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Review: Mont Marte H20 Water Mixable Oil Paints

Explore the world of water-mixable oil paints, which can be combined with acrylic and gouache, for a new painting experience.

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Our Verdict

These won't stand in for a good set of oil paints, but they're a fun alternative if you want to banish turpentine from your studio.

For

  • Easy on the nose
  • Affordable alternative to oils
  • Pretty decent colours
  • Good finish

Against

  • Easy to get the ratios wrong

The heady aroma of artists' grade turpentine is not everyone's cup of tea. Aside from the smell, some are worried about reported health concerns associated with the product, and so the need for water-mixable oil paints was born.

What started out as a limited palette of colours from just a few suppliers has now grown into a sizeable range of paints. Australian company Mont Marte has created yet more choices for the smell-sensitive consumer with its H20 Water Mixable Oil Paint set.

Tubes of Mont Marte H20 Water Mixable Oil Paints

The 36-tube set comes in a single-piece cardboard box, with two trays of 18 tubes covering an impressive range of colours. The colours squeeze out with a little splitting as the pigment separates from the oil. A slight graininess can be felt under your palette knife and the finish on some isn't that lovely gloopy gloss you get with high-end oil paints.

When mixing, be careful how much water you add. Anything more than one-part water to three-parts water-mixable oil paint (WMOP) can change the consistency of the paint and cause cloudiness.

You can also mix WMOP with gouache and acrylics, but again, watch those ratios. Adding more than one-part gouache or acrylic to four-parts WMOP can affect how it cures. The colours react well when mixed, and make for pieces that weren't far from the expected results.

If you're looking for a serious replacement to your oil paints, then look elsewhere. But if you're after an affordable and safer oil paint that doesn't require toxic spirits, then you could have a lot of fun with this H20 set from Mont Marte.

This article was originally published in issue 154 of ImagineFX, the world's best-selling magazine for digital artists – packed with workshops and interviews with fantasy and sci-fi artists, plus must-have kit reviews. Buy issue 154 here or subscribe to ImagineFX here.

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The Verdict

6

out of 10

Review: Mont Marte H20 Water Mixable Oil Paints

These won't stand in for a good set of oil paints, but they're a fun alternative if you want to banish turpentine from your studio.