Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Jane Davenport Petite Palette Watercolours - a pigment analysis - PART ONE

It's only been days since people started getting hellishly excited about Jane Davenport's new watercolour paints and I've already been asked over and over if I'm going to review them and what I think the pigments are like and so on. The incomparable Mrs Weirich, The Frugal Crafter, has done a lovely and thorough review of these paints and I honestly could not top it in terms of the amount of information and detail she has provided already, but, as soon as I can get them in the UK without paying through the nose for shipping, I will be reviewing them I promise!

What I will do now though is talk about the pigments for each paint and tell you options for the exact same pigment in other lines so you can make a better and more informed choice as to whether these have enough "new" to warrant investing in more supplies. There are two sets called BRIGHTS  and NEUTRALS and I'll tackle them in that order. The pigment information I've provided is for the raw, naked pigments NOT the finished paint - I just find that a more convenient way of comparing different lines. Every brand uses different ingredients in their binders etc, some of which afford photoprotection, some don't - so the finished paint can be more or less photostable than the pigments themselves. I will tackle the NEUTRALS set in another post tomorrow!

Lightfastness I have used I = amazing to IV = fugitive as my scale.

BRIGHTS
This is a set of 12 half-pans. The first thing you'll notice is that there are really 8 unique things and 4 you can mix from the other 8 or by diluting one of them. Nothing wrong with having 4 convenience-mixes in the set but worth thinking about if those 8 add much new to your suite of supplies - e.g. if you have all 8 already - particularly in a professional fine-art line, you might want to spend a bit more time weighing up the pros and cons with yourself. I ain't gonna tell you not to buy something (have you SEEN my haul videos?!) but I do think you should always make an informed choice. Oh to Hell with it - the packaging is just too cute - BUY IT!

REMEMBER the point of these (and any!) paints is to have fun! They are aimed at the mixed media market for art journaling, not for fin art. They are going to be used in paintings kept shut away in art journals or used in ephemeral items like cards - thus their lightfastness doesn't really matter all that much to many users.

"Buzzy" 
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT - this is a cool yellow (greenish) oftentimes found in inks rather than paints. No professional watercolours use this pigment that I can find. Lightfastness is II to III, so pretty fugitive. It is fairly transparent. 

"Ladybug"
PR57:1 Lithol Rubine - this is a common dye used in lipsticks and in foodstuffs and thus appears in paints intended to be childsafe - it's not common in fine art supplies, however. Maimeri Red Devil (oil) is one of few paints to use it that is widely available. It is a magenta-ish mid-red with a violet undertone - so a very cool red overall, and fairly transparent. It has a lightfastness rating of III, so pretty fugitive. No mainstream professional watercolours use this pigment.

"Butterfly" 
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue BGS - this is a cool blue with a greenish tone that is more obvious when applied more dilute. Very common in blue paints of all grades. Very transparent and lightfastness rating of I (Excellent). You will know it from professional paints with names like Phthalo Blue Green Shade or Winsor Blue (Green Shade). Strongly staining.

"70s Eye Shadow" 
A duel-pigment paint you could get by mixing "Butterfly" and "Mermaid" together:
PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue BGS - this is a cool blue with a greenish tone that is more obvious when applied more dilute. Very common in blue paints of all grades. Very transparent and lightfastness rating of I (Excellent). You will know it from professional paints with names like Phthalo Blue Green Shade or Winsor Blue (Green Shade). Strongly staining.
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green BS - a very standard blueish green that is very strongly tinting. Strongly staining. Very common in green paints of all grades. Very transparent and lightfastness rating of I (Excellent). You will know it from professional paints with names like Phthalo Green Blue Shade or Winsor Green (Blue Shade). Strongly staining. 

"Mermaid" 
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green BS - a very standard blueish green that is very strongly tinting. Strongly staining. Very common in green paints of all grades. Very transparent and lightfastness rating of I (Excellent). You will know it from professional paints with names like Phthalo Green Blue Shade or Winsor Green (Blue Shade). Strongly staining. 

"Jimminy" 
A duel-pigment paint you could get from mixing "Buzzy" and "Mermaid" together:
PY14 Diarylide Yellow AAOT - this is a cool yellow (greenish) oftentimes found in inks rather than paints. No professional watercolours use this pigment that I can find. Lightfastness is II to III, so pretty fugitive. It is fairly transparent. 
PG7 Phthalocyanine Green BS - a very standard blueish green that is very strongly tinting. Strongly staining. Very common in green paints of all grades. Very transparent and lightfastness rating of I (Excellent). You will know it from professional paints with names like Phthalo Green Blue Shade or Winsor Green (Blue Shade). Strongly staining.

"Best Friend" 
PR81 Rhodamine 6G - this is a fluorescent cool red that is part of the Rhodamine dye family, one of which - Rhodamine B aka BV10 - is added to Opera Rose to give it the neon pink undertone. Rhodamine 6G is not commonly used in paints and has a lightfastness of III so pretty fugitive and it is also pretty transparent too. No mainstream professional watercolours use this pigment.

"Fairytale" 
PR81 Rhodamine 6G - this is a fluorescent cool red that is part of the Rhodamine dye family, one of which - Rhodamine B aka BV10 - is added to Opera Rose to give it the neon pink undertone. Rhodamine 6G is not commonly used in paints and has a lightfastness of III so pretty fugitive and it is also pretty transparent too. No mainstream professional watercolours use this pigment.

"Frida" 
PR170 Naphthol Red AS - this is a warm red that fades to a cool red with exposure to light. It has a lightfastness of III so pretty fugitive. It is most commonly found in student paints as a "Cadmium Red (Hue)" but mostly in acrylic and not that common in watercolours. You won't find any mainstream professional watercolours that uses this pigment. It is moderately opaque when applied in an acrylic base - I suspect it would be more transparent in watercolour which is why it is not used widely.

"Mystic" 
PB81 Cobalt Tin Alumina Blue Spinel - this is similar but not the same as Cobalt Blue (PB28). It is rarely used and not found in any professional watercolour that I can find. It is probably intended as a cheaper alternative to PB28. There is no information on lightfastness but I would estimate II based on the chemistry of it and would suspect strong opacity.
PV23 Dioxazine Violet - this is a very common deep purple pigment found in many watercolours like Dioxazine Violet or Winsor Purple for example. It is not a cheap pigment to produce so in cheaper paints is often "cut" with cheaper pigments like quinacridones (which would be declared, if present). Lightfastness is III or IV - it does fade in strong light. It is moderately transparent and very strongly staining.

"Royal" 
PV23 Dioxazine Violet - this is a very common deep purple pigment found in many watercolours like Dioxazine Violet or Winsor Purple for example. It is not a cheap pigment to produce so in cheaper paints is often "cut" with cheaper pigments like quinacridones (which would be declared, if present). Lightfastness is III or IV - it does fade in strong light. It is moderately transparent and very strongly staining.

"Ink" 
This is a triple pigment paint and many Indigo paints have similar compositions.
PB27 Prussian Blue - this is often thought to be fugitive but technically isn't - it will go brown in bright light but restores in the dark. It is a cool blue with a green undertone and granulates beautifully if a course grind. Very opaque. Lightfastness is usually rated I-III but note it does restore in the dark! Very commonly used in paints with names like Prussian Blue or mixed with alumina in Antwerp Blue.
PBk9 Bone Black - this is a fairly transparent, lightfastness "I" (Excellent) black pigment found in all manner of black paints, usually named Bone Black or Ivory Black (Hue). Granulates beautifully and has often got a brown undertone.
PR101 Synthetic Red Iron Oxide - this is a very common pigment found in all manner of watercolour paints from cheap to professional and you will know it from paints like English Red, Indian Red, Venetian Red, Caput Mortuum, Burnt Sienna and so on (which differ in purity and grain size). It is fairly opaque and not fugitive at all - lightfastness rating is "I". Very common and low cost iron oxide pigment, nothing wrong with this being here.



4 comments:

  1. I have linked to your site from The Frugal Crafter - this is the first time I've visited. Although I am totally new to watercolours at the ripe old, and untutored in art, age of 65, I find this technical approach to colour fascinating. I will be using Jane Davenport's paints in my art journals, mostly in an attempt to learn to paint faces. I have been fascinated by the range of colours used in skin tones, some completely unexpected, so learning what colours are mixed together to make the paints in the pans is very instructive.
    I think I'll be spending a lot of time reading through your site! Thanks for the info!
    Jakki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jakki, you are very welcome here! Have you seen The Art Sherpa's recent video on some basic skin tone mixes? It's very useful - it's acrylic paint but you can use the same colours in watercolour just as easily to make skin tones. A common skin tone method is to buy or mix a Jaune Brilliant (literally "Bright Yellow") which usually comes in 2 recipes - Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange, or Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Red. To one of those, you add Burnt Umber and can get a good range of skin tones that way.
      You will probably find my YouTube channel more useful than my website - the "Colour Chemistry" series particularly so!
      Happy painting!
      T.S.D.

      Delete
  2. Very helpful and informative as usual Rich! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is awesome. Thank you so much for the information!

    ReplyDelete

Hit me up with a comment...