View Full Version : Talens and Will Kemp Art school

12-04-2013, 03:09 PM
Hi, as the title says, I've seen lots of interesting things on the website of Will Kemp (http://willkempartschool.com/how-to-choose-a-basic-acrylic-palette-for-colour-mixing/). The link provided is pointing to the article "how to choose a basic palette" (http://willkempartschool.com/how-to-choose-a-basic-acrylic-palette-for-colour-mixing/).
Now, my problem is that I have access only to Talent Amsterdam acrylic colors. This lead to the question: Anyone knows how to translate his palette to a Talens' ?
Cadmium Yellow Light and Alizarin Crimson Permanent doesn't even exists..at least not with that name.

Please don't tell me to try other brands or use the expert one. I can't now. Maybe in the future.


12-04-2013, 07:50 PM
Do you mean Talens Amsterdam Standard acrylics? That's what they're called here in North America.

Which specific colors do you want to emulate from Kemp's reccomendations? He mentions quite a few possibilities.

Amsterdam Standard doesn't have any decent substitutes for Cadmium Yellow Light - you'll have to do with something less opaque. They do have some purplish-reds which might (or might not) be a decent substitute for Alizarin Crimson/Permanent...you can't really tell without seeing the actual, dried paint sample in-person.

12-05-2013, 03:29 AM
This is his basic list:
Burnt Umber
Ultramarine Blue
Cadmium Yellow Light
Alizarin Crimson Permanent
Titanium White

He also add some other colours, but I think I won't buy them for now. I want to learn mixing first.
Yellow Ochre
Raw Umber
Ivory Black
Cadmium Red
Phthalo Blue

I suppose I could try with the primary colors + burn umber,titanium white and ultramarine blue and see how I mix. I want to develop eye-knife coordination :lol:

12-05-2013, 04:18 AM
Amsterdam are student quality so you are not going to find the more expensive pigments.
Cadmium Yellow Light
Alizarin Crimson Permanent
Cadmium Red
Are more expensive pigments. From looking at their list I would try
Azo Yellow Light
Permanent Red Purple
Naphthol Red Medium

12-05-2013, 08:35 AM
Thanks. I'll have a look and post some experiments once I have them.

12-05-2013, 09:26 AM
Amsterdam Standard has most of those colors you want, except:

-for Cadmium Yellow Light, I agree that their 'Azo Yellow Light' might be the closest thing...though it won't be nearly as opaque as a decent Cadmium Yellow

-for Alizarin Crimson Permanent, my guess is Permanent Red Purple, or Carmine...though it's tough to know without seeing the color in-person

-for Cadmium Red, Pyrrole Red should be the best match, and Napthol Red Medium the next best

-for Ivory Black, my guess would be Oxide Black

12-05-2013, 10:22 AM
On a side note, I find amusing that no one suggest the primary colors. Not really related to this question, since Will Kemp suggests specific colors and I wanted to know the "translation" for Talens'... but elsewhere for a beginner basic palette I've never seen the 3+1 primary..

12-05-2013, 04:22 PM
Every "demo" has its own pallet, I have seen them ranging from one tube to 22. Some even use different pallets for still life, landscapes and portraiture. A traditional pallet, if there ever was such a thing, is usually described as a cool and warm of each primary with a few earths and probably a green (viridian is favored by many artists). More recently, in the last ten years or so people have stared to call it a split primary pallet. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a limited pallet. Limited pallets have a cheaper start up costs and it forces the pallet into a particular key, the main disadvantages being that a limited pallet can't hit some higher chroma colors which isn't usually problem since most real life colors are muted to some degree.

12-05-2013, 05:26 PM
**Feel free to skip to the end for the paint list :D

I'm a painting newbie and am shopping for supplies too. I hope to actually paint something soon. Lol. While waiting on sales, I checked out painting books from the library and watched videos tutorials, including Will Kemp's.

Trying to help you actually turned out to be a very good color theory lesson for me. I took a couple of hours this afternoon and poured over the different paint colors of the Amsterdam line and compared them to the actual paints used by William Kemp in his video lesson.

Love the guy's work, but he says he only used only Golden Paint's for the lesson, but in fact when it came time to break out the crimson color, he ended up using another brand. In fact, he makes a big deal about paying attention to the label and only getting the permanent version of the pigment. Well, while he was telling US to pay attention to the label, I was paying attention to HIM and I watched him pull out Windsor & Newton's Permanent Alizarin Crimson. Check out minute 1:31 and you'll see. In fact, Golden Paint only makes a historic hue of Alizarin Crimson in acrylic and that version doesn't say permanent anywhere on the label. How bout that?!

OK, enough petty gloating, back to the problem at hand. How to find dupes for paints in William Kemp's lesson in the Amsterdam Standard acrylic paint line. Of the five paints you're looking for, three of them were available. I am referring to, ultramarine blue, burnt umber and titanium white. It was the cadmium yellow light and alizarin crimson that were a challenge. I went on the Dick Blick art supply site and used their swatches and color index name information to compare the different brands. I would suggest going on to the website after reading this and seeing what you think of my choices.

As far as the cadmium yellow light goes, my first choice dupe would be the azo yellow light. It seemed the closest in color to Golden's cadmium yellow light which Kemp used. Golden uses PY35 pigment which is known to bias greener than than most cad lights. Your brand uses PY74 pigment which is known better as Hansa Yellow. The azo lemon yellow uses PY3 known as hansa yellow light but when compared to Golden's color, it seemed too green. So Azo Yellow Light is my vote.

The only thing that doesn't match is the opacity. Apparently, all of Amsterdam's bright yellows are transparent while cad yellows are prized for their opacity. So I guess you'll have to mix in white to compensate.

Unfortunately, there was no color in the Amsterdam line that came close to Alizarin Crimson in the Windsor & Newton or Golden lines. Amsterdam doesn't have a maroon or dark red color. The closest I could get was Permanent Red Purple which is MAD PURPLE! It's a mixture of quinacridone violet PV19 and dioxizine purple PV23. The PV19 pigment comes in a red shade and a blue shade. I assume the red shade was used in the permanent red purple or we'd be in Barney the Dinosaur territory. So I'm thinking if you mix Amsterdam's permanent red purple with a touch of the burnt umber, there might be enough red in the two paints to get close to the Windsor & Newton alizrian crimson. I haven't personally tried it though.

So here's Wendy's 5-color palette using Royal Talens Amsterdam Standard Acrylic Paint

Azo Yellow Light
Permanent Red Purple
Ultramarine Blue
Burnt Umber
Titanium White


12-05-2013, 11:23 PM
Will Kamp apparently uses Winsor & Newton acrylics. Because Winsor & Newton's acrylics line has a large number of colors, you will find it much easier to find matches from another manufacturer who also has a large number of colors. (Golden Paints and Liquitex both come to mind.)

It is helpful to be aware that paint manufacturers may make paints that use the same pigment (or pigments) that they give a different name to. So rather than just matching colors by their name, you should look at the pigment number (or numbers), and try to match them.

Winsor & Newton has a "Permanent Alizarin Crimson" that you are trying to match. Golden has an "Alizarin Crimson Hue" about which you might wonder: is this the same? W&N lists the pigments they use as "PR177, PV23." Golden lists the pigments they use as "PR122 / PR206 / PG7." A slight difference! You will have to look at the paint swatches on both websites to determine whether the colors are similar enough that you might want to substitute the one for the other.

Best of luck!

12-06-2013, 04:13 AM
Than you all. I think I'll buy those you all suggested.
Now it's time to select the brushes :/

01-02-2014, 04:07 PM
**Feel free to skip to the end for the paint list :D
In fact, Golden Paint only makes a historic hue of Alizarin Crimson in acrylic and that version doesn't say permanent anywhere on the label. How bout that?!
Nice catch! I work for Golden, and just so everyone is clear, Will Kemp does not work for Golden, he's not sponsored by us, nor do we provide him with materials. He's totally independent in what he does.... and we really like Will. But, I want to be clear that if/when he recommends our products, it is not because he is being paid by us or any of our retailers.

With respect to Alizarin Crimson (Hue) you are very correct. We make no effort to disguise the fact that this is NOT geniune, historical, Alizarin Crimson - we include "HUE" in the name to make that distinction clear, just as we include "HUE" in the mixtures made to replicate other historical colors and a few expensive or potentially hazardous pigments (we offer Cadmium Hues, in addition to single pigment Cadmium colors).

We make an actual Alizarin Crimson in oil colors, because it was part of the palette when we acquired Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors. So, we're very familiar with the pigment, and made the conscious decision not to make a genuine Alizarin Crimson in acrylic because the pigment is not sufficiently lightfast. Within the Williamsburg line it has a lightfastness rating of III or Fair, which is generally undesirable if/when lightfastness is a concern (as it is for many artists).

And, at the risk of sounding critical of the competitive brands mentioned, this aspect of the pigment would be consistent regardless of who manufactures the paint. This is the choice artists must make for themselves.

As for the use of the term "Hue" - this is not a requirement or standard, although most reputable paintmakers seem to be adopting it, at least for artist quality paints. The only place where "Hue" is being dropped, but where the historical pigment has been replaced, is when the historical pigment has long been out of use and/or unavailable... a good example of that would be Indian Yellow (which we still label as a Hue) - where the production of the original pigment has ceased because of the cruelty once inflicted on animals to make it is no longer acceptable, but the color itself is still widely used.

I hope this helps. I wish you success with your painting, whether you choose Golden or another brand of paint, we love artists!

01-03-2014, 03:41 AM
Thank you for your answer.
Now I'm getting a bit interested in colour history :-)

01-03-2014, 05:28 AM
Can I assume that Golden's Alizarin Crimson Historical Hue (PR122 / PR206 / PG7) is Golden's closest match to the real thing - and Golden Quinacridone Crimson (PR 202 / PR 206) is slightly more chromatic and gives cleaner mixes?

01-03-2014, 07:36 AM
It seems to be strange for me why people, who paint in acrylic love to use oil paint recommendation? Those colours and paint properties are quite different.
It is better, I think, to use acrylic recommendations for acrylic palette.

Mars Black (No "Ivory in acrylic")
Indantrhone Blue (No "Prussian blue")
Phthalo Green (No Viridian in acrylic)
Titanium White (No true Lead white in acrylic)
Pyrolle Red (No Vermilion in acrylic)
Dioxazine purple (No Cobalt or Manganese Violet in acrylic)
Quinacridone Red, Rose, Magenta (No Alizarin Crimson in acrylic)
Benzimidazolone/Hansa yellow, Titanate, Nickel titanate, Chromium titanate (Cadmium is toxic and impermanent in acrylic)
Synthetic Iron Oxides (Natural counterparts are less stable in emulsion paints)

No "copal" in acrylic
No "Black oil" or Maroger medium in acrylic
No Meglip, no Damar in acrylic

No Wet on Wet in acrylic
No equal "Glazing" properties, acrylic makes different "Glazes"
No equal pigment opacity/transparency in acrylic.

People, just be sure, acrylic is not an oil paint!

01-03-2014, 08:06 AM
But Alex, real PR83 is so nice - a very deep rich red that's natural-looking and easy to use. In comparison, most Quinacridones are lipstick :rolleyes: . I'm okay with a substitute in acrylics as long as it's close to the real thing...doesn't have to be a spot-on match, just close enough.

01-03-2014, 08:17 AM
But Alex, real PR83 is so nice - a very deep rich red that's natural-looking and easy to use. In comparison, most Quinacridones are lipstick :rolleyes: . I'm okay with a substitute in acrylics as long as it's close to the real thing...doesn't have to be a spot-on match, just close enough.

Yeah, Patrick! It might be even deeper in oil, this PR83 lake! Einion was talking so much about it. As I remember, many people likes PR177, but himself, he prefer PR264 transparent Pyrolle crimson.
Quins are not deep enough, in most mixtures I use pure quins with white to mix lights and quins with black or sienna to mix shades.