Saturday, 25 February 2017

Wallace-Seymour Extra Fine Acrylics

Ok so this was a BIT of an impromptu one! I've had a small selection of some of the more unique colours from this range, like the specially sourced minerals that you just can't get in any of the commercial, mass-market artists' acrylic ranges, so I wasn't going to post a review of them owing to a slight lack of things to show you really...however, my three Wallace-Seymour Watercolour Videos (Early, Artist and 18th Century - and I do hope to do the Vintage range very soon too!) have been SO popular this week that I couldn't not get something up on these paints too! I popped out at lunchtime and picked up a few more tubs of paint so I had enough to run this video. My local art shop is The Art Side in Plymouth and the owner first got me into Wallace-Seymour (then Pip Seymour) Extra Fine Acrylics some years ago - and they stock many colours in the range.

First of all, I need to point out, Wallace-Seymour products are an absolute labour of love - no other way to put it. Many are literally handmade, and a lot of the pigments are dug up by the owners and milled in small batches - so you get a lot of very novel and unique colours - and pigments you will literally never see in another brand ever ever ever. Cool huh? The acrylics are sold in jars of 125mL as standard - but you can get 250mL, 500mL and larger too - or for the benefit of my readers in the USA, 125mL is a half cup, or about 4.25 US fluid ounces.

Let's consider prices a bit - the paints come in 4 series, as often the case and here are the prices from Turner's for 125mL jars: 

£9.00 - Series 1 - this is mostly phthalocyanines, quinacridones and so on, and ultramarines.
£9.75 - Series 2 - mostly earth colours etc.
£10.95 - Series 3 - metallic colours, dioxazines etc.
£34.50 - Series 4 - this is where it gets special - genuine cadmiums, cobalts, unusual and unique earths etc.

Let's do a decent comparison of pricing first of all - I've taken a common colour from each series, and compared them with the CRYLA professional acrylic line from Daler and Rowney and the Heavy Body line from Golden. I've considered pigment just to see if we're paying like-for-like. The RRPs I have quoted are - for Wallace-Seymour - from Turner's - and for CRYLA and Golden, from Jackson's (who sell most of them at far below the RRP and have great sales too!).

Series 1
Phthalocyanine Blue (£9.00, 125mL), 
PB 15:1 Phthalocyanine Blue RS (Copper Phthalocyanine)
Normalised price, 7.2p/mL.
Compare with CRYLA:
Phthalocyanine Blue Red Shade (£8.25, 75mL), 
PB 15:1 Phthalocyanine Blue RS (Copper Phthalocyanine)
Normalised price, 11.0p/mL. 
Compare with GOLDEN:
Phthalocyanine Blue Red Shade (£19.95, 150mL), 
PB 15:1 Phthalocyanine Blue RS (Copper Phthalocyanine)
Normalised price, 13.3p/mL.
So, Wallace-Seymour is the most economical, with Golden being the most expensive. Structurally, they all have the same single-pigment, but obviously differ in their vehicle.

Series 2
Payne's Grey (£9.75, 125mL), 
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
PBk7 Lamp Black
PR101 Red Iron Oxide (Synthetic)
Normalised price, 7.8p/mL.
Compare with CRYLA:
Payne's Grey (£7.25, 75mL),
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
PBk11 Mars Black
Normalised price, 9.7p/mL.
Compare with GOLDEN:
Payne's Grey (£16.45, 150mL),
PB29 Ultramarine Blue
PBk7 Lamp Black
Normalised price, 10.9p/mL.
So, Wallace-Seymour is again the most economical, similar to Series 1. W-S's composition adds PR101, but is otherwise the same as Golden's but there is a big difference in price. 

Series 3
Dioxazine Purple (£10.95, 125mL)
PV23 Dioxazine Violet
PR122 Quinacridone Red
Normalised price, 8.8p/mL.
Compare with CRYLA:
Deep Violet (Dioxazine Purple, £11.25, 75mL)
PV23 Dioxazine Violet
Normalised price, 15.0p/mL.
Compare with GOLDEN:
Dioxazine Violet (£26.50, 150mL)
PV23 Dioxazine Violet
Normalised price, 17.6p/mL.
Ok, so this time Wallace-Seymour is cheapest again, but I am going to assume this is because they've adulterated the paint with Quin. Red to save money (Dioxazine Violet is very costly) - though it is possibly added to enrich the tone, though I doubt it - when one buys Dioxazine Violet, one WANTS the classic black-purple like an aubergine, right?

Series 4
Cobalt Blue Genuine (£34.50, 125mL)
PB28 Cobalt Blue
Normalised price, 27.6p/mL.
Compare with CRYLA:
Cobalt Blue (£11.25, 75mL)
PB28 Cobalt Blue
Normalised price, 15.0p/mL.
Compare with GOLDEN:
Cobalt Blue (£32.95, 150mL)
PB28 Cobalt Blue
Normalised price, 22.0p/mL.
Now in this case, the Wallace-Seymour version s the most costly, but it is not much different to Golden. They all use single pigment true Cobalt Blue and there is no adulteration with cheaper pigments.

In my accompanying video (below), I make consideration of the properties of these paints versus other lines - I LOVE the very unique Series 4 Oxford Bluestone and so on paints - the textures are amazing. The Part 2 review (in a few weeks) will show what they're like in use and when dried down. If you like what you see and want to buy these beautiful Wallace-Seymour Extra Fine Acrylics, you can buy them from lots of independent art stores around the United Kingdom. If you are from outside of the UK, you can by them from Turners Art Supplies - BUT YOU MUST READ the information on my previous posts about how to order from Turners if you live outside of the UK.




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