Richeson Oils ~ The Shiva Series are a superior brand of oil paint that is made right here at our factory in the United States, alongside our hand-crafted line of BEST Easels. These oils have a rich history and long standing quality.
Originally marketed and sold as Shiva Signature Oils, these paints were created by an artist out of personal need and passion. Ramon Shiva was interested in making a fine paint for himself and his friends in the late 1920s. Ramon's son-in-law saw the potential of this paint and encouraged him to make a real business of it. During this time, Shiva had a sixteen year–old errand boy by the name of Jack Richeson, who made deliveries to the factory and was fascinated by the paint making process (and a fellow who would eventually make his own legendary contributions to the art supplies industry).
The paint took off: during the 1940s through the 1950s, Shiva became the leading oil paint manufacturer in the United States, and also led the world in bringing back casein, a paint from antiquity. During the late sixties, the company was sold and the drive seemed to be lost. The quest for purity and quality, once so proudly held by Ramon, was replaced by efficiency and price control brought on by the new owners' financial administrators. In the year 2002, a lifelong dream of Jack Richeson's came true. Today Jack Richeson & Company has gone back to all the old formulas of the 1950s that made Shiva oil the top brand in the United States.
Richeson is committed to producing the "Best of the Best." Richeson Oils ~ The Shiva Series has generated positive response from some of the top oil painters in the country, including Ramon Kelley, Daniel Greene and Kate Palmer.
Richeson uses only pure, artist–grade dry pigments, ground to each one's own correct degree of fineness and then formulated individually under exacting laboratory controls. They are guaranteed to be permanent, free from darkening, yellowing, fading and cracking, and are bound with the finest grade of alkali-refined linseed oil available.
Richeson Oils go through a rigorous series of processes, which ensures an even distribution of the pigment and results in a buttery, even consistency. Because great care must be taken to avoid overworking the pigment, the amount of time required for the milling process varies greatly for each color - anywhere from six hours to three days. Each color of paint that is made must be treated individually.
Last in the process is "resting time" for a minimum of 90 to 120 days before tubing, so that the pigment can reach its maximum absorption level. Richeson tests the paint through the resting process and only after the oil is determined to have reached its prime is the color tubed.
Richeson's commitment to provide only the best of the best does not allow for shortcuts.