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Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Sets

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Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Sets

Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Sets

Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colours are magnificently designed to look and work just like traditional oil paint. The key difference between Artisan and conventional oils is its ability to thin and clean up with water. Artists using conventional oil colour will require the use of solvents such as turpentine or white spirit (mineral spirits), Artisan on the other hand can be thinned with water for painting and all brushes and equipment cleaned up with soap and water only; the use of hazardous solvents is not necessary. As a result, artists can enjoy a safer painting environment making it ideal for artists who share a workspace, schools or painting at home.

Like traditional oil colour, Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour is made from linseed oil and safflower oil. The only difference is the linseed oil and safflower oil used in Artisan have been modified so that they will mix and clean up with water. Artisan has been specifically developed to appear and work just like conventional oil colour. The depth of colour, buttery consistency, light fastness, opacity/transparency, performance and drying times of Artisan, allow artists to use this range for all oil colour techniques.


A wide variety of pigments are used in Artisan to provide all the characteristics expected from a Winsor & Newton oil colour. High pigment strength provides good covering power, which is the ability of a pigment to either go a long way or cover previous layers. Single pigments provide brilliance of colour and clean colour mixing. There are 25 single pigment colours in the range. Like all raw materials, pigments are available in various grades. W&N use only the purest of pigments ensuring the cleanest, brightest colours, which in turn produce the best colour mixtures.


Artisan has the short buttery consistency expected from a Winsor & Newton oil colour, a consistency that is a careful balance between the pigment and the oils used in the formulation (modified linseed and safflower). This is the traditional consistency of oil colours, and as such allows the artist a broader variety of techniques, the colour can be thinned as required.


Most artists like to be sure that their colours are permanent. Recent pigment developments have led to continued improvements in the lightfastness of artists’ colours. These improvements have been utilised in Artisan. All Artisan colours are rated AA or A and are recommended as permanent for artists’ use.

Surface Sheen

Each pigment needs different levels of oil in the formulation, so the sheen may differ slightly from colour to colour. The addition of water as a solvent, as well as the use of mediums, will also alter the sheen.

Drying Times

As with conventional oil colours, the paint film will be touch dry in 2 -12 days, but different colours will dry at different rates due to the varying reaction of each pigment when mixed with oil. Winsor & Newton formulate each colour individually to optimise the overall drying rates of Artisan, helping artists to avoid the problems of slow drying under layers.


The Artisan colour range has been chosen according to mass tone (colour from the tube), undertone (bias of colour when in a thin film), strength and relative opacity. Each colour has been specially selected looking at individual pigment characteristics. The resultant colour spectrum of 40 colours is spread around the colour wheel to ensure that as many colour positions and mixtures are possible.

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