Williamsburg Oil

Williamsburg founder and painter Carl Plansky entered the paint business as the result of a happy accident. In 1985, Plansky obtained his first paint mill from fellow artist Milton Resnick in return for continuing to make paint for Resnick, a task that had become too arduous for the artist to continue.

Working from his new mill in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, Plansky began making paint for Resnick, himself, and others. Experimenting with materials on a large scale, he eventually discovered how to make an oil paint that was richly pigmented and dense. Although he had no plans to sell his paint, within a year Plansky’s artist-friends had bartered and bought enough paint from him to turn Plansky into the master supplier of the Williamsburg art crowd. The “underground legend” that was Williamsburg Handmade Oil Paints was eventually made available to the public.

Today, Plansky’s paint-makers continue to source the best raw materials in the world, importing pigments from dozens of countries. Each is carefully ground to enhance the beauty and luminosity specific to each pigment, then ground into pure, premium, alkali-refined and pH-balanced linseed oil. Every color in the line possesses a unique consistency and texture — some are slightly gritty, and some are extremely smooth.

Every color is made in small batches no larger than five gallons at a time to ensure the highest level of control over the product. In addition, every ingredient is hand-measured, and every ounce of paint is scrutinized.

Carl Plansky died on October 10, 2009, at the age of 58. The artist-craftsmen of Williamsburg Artist Materials, trained by Plansky to make paint like artists, are dedicated to ensuring that his legacy continues. They invite you to experience Williamsburg Handmade Oil Paints.

Native Italian Earth Colors
Williamsburg is pleased to offer a line of traditional native Italian earths.  While we have always made our siennas with fine Italian pigments, these particular earths are scarce and used primarily by art conservators.  They are the same pigments used by the great Sienese and Florentine masters.  All are authentic and come from the regions of Italy made famous by these pigments.  Unfortunately, because these colors are difficult to get, we can offer them only in 40 ml. and 150 ml. tubes


Iridescent and Interference Colors
Williamsburg makes a line of iridescent colors that are both colorfast and permanent. We make these with ground mica so that even the metallic colors will not tarnish. There are some limitations inherent in the composition of these colors: in order to refract light and appear metallic or nacreous, the mica particles must be ground too small. They should be almost like tiny crystalline prisms sparkling with glints of light. Because of this, the paint has a semi-translucent quality - not the heavy covering power of aluminum radiator paint.

Imagine the colors that shoot out of a fire opal, except each color is isolated. For example interference violet goes on like an almost colorless glaze but violet "fire picks up and reflects the light. These interference colors work best in glazes - they lose their opalescent sheen when mixed too much with other colors.

Conforms  to California Proposition 65



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