Five generations of chemists in the Blockx family have been working since 1865 to perfect the Blockx Oil Colors. Today, Jacques Blockx IV and his daughter Catherine Blockx (Generation V) carry on this great tradition. Their workshop in Belgium resembles a winemaker's chateau more than a modern industrial factory. Together, they produce color in the tradition of the Flemish masters.
In the Blockx tradition, paint is still handground using a slowly rotating three roll stone mill. Only pure pigment is used. All colors have a minimum lightfastness rating of 7 out of 8 on the blue wool scale, so the entire line can be considered perfectly lightfast.
Iron oxides, earth pigments, and blacks are ground with linseed oil. All other pigments are ground with poppyseed oil, which prevents yellowing and dries without wrinkling or mottling. Each pigment is used at its best saturation, and no additives or fillers are used, whatsoever.
Color Chart note — Use this color chart as an approximation of the real color. If exact color matching is necessary, use actual samples of the materials.
® Blockx is a registered trademark.
From Bill Creevy's The Oil Painting Book: "Such leading artists as Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali and Fairfield Porter have lavished glowing praise on Blockx Oils, a testament to the extremely high quality of these paints.
"The superiority of Blockx Oils can be attributed to three simple factors. The first is a careful selection of only the very best pigments and oils available. The second is powerful pigmentation, as Blockx Oils are made with the highest concentrations of pigment possible. The third factor is Blockx's 150-year legacy of serious craftsmanship, from the careful grinding of pigments in old-fashioned stone mills, to the exacting formulations of paint recipes.
"The Blockx color range reflects quality rather than quantity. Approximately one-third of the Blockx palette consists of earth colors, whose particular beauty has made them legendary and reflects the importance of choice pigments. Blockx's range of earth colors offers several surprises. For example, there is no Raw Umber, but in its stead is a beautiful transparent brown. Neither is there Raw Sienna, but two Burnt Siennas take its place, one dark, the other light. Another unique Blockx earth color is Capucine Yellow, in both light and dark varieties. Undiluted, these colors are a rich, transparent "wood" red. When mixed with White, they produce earthy flesh tones.
"Because of the heavy pigmentation, the more chromatic hues of the Blockx line really sing out. Where necessary, Blockx's brighter and lighter colors, such as Cerulean Blue, are mixed with poppyseed oil rather than linseed oil to avoid any possible discolorations or yellowing. In fact, Blockx is the only paint maker to use poppyseed oil to such a great extent. Blockx offers the full range of Cadmiums and Cobalts, plus a genuine transparent Aureolin. Interestingly, Blockx does not have an Alizarin Crimson, but instead offers a series of Rose Madders made from the newer, more lightfast pigment Anthraquinone.