Brands, Ken Bromley, Materials, Oil, Paint, Tips & Techniques

On Test: Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paints

My Name is Sean O’Grady and I’m a landscape painter and pet portrait artist. I live in the beautiful county of Dorset.  I work exclusively in oil paint as I enjoy the richness of the colours and textures you can create. I’m here to share with you my thoughts on the Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paint range.

Image of two Ken Bromley Artist' Oil Paint tubes

I have been using Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paints for a number of years. I find them great quality, excellent value for money with a good colour consistency and an extensive range of colours. The full 37 colour range is offered in 60ml tube sizes.  This means you get a lot of paint for your money in comparison to other brands.

Importantly, the titanium white is also offered in larger 225ml tubes, plus one which is a quick dry. This is extremely useful as we tend to use a lot of white when working with oil paint.

Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paints are made in the UK in small batches using the finest pigments making them a real artist quality paint but at a fraction of the cost of other big brands.  The price makes them ideal for anyone thinking of trying oils for the first time as you’re not put off by the cost. Additionally, they are also ideal for anyone who is currently works in oils and may benefit from using less expensive paint without sacrificing quality.

Painting by Sean O'Grady
Sean O’Grady – Watersmeet, Lynton

They are thick in consistency when squeezed from the tube.  Enabling you to produce a full range of painting techniques from heavy impasto, to beautiful washes of colour or glazes. Easily thinned down with solvent or any painting medium they work well on any painting surface, from stretched canvas, painting panels and MDF boards.  

My colour palette

Sean O'Grady's sketchbook

The vast majority of the range are single pigment colours. They mix well together producing some beautiful colour combinations as you can see from some of my colour charts below.  Over the years I’ve been using Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paints, I have found no fading or deterioration of colour. My palette consists of;

  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium red
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • French ultramarine
  • Cobalt blue
  • Cerulean blue
  • Violet
  • Cadmium orange
  • Viridian Green
  • Burnt umber
  • Raw umber
  • Ivory Black
  • Titanium White

Great colour mixing capabilities

I’m always experimenting with my colours to see what great mixes of colours I can develop. In the following images show a range of colours created by mixing paints from the range.

Red-Orange colour mix
Beautiful oranges made with Cadmium Yellow and Alizarin Crimson mix
Mixes of greens
A nice range of greens produced by mixing French Ultramarine with Cadmium Yellow

I have created colour charts using Richard Schmid’s method. This involves creating a pure colour chart with paints, directly from the tube, on the top row and then each row down gets lighter as more white is added. Then I have created a separate chart for each of my colours (colour dominant charts). I have taken the main (dominant) colour e.g. Viridian and mixed it with the other colours from my palette. So each column contains the dominant colour mixed with one of the other colours from my palette. As before the rows downwards then get lighter as more white is added to the two mixed colours. This is a great exercise to do, especially with your most frequently used colours, as it reminds you what colours can be achieved by cross mixes of colours.

Image of  colour chart made with Ken Bromley Artist' Oil French Ultramarine as the dominant colour.
Colour chart made with Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil French Ultramarine as the dominant colour.
Image of colour chart that has been made with Viridian as the dominant colour.
Here the colour chart has been made with Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Viridian as the dominant colour.
Image of colour chart with dominant colour of Cadmium Yellow
Finally, the dominant colour used in this chart was Cadmium Yellow from Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil range.

In summary

Sean O'Grady - Summer Fields & River
Sean O’Grady Summer Fields & River

I know from experience that the cost of oil paints can be off putting for a lot of fellow artists.  This is why the big brand manufacturers offer cheaper student ranges of oil paints.  However these student ranges aren’t as good as professional paints.  They don’t have the same mixtures of pigment to oil and can have extenders and fillers added.  So why waste your hard earned money on lesser quality paints when for a bit more you could be using Artist quality oil paints.

Compare the cost of other brands and see the difference for yourself.  I thoroughly recommend using Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paints I have not doubt that you will not be disappointed.

I hope to give more information on my painting technique in a future article. Happy painting.

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Sean O'Grady is a landscape painter living and working in Dorset.
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One thought on “On Test: Ken Bromley Artist’ Oil Paints

  1. Really interesting, I was very cautious at first but I am a convert now! The consistency out of the tube is first rate I have not experienced any paint separation whch happens even with “posh” brands.

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