Review: Holbein Duo Aqua Oil Paints

Why You Need To Try Them Out, And How To Use Them In Your Artistic Process


This is an example of a painting I completed over a period of two weeks using these paints. The colors stay fresh and bright and are easy to blend.

Because these paints are water soluble, some artists make the mistake of mixing them with acrylic paint and mediums. Please don’t do this!

This paint works best when used with oil mediums, and if you need to make some colors iridescent, your best bet is to add some dry pigment powder or iridescent watercolor straight out of the tube.


Before I trying this product I had never used oil paints in my life. I knew oil paints were expensive, sometimes toxic, and required a lot of mediums to achieve the effects that I like in my work. I saw the extended drying time as a hindrance to my process rather than an asset, and let me tell you, I was absolutely wrong.

These paints? Absolutely amazing. They have the buttery texture that you get with traditional oil paints but none of the toxicity. They blend like an absolute dream with a bit of linseed oil and they clean up easily with water.

I cannot praise these paints enough. A set of 12 colors is about $60 on Amazon, which you can buy through this link (I get a small commission for every sale through this link at no extra cost to you). These paints will take 2-3 days to dry on your chosen substrate, but please don’t make the mistake of leaving them out on your palette overnight without adding some linseed oil!

I bought these paints for use in a college-level painting class, but I can definitely see myself using them for my work outside of class in the future. While a bit pricey, I love the look and the working time that can be achieved with these paints. I highly recommend using them for finished pieces, as an underpainting to traditional oils, or even for small studies.