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Michael Harding Handmade Artists Oil Colour - Lapis Lazuli (Afghan) No. 702 Series 7

Michael Harding paints are not only handmade but made using the techniques of the old masters, the colors are extremely pigmented and are ground in refined cold-pressed linseed oil. Free of fillers, extenders, or driers.

Today I will be testing out a very special and rare oil paint.

What makes this paint so special is the fact that genuine Lapis Lazuli is incredibly rare and difficult to source and is derived from the mines of Afghanistan.

Usually, 40ml of any color, be it acrylic or oils, will last me two canvas paintings on average. I honestly want to preserve this one as much as possible and only use it for special occasions. I expected the colour to be more dull and have an earthy tone to it and I got what I expected, generally speaking, modern pigments tend to be more bright and vibrant, I will be testing out modern variations of blue and compare it to the Lapis pigments in my next post.

The pigments are Non-Toxic, however not all Michael Harding colours are safe to use, therefore it would be helpful to go through this pdf with information on the colour properties and precautions:

I originally got this tube from Jackson's Art Supplies, considering the pandemic & elections, my shipment did take over a month to arrive, the cardboard packaging was damaged, however, the products were thankfully safe. There were heavy customs duties if not for the already expensive supplies so be prepared if you're ordering premium art supplies. Calculate customs duty in advance so you're fully prepared.

The colour itself is a beautiful dark blue earthy tone, as the colour got more spread out with a tiny bit of linseed oil, it eventually got more translucent and shifted to a mature medium blue.

My overall rating would be 9/10

It would've scored a solid 10 had it not been for the cardboard packaging, otherwise, I have had absolutely no issues with the paint itself.

The oil paint tube is a part of the Master's Set Collection, the entire set can be found here.


1. Pigment load is excellent, many brands are unable to grind the pigments as finely and have an uneven texture and a low pigment load, mostly due to the pigments not meshing well with the pigment binder, Michael Harding Lapis pigments have perfected the formula in this case.

2. The color is contained in a tube that feels premium quality, this is a staple for all Michael Harding oil colours.

3. Using genuine Lapis Lazuli pigments onto paintings make it harder to create replicas out of the original.

4. Beautiful earthy blue tone, unique texture.


1. Modern pigments have come a long way, therefore it is not the most vibrant.

2. The cardboard packaging could've been replaced with more sturdy packaging.

3. Affordability & availability.

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