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Geneva paint coverage

Hi All,

I have decided to buy some of the Geneva oils to support the project and hopefully have some nicer paints. I am currently using the W&N student range so I am sure a big step up.

As I am new to oils I wondered if anyone could give a guide as to how much coverage you can expect from a 100ml tube? I know this is a piece of string thing but a guide would be great. For example, with my acrylics when I am painting a lot of sea and sky scenes I tend to get through a 60ml tube of ultramarine every 10-12 A4 size paintings.



  • PaulBPaulB mod
    You're right, we're measuring a piece of string here.

    I have (more or less) been using the same set of Geneva paints for over thirteen months.  All the tubes are getting empty now, but I'm quite not done yet.  I did start a new Black, and am about to start a new BU.  In this time I have completed 20 paintings, mostly small, one large, with several still in progress.  I paint every day.  I don't waste any paint, so I don't leave large puddles on the palette, and I paint thinly, and use any leftover mixed colors to stain small panels.

    I also think one tube of cadmium red and phthalo blue is a lifetime's supply.

    I'm surprised at how long this set of paint has lasted.  I think Geneva paint looks like a large investment at purchase time, but if you compare artist grade paint and the ingredients for SDM I believe the cost is within 10%.  I made a spreadsheet of this because I didn't believe it myself.  I was wrong.

    Compared to a student paint, there will be more pigment, and you will therefore use less of it.  This will take some adjustment on your part, as your tendency will be to continue using the amounts you are using now.

    If you squeeze out paint the way Mark does in the videos, you'll use a set of paint very quickly, but remember that is for demonstration purposes.  I usually have amounts of each color that is well under a teaspoon on the palette, and it dries around the edges before I use it all.
  • Awesome thanks Paul!

    Really great advice and exactly what I was looking for. I've seen some of your paintings in the forum by the way. Seriously impressive stuff. If your code is as good as your painting I top my hat :smile:

    Thanks again!
  • PaulBPaulB mod

    Thanks @jhc1982, but the code is better, I've had thirty years or practice.

    Here's the palette with frugal amounts of paint on it, and my first set of Geneva paint.  I started writing the first-use date on the Geneva paint so I can see how long it lasts.  As you can see I replaced the black a year ago, and the BU is almost squeezed empty.  There is at least another years worth of red and yellow remaining, unless I start painting fruit.
  • Perfect. That's a great guide.

    30 years....the days even before all the tools to make my life easier were being built. In fact none of my main languages were in existence then! So hats off!
  • What's this about hats? @jhc1982, PaulB forgot to tell you his paints last longer for two other reasons 1. he plans everything in advance and 2. he paints with ridiculously small brushes.
  • Wow - it looks like you could floss with those!
  • Is that a Twix I  see hiding @PaulB
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    alsart said:
    Is that a Twix I  see hiding @PaulB
    Yes it is!  A wrapper, at least.  For the Sargent + Modern challenge, one of my (questionable) ideas was to sneak a Twix into something classical looking.
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