Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors

opened box of Williamsburg oil colors

Posted On April 23, 2019

Every painter wants the best tools and materials for his or her painting. Since there are so many brands on offer it is really confusing sometimes and deciding which one to buy can be challenging. Especially when it comes to oil colors it is so difficult finding one that fulfils all your needs. There are a few brands that are of really good quality which I could recommend to you.

One of those is Williamsburg Handmade Oil colors. They are made in the mid-1980s by a painter Carl Pansky in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York. Originally Carl made the paints for himself and his friends never intending to turn it into a business, but the interest for his paints escalated to the point where the “Williamsburg Art Supply” was established.

The colors are as the name says hand made with carefully chosen materials and the best pigments from all over the world. After Carls death company merged with Golden Artist Colors and is now Golden and Williamsburg but they kept Carls legacy and are still producing the paint with materials and methods used by old masters.


Box of Williamsburg oil colors


 Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors are packaged in 37ml and 150ml non-reactive aluminium tubes. On each tube, there is a hand-painted matching color followed by the company and brand name and corresponding color name. The colors are produced in an amazing range of 178 different colors each unique in its one way. Some colors are slightly gritty while others are extremely smooth depending on the pigments used.

Colors are produced in batches no larger than 5 gallons at a time which gives total control over the paint very much like 19th-century French colormakers. Pigments used for the colors come from all over the world. All the materials for production are hand measured. For the binder, top quality, pure alkali-refined, ph balanced linseed oil is used.

Colors come open stock and in four sets of 8x11ml tubes with 37ml titanium white, two sets of 10x37ml tubes, set of 12x37ml tubes along with 150ml titanium white, set of 6x37ml tubes along with 150ml titanium white and a set of 6x37ml tubes of iridescent colors.

Color Sets

The Signature Colors set

contains 8 colors of 11 ml tubes of:

  • Brilliant Yellow Pale
  • Alizarin Orange
  • Persian Rose
  • King’s Blue
  • Courbet Green
  • Italian Lemon Ochre
  • Still de Grain
  • French Ardoise Grey

Plus a 37 ml tube of Titanium White

Landscape Colors Set

Set contains 8 colors of 11 ml tubes of:

  • Permanent Yellow Light
  • Cadmium Red Light
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Sevres Blue
  • Sap Green
  • Italian Lemon Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna

Plus a 37 ml tube of Titanium White

Traditional Colors Set

Set contains 8 colors of 11 ml tubes of:

  • Cadmium Lemon
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Cadmium Red Medium
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue (Genuine)
  • Raw Sienna
  • French Raw Umber

Plus a 37 ml tube of Titanium White

Modern Colors Set

Set contains 8 colors of 11 ml tubes of:

  • Permanent Yellow Light
  • Permanent Yellow Deep
  • Fanchon Red
  • Permanent Crimson
  • Egyptian Violet
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Phthalo Green
  • Quinacridone Gold Brown

Plus a 37 ml tube of Titanium White

Native Italian Earths Set

This set of 10 colors of 37ml tubes includes:

  • Italian Terra Verte
  •  Italian Yellow Ochre
  •  Italian Lemon Ochre
  •  Italian Orange Ochre
  •  Italian Green Ochre
  •  Italian Pompeii Red
  •  Italian Rosso Veneto
  •  Italian Terra Rosa
  •  Italian Pozzuoli Earth
  •  Italian Black Roman Earth
French Earths Set

This set of 10 colors of 37ml tubes includes:

  •  French Terre Verte
  •  French Yellow Ochre Deep
  •  French Raw Sienna
  •  French Ochre Havane
  •  French Brown Ochre
  •  French Burnt Umber
  •  French Light Sienna
  •  French Ardoise Grey
  •  French Raw Umber
  •  French Noir Indien
Basic Painting Set I

Set contains twelve 37ml tubes, along with one 150ml tube of white. 
This set includes:

  •  Ultramarine Blue
  •  Phthalo Blue
  •  Alizarin Crimson
  •  Fanchon Red
  •  Permanent Yellow Light
  •  Permanent Yellow Medium
  •  Viridian
  •  Raw Umber
  •  Burnt Sienna
  •  Yellow Ochre (Domestic)
  •  Naples Yellow Italian
  •  Ivory Black
  •  Titanium White (150ml)
Basic Painting Set II

A set of six 37ml tubes, along with one 150ml tube of white. This set of seven


  •  Ultramarine Blue
  •  Fanchon Red
  •  Permanent Yellow Light
  •  Viridian Green
  •  Burnt Sienna
  •  Yellow Ochre (Domestic)
  •  Titanium White (150ml)
Selected Iridescent Color Set

This set of 37ml tubes includes 6 of the Iridescent colors :

  •  Iridescent Pale Gold
  •  Iridescent Copper
  •  Iridescent Silver
  •  Iridescent Pearl White
  •  Iridescent Pewter
  •  Iridescent Bronze


Extremely rich in most incredible pigments creamy paint excellent for texturing and blending. Williamsburg Handmade Oil colors are amongst the leaders in oil color industry. Once you use your first color from Williamsburg you will definitely agree with me that these are unique on the market of artist grade oil colors.

These colors are ideal for painters that want to see expressive brushstrokes on their paintings. Lightfastness is good making them ideal for creating museum worth long-lasting artwork.


  • Buttery texture
  • Strong bright pigments
  • Good lightfastness
  • Great choice of colors


  • High price

Overall Opinion

No question that Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors are at the top of professional oil color industry. What makes them so special is that in the beginning they were made only for personal use by an artist and who is to know better what an artist needs than the artist himself. They grew slowly in time not losing any of their outstanding quality in the process.

Now we have 178 different colors to choose from each one special in its own way made from best pigments from all over the world. There are many sets to choose from and I’m sure everyone can find the one most suitable for their work.

They are a bit pricey but that comes with all top quality art materials since the ingredients used for the production are also very expensive. They are definitely worth every penny spent and I would recommend you to try them if your budget allows you. 

If you have any questions regarding the subject feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will be more than happy to answer them and help in any way I can.


Written by Magdalena

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