Artists about Haarlemmer Oil Colour
Niall Stevenson (Bathgate, UK):
''I recently discovered this make of oils (manufactured in the Netherlands) by chance when browsing through posts by an artist I follow on instagram. The company was generous enough to send me several samples from their range so that I could get an overview of the paints and compare them to the other brands I’ve outlined so far.
There are currently 96 colours to choose from; this includes 4 different types of white and three metallic options. They are available in either 40ml or 150ml tubes, or 400ml tins (the latter being limited to whites). I would say these oils are mid-priced, ranging from just over £6 for 40ml series 1 colours (raw umber, yellow ochre, etc) to £24 for series 6 (cobalt violet deep) which means you can get two 40ml tubes and still have money left over for the same price that one 40ml tube of cobalt violet deep would be from Old Holland. Colours which contain cadmium are £18 per tube; again, this is about half the price of Old Holland and Williamsburg.
So what about the quality? My first impression upon opening a box of these paints was one of surprise. They appear much better quality compared to oils of similar cost: Rembrandt, Lukas 19862, and Solo Goya. There really is something of a hand-made feel about these. The company states that the paint contains only pigment and binder (linseed oil for the majority of colours, with safflower being used for whites and other lighter hues) so like most of the brands I’ve written about, there are no fillers used to bulk out the product and cut costs.
The labels are simple stating the colour, the series, and the pigments used. There is no indication of drying time or oils used although this is not really an issue. (Transparency of each colour is mentioned on the company website.) As for the tubes themselves, they are strong and resistant to splitting, and the caps are large with good grip (almost identical in style to Williamsburg and Michael Harding).
Out of the tube, Haarlemmer oils are very buttery and easy to handle without feeling weak. Testing them out in the studio, I have found them to work very well alongside OH, MH, Schmincke Mussini, etc. They are vibrant, have good tinting strength, and seem to dry evenly. All in all, I’m very impressed with these colours and would probably say that for their price, they are the best professional artists oils I have used to date. If you are looking for a lesser known brand that doesn’t compromise on quality, you really can’t go wrong with Haarlemmer.''