Monday, August 22, 2011

Gamblin Oil Paints

We just got back from visiting friends in Portland, Oregon.  When I found out we were going up there, I contacted Gamblin Oil Paints and asked if I could tour their factory and they graciously said yes.  I've always liked their paints and mediums and they have one of the best, most informative websites I've seen so I was really excited to be able to see their facility.

When I got there, I was surprised by how small it is considering that they have an international presence with their product.  Every step of the process is checked and their quality control is wonderful.  I am now a complete Gamblin convert and plan to only buy their oils when I need (want) new colors.

Not only are they really focused on keeping their quality high and consistent, they are also careful about the health of their employees and the environment.  They use an air filtration system to capture the pigment dust while the colors are being mixed, which could be harmful if inhaled.  Once a year, they make Torrit Grey paint using everything collected in the filtration system.  The grey varies from year to year because the colors and amount of dust from each color made each year can vary.  Torrit grey is released around the end of April and is only available while supplies last.  It is given as a gift when another tube of Gamblin oil paint is purchased.

Artists can enter their annual Torrit Grey competition in which they use only Torrit Grey, white and black in their painting.  This year the deadline has been extended until Oct. 1st.  You can visit the Gamblin website to get the details and see examples of past work.   If you can't find Torrit Grey in your area, I just got some at Art Supply Warehouse which is located in Westminster, CA but they sell on-line also.  I don't know how much they have left but I was really surprised that they still had any because it's usually gone from stores pretty quickly.  If you contact them, be sure to mention the Torrit grey because some of their employees (the first on I talked to) don't know about Torrit grey and if they look on the Gamblin color chart they won't see it.  This company is different than the Art Supply Warehouse with the website (one of my favorite places to buy supplies) They ran out of the Torrit Grey a while ago.

I'm hoping to try a painting or two to submit.  It will be a really good exercise in value control.

This is a painting I did awhile ago but I never posted it to the blog.  It's one of my first oil paintings and I painted it in a traditional manner glazing many layers.  The color is much richer in person.  I just love these dramatic, huge flowers.  They have a long blooming season and are really flashy in a garden.

Garden Angels
Image size 24" x 18"
Gallery wrapped canvas painted on sides.  No frame needed


  1. Love the painting, Nancy. Did you do a similar piece before? I remember the unique flowers from a previous post. I also loved hearing about the Gamblin paint factory tour and was intrigued by how they make that torrit gray color. The company just sounds fabulous!

  2. Nancy, very interesting information about the Torrit Grey. If I were an oil painter I would definitely be curious to try Gamblin, what an endorsement! Your yellow flowers are gorgeous, the size is great too.

  3. Un travail magnifique dans cette peinture. Vos fleurs sont superbes... On pourrait sentir leur arôme d'ici...
    Je suis certaine que vous avez fait une visite très intéressante chez ce fabricant de couleurs...
    Je vous fais de gros bisous... je reviendrai seulement vous voir mi-septembre...

  4. Thank you Sherry. I have painted the Angel Trumpet flowers (Brugmansia) because I think they are so incredible looking.

    Hi Robin, these flowers are about 8" long in real life. You can imagine how dramatic a whole tree of them looks.

    Thank you Martinealison.

  5. Love the painting, Nancy. You are so gifted!
    How cool to tour a paint factory!

  6. Thank you Nancy. I've always enjoyed going on factory tours of any kind but to be able to go on one for art supplies was really interesting.

  7. Beautiful painting and love the info on the Gamblin Company.

  8. I love Gamblin oils and use them almost exclusively. Good to know how carefully they are made.

  9. Thank you Jerry.

    Kimberly, I'm happy to hear that you appreciate the Gamblin paints too. I'm impressed that they are such a small company and are competing successfully with the big guys.

  10. Beautiful painting! Thanks for sharing the Gamblin info as the oils are my favs too - I'm really surprised to hear the factory is that small. Good luck with the Torrit Grey pieces!

  11. Thanks Rosemary. You should try doing some of the torrit grey paintings too.

  12. Beautiful composition, the rendering is truly superb!

  13. Thank you Alvin. Those are such nice compliments, especially coming from you. I've always admired your work and look forward to each new post.


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