Why Artistic Lineage?


handmade fine artist oil colors

Our mission at Artistic Lineage is to equip you with the cream of the crop in oil colors for permanent mark-making. We use proven historical best practices including using only lightfast pigments bound in water-washed cold-pressed linseed oil.


How we differ... 

Artistic Lineage globally sources only the finest lightfast synthetic organic and inorganic pigments to bring you the cream of the crop. All of our oil colors have an excellent lightfast rating across the board, are intensely pigmented, and are painstakingly handmade in small batches to ensure consistency. All are hand-tubed and hand-labeled according to ASTM standards.

We use a virgin, cold-pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil and wash it before grinding our oil colors. Virgin, cold-pressed linseed oil is an exceptionally durable drying oil uniquely high in alpha-Linolenic acid forming a flexible cross-linked polymerized network, and when washed is non-yellowing! For this reason, it is favored by conservators and conservation scientists. As a vehicle, it naturally wets and suspends pigments preventing separation in the tube while imparting high saturation of color. The virgin oil is light-colored and the hand-washing removes the mucilage that would otherwise become rancid, delay drying, and discolor the film. Therefore, there is no need to bleach or deodorize our oil. Artistic Lineage Oil Colors are vibrant oil colors which do not discolor!

from the rest...

Why do many manufacturers use industrial alkali-refined oils?

With financial restraints, today's manufacturers who mass-produce [rely on a distributor and a retailer] by-in-large have moved away from cold-pressed drying oils due to their high cost and possibly the time involved to hand-refine them. Instead, they are opting for newer methods that use burgundy-colored alkali-refined industrial oils. Alkali-refined oils are extracted from seeds by use of heat and solvents (expeller pressed), then refined with caustic soda. After purchasing, most oil paint manufacturers use Fuller's earth to bleach the oil along with deodorizers to make it ready for use. Through the alkali refining process, many important fatty acids - essential to wetting and suspending pigments - are removed. Therefore, to compensate chemical additives are routinely added. Many tubed oil colors today have added zinc oxide to lighted colors and student grade oil colors use 50-70% chalk to replace pigment load greatly reducing durability and tinting strength.


The process oil color manufacturers use of bleaching alkali-refined oils (Fuller's earth) should be avoided as the original color of the oil eventually will return, thus discoloring the paint film. This problem is apparent in the discolored white, violet, and blue oil color paint films. Many paint tubes display dark dried oil around their caps. Many manufacturers today have switched to safflower semi-drying alkali refined oil (often) with added driers to compensate. Added driers can make the paint film less durable.

 We do not subscribe to these practices. We differ.