Williamsburg Oils

Williamsburg is a New York based oil paint specialist who started small in 1980 by crafting top quality oil paints, and now has come to produce over one hundred and seventy handmade colors using carefully selected pigments from around the world. Williamsburg oil paints are the result of the in-depth examination of paints that were made for renown and accomplished artists of the past like Monet and Matisse, analyzing their coarse and grind, and importing the right raw materials. All Williamsburg oils feature enhanced luminosity, powerful colors, strong covering ability, and a commendably light absorbing surface.

No matter the short life of the company, their oil colors can already be found on several art pieces on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington National Gallery, and the Beaubourg in Paris. The paints are checked for their quality one by one, and are produced in small and easily controllable batches, much like it was done by the late nineteenth-century French color makers. The final product is packed in non-reacting aluminum tubes of 37 or 150 ml, or in glass jars of 8 or 16 oz. Apart from the colors of the standard range, there are also five transparent oxide colors that are milled down to a finer consistency, making them suitable for glazing work.

Williamsburg oil paints

Product Pros & Cons

Artist Likes

  • True and rich color of high luminosity
  • Wide color range with a distinct chromatic individuality
  • Good mixability and paint spreading
  • Wonderful texture with a grainy style
  • Consistent form and pigment content
  • Easy application without the use of an oil paint medium

Artist Dislikes

  • Low availability
  • High price

Artists love Williamsburg paints because they are generally very rich in pigment, luminous, and inspiring to work with. The texture is also the source of pleasing results, but some may prefer a smoother type of finishing so this is up to the artist. The way these oil paints spread, mix, and apply on paper is a constant reminder of the fact that they are handmade while their consistency is indicative of the higher level of attendance they enjoyed during their production. The only downside is their higher price and low availability since these are still produced in small batches in a workshop in Brooklyn. A few complain about the tubes being overfilled with paint, but this won’t bother most artists who will find that their money spent reflects to the acquisition of more product.

Final Considerations

Those who work with Williamsburg oil paints cannot change to any other alternative. These paints are simply at the top level, and the only reason for an artist to go for another brand is their coarse finishing. If you’re after something super-smooth, you’d probably have to go for Winsor & Newton instead. Besides that, there is no sector or field that Williamsburg oil paints will leave someone disappointed at even the slightest. Finally, the 140 colors range, and the additional “special edition colors” contain several hues that won’t be found anywhere else, so if you’re in need of something special, chances are that Williamsburg is the only way to go.