Holbein DUO Aqua Oil Set (20)
Holbein DUO Aqua Oil Set (20)
Holbein DUO Aqua Oil Set (20)
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Holbein DUO Aqua Oil Set (20)

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Developed by Holbein in 1999 to offer the same high pigment quality and archival characteristics of Holbein’s Artists’ Oil line while allowing soap-and-water cleanup, Duo Aqua Oils are characterized by rich hues, high chroma, excellent lightfast ratings equivalent to that of traditional oil color and superior working characteristics. Holbein specifically details 17 colors as “Elite” colors that contain heavy metal pigments such as quinacridones, cadmiums and cobalts.

DUO offers 100 highly pigmented Artist Grade Colors suspended in a water soluble cold pressed linseed oil. DUO is compatible with all media including traditional oil color and mediums, watercolor, gouache, acryla gouache and acrylic. DUO is an excellent teaching tool and a superb printmaking ink.

There has always existed the need for an oil color for the professional and for the student with all the handling qualities and characteristics of a true oil color, but without the negatives of the traditional medium.

The production of a water soluble oil color has been solved by different manufacturers in different ways, though not all seem to have the qualities of true oil color. Holbein’s objective in formulating DUO Aqua Oil Color was production of a genuine oil color for the professional, with the same qualities and characteristics of the traditional Holbein Artist Oil Color, certainly one of the world’s finest.

To make DUO identical in every respect to its traditional professional grade cousin, Holbein developed a unique additive which works as a surfactant, any residue of which loses its effectiveness once the oil color is dry.

DUO Aqua Oil Color is water soluble, but the oil is identical to that used in Holbein Artist Oil Color. There is no special treatment. There is no modification or breaking down (cracking) of the oil. There is no water in the product, only the additive that is rendered redundant and of no effect in the drying process.

The surface agent covers the pigments and oil, this making both water sensitive or soluble. That is all. There is no other ingredient present.

Mix with Oil Color, Watercolor, Acrylic Gouache and Acryla Gouache
If the artist does not wish to use water, DUO may be used as a traditional oil color and the result will be the same. DUO blends and mixes naturally with traditional oil color and traditional oil mediums although water solubility is lost if traditional oils or mediums exceed 30% of the mixture. DUO is not classified as a water base color, like gouache, acryla gouache, watercolor or acrylic, but all these blend perfectly with DUO while wet (add a few drops of water when blending with acrylic).
While drying time will vary depending upon application (thin or Impasto) and/or the humidity or airiness of the air, the following will apply to general use of DUO. When mixed with water DUO starts to dry slowly and after the water dries out, the oil that remains continues to dry by oxidation in the same manner as traditional oil and with the same result. While still wet, the paint will have somewhat reduced transparency. When the water evaporates, full transparency will return to match the traditional counterpart exactly.

When blended with water alone, DUO will dry to a slight matte finish in less time than traditional oil applied after blending with an oil medium. A finished work should not be varnished for 6 to 8 months depending on the climate.

  • Drying time is comparable to traditional oil straight out of the tube (no water/mediums).
  • Water Will matte down the surface when mixed with DUO, like turpentine does to oil.
  • Quick Dry Medium or Painting Oil is ideal for glazing.
  • Traditional oil mediums may be used, but mixture will lose water solubility.
  • Traditional oil painting techniques apply for DUO (fat over lean).
  • Water aids when mixing DUO with other water base media (watercolor, gouache, acrylic), to ensure a durable finish.
  • Use traditional oil varnish when sealing your DUO painting.
  • A stiff synthetic brush is best when painting DUO.

This listing is for 20 colors: eighteen 20ml tubes + two 50ml tube (Permanent White & Quick Drying Medium).

This Set Contents:

Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red Deep
Vermillion Hue
Jaune Brilliant
Lemon Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Yellow Light Hue
Viridian Hue
Cadmium Green Light Hue 
Cadmium Green Hue
Cerulean Blue Hue
Ultramarine Light
Prussian Blue
Cobalt Blue Hue
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Ivory Black Hue
Permanent White
Quick Drying Medium