Winsor and Newton Oil Paints Review: Is It Right for You?

winsor and newton oil paints review

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Interested in Winsor & Newton oil paint but not sure if it’s the RIGHT choice?

Well, then! You’ve come to the right place.

Read the Winsor and Newton oil paints review below and get an answer to all your questions:

Quick Overview Of The Winsor & Newton Range

quick overview of the winsor & newton range

Winsor & Newton is a classic brand that has been providing high-quality fine art materials for artists since the 1800s. Their oil paints is one of their product ranges with multiple options.

The main ones are their student-grade Winton Oil Color range and their professional quality Artists’ Oil Color range.

Note: If you’re not sure about the difference between student-grade and artist-grade paints, the basic gist is that artist-grade oil paints are generally more vibrant and concentrated because of the quality of the ingredients and the binder (usually linseed oil).

Artists’ Oil Color


  • Professional-grade oil paints made with high-quality ingredients
  • Vibrant and concentrated colors
  • Large range of colors to choose from (133 shades)


  • Not suitable for practice
  • Not economical to paint large areas in a painting

Winton Oil Color


  • Affordable student-grade oil paints
  • Suitable for practice
  • It can be used to paint large areas in a painting


  • Limited color range (Only 55 colors)
  • Stiff blending experience (due to fillers and driers used)

Other Winsor & Newton Oil Paint Options

Outside of the Winton and Artists’ Color range of oil paints, Winsor & Newton also offers the following oil alternatives:

  • Artisan Water-Mixable Oil Colors: One thing many artists may be concerned about when using oil paints is the risk of inhaling toxic fumes after using strong solvents like turpentine. Winsor & Newton created a paint formula that can be mixed without using solvents to alleviate these risks.
    artisan water-mixable oil colors
    Water-Mixable Oils
  • Griffin Alkyd Oil Colors: If you’re a fan of acrylic paints and you’re missing its fast-drying qualities when using oil paints, Winsor & Newton’s Griffin Alkyds are here to fill in the gap. With the Griffin Alkyds, you can take a snack or coffee break between layers and start painting after you come back. Basically, the paint dries very quickly! There’s also a bonus transparent quality in your oil painting that is not often seen when using traditional oil paints.
  • Winsor & Newton Oil Bars: Also called oil sticks, these oil bars from Winsor & Newton are made of pure oil paint and are compatible with other oil materials for color mixing. In terms of function, you use them as you would the more traditional oil pastels — though if you want a smoother application, you’ll want to dip the oil sticks into solvent as you draw.

Winton vs Artist’s Oil Paints Compared

winton vs artist's oil paints compared
Winton Oil Color

If you go to art school, you’ve probably noticed that Winsor & Newton paints and Grumbacher paints are the most recommended to students. A large part of the reason for this is that Winsor & Newton paints are one of the most BUDGET-friendly options in the market. Plus …

Their Artists’ Oil Colors are great paints for creating finished pieces to be sent off to exhibitions and competitions.

Meanwhile, while lacking the smooth buttery consistency most professional oil paints stand by, the stiffer and slightly less mixable Winton Oil Color range of paints are still good quality paints for painting large areas in your painting and for practice pieces that you do on the side.

Winton Oil Color

Artists’ Oil Color

Overall Quality















Range of Colors

55 colors

133 colors







From $7.99

From $11.99

Winsor & Newton Oil Paint Features & Benefits


As a time-honored brand, Winsor & Newton has always been careful about the pigments they use in their paints. To create vibrant and concentrated colors, said paints are made with high-quality pigments and formulated to be life fast to last longer than other brands.

Note! They do use synthetic pigments for some shades in their Winton range so that certain shades have adequate tinting strength.


In terms of bendability, the Winton oils may be a little too stiff and a little too thick because more fillers and driers were used to undercut the cost in making them. However, the Artists’ oils are known for having a buttery consistency that makes them a real pleasure to paint and blend with.


And, so long as you go for those single pigment shades in Winsor & Newton’s huge range of Artists’ colors, you won’t have to worry about accidentally mixing grays (unless you want that!) when painting. They’ll be just as vibrant as you want them to be.

Range of Colors

The Winton range of oil colors has a collection of colors with 55 shades in total. This amount is fine if you’re still a beginner or a student learning to paint and mix colors. This way, you won’t get too overwhelmed with the options.

As for their Artists oil paint, their range is quite huge! There are 133 unique shades, 88 are single pigments, and the rest are mixed pigments and new specialty paints. Such a huge range may be a bit overwhelming for beginners, but it’s great for artists who like to work in fine detail — it saves the effort of constantly mixing colors to get the right shade.

range of colors


Because they are student-grade paints, the Winton oils are very uniform and thick in texture. They come out the same every time — which is actually good for beginners since it doesn’t require much skill when applying. It’s also great for painting landscapes or backgrounds for the same reason.

Meanwhile, the artist-grade paints are as smooth as butter! You can directly pick it up with a palette knife and mix it onto your canvas if that’s what you want.



First, to compare within the brand … Some of the single pigment paints in the Artists’ range are more expensive than the basic 12-piece set of Winton oils, which cost $40-60.

This makes the price difference between the two types of paint quite large. However, compared to other well-known brands, the price of both the Winton and artist-grade colors are considered cheap.

Overall Quality

There’s a reason why these paints are recommended for students in art school.

You can’t say they’re the absolute best. However, they’re still very high-quality professional paints that are better than average — which is EXACTLY what you need when learning and practicing!

overall quality

What Other People Are Saying About The Artist Grade Oil Paints

This paint makes me want to paint more and more. Partly because it’s very easy to use. Whether it’s drawing lines, filling in spaces, defining texture, etc. the process flows smoother with these paints. 

I also have to mention the quality of the paints itself. The paint covers well so touch-ups are usually not necessary, the texture of the paint is silky smooth, and the colors vibrant and concentrated. All in all, better than the paints I’ve tried thus far.

  • NewtC20 from the California

If you’re going to get paints as a college student, either Winsor and Newton or Grumbacher are the best way to go.

  • Rockmonstr, Reddit

My teacher recommended that I use this paint for oil painting college class. I’ve taken to using it more and more. The tube was a good size and the colors are rich and beautiful. Worth the price.

  • Christina M. from the New York

Alternative Paints for Oil Painting


Gamblin Paints from Art Ignition

Gamblin is THE artist-grade paint most oil painters default to if they’re looking for alternatives to Winsor & Newton primarily because they were formulated to be extremely long-lasting and safe without compromising on the quality of the paint itself.

The price for Gamblin paints is not bad for handcrafted paints either, especially when bought in a set. Though, you’ll have to be careful about where you buy it from as some reviewers claim that the paint may come dry in the tubes.

Old Holland


Known as the oldest paint manufacturer in the world, Old Holland’s classic oil paints are a culmination of almost half a millennium of refinement. As an art enthusiast, you might have already heard of these paints, if not for the old brand name then for the fact that it is used in popular professional oil painting schools and programs, like the artist program from Evolve.

The pigments used are very pure, and, at 168 shades, they have an even larger range of colors than Winsor & Newton. The only catch is that Old Holland paints are really expensive. So, they’re not suitable for those just looking to try out oils or students who require a lot of paint for practice.

Michael Harding

michael harding

Just like Old Holland, Michael Harding oils are also known for being fully loaded with professional quality pure pigments. However, the texture of these paints is unique — It’s silky smooth rather than oily or creamy.

Note that because this paint does not include any driers, the drying time between layers is quite long. Also, it’s almost as expensive as Old Holland paints, so it’s not for those on a budget.

Conclusion: Right or Wrong?

In conclusion! Winsor and Newton paints are great art materials for beginners or students. It’s budget-friendly, and the paint’s quality is very consistent.

Check out the Winton Colors range here if you’re just starting out and looking for high-quality student-grade paint.

Otherwise, check here for the professional Artists’ Oil colors for more refined work.

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