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bokaba
01-01-2019, 10:55 PM
Are there any manufacturers currently offering a genuine carmine oil paint? There is at least one in watercolor I could find, but nothing else.

I understand it is highly fugitive, but just want to try it. I think W & N used to make one, but have long since discontinued it.

Would it also be possible to buy cochineal pigment and mill it into paint?

Brian Firth
01-02-2019, 01:27 AM
No one makes it in oil paint that I am aware of. You can buy the dry pigment from Kremer Pigments or L. Cornelissen & Son in England. It is kind of expensive and not a very remarkable color in comparison to modern pigments in my opinion, but I understand the historical curiosity. Or if your are feeling adventurous you can make your own like in this video. https://youtu.be/tLU4tJihA5s

AnnieA
01-02-2019, 02:28 AM
It doesn't indicate any paints in oil, but just for future reference I thought you might be interested in this: http://www.artiscreation.com/red.html#NR4
It's the "Color of Art Database," and besides NR4, it lists pretty much all pigments currently produced (and then some), with info about lightfastness, etc., and also provides links to paints that contain them (generally on the Blick site).

RomanB
01-02-2019, 03:31 AM
I have a little jar with dried cochineal bugs to make paint manually, donít like the result at all. If you want a good substitute, Perylene Maroon mixed with Quinacridone Violet is close, and is far, far more lightfast.

JCannon
01-02-2019, 03:16 PM
WN used to make real Carmine. I still have half-a-tube, which is just beginning to go gummy, although it still offers a lovely pink glaze and some very deep reds when used in masstone. I've read that, in the late 19th century, Madder replaced bug paint because many became fearful that the bug-stuff was fugitive. Later, the bug-stuff was considered more permanent than Madder.

I've also corresponded with one expert (whose name I forget) who insisted that adding just a touch of copal -- real copal -- will make cochineal red more-or-less permanent. Or maybe he suggested adding a clear copal layer. I now forget exactly what he said.

Do I use Carmine? No. The quins get me to the same place with fewer worries. My tube of Carmine will probably still have paint in it after I myself am food for bugs.

Still, for those of us nutty enough to collect rare paints, a tube of Bug Red is one of the things that makes a house a home.

Richard P
01-02-2019, 03:26 PM
W&N still sell Rose Madder Genuine here in the UK.. but it's a series 5 colour.

Richard P
01-02-2019, 03:35 PM
[QUOTE=JCannon]I've also corresponded with one expert (whose name I forget) who insisted that adding just a touch of copal -- real copal -- will make cochineal red more-or-less permanent. Or maybe he suggested adding a clear copal layer. I now forget exactly what he said./QUOTE]

Neither suggestion makes sense to me what what I have read about pigments and lighfastness.

JCannon
01-02-2019, 04:01 PM
"Neither suggestion makes sense to me what what I have read about pigments and lighfastness."

Richard, I merely pass along what I was told. Can't vouch for it.

Brian Firth
01-02-2019, 05:23 PM
I've also corresponded with one expert (whose name I forget) who insisted that adding just a touch of copal -- real copal -- will make cochineal red more-or-less permanent. Or maybe he suggested adding a clear copal layer. I now forget exactly what he said.



No, Gunzorro long ago proved this untrue when he tested genuine vermilions with amber resin under the same claims of magic resin enhanced lightfastness. The genuine amber did nothing to protect the vermilion and stop it from darkening. Amber just being a much older version of the broad category of semi fossilized resins known as copal. Natural resins don't offer any protection from UV light.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605877

Carmine lake is just the rock bottom of lightfastness no matter how you slice it.

JCannon
01-02-2019, 07:04 PM
Brian, I'll take you at your word, with one priviso: Vermilion is not Carmine, and the issues involved are different; we are told that Vermilion darkens while Carmine fades. Personally, I have not used either for quite some time. With so many lovely modern reds available -- quins, pyrroles, anthraquinone -- I don't even reach for the Cads these days.

That said, we also have to take into consideration the fact that some old paintings incorporated both Vermilion and Carmine (or Madder) , and they still look pretty darn good. The obvious example would be Vibert, who clearly bought Vermilion by the bucket. I recently read that Renoir refused to switch from Vermilion to Cadmium red. Have you seen "The Boating Party"? The reds look fantastic. (I'm talking about the original; no reproduction does it justice.)

Cochineal red was employed by Rubens and Caravaggio, and the results still impress. I suppose restoration and conservation play a role here, but I'm sure that a lot of the original color is still there.

And then there's Jan Van Eyck, who used Kermes red, another type of bug paint. Have his reds have changed over the years? Perhaps, but they still look spectacular. Actually, this analysis (http://vlaamseprimitieven.vlaamsekunstcollectie.be/en/research/webpublications/the-restoration-and-technical-examination-of-jan-van-eycks-margaret-the-art) indicates that he used both Kermes red and Madder.

We all love the technical challenge of creating an object designed to last 1000 years, even though we'll never be able to know if we met that challenge poorly or well. Our task will always be a bit mysterious and frustrating. I'm 95 to 99 percent certain that a passage painted with Anthriquinone red will outlast a passage of Carmine, which is why I reach for the former, not the latter. But the only way to achieve 100 percent certainty is to live 1000 years.

bokaba
01-02-2019, 10:49 PM
Thanks everyone. From what I understand, vermilion (and some of the old lead chromates) are highly reactive to environment conditions and may darken over time whereas carmine, rose madder, alizarin crimson, etc. may fade with exposure to sunlight.

There are plenty of paintings from the Renaissance and even the Middle Ages that are still bright red, yellow, orange, etc. But we do not know what conditions they have been kept in. Also, many famous paintings have been heavily restored, almost entirely repainted in some cases.

I will probably try to make some of my own carmine just to try it out.

RomanB
01-03-2019, 06:17 AM
Thanks everyone. From what I understand, vermilion (and some of the old lead chromates) are highly reactive to environment conditions and may darken over time whereas carmine, rose madder, alizarin crimson, etc. may fade with exposure to sunlight.

There are plenty of paintings from the Renaissance and even the Middle Ages that are still bright red, yellow, orange, etc. But we do not know what conditions they have been kept in. Also, many famous paintings have been heavily restored, almost entirely repainted in some cases.

I will probably try to make some of my own carmine just to try it out.

1. Vermillion darkens by reaction with Chlorine ions which is intensified in outdoor lighting conditions. In museum conditions it is as stable as Cadmium reds.

2. Almost all of remaining saturated reds of the Old Masters are Vermillion and Red Lead. Almost no organic reds survived that long - we usually still can determine what organic reds were used in a particular painting, but they are in miserable condition.

3. The best modern alternative to classic organic reds is Perylene Maroon PR 179. A mixture of it with Quinacridone Violet PV 19 could be good too.

Marc Kingsland
01-03-2019, 04:36 PM
I still have a third of a tube of 1970's Winsor & Newton's Geranium lake. Which comes out of the tube a beautiful half way point between rose and magenta. It starts changing colour almost immediately, and after a few months is more of a transparent scarlet.
In an outdoor test, at full strength, and a titanium white mixed tint, both samples disappeared completely within 6 months. :clear: The tint, disappearing around 2-3 months, left a whiter white than the acrylic primed canvas it was painted on. :lol:

I've never used it in any sold paintings by the way. That would be highly questionable.

Antonin
01-04-2019, 12:55 AM
I still have a third of a tube of 1970's Winsor & Newton's Geranium lake. Which comes out of the tube a beautiful half way point between rose and magenta. It starts changing colour almost immediately, and after a few months is more of a transparent scarlet.
In an outdoor test, at full strength, and a titanium white mixed tint, both samples disappeared completely within 6 months. :clear: The tint, disappearing around 2-3 months, left a whiter white than the acrylic primed canvas it was painted on. :lol:

I've never used it in any sold paintings by the way. That would be highly questionable.

Hmmmm....Geranium Lake: "W&N Geranium Lake as "A blend of lakes made from eosine and rhodamine dyestuffs." Red 090 (45380), Lake of Basic Red, Red 003 (45210).
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215627

"Winsor & Newton used to code it with the letter C, which was used for fugitive colours.
When ever they heard a notable artist was using it, they would send them a letter telling them to stop doing so.
The same applied to Carmine which had the same rating."

Antonin
01-04-2019, 01:56 AM
Why would you want to use a fugitive color when the permanent version is such a close match and so beautiful?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IOTemlMRGE

bokaba
02-07-2019, 11:27 PM
It appears there is one genuine carmine available, though very expensive at almost $60 per tube, for a not very expensive pigment.

https://www.turnersartshop.co.uk/wallace-seymour-bespoke-oil-colour-carmine-lake-natural-40ml-6829-p.asp