Sunday, 8 April 2018

Prima Watercolor Confections: Pigment composition

UPDATED TUE 10th APRIL 2018 - Prima have given me some more information - see the comments below in RED.

After years now of asking Prima what the pigment compositions of their Watercolor Confections watercolours are, they have provided them for me and I thought I would share them and my thoughts.

I have linked to my videos reviewing these products and links through which you can buy them - sometimes there are excellent deals to be had that are so good, even if you don't like the paints, the metal palette works out cheaper than buying one - I know a few people who have used them for that! The swatch cards in the older sets were horrid glossy stock that actually made the paints look really bad but swatched on watercolour paper, they are much better so don't be fooled if you think that! Try them on a better paper :)

As you will see, all of the palettes are based around the same set of pigments, more or less, so they will all work well together across the sets. I get very tired of hearing people say "these aren't artist quality!" about Prima's paints - they are. Fine artists can get a bit snobby and forget that art-journalling and scrapbooking and mixed media are professional artwork forms, thus, these paints are professional artist quality, but they are not necessarily fine-art suited. I think they are lovely for use in sketchbooks and they form nice limited palettes to challenge yourself with - I take a different one with me in my bag each week to sketch whatever I come across that I enjoy.

As always with non-fine-art watercolours, PW5 Lithopone will be used to extend and opacify some colours but labelling conventions do not require it to be stated. 

Anywhere I gave given a pigment without a C.I. number and in capitals e.g. "GOLD", it is a proprietary pigment or coated mica.

In 2018, some of the colours from the early sets were renamed, so I have given both names where this is the case. The numbers have not changed, just the names - the paints are still 100% the same!

The Classics
This was the first set in the series and I didn't get this one for quite some time as the colours in the other sets appealed a lot more. I have given two sets of names here - the first name for each colour is the original name, and the second one is the 2018 onwards name.
BUY ONLINE: US$18.57
BUY ONLINE: £20.79
NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
01Dove / WhitePW6 Titanium White
02Candy / PinkyPR81 Rhodamine 6G
03Rouge / RedPR112 Naphthol Red AS-D
PR170 Naphthol Red AS
04Carrot / OrangePO13 Benzidine Orange
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
05Canary / YellowPY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
06Green Apple / Green PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
07Breeze / Icy BluePB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
08Sailor / BluePB29 Ultramarine Blue
09Lavender / PurplePB81 Cobalt Tin Alumina Blue Spinel
PV23 Dioxazine Violet
10Roasted Coffee / Cocoa PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PBk9 Bone Black
11Slate / GreyPW6 Titanium White
PBk9 Bone Black
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
12Dark Night / BlackPBk9 Bone Black

Tropicals
This was the first set that I bought in the series and I like it for sketching out of doors in the summer months when you don't want to use your best paints - use cheaper ones and fill up your sketchbook! Lovely vibrant colours. I have given two sets of names here - the first name for each colour is the original name, and the second one is the 2018 onwards name.
BUY ONLINE: US$18.88
BUY ONLINE: £18.47





NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
13Grassland / Island PG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
14Plantain / CoconutPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
15Thunderstorm / Hurricane PB29 Ultramarine Blue
PB27 Prussian Blue
16Avocado / ParrotPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB27 Prussian Blue
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
17Tropicana / HibiscusPO13 Benzidine Orange
PR112 Naphthol Red AS-D
18Rainforest / PalmsPG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
19Red Parrot / PitayaPR57:1 Lithol Rubine
20North Isle / ReefPV23 Dioxazine Violet
21Sunset / PineapplePY83 Diarylide Yellow HR
22Lush / SunsetPR81 Rhodamine 6G
23Wild Berry / OceanPB27 Prussian Blue
24Cacao / TikiPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk9 Bone Black

Decadent Pies
This was the second set I tried and I love these colours - sooo good for sketching beach scenes or anything 'earthy'. Some beautiful, deep, soulful colours herein. I have given two sets of names here - the first name for each colour is the original name, and the second one is the 2018 onwards name.
BUY ONLINE: US$20.57
BUY ONLINE: £18.42





NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
25Frosting / White Mocha PW20 Mica
26Silver Pearl / Earl GreyPW20 Mica
PBk9 Bone Black
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
27Praline / Pischahio CreamPW20 Mica
PY83 Diarylide Yellow HR
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
Rich Gold
28Rose Petal / Guava MeringuePW20 Mica
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PO13 Benzidine Orange
Pale Gold
29Vanilla Cream / Banana Cream PY6 Titanium Dioxide
PY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
30Dark Chocolate / PecanPR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PO13 Benzidine Orange
PBk9 Bone Black
31Frappe / Peach CoblerPW6 Titanium Dioxide
PO13 Benzidine Orange
PY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
32Sweet Jam / ApplePR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
33Caramel / PumpkinPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB27 Prussian Blue
34Pistachio / KeylimePB27 Prussian Blue
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
35Blue Berry / BlackberryPB27 Prussian Blue
PBk9 Bone Black
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
36Berry Syrup / BlueberryPB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
Pastel Dreams
This was not a set that I enjoyed much at first as most colours are very opaque in nature and I found them a little heavy - but I've seen some beautiful lightweight use of them on Prima's Instagram feed with lovely dilute washes - I really need to try these out again! They are jolly ice-cream colours and I think they would be really useful for cardmakers.
BUY ONLINE: US$19.39
BUY ONLINE: £18.42





NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
37BrownPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB27 Prussian Blue
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
38ChocolatePR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk9 Bone Black
39CrimsonPO13 Benzidine Orange
PR112 Naphthol Red AS
40Rose PO13 Benzidine Orange
PR112 Naphthol Red AS
41LemonadePY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB27 Prussian Blue
42CitrusPY83 Diarylide Yellow HR
43BumblebeePY3 Hansa Yellow 10G
44Sea DreamPB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
45ParadisePG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
46Pool PartyPB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
47Icy SkyPB27 Prussian Blue
48Lilac RainPR81 Rhodamine 6G
Shimmering Lights
This set is full of metallics and is clearly intended to complete with the far more expensive FineTec metallic watercolours for brushed lettering. They'd be great for that or for card-making but not much use to traditional watercolourists.
BUY ONLINE: US$23.98
BUY ONLINE: £58.32 [may be cheaper at Art From The Heart]





NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
49GoldGOLD
50TwinkleGOLD/PALE GOLD
51AllureGOLD
52TreasurePB27 Prussian Blue
GOLD
53GlazePY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
54AntiquePR27 Prussian Blue
GOLD
55CopperedPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY83 Diarylide Yellow HR
PO13 Benzidine Orange
56FlarePY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
57DiscoPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
58GoldstonePO13 Benzidine Orange
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB27 Prussian Blue
59ChampagnePEARL
60ChandelierPEARL

Celestial
The set that never was. It was shipped to some reviewers in 2017 after a long delay but was never released formally though I think a few people did manage to buy sets from reviewers who had been sent it. For undisclosed reasons, it was quietly pulled by Prima. If I can get the pigment info I may add it for completeness.

NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
61Venus
62Comet
63Vega
64Aurora 
65Nebula
66Galactic
67Heavenly
68Stellar
69Luna
70Big Bang
71Nova
72Divina
Odyssey
This set was originally intended to be released with Celestial and then it was delayed and finally released. The colours are really interesting but I've yet to try it. Prima gave me two reds for 74 Rome - it is either made from PR57:1 and PV23 or PR170 and PV23, which I assume was a reformulation at some stage along the way.
BUY ONLINE: US$22.17
BUY ONLINE: £23.48


NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
73TokyoPR57:1 Lithol Rubine
PR170 Naphthol Red AS
74RomePR57:1 Lithol Rubine
OR
PR170 Naphthol Red AS
PV23 Dioxazine Violet
75AmsterdamPV23 Dioxazine Violet
PR122 Quinacridone Red
76Maui PR112 Naphthol Red AS
PO13 Benzidine Orange
77JordanPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
78CuscoPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk7 Lamp Black
79DubaiPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PO13 Benzidine Orange
PBk7 Lamp Black
80JamaicaPG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
81LondonPB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PB27 Prussian Blue
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
82IncaPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PO13 Benzidine Orange
83BudapestPR170 Naphthol Red AS
PO13 Benzidine Orange
PV23 Dioxazine Violet
PBk7 Lamp Black
84CalgaryPW6 Titanium White
Woodlands
One of the three sets released in early 2018 in the new packaging, this set is based around landscape colours and thus would be great for landscape sketching - though I've yet to try it myself.
BUY ONLINE: US$30.33
BUY ONLINE: £23.01



NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
85Sand RidgePY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PBk7 Lamp Black
86ShadowPBk7 Lamp Black
87CavernPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PBk7 Lamp Black
PB27 Prussian Blue
88Foxberry PR112 Naphthol Red AS
PB27 Prussian Blue
89PondPG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
90StreamPB27 Prussian Blue
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
91BearPY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
92MistPB27 Prussian Blue
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
93GreystonePBk7 Lamp Black
PY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
94DaylightPY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB27 Prussian Blue
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
95RedwoodPR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
96Deep MossPB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PB27 Prussian Blue
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
Essence
Whilst I have this set, I've yet to open it and try it. The colours are really beautiful and it could be useful for urban sketchers or cityscape painters.
BUY ONLINE: US$30.33
BUY ONLINE: TRY ART FROM THE HEART (UK)


NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
97AdorePR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk7 Lamp Black
98ChantPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
99EmotionPB27 Prussian Blue
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green Blue Shade
100Earth PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB27 Prussian Blue
101NamastePY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
102PonderPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PBk7 Lamp Black
103EternityPB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PB27 Prussian Blue
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
104NirvanaPB27 Prussian Blue
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
105UnitePR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk7 Lamp Black
106AwakePR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PY14 Arylide Yellow AAOT
107CreationPB29 Ultramarine Blue
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PR57:1 Lithol Rubine
108SerenityPY3 Hansa Yellow 10G
PB27 Prussian Blue

Complexion
This set is just a mix of colours from older sets put together to make a portrait set, so there is no point really in buying this if you already have all of the older sets, of course, but if you don't, this is a really useful portrait set. Note that some of the colours (12, 14, 24 and 31) have different names in Complexion than in their original sets as the paints in those sets have been renamed in 2018, but based on the material Prima has provided, they are the same pigment composition and they do look identical - the paints have not been changed, only the name.
BUY ONLINE: US$29.33
BUY ONLINE: £23.01


NumberPaint NamePigments and Notes
12BlackPBk9 Bone Black
14CoconutPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
24TikiPR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk9 Bone Black
31Peach Cobbler PW6 Titanium Dioxide
PO13 Benzidine Orange
PY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
41LemonadePY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB27 Prussian Blue
49GoldGOLD
87CavernPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PBk7 Lamp Black
PB27 Prussian Blue
91BearPY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
95RedwoodPR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue Green Shade
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
98ChantPY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
101NamastePY42 Yellow Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
105UnitePR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT
PR48:4 Permanent Red 2B
PBk7 Lamp Black

Friday, 12 January 2018

Product Review - Jackson's brushes for acrylics and oils

Happy new year! I hope everyone had a bit of time off work and some rest and aren't finding the return to a normal routine quite as tough as I did but that's what you get for sleeping 17h a day over the break!



So, I have just posted a video in which I review the wonderful (and pretty) line of brushes for acrylic and oil from Jackson's Art Supplies. They have quite a number of different brushes and I have described them all below and included a link so that you can buy them. I also use some other products in this video, which I have also linked in case you are interested. The gold taklon brush I used in this video was from the economy line by Daler and Rowney "Simply", which are cheap and cheerful and come in multipacks - so I could not give you a normalised price for them. The Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Brush is from her short-handled set (1" flat, 3/4" flat, 3 Round, 6 Round) by Ranger.

In this video, I use cheap canvas panels - my favourite are the Jackson's one, which are quite economical but amazingly good quality compared to most "own brand" products. The heavy body paint I use is CRYLA - Daler and Rowney's professional brand. The fluid acrylic is by DecoArt Media.

To compare the brushes in terms of price and use, I've done a little table for you! You can buy these brushes using the links in the table to view each line OR you can scroll down where most of the lines have got sets you can buy very economically (many with free shipping!) - there are some really great deals INCLUDING a set that contains 1 of each of the Jackson's brushes (except for Onyx).


Vegan?LineFibre6 Flat costUses and notes
NoShiro White HogUnboiled white hog bristle£4.70bStiff and very high quality. Brief bleaching.
NoBlack HogBlack hog bristle£5.20cSofter than white hog but stiffer than black sable(e).
YesOnyxStiff mixed synthetic£5.20aShort handled, stiff, well suited to both fluid and heavy-body paints.
YesShinkuRed soft synthetic£6.20bHas good spring. Softer than hog.
YesAkoyaStiff white synthetic£6.20bDeveloped as a "vegan hog" and really delivers. Stiff.
YesProcrylAcrylic£6.30dSpringy and absorbent so can be used for v fluid washes.
Comparison brushes:
NoCRYLAMedium stiffness synthetic£9.50cSynthetic. The professional acrylic brush by Daler and Rowney.
NoMonarchFaux mongoose£12.15cStiffer than sable but softer than hog. Good snap. Winsor and Newton

FOOTNOTES
The prices given are for a 6 flat (about 1/2" or 1.25cm wide) where available but not every brand sells every shape of brush, so the full details are:
a - price for a 1/2" flat.
b - price for a 6 bright.
c - price for a 6 flat.
d - price for a 6 long flat.
e - "black sable" really means polecat ("fitch") hair.

PLEASE NOTE Jackson's offer FREE international shipping for any brush-only orders valued at £20 or more which is an absolute bargain! You can buy any of the brushes mentioned here using the links below.

Jackson's Oil and Acrylic Comparison Set
[£23.00 or US$31.59 or EUR25.90 - this set is eligible for free international shipping as long as you don't buy any non-brush products in your order]
This is a great idea - a set of 5 number 6 flat brushes in Black hog, Shiro white hog, Shinku, Akoya and Procryl, which is a great way to test out all of the different fibres (except for Onyx) economically and given you get free shipping, what's not to love? I think this would also make a great gift. Not suitable for vegans (contains hog). If you want to compare different brush shapes rather than fibres, try the Procryl set (scroll down a little).

Jackson's Shiro White Hog Set of 5 Brushes
[£15.00 or US$20.60 or EUR16.89]
I was really impressed with the quality of the white hog brushes especially when you consider the price - these are professional quality brushes at the price you might usually pay for student grade ones. This set contains 5 Shiro white hog brushes: a 4 Round, 1 Bright, 6 Bright, 2 Filbert and 8 Filbert. This would again be a great gift for an oil or acrylic artist of any level, or just a good way to try out this line. If you buy them with the set below, you can get a really good flavour of the Shiro line AND get free shipping anywhere worldwide! Not suitable for vegans (contains hog). If you are looking for a vegan alternative, look at the "Akoya" line (below).

Jackson's Shiro White Hog Set of 7 Brushes
[£39.00 or US$53.54 or EUR43.91 - this set is eligible for free international shipping as long as you don't buy any non-brush products in your order]
As I said in the blurb for the above set, the quality of Shiro for the price is fantastic. This set contains 7 Shiro white hog brushes: 1 Round, 6 Round, 12 Round, 4 Bright, 10 Bright, 6 Filbert and 12 Filbert - which makes it a REALLY useful and "complete" or well-rounded set in my view! Coupling it with the set above would leave you with a totally perfect set for any artist from beginner to pro in terms of just about all the useful brush sizes and shapes. Not suitable for vegans (contains hog). If you are looking for a vegan alternative, look at the "Akoya" line (below).

Jackson's Black Hog Set of 4 Brushes
[£15.00 or US$20.60 or EUR16.89]
This is a little less stiff than white hog and this set has 4 Black Hog brushes: 2 Round, 6 Round, 6 Flat, 8 Filbert. Coupling it with the below set would leave you with a totally perfect set for any artist from beginner to pro in terms of just about all the useful brush sizes and shapes. Not suitable for vegans (contains hog). If you are looking for a vegan alternative, look at the "Onyx" or "Procryl" lines (below).

Jackson's Black Hog Set of 7 Brushes
[£39.00 or US$53.54 or EUR43.91 - this set is eligible for free international shipping as long as you don't buy any non-brush products in your order]
Per the above set, this is a softer bristle than white hog and this set contains 7 Black Hog brushes: 2 Round, 4 Round, 10 Round, 4 Flat, 10 Flat, 6 Filbert, 10 Filbert they are worth almost £55 (US$75.50, EUR61.88) if bought individually! Not suitable for vegans (contains hog). If you are looking for a vegan alternative, look at the "Onyx" or "Procryl" lines (below).

Jackson's Shinku Red Synthetic Set of 4 Brushes
[£15.00 or US$20.60 or EUR16.89]
These are a very nice red synthetic with a lot of snap to them and the very glossy fibre means the brushes glide through the paint and gives you work a very smooth and clean look. This set contains 4 Shinku red synthetic brushes: 0 Round, 6 Round, 8 Bright, 4 Filbert. 100% vegan friendly!

Jackson's Shinku Red Synthetic Set of 9 Brushes
[£39.00 or US$53.54 or EUR43.91 - this set is eligible for free international shipping as long as you don't buy any non-brush products in your order]
These are a very nice red synthetic with a lot of snap to them and the very glossy fibre means the brushes glide through the paint and gives you work a very smooth and clean look. This set contains 9 Shinku red synthetic brushes: 0 Round, 2 Round, 6 Round, 10 Round, 4 Bright, 8 Bright, 12 Bright, 2 Filbert, 10 Filbert - this is a pretty complete selection of brushes and they are worth almost £55 (US$75.50, EUR61.88) if bought individually! 100% vegan friendly! 

Jackson's Akoya White Synthetic Bristle Set of 4 Brushes
[£15.00 or US$20.60 or EUR16.89]
A perfect vegan alternative to white hog! This set contains 4 Akoya white synthetic bristle brushes: 2 Round, 6 Round, 6 Bright, 4 Filbert, which is a nice selection to get started with, or you can buy the larger set (below) if you want a bit more flexibility - but this would make a nice gift for a student of oil or acrylic painting, particularly a vegan student or anyone else just trying to avoid using hog. 100% vegan friendly!

Jackson's Akoya White Synthetic Bristle Set of 6 Brushes
[£39.00 or US$53.54 or EUR43.91 - this set is eligible for free international shipping as long as you don't buy any non-brush products in your order]
A perfect vegan alternative to white hog! This set contains 6 Akoya white synthetic bristle brushes: 0 Round, 6 Round, 4 Bright, 12 Bright, 4 Filbert, 10 Filbert - a really useful selection and a perfect gift too! 100% vegan friendly!

Jackson's Procryl Set of 4 Brushes
[£23.50 or US$32.27 or EUR26.46 - this set is eligible for free international shipping as long as you don't buy any non-brush products in your order]
This is another great value set, again with free shipping as an option. This contains 4 Procryl brushes: a 6 Bright6 Filbert6 Long Flat and 6 Round. Again, a great way to try a new fibre out. 100% vegan friendly. 




Sunday, 10 December 2017

Product Review: Lutea Watercolours




It was a wonderful surprise to receive an entire pack of the Lutea range (worth almost £300/EUR340/US$400) when I asked to review it, and honestly, they were a pleasure to review, and I've not been able to put them down! I was a little dubious at first - I'd actually bought 3 colours out of curiosity already, but I thought the palette of the whole range might be a little limiting - I actually found out that this is a REALLY versatile palette. Ok sure, there's no true warm red, warm yellow or warm blue, but the net effect of that is that all mixes are lovely and muted and soft and even though very few of the paints share any pigments, they're all "of a type" in hue and colour depth. I can see a lot of use for painting works at sunset or in subdued light, for example, which makes colours mute slightly, or for etherial dreamscapes and fantasy works. 

The Lutea watercolours are made by Anne-Sylvie Godeau in Belgium and they are available from Jackson's in the UK, who have international shipping at good prices. The palette is as follows - I talk in the accompanying video about how the paints are made and what plants they are from, so please consult it for more details. Whilst Lutea takes its name from the Latin feminine adjective lutea, meaning "the colour of saffron" (e.g. one could wear a stola lutea (saffron coloured women's gown) or calceus luteus (saffron coloured shoe) - the adjective changes gender to match what it describes), there is no saffron-derived paint - but you can make a similar hue with the Yellow and the Orange mixed together, of course ;)



Prices are for Jackson's and are for 9mL tubes - I've heard some people talk about these paints as "overpriced" but actually, if you look at the price per 5mL (standard watercolour size), you're looking at £9.50 to £12.78, which is well within the price ranges of Winsor and Newton Series 4 colours as well as Daniel Smith and Qor! Personally, for what they are and the effort required to produce them, and given that they use handmade pigments made in-house by a small company not a giant pigment house, I think the prices are actually really reasonable for a high-quality high-end paint.

Pink - Madder Lake (NR9 Madder Lake) [£19.50]
Red - Madder Lake (NR9 Madder Lake) [£17.10]
Carmine - Cochineal Lake (NR4 Cochineal) [£23.00]
Violet - Logwood Lake (NBk1 Logwood Lake) [£19.50]
Blue - Indigo (NB1 Indigo) [£21.50] [£23.00]
Grey - Strawberry Lake (N/A) [£23.00]
Brown - Walnut Lake (NBr7 Juglone) [£23.00]
Dark Green - Meadowsweet Lake (N/A) [£17.10]
Light Green - Meadowsweet Lake (N/A) + Indigo (NB1 Indigo) [£17.10]
Yellow - Goldenrod Lake (N/A) [£21.50]
Dark Orange - Thyme Lake (N/A) [£19.50]
Orange - Cosmos Lake (N/A) [£21.50]

The lightfastness ratings are all fairly good - relating to 50-100 years of normal display in most of the paints - I mentioned Violet was one of the lower ones in my video but some of the others are also a little low too. That said, for most painters, our work isn't going to be hung for 500 years so why worry? Quite honestly, it's a bit arrogant to assume you're so important that 100 vs 500 years really matters!

Lightfastness ratings of Lutea watercolours as determined by Green'ing International, Loire Les Marais, France. The Blue Wool Scale goes from 1 (poor) to 8 (excellent) but these paints were not tested for levels 7 and 8, hence those rated 6 I have listed here as "greater than or equal to 6" as further tests may show their lightfastness is even higher). I have also included the equivalent ratings on the ATSM Scale, which goes from I (Excellent) to V (Poor), along with how long such ratings correlate to normal display conditions - NOT based on direct summer sunlight, but normal display conditions
PaintBlue Wool ScaleATSMHow long should it last under normal display conditions?
Pink
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years
Red
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years
Carmine
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years
Violet
4-5
III
15-50 years
Blue
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years
Grey
5
III
15-50 years
Brown
5-6
II-III
15-100 years
Dark Green
5-6
II-III
15-100 years
Light Green
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years
Yellow
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years
Dark Orange
5-6
II-III
15-100 years
Orange
≥ 6
II
50-100+ years

In this video I mention that these paints are particularly suited to a number of types of painter, and that I would spell out which colours are particularly useful for each group to just get started without needing to buy all the colours:

Landscape artists - Dark Green, Light Green, Blue, Brown, Grey, Yellow, Dark Orange
Seascape artists - Blue, Grey, Dark Orange, Light Green
Botanical artists - Red, Pink, Violet, Carmine, Light Green, Yellow
Portrait artists - Dark Orange, Brown, Grey, Yellow, Pink (and Zinc White Gouache - see below)

Products Used In This Video

In addition to the Lutea paints that I have linked above to purchase, the following other products are used in this video:

[£16.50]
I have done a video about these brushes, I love them. I used the 1/2" flat and the 8 round in this video, which you can buy as a set.

Golden Acrylic Medium GAC-100
[£11.60 for 236mL bottle - I show the larger size in this video]
This is what I used to show that you can make acrylic glazes with these paints easily. It's a really useful medium for acrylic painting and one of a range that Golden produces.

This is what I used to show that these paints could be opacified with gouache - you can make awesome flesh tones with Zinc White gouache, Orange from this range and then use the Brown and Grey to add shading and shadow. I like the W&N Gouache a lot - it re-wets easily if you want to dry it down (add a drop of glycerine to each half pan so that it doesn't crack when dry) and it goes a very long way!

Colourworks BRUSHO - Black
[£4.26 for 15g jar]
I used this to add texture and interest to a wash - it's a powdered watercolour that is a lot of fun to use.

Winsor and Newton Gum Arabic 
[£5.60 for 75mL] 
This is really useful for making washes smoother and it makes the colours seem more vibrant. It's the vehicle used in most paint brands - some use Gum Senegal (aka Senegalese Gum Arabic or Kordofan Gum Arabic) instead, and Qor by Golden uses Aquazol, which I've explained previously. If you think about oil painting, adding extra linseed oil (the vehicle of oil paints) into your paints gives you longer drying times, more time to work the paint, a glossy finish and a more vibrant, transparent colour - Gum Arabic added to watercolours does exactly the same thing, and I found it worked beautifully with these watercolours by Jackson's - both the pans and the tubes.

Winsor and Newton Ox Gall  
[£5.60 for 75mL] 
I used Daler and Rowney's ox gall in the video but to be honest, I prefer the W&N one for both quality and price. Ox gall is a combination of bile salts from cattle bile obtained from abattoir waste - deoxycholate and so on - and they act as a surfactant to reduce the surface tension and promote better wetting of the pigment grains - just like soap would do when washing the dishes really. If you paint on some high-end papers such as Arches by Canson or Millford by St Cuthbert's Mill that have really very hard sizing, a touch of ox gall in your water can help to wet the paper without the water beading up - of all watercolour mediums, this and Gum Arabic (below) are the most useful. Ox gall is usually sold as a solution in a bottle which can be a bit inconvenient, but if you would prefer a solid ox gall that you can keep in your palette, you can also get that - I use it en plein air a lot and these Schmincke pans of it last AGES and smell of lavender, which is nice! 
Half-Pan Schmincke Onetz [£3.20]
Full-Pan Schmincke Onetz [£4.80]
If you would prefer a vegan alternative, there is one sold under the Qor brand by Golden [£9.60], which is particularly popular.

[£11.10 for 10" by 14" 12 sheet pad]
This is a great "every day" paper - it's chemical pulp (wood) so not too expensive and it's quite hard wearing - this is the paper I tell all beginners to move to as soon as they can and then once used to it, move on to a cotton paper - but even though I use a 100% cotton paper for actual works, I use Bockingford for day to day use, sketching, studies and warm-ups as well as en plein air work.

The Langton Prestige Cold Press 140lb 100% cotton paper
[£16.80 for 10" by 12" 12 sheet pad]
This is one of the more economical 100% cotton papers and it's good for beginners and every day use - I think it makes for a lovely sketchbook if you bind the paper sheets into a nice binding and give it as a gift or use it for all paintings around one theme. It's quite hard wearing but the sizing is not very hard so lifting isn't always easy - though it's hard-wearing enough to handle a scrubber brush.