MAX Water Soluble Oil Paints Are My Favorites

by Gerry Albert
(British Columbia, Canada)

I have used two brands for water soluble oil paints- Grumbacher and MAX for years. They are everything they are claimed to be: they work just like traditional oils, they have bright and strong colors. No noxious odors. They dry just like traditional oils. They clean up quickly.


Sometimes I get too lazy to clean my brushes as I work. It's too much trouble or it takes big containers of messy, smelly mineral solvents. I get into bad habits, ending up with muddy colors. With my MAX water soluble oil paints, cleanup is a snap and I found truly clean colors are possible. I would keep a big bucket of water next to my easel for cleaning brushes. I don't dip a dirty brush into clean paint. I don't dip a clean brush into dirty turps or mediums. As a result, my paintings are brighter and purer.

I use water to thin the oil paints on my palette in the same quantities I would use turpentine or other solvents. Just a few drops will thin the paint to a creamy consistency. But I can't use MAX like watercolors, mixing a lot of water with the paint to make a wash. There would not be enough binder in the resulting paint to form a strong film. So I only use the washes in the beginning stage. With MAX, I still can achieve regular oil painting techniques otherwise accomplished by traditional oil paints – alla prima, impasto, glazing and layering. It has been a lot of fun to work with water-soluble-oil-paints.

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