium grade paint, you earn the right to use them. It is the painting that matters. One day you may say on an interview that you don't go below Old Holland :)
  • I like that, Kaustav. Maybe... if I sell a painting, I earn the right to buy nicer paint? Now there's a good challenge! B)
  • In the middle the student grade, on the left the artist grade and on the right the Pure pigments (top grade). 
  • Hey @Observer, did you see the recent announcement that Geneva are now shipping to Oz & NZ!

    By my quick calc, even with the exchange rate and shipping the cost for me in Oz would be pretty similar to purchasing artist grade paints locally, at least for the basic colours. Not sure how it would stack up for you though.
  • I did not see that, @Roxy! Thanks!
  • Folks

    Here is the notice regarding Oz & NZ.

    Australia & New Zealand

    All products are now available in both Australia and New Zealand! They do ship from the US, though, so you would be responsible for any taxes/duties charged upon import. For Australia, there are no charges on imports under $1000. New Zealand, however, has a more complicated system that you can read about here. You can get a specific shipping quote in the checkout process before entering your billing information. This does not include duties/taxes.

    Must get my order in.


  • Do you really need any more paint / accessories Denis? ;) :p
  • OK Australians and others below the equator. I'm very interested to hear how Geneva paints perform down there. Trying to figure out the time difference between us I came to the conclusion that the Southern Hemisphere spins faster than the North so I'm wondering if Geneva will even stay on the canvas or just slide right off to the side.
  • I know Sptephan Baumann says it doesn’t make a difference but he uses old holland. I did notice a difference between old holland and Windsor newton in terms of the consistency of the paint. Old holland is more fun to paint with. Unfortunately I bought 200ml tubes of wn so it will be a while before I get through it all.  I’m waiting for my Geneva paints to arrive so I’ll let you know how they compare.
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