About paint's, color's and brand's quality

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About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:47 pm

I don't know if there is another thread running about this, but I open one anyway, in order to talk here about the quality of various paints, colors and brands that sell artists' supplies, ( for informative reasons always).
I recently switched from W&N watercolors ( Cotman or artists) to Van Gogh. One of the reasons is that the local W&N distributor is unacceptable but the main reason is that I realized, totally by chance, that Van Gogh watercolor paints are getting better and better by time. This series was supposed to be student's quality colors, but after I tried some tubes I found out that are even better than Cotmans close to W&N artist (! ). Very rich colors, that don't become stone hard or dry completely if I use it in the pans and release loads of color immediately with a drop of water.
Their quality is very close to the Rembrandt series too, that are supposed to be the artists quality series of this brand. I acknowledge that I was a little snobbish regarding cheaper series of colors, but now I've changed my mind.

Regarding cheaper paints I have to add something else. A friend of mine gifted me long a go, a set of Crawford and Black watercolor tubes set. I didn't use them, as they looked quite low quality but recently I run out of ochre paint, so I used theirs to finish a sketch. Well ...this ochre is the warmest and most brilliant ochre I've ever tried. Best than any other, Blockx, Sennellier, ( I haven't spell it right this but anyway), SihnHan Premium, Cotmans, W&N artist (add whatever you like except Daniel Smith that are not imported here).
I will never judge again the quality of a color by each brand's reputation.

Talking about colors now, I really have a query. What is the exact shade of Burnt Sienna? Have the art supplies industry decide what shade has the color that is called Burnt Sienna? Because as many are the brands, that many are the different shades of this color. Non is the same with the other. Some are more reddish, other more yellowish, other browner, but from brand to brand I'm always buying a different color, sometimes same brand's tubes contain a different shade.. ( especially W&N..).

About prices now.. What is going on with some brands? Have they lost their minds or something? Do they thing that they sell liquid gold in tubes? Ok I agree that some pigments are more rare and expensive than others and the professional series are better quality, with more pigments and thin grounded but some brands have insanely high prices. And I'm asking: how a work of art that is made of these ( supposed) high quality materials is going to cover the costs of making? How much has an artist to sell a work, in order to cover the costs? If the companies expect that these kind of products are made for use only from artists who are able sell their works in any price they want, then I'm afraid that their target group is limited. The rest either will not invest in such artist materials, or if they do, they'll never manage to cover their costs, so sooner or later they will not buy again. Am I wrong?

And that's all for the moment. If you have to add something about the materials you use, feel free to do so. I'm interested to read about your experiences with colors, brands, if there is something that you like or dislike..whatever. :)
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Andre Jute » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:30 pm

Couple of points from your mail, Alitogata. Anyone on a budget should buy Cotman or Van Gogh watercolors, because they're so much better than the other "student" brands, almost as good as W&N Artist's or Rembrandt, which are both very good watercolour lines.

Burnt Sienna isn't a semi-fixed colour like Phtalo Green (x Shade). It is merely an approach to a traditional colour once made of natural clays. Today it differs from brand to brand because of what is added to the base of PR 101 (synthetic iron oxide). In short, Burnt Sienna is what the manufacturer of your tube of colour says it is at the time it makes the contents of the tube. Winsor & Newton, for instance, has different formulations of Burnt Sienna depending on the colour range they're talking about, in Artisan PBr7 mixed with PR 101 while solvent-based Artist's oils are made from PR101 alone.
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:56 am

Andre I was never fan of very expensive colors anyway, but from time to time I buy tubes of professional series, usually shades that are not so common. For example W&N quinacridone gold doesn't exist in other brands, ( I mean the exact same shade) but is a very unusual shade that adds brilliance on paintings and gives strange unique greens if you mix it with various blues.
But I refuse to buy classic shades like Ultramarine, or Burnt Sienna ten times up their price.

I didn't have a very good opinion about Van Gogh, which in the past were sold as Talens. ( the company is still Talens but now they changed the name of the series).
They were not of that good quality and smell bad. But recently that I 've tried some tubes I impressed from their high quality and from now on I'll switch to these.

I suppose that there is a pantone standard of how Burnt Sienna should look like. I know that different brands use different mixes of pigments to achieve the same result, but shouldn't there be a "recipe" of what this shade must contain? Same for every manufacturer?

Irrelevant: I have good news. :D I finished the two sketches of our game, and some more paintings and tomorrow will be a day of massive uploads as I will scan and upload my new works. So get ready and find the next photos for our game. ( and I have to find some too). Ups.. now that I 've remember it.. Wheeeeere is your version of the boat Andre?? :)
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Andre Jute » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:04 am

Yesterday was too nice to sit inside and work from a photograph. I cycled to a hill over the estuary of the Bandon River and worked on my painting of it. We've ten days of glorious weather forecast, during which I intend to cycle and paint outside, and then i must write a screenplay promised for months ago, so don't expect anything from me.

The entire Royal Talens product set was overhauled and upgraded a few years ago, starting with Van Gogh and Cobra (their water-miscible oil paint).
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:34 am

Let me tease you a little.. Don't take everything so seriously... :P :lol:

New HR photographs for the game here and here.
Last edited by Alitogata on Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:13 pm

Andre Jute wrote:[...] We've ten days of glorious weather forecast, during which I intend to cycle and paint outside, and then i must write a screenplay promised for months ago, so don't expect anything from me.


It seems that little summer ( September's sunny days) moved in Ireland. This last week it rains, here in Athens, every single &^%&^%$# day. And not this quite light rain that is ok, ( and waters the garden as well), these are storms the kind of "run and hide". The other day one of these, got me on the road with my road bike and I came back home, wetter than ducks. :lol: :lol:

Go sketch outdoors as long as you have time. :)
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Andre Jute » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:25 pm

Alitogata wrote:Let me tease you a little.. Don't take everything so seriously... :P :lol:
here.


Now she tells me!
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:16 pm

Ok.. that's it ..After that I have seen everything in this life.. :lol:
Fabriano Artistico paper 300 gr dissolved under my brush while I was painting while a Canson Montval same weight didn't even cockle though it got loads of water after a water pipe broke in my house. The painting washed out but the paper after drying was in perfect condition and reusable.
Strange things happen in this world, but this was surreal... :shock: :!:
Is that means that Fabriano reduced its quality, or that Canson improved Montvals..???.Or perhaps that I found the perfect batch of Montvals (in this case I'll go back to the store and buy them all).
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Andre Jute » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:43 pm

Or that Fabriano had an off batch.

I hope I didn't get any of it. I have Fabriano Artistico standing by to make a new custom sketchbook as soon as I have time.
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:31 am

I don't know.. Test it before you paint anything because I had to throw the painting I was making in the bin. The paper started dissolving and make this makaroni kind of stuff on the surface.. I tested my Fabriano sketch book with wet on wet and did the same thing.
Then I bought a Montval from a store in my neighborhood and though I had this water pipe accident, Montval had no problem.
This world is full of surprises :roll: ..
I don't know what the hell is going on with Fabrianos, ( but to tell you the truth I never like them either way that much).
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:42 am

Hi!! :)
Do we have some kind of radio silence in this forum?? Nobody talks. :D What is going on??

Well I'll make a serious announcement to make you start talking. :P

My sepia Van Gogh watercolor got mold. I had put some from the tube into a sealed container and when I opened it up today it was still wet and had mold on the surface. Is this good or bad?
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Andre Jute » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:27 pm

When I took up sketching, I had no supplies whatsoever because I'd been a portraitist decades and many countries before, and my gear just got lost, and I'd done all my design work since 1981 on the computer, putting out whatever the computer couldn't do to a coterie of specialists I collected over the years. Literally, on my desk lay a single Cross ballpen my son gave me on a wedding anniversary. But my wife had her own art gear, and had kept her father's watercolors, which she gave me. It was probably thirty years since they were last used. But they were all Winsor & Newton and good, rewetting instantly, except the sepia which even when new always wants stirring with the brush (people with fine sables shouldn't use sepia!), and the more so when it gets old, and the ivory black, which was moldy. I reckon the formulation of the others protected them, and the ivory black got moldy because its organic material, burnt animal bone. I scraped of the surface mold on the ivory black pans and half pans, washed them smooth again, and the mold hasn't returned in the couple of years since, though they just sit there unused as the nearest I come to black in my palette is the very occasional inclusion of Payne's Grey.
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:03 pm

Do you really think that Van Gogh's Sepia color is organic and not synthetic? Is not that expensive I mean and it is supposed that organic pigments are more expensive than synthetic ones.

But anyway. I just said it to have it in mind.

I do a lot of practice on gesture drawing these days, mostly online as the weather don't allow me to sketch outdoors these days.
I found a very useful site for practice on gesture drawing. This one: http://www.quickposes.com/pages/random so when I'm home I practice this way. (better than nothing).

Drawing and sketching this way demands loads of paper. So I searched for a while to find a strong but cheap enough paper and I found the best. I think that this kind of paper is called Manila paper, it is a kind of paper for packaging and protecting floors when painting houses. I buy it from the hardware store in my neighborhood, and they don't sell it by meter but by kilo. One kilo of this paper, which is several meters long and 1.20 meters wide, costs me 1.20 euros.
I bought both white and brownish one to test them, the brown one is thicker than the white, but both papers accept pencil, ink and loads of washes. Of course these are not quality papers and I'm sure will get yellow by time, but I need them for practice so it don't care that much.
I'm intended to make a large sized sketchbook from this paper but I will not bind it. I will nail the paper sheets on cardboard with this thing ( which I don't know how is called in English but I have one anyway).

And that's all my news.. I'll upload new sketches as soon as I'll scan them. :)
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Andre Jute » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:20 pm

The "thing" is a stapler. I have an electric one, which I use for binding my custom sketchbooks.

When I run out of paper, I ask any nearby shop to give me a brown paper bag or two. Thick brown manila paper is great for sketching on, and the colour near enough the toned paper Matthew uses, so it looks "artistic" too, at least once you cut off the folded and glued bits that make it a paper bag!

I've been thinking of buying a 10m roll of Fabriano's Accademia 200gr paper for binding into a big thick wad of paper to make disposable sketches for a panoramic image of a nearby square I'm planning. It takes light washes well. It is the paper in their Venezia sketchbooks. But I can't order it because my pusher is out of stock.
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Re: About paint's, color's and brand's quality

Postby Alitogata » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:04 am

Andre Jute wrote:The "thing" is a stapler. I have an electric one, which I use for binding my custom sketchbooks.


Stapler... ok recorded.

When I run out of paper, I ask any nearby shop to give me a brown paper bag or two. Thick brown manila paper is great for sketching on, and the colour near enough the toned paper Matthew uses, so it looks "artistic" too, at least once you cut off the folded and glued bits that make it a paper bag!


I think that brown paper bags are made from the same kind of paper. But the brown paper that the hardware store gave is a little bit thicker than the one that the brown bags have. Is more like carton. Very nice when I work on it with ink and white watercolor. :D

I've been thining of buying a 10m roll of Fabriano's Accademia 200gr paper for binding into a big thick wad of paper to make dispostable sketches for a panoramic image of a nearby square I'm planning. It takes light washes well. It is the paper in their Venezia sketchbooks. But I can't order it because my pusher is out of stock.


Think it again. I've sent them a complaining mail for the makaroni-Sketchbook and they didn't bother to reply. What if the roll is of the same kind?? ( plenty of makaroni to cook it :P :lol: :lol: ha ha haha).

Anyway... how many sketch books are you intended to make. 10 meters is too much paper.
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