Want Your Input on my New Palette

Ready for a long winded question? :) 

So up to this point I've been using Daler Rowney Georgian Artist oil colors. I'm running low on some colors and I realized it's about time I replenish my supply. I considered for a while getting Geneva colors, however, I just can't justify the price. I'm sure they are worth it and most people love Geneva paint, but it's out of the question for me to spend so much money on 5 tubes of paint. 

So I've decided to try to get as close of an equivalent to Marks limited pallet with Daler Rowney Georgian Artist oil colors as possible. I need your help deciding what colors I shall choose! Here's my two major concerns about each tube of paint I pick: 

1) They must be opaque and get good coverage
2) They must allow me to mix as wide of a range of colors as possible without any major handicaps (can't mix strong reds or blues etc.) 

Here's my old palette I was using: 

Cadmium Red Deep (Hue) 
Primary Yellow 
French Ultramarine 
Burnt Umber 
Titanium White 

Here's the new palette I would like to try and get your input on: 

Cadmium Red 
Cadmium Yellow 
Cobalt Blue 
Vandyke Brown (Hue)  
Titanium White 

Thanks everyone in advance! 


  • I believe Georgian Artist oil colours are a student grade paint. Have you considered looking at low-end artist oil colour brands?
  • To help you in judging my new Palette, here's a PDF chart of all the colors Daler Rowney Georgian offers (maybe there will be better colors in there I can use) and the website that I buy them from: 



  • I have. But for the most part I've been happy with Georgian Artist oil colors. The only two issues I've been having is coverage and drying times. The coverage issue is only with transparent pigments which is to be expected. That's why my new Palette idea contains only opaque pigments. 

    The second is drying times. Certain colors (Burnt Umber is the worst offender) dry very fast. But that's something I can live with and there are different mediums you can mix into paint to easily extend working time. @Richard_P
  • Hey @edavison , I understand your question but just wanted to throw this out there for future consideration - Geneva tubes are very large - the paints last a long time.  They stay workable longer than other oils I have ever used so you don't have the waste at the end of the day or two.  Some people on this forum are able to get their palette colors to last a month or longer by refrigeration etc...  I find for the cost per ounce, Geneva is an excellent deal.  

    I'm not sure if you have access to a Michael's store but if you still are looking for nice oils, they often have 40% or 50% and sometimes even more off coupons - They have lovely Winsor and Newton oils locked up.  You can only buy one item with the huge discount but you could go back different days.  You can get the coupons on their website or search online.
  • Hi @edavison, I know the cheaper prices are attractive but you get what you pay for. These paints are pretty sub standard. I don’t use Geneva- they are unavailable in my country- but remember you are getting 100ml of paint with a good pigment load.
    Don’t use crap brushes or crap paint- Christmas is coming(assuming you celebrate Christmas)- ask for gift vouchers from an art store and buy artist quality paint. You will be most pleasantly surprised by the difference.

  • @edavison I just noticed you are thinking of nixing the UB for cobalt - I hate for you to give up the UB.  Cobalt is much cooler and UB has fantastic transparent qualities for mixing black and for shadows and for those rich, dark tones needed.  Perhaps others who know more can weigh in but I just can't imagine having cobalt only with no UB or black.  
  • @Julianna I would be willing to keep UB. The reason I was considering Cobalt is because it is more opaque. However, if all the other colors are good and all I keep is UB it should be fine because then I will only have one semi-transparent color. 

    On a side note...I do keep a tube of Ivory Black on hand in case I need it. 
  • @Richard_P @Julianna @Boudicca

    I'm curious, how would buying Artist grade paint make that big of a difference for me? I know they have higher pigment loads, but the Georgian colors seem to get great coverage with the opaque pigments and have perfect buttery consistency. 
  • edited December 2017
    Okay I understand the cost factor is putting you off the Geneva paints.... just one thing I want to say... I bought mine September 2016 and still have plenty of paint .... and the set with the power colors are all you need to mix practically every color you need. If you cannot afford the whole set buy one tube at a time as you can afford to do so, for example $16 for the titanium white.... not only does it allow you to get your feet wet with them and try it, (the only way you will know for sure is to use them)
     it’s less chunk of change at once..... also factor in the medium is already in the paint so they are good to go the day you get them. It took me a long time to save up bite the bullet and buy them.... glad I did, they for me are worth the price and last a long time.
  • Hi @edavison, oil paint is basically pigment+oil. Usually, but not always, linseed oil. Now, good quality artist grade paints use good quality pigments milled with a good quality oil with minimal fillers, even then there’s good quality and there’s great quality. I’ll give you an example:

    I had a certain brand artist quality paint, limited palette, using Burnt umber and French ultramarine to mix a chromatic black- I did some research and switched to a better quality paint and the difference in the depth and richness of black I was able to achieve was very, very noticeable. I was pretty astounded at the difference actually.

    There’s a reason student paints are cheaper- there’s a lot of stuff in there to bulk it up, pigments can be expensive and that’s a way of cutting costs.
    If you are happy with the paint you are currently using- go for it. It’s not about paint snobbery or anything like that, it’s just that artist quality paints are better. 
    I don’t know what part of the world you are in, if you are in the USA, check out Blue Ridge- I have heard they are exceptional quality at a reasonable price. I use Langridge, an Australian brand, fantastic product.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited December 2017
    http://www.jerrysartarama.com/daler-rowney-georgian-oil-colors#   4x  225ml tubes primary colors plus free TITan White.... $34.19 at jerry's artarama but good paint is worth 34.19 for a single 37ml tube. also, stick to Burnt Umber think of it as a conductor on a train that will take your colors everywhere you want to go. Van Dyke Brown will get you to Dayton but you can't get to New Orleans, San Francisco or the superbowl with it.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited December 2017
    Also, if you're not using Mark Carder's formula for Slow Dry Medium (SDM) you can add a drop or two of clove oil to your burnt umber right on the palette to make it last longer. Most clove oil bottles come with an eye dropper so that's perfect.
  • edited December 2017
    @PaulB I very nearly did this same thing lol started pricing it out breaking it down to just show that it isn’t that expensive.... but with whole  family fighting flu just gave up and said I don’t care anymore I know what I know lol.... glad you put it in a thread!
  • Thanks! @BOB73 good to know about the clove oil. Someone had mentioned that too me in a thread when I first joined the forum but I completely forgot about what it was.
  • @PaulB @jswartzart

    Sorry I didn't mean to come off negative about the Geneva paints. I've heard numerous times on here (and I think in one of Marks videos?) that when broken down by cost per ml that the price isn't that bad. I respect Mark far to much to talk down his paints, I really don't mean it that way. 

    The issue isn't so much that Geneva paint is so expensive, it's that all artist grade paint is around the same price...which is way more then I want to spend. For comparison...Geneva's Cadmium yellow is $58 for 100 ml. Daler Rowney Georgian Cadmium Yellow is $9.98 for 225 ml. Spending that much more on paint then I have been just isn't possible for me right now with my circumstances. 
  • No I know you didn’t mean it in a negative way, and I understand needing to wait to get them, but I am glad Paul broke it down and put it in a thread people can reference.
  • @edavision I think you are in America? You could check out Dickblick.com and buy an artist quality one of those colours (not the expensive cadmiums) that is on offer and has the feel that you like and see how it compares.

    It does depend on the pigment. Earth colours are cheap to make and so even student grade paints will be good.
  • edavison said:
    Sorry I didn't mean to come off negative about the Geneva paints. For comparison...Geneva's Cadmium yellow is $58 for 100 ml. Daler Rowney Georgian Cadmium Yellow is $9.98 for 225 ml. Spending that much more on paint then I have been just isn't possible for me right now with my circumstances. 
    I get it, but now you're talking about student grade paint, and originally you said:
    So up to this point I've been using Daler Rowney Georgian Artist oil colors.
    That is the artist grade range.  What you should have said is that artist grade is more expensive than student grade, which is very true, and completely justifies your point, after all, we are all free to choose materials according to our needs.

    But saying Geneva is not affordable compared to other artist grade paint is wrong.

  • The Lukas paints sound affordable! And that's the plan, just a red blue and yellow plus white then a brown (just like Mark Carders palette) 
  • Sorry for the misunderstanding that's my mistake. I call them Daler Rowney Georgian Artist oil colors sometimes cause that's what it says on the tube. They are student grade, they just say Artist on them to sound better I suppose @PaulB
  • Heh, heh.....and you thought your question was long winded 

    Great thread.
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