In the past, I used enough Michael Harding paint to add it to my oil paint reference. My initial rating was “good.” Later, I tried their titanium white and was surprised to discover that it is the best titanium white I’ve ever used. I am not a fan of titanium white but the Harding unbleached titanium is excellent.
After my experience with the titanium, I decided to do an extended test. I bought the assortment of paint you see in this photo. Among these colors, lead (Cremnitz) white, Terre Verte (green earth), and ultramarine blue are part of my normal palette.
Based on price alone, Harding is a premium brand fitting between the two most expensive brands–Blockx, and Old Holland (OH). Using the always-pricey cerulean blue as a metric, Harding sells a 40ml tube for $67; OH is $92.89; Blockx is $46.26. These prices are taken today from the online discounter, Blick. For those unfamiliar with paint prices, you read that right; a single 40ml tube is almost $100. Painting has become an occupation for the wealthy or the children of politicians.
When you go through a lot of oil paint like I do, price is important. My cost rating captures the paint’s value given its price.
My original rating for Harding was based on a tube of Cremnitz white and a tube of one of my most-used colors, burnt sienna. For those who haven’t visited here before, I don’t have a favorite brand nor am I looking for one. I use paint from a variety of vendors. My favorite burnt sienna is from Rublev; my favorite raw umber is from Rembrandt, and favorite light red is from Winsor Newton, and so on.
Besides Harding’s titanium white, and from among those I’ve tried, I like their burnt sienna, Cremnitz white, green earth, and yellow lake very much.
The Harding paints handle extremely well. They’re fluid yet retain body. I’m revising my reference to include them with the other premium brands–Old Holland and Blockx. I rank the premium brands OH, Blockx, and Harding in that order. After I use Harding more, I might revise the ranking.
My day-today brands continue to be RGH, Blue Ridge, and Winsor Newton. I’m also liking Rembrandt these days.
Since I am boycotting OH, it’s a toss up for me between Blockx and Harding when I want a premium tube.