Update:- I am switching over to Traditional Oils now. I plan to use the WSO sparsely. The traditional are just easier to use and handle.
My entry into the world of color was through Pastel, for the sole reason that there were no solvents or smells of any kind. I also could leave my work without having to worry about cleaning the brushes or the paint drying on my palette. However, In Pastel, if you own around 100 color sticks, searching for the right color with the right value and intensity is a little cumbersome, I also did not like hauling all the color sticks for plein air work either, and as much as I enjoyed plein air, I frequently found excuses to avoid it.
Water Soluble Oil (WSO) Gallery (click to see the gallery)
The constraints of the Pastel lead me to explore other mediums. During my search I discovered the Water Soluble Oil, this was God sent to me. I could mix any chroma and value with just a few tubes of colors. Therefore it also dramatically cut the volume and weight, that I faced with Pastels.
Initially I struggled, because I was working with the Artisan WSO, made by Winsor & Newton, which was a little sticky and some of the yellows were too stiff. I was contemplating switching to traditional oil when I discovered the Grumbacher MAX. This paint is really awesome, it flows like butter, behaves very nicely and is reasonably priced. Another plus, I found, is the fact that it does not dry too fast. After sitting for a couple of days on the pallete the paint develops a thin layer of skin which can be broken and removed to access the paint inside. For now I will be using the Grumbacher MAX,…,at least for a while.
I have recently started using Holbein WSO and I have to say they are even better than the MAX. These are truly Water Soluble and do not become tacky at all. So if you are new to Water Soluble Oil, do yourself a favour and buy these.