About Cobra Water Mixable Oil Colours

What are Cobra Water Mixable Oil Colours Actually?

Cobra is a genuine oil paint. The paint is made on the basis of drying oils and does not contain any water. An unusual property of this oil, however, is that it can be mixed with water. The paint can be used in all the usual oil paint techniques. Very high-quality pigments are used for this product range. All colours (70) have the highest degree of lightfastness +++ (at least 100 years lightfast under museum conditions).

Cobra oil colours carry the label of an Artist quality. It is pleasant working with Cobra water mixable oil colours as you do not have to use any white spirit. Brushes and palette knives can be cleaned simply using soap and water. 

How is it possible that oil paint can be mixed with water?

To allow oil and water to mix, an additive is needed. This additive helps to form a stable blend of small oil droplets in water. This blend is called an emulsion. The additive is known as an emulsifier. Artists have actually been using similar techniques for a long time. Before oil paint even existed artists worked with casein tempera and egg tempera paint. These two types of paints use natural emulsifiers. Casein is itself an emulsifier and in egg tempera use is made of the emulsifier that is already present in the egg yolk.

What are the differences between Cobra Oil Colours and other oil paints?

With Cobra water mixable oil colours you can paint in the same way as with traditional oil paints. When painting with traditional oil paints, the harmful solvents white spirit or turpentine are used in the underlayers. With Cobra oil colours you can use water instead. Water replaces white spirit. In this way you can work without solvents, so that your working space is kept free of that unpleasant odour of solvents.

Can Cobra be used in the same manner as standard oil paints for all painting techniques?

Yes, Cobra oil colours can be used for all oil painting techniques. - Painting alla prima (wet-into-wet painting) - Layered painting - Glazing - Impasto painting.

What does artists' quality mean in the case of Cobra?

A number of factors determine whether paint can be referred to as Artists' Quality.

Firstly, the amount of pigment is important. Artist Quality contains a lot of pigment. The user therefore gets a great deal of colour.
Secondly, an artist has a quality product range with a wide choice of colours composed of exclusive pigments.
Lastly, the fineness is important. The ingredients in the paint must be distributed as well as possible. This dispersal (pulverization, rubbing) occurs in a triple-roll mill. The raw materials that are mixed a little in the pre-mixer are led through a mill a number of times until the paint has the desired fineness.   

I teach art and want to start using Cobra Water Mixable Oil Colours. I know a number of advantages myself but there must be more reasons I can tell my students?

Working with Cobra has the following advantages:

  • simple in use (water and medium)

  • no volatile solvents are necessary such as white spirit and turpentine, so: no unpleasant odours, making it pleasant for painters who are sensitive to volatile solvents. Can therefore be used in the studio, living room, outside, everywhere.

  • 100% retention of brush stroke/structure

  • no colour change in transition from from wet to dry

  • all colours have the same degree of gloss

  • all colours have the highest degree of lightfastness (+++ = at least 100 years under museum conditions)

  • brushes and palette knives can be cleaned easily (soap and water) - suitable for all oil painting techniques

  • Cobra is Artists' quality. A comprehensive Cobra brochure is available from your local specialist shop.

What is the difference between alkyd paint and water mixable oil paint?

Technically-speaking the difference lies in the binder. With alkyd paints this is an alkyd resin dissolved in white spirit. With Cobra water mixable oil colours this binder consists of drying oils. Its use results in the following differences:

  • Alkyd paint dries considerably faster than Cobra water mixable oil colours, whereby there is less time to work wet-into-wet.

  • Solvents are necessary for Alkyd paint in order to thin the paint and clean the equipment. For Cobra water mixable oil colours no volatile solvents are necessary. Water can simply be used.

  • When using pure Alkyd paint some of the brush stroke is lost when drying due to the evaporation of the white spirit. When using pure Cobra water mixable oil colours the brush stroke remains 100% during drying.