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New to the the Blog.... an opinion on Geneva paints versus water-miscible oils (eg W&N Artisan)

Hello all...
I've been reading and rereading DrawMixPaint all long weekend long!  Very informative.

I am new to painting and am wanting to start with quality paints and need to avoid the solvents and their issues due to limited ventilation in my at home studio.   Does anyone have an opinion on Geneva versus W&N Artisan or Holbein Duo or any other water-miscible oil? 

The only one of Geneva's basic colours that is not obviously available elsewhere is Pyrrole Rubine.  Would the experts among you recommend another colour to substitute?

Many thanks.



  • BarbaraR

    Welcome to you.

    Artisan are satisfactory paints and will do everything you ask of an oil paint. A wee but stringy in consistency. Can be mixed with normal paints. Responds welll with any medium or additive. Cost is a lot less. Avoid water. Try citrus solvent. Gamblin has a solvent free gel and fluid.

    Improving your studio ventilation should be a priority.

    Geneva is good value. Luscious consistency. No smells. No mediums needed. High pigment load.

    Either brand will work. Geneva will work better.


  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited October 2018
    welcome to the forum. Geneva smells like clove oil except the canvas stain. If you find clove oil aroma displeasing you may not like it without ventilation. 
  • CJDCJD -
    edited October 2018
    Geneva is good and inexpensive - you'll get more mileage out of it than other paints. Great coverage if you paint thinly. An alternative to the red could be a permanent alizarin crimson.

    I recommend either using Geneva paint or just another brand of paint and simply mixing it with small amounts linseed or walnut oil. You don't need to use solvents at all. This is how some of the people on this forum paint.

    To keep it from drying out on the palette, find a plastic cover to put over the paint when you're not using it, and put a cotton ball in there with some clove oil in it. The clove oil fumes are enough to greatly slow down drying time. If using Geneva paint you don't need the clove oil cotton ball, but the lid still makes a huge difference.
  • Thanks for your comments @dencal , @BOB73 and @CJD.  I did choose the Geneva paints for all the reasons you cited Denis ... and have worked my way through Mark's videos (some many times).  His method is straight forward and his tools are fantastic.  HIs videos are very encouraging.
    The colour checker is a masterful gizmo and with each painting ( almost finished my third) I am feeling as though I am getting the hang of it.  

    The best news of all....everyone at my house loves  the smell of clove oil!  Very grateful!
    A long Canadian winter ahead... I can stay inside and paint!

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