Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our whites and blacks in oil paints

Transparent Black
Transparent Black enables the artist to mix glowing, vibrant darks without the overpowering effect of Lamp or Ivory blacks. On its own Transparent Black is a neutral black with a mid grey undertone, as distinct from the cool undertone of Lamp Black and the warmth of Ivory Black.
BWS8, Permanence ****

Ivory Black
A semi transparent black with a warm undertone. By far the most widely used and popular black today.
ASTM1, Permanence ****

Lamp Black
The most opaque and blackest black. Lamp Black is a cool, very slow drying black with a slightly blue undertone. Please note that Lamp Black will appear blacker than can be registered in this colour swatch.
ASTM1, Permanence ****

Zinc White
Simply unbeatable as a mixing white because of the subtle luminous results when mixed with colours. Being one third the opacity of Titanium White, it allows stronger, translucent tints to be mixed. It can also be used for subtle glazing effects; a pin head of zinc added to each colour layer will identify that colour within multiple layers of glaze.
Permanence ****

Titanium White
Titanium is extremely opaque and is the whitest of all whites. Its covering power and resistance to yellowing makes it a popular choice where areas of pure white colour are needed. In mixes it produces opaque, more pastel shades, as distinct from the more luminous results obtained with Zinc White. Titanium White contains a small amount of PW4 to ensure useability for the artist.
Permanence ****

Titanium White #2
Formulated with more pigment and less oil than our standard Titanium, the Titanium # 2 is milled for long periods which results in an extremely heavy bodied paint. It is an exceptionally opaque and brilliant white, and because of the heavy body and lower oil content is ideal for impasto work, and a useful replacement for the toxic flake white (lead white).
Permanence ****

Underpainting White
A fast drying oil-resin white ideal for priming and under painting. Straight from the tube it has a soft, cottage cheese like consistency which becomes smooth when brushed out or worked with a palette knife. Underpainting white dries in around half the time of other whites.
Permanence ****

Oil Paint ratings explained
Lightfastness refers to how much colours are subject to fade with exposure to light over time.
ASTM refers to the American Society for Testing Materials. Oil Paints are rated as Class I through to Class V, with Class I being the most lightfast.
BWS refers to Blue Wool Scale, a lightfastness rating system of 1 to 8, with 7 and 8 being the highest (and thus equivalent to ASTMI).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Create your own Colourfix Paper background shades

Did you know you can create your own pastel background colour by using Colourfix Primer?

Simply apply the Colourfix Primer of your choice to paper (300gsm or heavier) or canvas, board, timber ... (there is a whole range of clean, dry surfaces this primer will adhere to). Each colour in the standard Colourfix range is available (as well as a clear, extra-textured 'Supertooth'), but you can also mix them together or tint them with Art Spectrum Gouache or Artists' Ink to make your own customised Colourfix paper.

The primer can also restore your original background colour during, or at the end of, the painting process. For example, see Donna's tips on using Colourfix Primer to correct errors:

So now you can make your own coloured pastel paper, perfectly matched to your palette!