Have you guys noticed the uphill on oil paint prices yet since the barrel of oil price keeps climbing?
Oil paints have just always been expensive. Your local art store might be pulling the wool over your eyes if they have you thinking their product is related to petroleum.
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As has been pointed out, the oil in oil paints is vegetable oil (linseed [flax], safflower, poppy, or walnut), not petroleum. Crude oil prices will effect transport costs, petroleum-based solvents, and synthetic organic pigments. Many paint prices have risen significantly in the last decade, probably mostly due to the decline in the value of the dollar.
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Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
I wouldn't be surprised with more artists moving from traditional to digital mediums that the price of many art supplies goes up by comparison. Supply and demand says that if the demand is less the price goes down, but that doesn't take into account that the less demand there is, the more the production costs affect each unit sold (I'm sure there must be a separate economics law that covers that). Below a certain point, the fewer units sold, the more each one has to go up to keep things profitable. The reverse of this is when new technologies emerge they are expensive, but as demand for them increases and they can start being mass produced they become much cheaper. The first home computers were very expensive (and very limited), but now home computers are both cheap and powerful.
I think there will always be a base line demand for artist materials, but I think certain mediums will become much more expensive over time. Acrylic will stay fairly cheap, but oil paint will get expensive, because many professional artists are moving away from it, but it's a more complicated medium for hobby artists to deal with and it entails more health concerns if you don't work with it under the right conditions.
My prediction is oil paint is going to become a specialty medium that will become more rare than it currently is.
also, certain pigments become more valuable or scare and price go up again
and damn it, I still can find a place that carries genuine Mummy
Dave, I've heard the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has some Mummy in its holdings. Make them an offer.
Looking at the story now, I have my doubts. I should actually see if I can find any information on that to prove or disprove it.