PDA

View Full Version : Help with Comparing paints, especially cadmiums


JustAStudent
02-04-2019, 12:44 AM
Hello everyone. A quick introduction is that Iím a college student taking beginner painting for an art requirement. I am terrible at art, but I am a little OCD and tend to dive headfirst into new things. Also, Iím a collector, salvager, and traditionalist (I collect sharpening stones and straight razor shave as a for instance).

My professor is heavily focused on color mixing using mostly single pigment paint, and has put a heavy emphasis on making shades, tints, and blended colors from red and yellow cadmiums.

With the price of these paints, and my aforementioned inclinations, I went online and started buying vintage paint collections and lots, and presently have many paints on the way. Thing is, before I develop my own preferences from the collection, based on what may be a place of ignorance (favoring paints that appear bolder or more pleasing to my eyes out of the tube)... I would like to compare some paints, brands, and perhaps colors in a way less dependent on my being able to recognize desirable traits and behavior of superior quality paint.

With that in mind. When you are testing a new paint or comparing similar paints. Outside of looking for things that would fall under preferences are there any standard tests you put a paint through to judge its quality and performance. Short of just using it and relying on your experience to recognize the quality? Especially regarding higher series paint such as the cadmiums.

As an example... for cadmium red Iíve got coming tubes from...
W&n artist
W&n London
W&n Winton
Grumbacher pretested
Grumbacher golden palette
Daler Rowney Georgian
Shiva
Richson
Lukas 1862
Master Class
Ultrech artists

Iíd like to be able to compare them side by side in relatively simple and objective ways to determine which are worth using, and which are not, maybe even get a feel for what you practically gain with superior quality paint. So that I can work with good quality paints and develop a sense for how they should look and behave that isnít based around an inferior product. (Basically I donít want to define how a hamburger ďshouldĒ taste by a childhood eating MCDís)

RomanB
02-04-2019, 11:03 AM
If you want to perform a simplified test, buy something cheap to apply paint to, like special paper suitable for oil painting, or a little cardboard with canvas glued to it. Apply samples of paints with a palette knife or a brush, in pure masstone and if you are able to do so, in gradients from masstone to white using Titanium White. Let your samples dry to touch. You can also note how long will it take for specific paint samples. Put samples inside a scanner, scan into lossless format like TIFF or PNG with as little color correction settings as possible. Using digital color picker tool identify CIELab values for your paint samples. Plot the resulting values in Excel, Numbers or manually using paper, pen and ruler. This will be a good place to start. Or course such test doesn't answer many questions, but is still useful.

If you want to have some paragons of good paint, buy samples of the top quality pigments, for example, from Kremer or Kama, make your own paint manually and compare industrially made paints to your own samples.

Delofasht
02-04-2019, 01:33 PM
I test for opacity, covering black and white respectively, consistency, analyzing whether the paint has noticeably different texture or handling qualities throughout a paint nut, color vibrancy, and also I check for tinting and mixing strength.

Several of the tubes you have coming in will have a lower pigment loading; Winton, Georgian, and Lukas are student grade paints to my knowledge. The rest should have very similar handling and overall hue should be similar unless the Cads are of different varieties (medium, light, or deep/dark), as those have very different hue angles. The qualities you are really looking for is whether they handle appropriately for your tastes though, because many an exceptional artist create beautiful work with student paints.

The highest loaded paint I have used at an affordable price has been M Graham paint, their Cads are so vibrant and strong as to make most other brands I have seem dull by comparison. They also have the qualities I prefer.

A draw down is a common procedure, applied with a palette knife and a very fine metal piece that tapers down that allows one to consistently create a film of paint that gets thinner. This allows one to see a thick impasto passage all the way down to a near glaze, and is usually done on cards that are printed with black designs. This allows for seeing opacity very well.

Tinting strength is a case of mixing white with the colors being sure to use the same ratios, 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:10 for each brand. When I was learning the properties of the paints I spent a great deal of time mixing them with each other color on my palette to learn how they compared in tinting strength to each other as well (a very useful exercise for knowing how some colors may interact... like Cadmiums with Ultramarine versus Phthalo blue, very different tinting strengths).

For paint consistency, you can see that in the draw down as well usually, a weakly dispersed paint will often have inconsistent grit and may have more breaks in the paint film throughout the draw down.

Textural qualities of the paint have less to do with the pigment and more to do with the binder. For the brands you have listed they will probably use Linseed oil, so they should all act roughly the same there.

The last aspect to be aware of is that of fillers, the student quality paints will likely have more fillers. These can vary by brand and all seek to make the paints handle as the manufacturer determines is best for the goal being sought. Even artist quality paints add filler, usually it is minimal in those, but might be noticeable. Fillers can vary, so comparing could become difficult. Focus on the above aspects and from that one can generally start to determine if they are using more oil (softer paint, more slippery) or more fillers (thick texture but low opacity or coverage).

MrsSellers
02-04-2019, 01:48 PM
Delo, Lukas 1862 are artist grade and very nice.

Delofasht
02-04-2019, 02:24 PM
Oh? I would love to be wrong... but their pricing, marketing information, and otherwise all point toward student quality. They use the term "professional" which is just another term for student quality art paints, they are designed for use in industries where longevity is not a concern.

It is just a marketing strategy to avoid the word student on the label. Same as Utrecht and Blick Studio paints, they aren't designed for the artist looking for the maximum in quality and handling.

This is not to say that Student, Professional, Studio, or whatever label of paint is necessarily bad. Plenty of great artwork is made with student quality paint. I know a well renowned artist who uses Winton and sells his work for tens of thousands of dollars.... The paint label has little to do with the finished work, all that matters is how we use it.

What the labels and pricing do tell us though; is the amount of pigment and labor involved in making the paint, and the value of the brand name. Some brands are expensive without necessarily being better than a less expensive version of the same paint with a different label. In the case of these "student" brands that are listed as something else though, they are all having either less milling, less pigment load, more fillers, or are using cheaper versions of the pigment (such as Cadmium-barium paints used for some of the studio brands).

MrsSellers
02-04-2019, 02:37 PM
Alls I know is that they cost a lot and appear to have a high pigment load. I like them because they dry fast without adding medium. But I am coming to the conclusion that artist grade paint is not necessary in the first place. I can't tell the difference in most cases and it all gets the job done. Winton is becoming my new favorite line.

stapeliad
02-04-2019, 02:46 PM
Iím a college student taking beginner painting for an art requirement.

Your teacher gave you a supply list. Follow it.
Just get ONE EACH of what's on the list.

It is a beginning art class. You have never painted before. My goodness, there is zero need to go through brand comparison. Any paint will do for the purposes of this class.

With the price of these paints

and cadmiums being the most expensive...

for cadmium red Iíve got coming tubes from...
W&n artist
W&n London
W&n Winton
Grumbacher pretested
Grumbacher golden palette
Daler Rowney Georgian
Shiva
Richson
Lukas 1862
Master Class
Ultrech artists

please tell me you didn't buy 11 tubes of cadmium red to see what is the best?? There is no "best".

It is a beginner art class to fill a requirement.
Just get any paint, it is all fine.

Delofasht
02-04-2019, 02:52 PM
Precisely MrsSellers! One doesn't need "Artist's" quality paint to do Artist quality work. Many of these "Student" quality paints (price point and labeling may exclude the word), are excellent and I keep many of them around for a variety of work where my clients want things done more inexpensively.

There are qualities about the paint that as an artists I cannot work around, like a kind of dragging feel under the brush (sometimes caused by some of the additives in the paint formulation). That said, I am extremely sensitive to variations in the paint handling... if the brush feels bad under my hand I am going to produce lesser quality or work harder.

I recently did a first pass of a flower painting I am going to be working on using up some left over paint on my palette.... I had to work hard to get it to create the effects I wanted in my first pass and in the end just gave up. It was just an hour of painting, but it could have been done in about 20 minutes with a fresh pile of artist quality paint for me (flow and control is much better with fresh paint).

WFMartin
02-04-2019, 03:01 PM
I don't know just what you may have already purchased, but just from my experience, you can hardly beat Grumbacher Pretested Oil Paint (their professional paints). The price is reasonable, for artist-quality paint, and their Cadmium Reds, and Yellows are as good as some of the more expensive brands.

In my opinion, Grumbacher offers the most "bang for the buck" of nearly any other brand of oil paint.:)

DAK723
02-04-2019, 03:05 PM
Your teacher gave you a supply list. Follow it.
Just get ONE EACH of what's on the list.

It is a beginning art class. You have never painted before. My goodness, there is zero need to go through brand comparison. Any paint will do for the purposes of this class.



and cadmiums being the most expensive...



please tell me you didn't buy 11 tubes of cadmium red to see what is the best?? There is no "best".

It is a beginner art class to fill a requirement.
Just get any paint, it is all fine.

This is the answer. If you have bought more than one tube you have WASTED YOUR MONEY. If you can sell the rest on Ebay or some other site, do it now before you waste your time comparing all the brands as well.

All artist grade paint is fine for professional use. For a beginner there is absolutely nothing you will learn of value by comparing brands.

Don

Delofasht
02-04-2019, 03:25 PM
Yikes!

They are probably right regarding the supply list and disregarding the exploration for the class purposes. As a slightly... obsessive person though, I fully understand the desire to know more and really understand the properties. I am terrible at just following the directions without understanding why I am following them, worse yet, why what I am using works or doesn't work.

I had to know everything, so I did tons of self study and research... if I am going to do something, I am going to do it right (for me that means knowing everything I can in a reasonable time frame). Unfortunately that leaves little for happy accidents, and thus I am always harsh on myself for my mistakes. I WISH I could simply just not care, simply just follow directions.... gah it would be so much easier. Alas, my brain isn't hardwired that way, and while I can force myself to choose to do so, it ends up with me feeling depressed about unfinished work. Different strokes for different folks. If you feel the need to explore I say do so, you may find you love making art because of that exploration.

MrsSellers
02-04-2019, 03:27 PM
Well said, Delo. It's why I ask a lot of the silly questions I ask here. For every one I ask, there's a hundred that I didn't.

stapeliad
02-04-2019, 03:32 PM
Delo you are actually a painter tho, this person is only taking a beginner course to fulfill a requirement.

There is ZERO need to compare materials like this, it is a pointless convolution which will detract from the actual learning. It is the wrong focus.

I would venture to say that the response of buying 11 tubes of cadmium red for a "beginner art class to fulfill a requirement" is a highly unusual response, and one I don't think should be encouraged.

Delofasht
02-04-2019, 03:53 PM
Delo you are actually a painter tho, this person is only taking a beginner course to fulfill a requirement.

Well you got me there, but I am only so because I fell in love with exploration of colored pencils... which lead me to buying 3 different sets of pencils, comparing my favorite colors, determining what I liked, and eventually discovered how they were made. Then I explored pigments and everything else, the actual art was secondary to my love of learning about something that is often just used to make art. After having done all that as my hobby, I ended up wanting to make art with the tools I had so thoroughly explored. I was content artistically to just draw all the time, and still tend to just work in a linear and monochromatic fashion, or with just values and tones.

Richard P
02-04-2019, 03:59 PM
Ouch! Expensive.

I'd read more about colour mixing and watch youtube videos of people painting and have a go yourself rather than comparing materials at this stage.

RomanB
02-04-2019, 05:36 PM
Ouch! Expensive.

One kilogram of Cadmium Red PR 108 costs about 45$.

Richard P
02-04-2019, 05:50 PM
I was referring to all the tubed paint he's bought.

RomanB
02-04-2019, 05:54 PM
Despite being expensive, it is still a lot of good paint, especially if Cadmium pigments would be banned.

ianuk
02-04-2019, 05:55 PM
With your current buying process and knowing artists cravings for more. May I propose buying shares in dick blick until you've acquired the company. :)

sidbledsoe
02-04-2019, 07:15 PM
My professor is heavily focused on color mixing using mostly single pigment paint, and has put a heavy emphasis on making shades, tints, and blended colors from red and yellow cadmiums.

Then keep one tube of red, return all the others if possible and get one tube of yellow.

Pinguino
02-04-2019, 07:58 PM
It will be interesting to see whether the OP comes back again. I am always wary of threads (especially by newbies) who are asking for brand-name comparisons. It's like saying, "I just got my learner's permit. Which is the best make and model of automobile?"

But I can understand why someone might grab all those paints, for comparison purposes. When I was in graduate school, I broke a wrist while playing soccer, and could not write for awhile. One of the courses was taught by a prof who wrote the book, and spent class time copying his own book to the blackboard. The other students dutifully wrote it down. That being a waste of my time (wrist or not), instead of attending class I went to a pub. Each day the class met, I tried a different brand of beer (bottled). I'd had every available beer by two weeks before the end of the term, so I attended those classes as a matter of integrity. And yes, I did get the degree.

Raffless
02-05-2019, 11:02 AM
Quote. "I collect sharpening stones and straight razor shave as a for instance"

Should have stopped there 🔞

Dcam
02-05-2019, 11:08 AM
When I was in graduate school, I could barely afford the tuition?
It would have been a super luxury to buy and compare Cadmium paints.
my goodness.

JustAStudent
02-05-2019, 01:38 PM
Your teacher gave you a supply list. Follow it.
Just get ONE EACH of what's on the list.

It is a beginning art class. You have never painted before. My goodness, there is zero need to go through brand comparison. Any paint will do for the purposes of this class.



and cadmiums being the most expensive...



please tell me you didn't buy 11 tubes of cadmium red to see what is the best?? There is no "best".

It is a beginner art class to fill a requirement.
Just get any paint, it is all fine.
Thanks to everyone for help and advice. And yes, I know it's damned silly to be doing this, but what can I say. It's my little flavor of OCD. I love to compare things... especially things that I'll be using 3+ hrs a day for at least the next 4 months. And when people tell me (rightly) that I don't have the knowledge or experience to make meaningful comparisons, that just makes me more insistent on gaining that knowledge.

As for the expense, I bought several lots of paints and will likely be breaking them down and reselling what I don't need for minimal cost to myself. While I have them all here (mostly preopened tubes) my curiosity demands that I test them a bit.

Delo, as for testing surfaces: would the backside of a canvas painting (say a $2 painting from a thrift store suffice) assuming nothing of the original painting is visible through the back of the canvas? Also where would I get the tapered piece of metal and card for the draw-down test? Do you just find something that works or do they sell them at art supply shops?

Dcam - I'm in my mid thirties and work full time. I'm returning to finish a degree I had to abandon because I was broke in my mid twenties and couldn't afford tuition or get financial aid because I was in Stem and all Stem scholarship money @ the time was being funneled to equalize genders (which were about 10:1 or worse in most areas) leaving virtually no scholarships that men could apply for. Money is less of an issue now, but I want to finish my degree for personal reasons, and I'm transferring schools in the fall to facilitate that. My current school offers no courses that contribute to my major as I'm technically a Sr with the work I did previously (at the school I'm returning to), but I still require some gened's. So this semester I'm essentially taking a nice break from my degree work and fulfilling a gened or two. Consequently, I also have a bit more free time than I'm used to and this will be a little project to help fill that.

As for the prices of cadmium's. If you keep your eyes open, they aren't terrible. Two W&N artist 37ml tubes are about to end @ <$10 shipped, a cobalt as well. Buying like I have (in lots of tubes that are heavily cadmium weighted and don't make that apparent in the listing) can as much as cut that price in half. I've probably averaged 5-9$ per 37ml of artist grade cadmiums. Yes it'll be a hassle relisting everything once I've decided what to keep and what not to, but I don't expect I'll be out much in the long run. I certainly am not going out and spending $30 a tube on these things just to compare them.

As for 1862... that's an issue I ran into studying up on this myself. Even Student vs Artist is sometimes an issue. Take Georgian for instance. Initial research strongly suggests it's Artist and their "Graduate" line is student. Deeper study suggests both are student (with graduate being very poor quality and Georgian being fairly good student paint), with their actual "Artist" line being all but unrepresented in the US. Lukas 1862 is in a similar place, but it seems many more people consider it an artist (albeit a fairly affordable) grade brand, with their "studio" line being their only student grade. Situations like this are partly why I'd like to figure out how to compare paint quality on my own.
There are people out there lambasting modern Grumbacher as being trash since they were bought out (albeit a rare opinion)... so who can you believe? Everyone has preference, many have deep brand loyalty, and as mentioned, these differences can be hard to recognize if you aren't an experienced painter. I'm hoping to be able to root out clues with tests (like the draw down mentioned) that rely less on experience on a canvas.

melissacarmon
02-05-2019, 01:45 PM
So, this experiment sounds like quite a lot of fun actually- to compare the different brands- and I hope you will let us know what you find if you decide to do some tests.

As a student, I also had a professor who stressed single pigment mixing with cadmiums. Those early experiments and mixes were invaluable!

Paint brands are such a matter of subjectivity and loyalties that it is always interesting to see comparisons ... to help inform oneís own subjective loyalties! ;)

Romanís and Deloís suggestions to mix with white is are good onesó it can give you an idea of how quickly white overtakes a color. (I should mention it can be good or bad depending on a painterís preferences)*. Addding equal increments of white to each blob of cadmium will give some indication of pigment load. The key will be to try to make the increments of white added as consistent as possible, and to (of course) test this the same way with every brand. Higher pigment load, while not on everyoneís list of important things, is generally better, since pigment is expensive. There is a bit of an economic incentive to skimp on pigment unfortunately, so a higher pigment load is generally desirable. For my painting practice it is almost always desireable- but most of these qualities are not inherently good or bad. *I am fond of Old Holland for this reason, but it is so highly pigmented that it can be rather overpowering in a mix.

In my opinion, opacity of a cadmium paint could be considered one of its desirable traits. The drawdown test suggested earlier is one way to test this. There are other reds and yellows but cadmiums make very good opaque reds and yellows. Again, not important to everyone, but if we were making a rubric for cadmiums, I think opacity would be relevant category.

When it comes to paint testing, so much of what makes a difference is ďpaint feelĒ and handling, which is hard to test objectively, even though it is an intersubjective quality. Paint testing seems a lot like coffee tasting. Not everyone likes ďberry notesĒ in their coffee or bright, light roasts (and not everyone agrees on the so-called berry notes even being there). What I am driving at is a lot of it comes down to finding adjectives that donít really explain the experience very well. Do you like paint that is ďbutteryĒ? Or ďshortĒ? Or ďropeyĒ? So much of this will depend on a personís painting practice, and a given application for the paint.

The most important difference, I think, among cadmiums is where their hue angle falls on the spectrum. One brandís cadmium yellow medium is another brandís cadmium yellow darkó or cadmium orange. This is also of greatest relevance to color mixing, and perhaps of greatest relevance to your class project. Bruce MacEvoyís site, handprint, has a graph of the spectrum covering pale yellows to dark reds, and he plots the hue of various brands of cadmium colors in watercolor.
However, in oil, the best method I have found is to simply try out different brands and experience them directly. I will add that I have a scale of favorite cadmium ďnotesĒ and they are not all by the same brand. Some brands have a hue note that is exceptional, but many are interchangable. It just depends which notes you like to have in your scale.

JustAStudent
02-05-2019, 01:49 PM
Yes, we actually did that test in class (our first day was making tints and shades, and several students had bought "hues" of the required cadmiums, so the prof had us compare the hues vs the real stuff that way while making our tints). I was actually wondering, is there a simple way of more accurately dosing the cadmium with your white than just using the tip of a palette knife... short of breaking out a syringe?

And thank you for the advice. I'll definitely check out that site.

stapeliad
02-05-2019, 01:50 PM
Hey, kudos to you for finishing that degree. And... all that paint you bought....while extremely excessive... :lol: ....if you will enjoy it, good for you. You can resell your paints. In fact, you can sell them here, at the swap shop. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=83) :D

So now, when your teacher gives you homework to mix cadmium red, will you be able to choose which of the 11 cadmium reds you will use?

Also can you show us pictures of all the paint tubes? (we like that kind of thing. especially old weird ones.)

stapeliad
02-05-2019, 01:51 PM
is there a simple way of more accurately dosing the cadmium with your white than just using the tip of a palette knife... short of breaking out a syringe?

Do it the opposite. Start with white and add a tiny bit of color to the white.

melissacarmon
02-05-2019, 01:57 PM
Also, here are some potentially useful links:


https://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/cadkey.html
The cadmium key from the ever-useful handprint


And a couple of threads with pictures comparing similar cadmium hues from different brands:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=560448
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608748

Also- good idea, stapeliad, about starting with white and adding color

JustAStudent
02-05-2019, 02:00 PM
Hey, kudos to you for finishing that degree. And... all that paint you bought....while extremely excessive... :lol: ....if you will enjoy it, good for you. You can resell your paints. In fact, you can sell them here, at the swap shop. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=83) :D

So now, when your teacher gives you homework to mix cadmium red, will you be able to choose which of the 11 cadmium reds you will use?

Also can you show us pictures of all the paint tubes? (we like that kind of thing. especially old weird ones.)


Will do on the pics when they get here. The ultrech actually was a kind of fun little deal. This seller had EIGHTY sets of 4ml "samples" (I assume free samples that he got from a B&M art shop at some point). 4ml each of yellow ochre, titan white, ultra blue (three colors I wanted more of anyway... since we need tons of white, and we use ultra blue to make tons of black... and I was just curious about yellow ochre even though I wont be using it in class)... and cad red light (pure) artist line. So excepting some extra lost (to the packages)... I got 320ml each of those colors for a fairly reasonable price. Plus we STILL have students who haven't gotten paints yet (week three), so I might volunteer some sets to the prof to hand out to these folks.

Right now I have a full set of what we need with 2x burnt umber and 2x cad red.
I bought a set of richeson that had most of the colors but only cad red scarlet (we were supposed to get light/med)... so I filled out the rest of the set with Winton (burnt umber, sap green, cad red med)... Then I picked up another burnt umber (since we make a lot of black and to test the brand) 150ml in Graham, and a 150ml tube of crimson alaz from Gamblin(yes I know it's not lightfast, I really liked the color and who really will care if my paintings are faded 50 yrs from now? Also to test the line). All those were new, but I got REALLY good prices on the Richeson and Gamblin (probably should have skipped buying the Wintons though as I've gotten Plenty of all those colors (in artist grades) in my lot buying from eBay, and the Wintons probably won't see any use once they get here.

Anyway, probable 7-10 more days and everything will be here and I'll post a nice big group shot.

JustAStudent
02-05-2019, 02:01 PM
Do it the opposite. Start with white and add a tiny bit of color to the white.
I knew that lol. Prof told us a thousand times darker into lighter. My brain doesn't work good a lot of the time. :thumbsup:

Thanks for reminding me.

DebWDC
02-05-2019, 03:15 PM
Hi Justastudent -
You have gotten some good responses here. Congratulations on having enough time, willingness, and money to buy some good paints. You may end up with more paint than you can use in 10 years :) (some paint envy here) What a great idea to offer some of your paint to the teacher to give to others. This may be a gift which will help people for a long time to come.


My only suggestion to you is to let your own practice and preferences guide you in what paints you decide work best.


I am near retirement from work, and its only in the last few years that I had enough money to actually buy art supplies. It was wonderful - and weird - to spend $$$ on art. What I have found it that almost any brand of oil paint will do, but I have a preference for Blue Ridge brand oil paint. I find it a premium paint at modest price.

Best -
Deb

stapeliad
02-05-2019, 06:09 PM
Since you love comparisons so much, do a search for a member named Gunzorro (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/search.php?searchid=26068). He hasn't posted in years, but he was the Paint Brand Experimenter here for a long time. He posted detailed descriptions and photos of all his paint swatches-- many hundreds... you might enjoy his threads.

JustAStudent
02-05-2019, 11:49 PM
Thank you. Iíll definitely look him up next time I have a few hours to spend on my computer. Sounds like Iíll get a lot from his threads.

JustAStudent
02-06-2019, 02:53 AM
As an example... for cadmium red Iíve got coming tubes from...
W&n artist
W&n London
W&n Winton
Grumbacher pretested
Grumbacher golden palette
Daler Rowney Georgian
Shiva
Richeson
Lukas 1862
Master Class
Ultrech artists


Correcting this... I was able to clean up some pictures and the only Georgian I've got coming is Rose Madder, not Cadmium red... or maybe I thought I had won a lot with Georgian Cadmium red in it and I actually lost that one... not sure what happened there exactly. Also, I've found some better pictures of the W&N London line and the Cadmiums are followed with parenthetically (Azo pigment)... so I'm guessing that means they are Hues... hopefully the back of the tubes will clarify if they are pure azo colors or some kind of mix. They are all sealed, I think, so I may just turn around and put those right back on eBay without testing as there seems to be some sellers getting ~ $10 for those old London "Alkyd" paints sold individually or in 3-packs.
I can add however:

Sargent Hi-Test Cadmium Red Deep
and
Van Dyke Cadmium-Barium Red Light

I'm very curious about the Van Dyke. I can't find anything about those paints, though there are a few mentions of Van Dyck paints. I also really like the packaging. It immediately and in plain English describes the pigment under the paint name on the front of the tubes... no code or hiding the fact it's a hue for them.

AnnieA
02-06-2019, 03:13 AM
Oh? I would love to be wrong... but their pricing, marketing information, and otherwise all point toward student quality. They use the term "professional" which is just another term for student quality art paints, they are designed for use in industries where longevity is not a concern.

It is just a marketing strategy to avoid the word student on the label. Same as Utrecht and Blick Studio paints, they aren't designed for the artist looking for the maximum in quality and handling.

This is not to say that Student, Professional, Studio, or whatever label of paint is necessarily bad. Plenty of great artwork is made with student quality paint. I know a well renowned artist who uses Winton and sells his work for tens of thousands of dollars.... The paint label has little to do with the finished work, all that matters is how we use it.

What the labels and pricing do tell us though; is the amount of pigment and labor involved in making the paint, and the value of the brand name. Some brands are expensive without necessarily being better than a less expensive version of the same paint with a different label. In the case of these "student" brands that are listed as something else though, they are all having either less milling, less pigment load, more fillers, or are using cheaper versions of the pigment (such as Cadmium-barium paints used for some of the studio brands).
Hey, Delo, I haven't used them, but my understanding is that Lukas 1862 paints are their artist grade line, and they also have a student line named "Studio." Both Blick and Utrecht have student lines, but Utrecht artist grade oil paints are generally good and a pretty good value too. I haven't tried Blick artist grade.

JustAStudent, The Wintons and Georgians are good student grade paints. Sometimes student grade can come in handy. For instance, Wintons are often recommended for painters who paint very large or with heavy impasto as they're a good compromise between quality and price. Also, some paints labeled "hue" are single pigment paints that are actually quite good in their own right. I think there are paints called "cadmium hue" for instance which are only called that because manufacturers think that artists prefer cadmiums (which, in general, is true but perhaps beginning to change). These "cadmium hues" may not behave quite like cadmiums, but some have good qualities of their own that can be useful to the artist. And then, why spend the money on artist grade for super-strong pigments such as the pthalos or dioxazine violet, when even the worst student grade version of those is going to have way, way more pigment load than you'll ever need or want?

I just wanted to add to all the good advice you've gotten here that much of one's preferences for paints are related to how you paint. The preferred qualities of a paint are often different for those who paint in thin transparent layers compared to those who like to do alla prima impasto. And there are all kinds of individual preferences at play as well. From what I can see, you've picked some decent brands of paint and I'd like to recommend experimenting with them yourself to see which you prefer. As a techie type myself, I know how it can be very easy to get fascinated with the technical aspects of painting, but you don't want to miss the joyous experience that just jumping in and painting can be.

JustAStudent
02-06-2019, 03:59 AM
Yes, I suppose I shouldn't give the impression that I'm intending to avoid student grade paints, when practically... they're suitable for me (as a student). I suppose my disappointment with them was that I got into the class at the last minute, so purchased the student grade (Winton) paints I needed at market price... which actually made them MORE costly than the artist grades I've been buying (in lots and used) since. It's a very minor frustration, but as a for instance:
I bought an artist grade (Richeson) Cadmium scarlet at a very good price (part of a set whose price tripled shortly after I bought it, so I guess I scored)... but unsure if that was acceptable in place of a cadmium light/medium, I bought a Winton Cadmium Medium on Amazon for $10 (Light was $12) to be safe. Ok, so far so good. Well tonight I won a tube of W&N artists Cadmium Red that looks all but full on eBay for $7.75 shipped. For all intents and purposes, the artist grade paint I'll have available to me was cheaper than the student grade. Now of course that's because of circumstances (needing something shipped 2-day guaranteed and not having time to fish for deals vs not having those limitations)... but the presence of those deals makes me feel like I might as well use the "better" product, if it's not going to cost me much, if any, more. Of course there's a limit to that reasoning... for instance the Michael Harding lot that went for $370 (Admittedly it would have cost something like $800 or more to buy it retail)... that's a bit more than I'd be willing to spend.

And as for pthalo's. I've gotten quite a few inadvertently (within lots I bought for the more pricey heavy metal paints)... but I definitely won't be using them in the near future; as my professor has warned us heavily against it due to their tinting strength... so even if I were curious to try I would want to avoid unnecessarily giving him the impression that I'm thumbing my nose at his advice. So for the time being, they're not much on my radar. Likewise, I've discussed hues with my professor along the same train of thought that you've brought up, and without dismissing their usefulness; the basic impression I got from him was that introducing them into classwork might interfere with the introductory techniques that the class will focus on for much of it by adding additional complexity to blending, shading, etc. So I'll likely experiment with them as I believe you that they can offer a lot to a painter, but that experimentation will be a bit into the future and outside of my class.

As for techniques... I do think I'd have a lot more fun with impasto, but I think at most one piece I'll be doing for class will be in that style as the class has been explained to me arcing across techniques such as that, and with the recommended quantities of paint we were given to buy at the start; even one, much less multiple of that style seems improbable. Perhaps something to do for fun once I've gotten at least a bit of painting experience under my belt... a use for some of the cheaper paints that wouldn't even be worthwhile to resell.

To butt in to your comment towards Delo, I have read that Blick's artist grade house paint is made by Sennelier and very good for the money... though I haven't been able to confirm whether or not it is simply Sennelier's artist line with a different label.

TomMather
02-06-2019, 08:23 AM
In 25+ years of oil painting, Iím on my second tube of cadmium red. Iím not sure what youíll do with all of those tubes, unless you paint a lot of tomatoes. I would be cautious about buying old paints. Some of my seldom used paints that are years old have started drying up in the tubes.

My advice is to buy quality paints because most colors will last you a long time, except for frequently used colors in mixingó such as titanium white, ultramarine blue, burnt umber.

FYI, you can buy quality paints for reasonable prices at online stores such as Dick Blick or Jerryís, if you donít get hung up on expensive brands. Some quality brands that sell for reasonable prices include Ultrecht, Grumbacher, M. Graham, Lukas, Gamblin. Often the same color will sell for widely varying prices if you compare among brands.

JustAStudent
02-06-2019, 09:29 AM
Actually I was planning to paint a lot of tomatoes. No joke. Still Iíve got a ridiculous amount of paint coming. Plan is to compare it as best I can... pull out what I want to use, figure out what justifies keeping (considering the potential for drying out) and then put the rest back on eBay, ideally listed in such a way that it keeps the more expensive paints from going unnoticed (finding those has been my strategy to get so many paints with relatively little cost).

And yes condition of the paint will be a concern until they get here. Most sellers of old paint just give the tubes a squeeze and say they feel soft. Not sure how certain you can be of the paint with that. Most of what Iím buying is unused (old unopened) or more recently used... so thatíll help (the W&n artist red was listed as 6 months old) but some of it is definitely going to be a question mark until it arrives.

I did buy some empty tubes so I can try to save anything that is drying out because of a leaky tube.

Of what I bought... about 15% are recently used tubes the seller was the artist. Generally they say something like ďlightly used, soft when squeezedĒ
About 50% are new but vintage and look like they just came off the shelf.
Another 15% look a bit old and used (but not rusted out lead or anything)...seller says one tube is stiff and satisfaction guaranteed.
The rest are the big question mark. They are the tougher looking tubes. One very large lot, sold as mostly new, but a lot of leakers from the pictures... hopefully a few open tubes leaked onto others at some point, but weíll find out when they get here. That lot was big and quite a bit of money, with no mention of hardening (sold as ďmostly newĒ) so if a bunch of useless rocks arrive itíll be returned.

MarcF
02-06-2019, 10:20 AM
To the OP:
Like you, Iím not only a new painter, Iím also obsessive about whatever Iíve decided to explore. Like you, I need to understand everything. I drove my teachers crazy when I was a student, my bosses crazy when I was an employee, and my wife crazy, here in retirement. Iím also a traditionalist - In college I shaved with a stone and straight razor- and a little mug of shaving soap.
So I DO get where youíre coming from.
My suggestion is, forget about the difference in the paint until you know a little about what youíre doing. What youíre doing right now is spending time and money ineffectively. If you had years and years to learn oil painting, and millions of $$ for paint, I would still say youíre barking up the wrong tree.
This would be as if you were taking a cooking class, and bought 12 different brands of Olive Oil (all approximately equivalent) and 12 different skillets to experiment with. You would get similar results, and not have the cooking experience to detect the small differences.
Only time and experience will lead you to the mastery you seek. At the end of this course you might be ready to undertake the investigation you are conducting. A student violinist probably couldnít tell the difference between a $100 bow and a $1000 bow. And he wonít learn anything about actually playing the violin (at which point he might be able to tell the difference) if he spends all his time trying to understand the difference. In other words, youíre not ready to see the difference (if there really is any).
Now go do your assignments and stop procrastinating!

JustAStudent
02-06-2019, 10:53 AM
Haha. Part of it is lack of assignments. We're so early in the class that we really don't do studio time yet. I stay a little bit late on Mondays and that's all. Hopefully by our second (some of our third because one of our Still Life displays got taken down so we had to restart) painting, there will be opportunity to do some self-guided work, and that'll help fill my time (it's still not going to stop my comparisons I bet). And yes, I completely agree... doesn't change the compulsion. I spend a lot of time ineffectively, and I figure worst case, I'll be able to set aside a nice collection of vintage cadmiums in case they ever get banned. Maybe pick up a vacu-seal at a thrift store and see if that helps protect against the paint drying out.

I was a professional chef for most of my life (Also why I have SOOOO much free time atm... went from 80-100hr weeks to 40hr weeks + school), so I get where your coming from with the comparison (though Imho olive oils are pretty easy to taste differences in... but I'm sure not for everyone). The irony is I was the same way about knives twenty years ago when I started cooking. Yeah, a waste of money at the time, but I did gather knowledge (perhaps inefficiently) that served me well. It's just my nature, and your nature too, it sounds like. And no amount of telling me how bad an idea will stop it because I already know it's a bad idea. That's part of the fun, perhaps. I'm not trying to disregard everyone's advice and caution. I know they're all right. I just still want to play with my paints like a little girl who got into her mother's makeup.

But, take comfort that I'm not blowing $100 on a tube of Holland or Harding (though I was bidding on that $370 lot of Harding, but only to resell, because holy carp that buyer is gonna double their money easily... 10x 150ml Hardings, about 150$ avg cost at discount online stores ($200-250+ retail) per tube... looked brand new). I'm buying a lot of paint, but I'm spending my time finding it nice and cheap, and I don't expect I'll be out much money in the end (time I certainly will, but like I mentioned, this is a really slow spring for me... though I should probably be brushing up on my difeq and circuit analysis instead... but what's the fun in that).

That said, I picked up a Permanent pigments Cadmium-Bar Red Medium, and some vintage Permalba in both red and yellow (I know the current stuff is considered thin and student grade at best by most, but I'm curious what the older stuff will be like, looks like it's from 50s-70s era... and people have posted that they at least used real cadmium pigments) and of course, I got it really cheap.

stapeliad
02-06-2019, 12:43 PM
This would be as if you were taking a cooking class, and bought 12 different brands of Olive Oil (all approximately equivalent) and 12 different skillets to experiment with.

I was a professional chef for most of my life

:lol: I'm sorry, I just found that irony to be really funny!

JustAStudent
02-06-2019, 03:17 PM
So the big lot of bleeding paints arrived (It contained the London "Cadmiums", and they are pure Azo (plus Dolomite... whats that for?*) as did an 8 pack of W&N artists and Grum Pretesteds. Just got back from class and about to head to work though, so probably won't be able to do much with them until Friday or Saturday.

*Google says it's a filler that makes the dried paint surface more durable, lightens the paint and increases opacity. That about right?

JustAStudent
02-07-2019, 11:37 AM
Alright. I mentioned yesterday that the lot of (64) bleeding paints had arrived. Before bed I took a tube each of Golden Palette Burnt Sienna and Grumbacher Thalo Rose Red (the majority of the lot is these two colors).

I cleaned both off gently with dish soap and a soft sponge to find that each had a puncture from another tubes corner in them. That explains why the tubes are so cruddy. I got up this morning and cleaned the rest of the tubes. Amazingly I had grabbed the only two punctures for my first sample the night before. Theres several with jellified oil at the crimp and a lot of seepage of paint under the caps, but no more holes I could find. Cleaning didn't really accomplish much (I can't use an aggressive scrubber for fear of removing what remains of the labels). But the tubes seem intact.

Here's a picture of the tubes I scrubbed this morning. All the Thalo Red except the one from last night are in plastic cases and the London colors are in much newer and cleaner cases from not being stored with these leaky paints(so not pictured), but here's most of the burnt umber and the six Cadmium red tubes from Golden Palette.

https://ibb.co/TYZRs0b
https://ibb.co/wp2ynqh
https://ibb.co/HT15wh6

Also pictured are a look down the top of the Cadmium Red tube (looks unused), and smears from the leaky Thalo Red and Burnt Sienna. The Sienna tubes appear to either be Lead or a mix of some Lead and some aluminum, but mostly lead. The cadmium and Rose Red tubes I've handled are all aluminum. The Rose Red tube I got opened pretty easy. The Sienna was so crusted up it started to tear, so I'll just cut it open and xfer to a new tube when they arrive.

Texture on the burnt sienna looks real nice to me. Not the least bit oily, but the glob that I got to wash off my hands felt smooth too. I might see how it substitutes/compares to my M Graham Burnt Umber in class.

WFMartin
02-07-2019, 02:11 PM
Alright. I mentioned yesterday that the lot of (64) bleeding paints had arrived. Before bed I took a tube each of Golden Palette Burnt Sienna and Grumbacher Thalo Rose Red (the majority of the lot is these two colors).

The Grumbacher Thalo Red Rose (PV19), is an excellent version of the primary color, Magenta. You can always add Yellow to it to create nearly any hue of Red, and Orange that you may desire. Add Ultramarine Blue to it to create very beautiful Violets. It is transparent, so it will mix with any OTHER transparent color to create very deep, dark versions of those mixtures.

Good paint!:thumbsup:

JustAStudent
02-07-2019, 02:15 PM
Excellent. Thank you. Iíve got 30 tubes of the stuff, so Hopefully Iíll get a lot of use out of it. Maybe Iíll do an impasto skyscape in Thalo red blends and burnt Sienna 😀

WFMartin
02-07-2019, 03:18 PM
Excellent. Thank you. Iíve got 30 tubes of the stuff, so Hopefully Iíll get a lot of use out of it. Maybe Iíll do an impasto skyscape in Thalo red blends and burnt Sienna 😀

Wow! 30 tubes of Thalo Red Rose! If I had bought that many tubes of that color when I first began painting, my primary wish would be to live long enough to have used the last tube!:lol: :lol:

(Oh, and by mixing Ivory Black (or any black) with it, you can create some of most beautiful, subtle lavenders you've ever seen. I use if for painting flowers.) Just another use for it, to help you use it up.:lol:

JustAStudent
02-07-2019, 05:01 PM
Thank you. Iíll definitely give it a try.

AnnieA
02-07-2019, 08:41 PM
To remove stuck caps, running the cap under hot water for a while often helps. Then grasp at the shoulder of the tube - the line where the straight side of the tube turns and slants toward the cap (this part is often exposed metal and it's often the stiffest part of the tube too), and gently try to turn the cap. Often, running something sharp (safetly pin, ceramic tool, etc.) around the inside edge of the cap to remove dried paint helps too, but be careful so you don't puncture the tube with the sharp whatever. Some people dunk the caps in boiling water and say it works almost every time, but I've never tried that so can't give instructions.

BTW, I know you're taking the class is just to fulfill a breadth requirement, but it sounds to me that you're already hooked. :D

JustAStudent
02-08-2019, 01:54 AM
Thanks, I tried a hot water soak, pliers and gripping the whole tube... sadly the puncture was at a crushed part of the tube right below the neck, and it quickly gave way at that level and started to tear. Boiling water or chiseling under the cap probably would have worked, but that ship has sailed... New tubes are here, but I only ordered the large 5+oz ones... so I will have to decide if it's worth placing another order to get small ones or if I should just try to find an alternative vessel and use that tube up asap.

More packages arrived today... the ultrech samples came... they feel soft in the pouches. I'll be opening some to try on Monday at the latest, but I expect they're fairly recent based on how soft they are and the packaging, so should be all good. They do indeed appear to be free samples... maybe a counter display from some event or a store that took down the display? Says not for resale on them... guess the guy who sold them to me took that as a suggestion. Arrived while I was at work and my wife commented on how heavy the package I got was... it's a lot of paint. Each little sample pack comes in a pamphlet with a catalogue of ultrech's colors and some info about the brand/line. Nice little handouts... really generous of the company (considering each pack has over 1/10th of a tube of three different series 1 and one series 4 paints... approximately $8 value each at their retail price...evidently being given out as a freebie). But I was equally impressed with them when I called last Sunday afternoon to ask about an order I placed and a human picked up my call immediately and answered my question (I ordered my empty tubes and some paint keys from them). I'll definitely be giving them business if I decide to continue painting.


Anyway... a lot of Wintons, shiva's and Grumbachers arrived too. All told it was a 12pack of vintage shiva's 10ml each (nice colors too, cab's and such)... a half dozen older winton's... and maybe eight Grumbacher pretests. All of it was full or nearly full except a tiny little yellow ochre (a lone straggler from an old starter set I'd assume), and one tube of Grumbacher Titanium white that was about half used up. Opened four additional tubes (of the ones that seemed full)... two were brand new, two had been very lightly used (paint in the threads of the caps).

I don't have my palette knives, canvas, palettes, or brushes here... but I took a piece of paper and a screwdriver and did a really rough trial of basically what I am hoping to do on a larger (and better executed) scale when everything is here.

I put a blob of my Winton Cadmium red Medium (modern, new tube) along side a blob of the Grumbacher Golden Palette Cadmium-Barium Red Light. The Golden Palette has a much drier, darker appearance. Based on the oil seep into the paper, the Winton has at least twice as much oil (now, of course likely the Golden Palette has lost some over the years). I would also say that even straight from the tube, the GPalette has an earthy, brick note to the color that is there in the Winton as well, but to a FAR lesser extent.


I cut them 1:1 with vintage Grumbacher pretest Titanium White (the half used tube... VERY dried up, hard to squeeze out of tube, but still easy to work with and smooth out):
Winton Medium dilutes to a pretty standard red... the brick color fades, but comes back a little as it dries
The GP brick note softens a little, but I'd still call it a brick red rather than a simple red.

Dilute that mix 3:1 with titanium white again. They both move to a bubblegum pink color, The Winton has noticeably more yellow to it and the GP is deeper red, still a little earthy.

Dilute that mix 8:1 with titanium white. Winton mix starting to lose its red character, still pink but dangerously close to being off-white. The GP still pink, but still has that bit of an earthiness to it.

I know this is a yellow toned red, but I wanted to try a purple mix with it anyway. GP 4:1 with cobalt blue and it looks like a REALLY muddy red. Hit it with another dose of cobalt (2:1 now), and it's a dark, slightly blue brown.
Try the same with the Winton red and it acts exactly the same for the 4:1 mix. Didn't bother wasting any more cobalt blue to take it to step 2. So picture has Winton 4:1 with Cobalt and GP 2:1

Then orange... made with Winton Cobalt Yellow Light. The stronger red of the Golden Palette (and lesser yellow tint to it) becomes noticeable here with the Winton making a more yellow orange and the GP making a more red one (with same ratio mixes).

https://ibb.co/kQcdgjT
https://ibb.co/SVmNF67
https://ibb.co/2PVXVPb
https://ibb.co/g65TKTB


In these pictures (other than the full-paper one), the GP is on the right or top.

JustAStudent
02-08-2019, 09:03 AM
In these pictures (other than the full-paper one), the GP is on the right or top.
Scratch that... My camera flipped every picture. GP always on left or bottom. except in the group pic of entire paper... GP is left or top in that one.


So anyway. Like I said, probably won't be doing much at least until the weekend... but sorting through the lots. As mentioned, what has arrived is the Ultrech sets, a ton of Thalo Red and Burnt Sienna. About ten tubes of mixed modern (last 25 yrs) Grumbacher Pretest, various W&N "student" tubes (From 70's era London to Modern Winton), a half dozen vintage Grumbachers, a half dozen vintage W&N artists, A 12 color set of 10ml shiva's, and some miscellany (A 7ml tube of Weber Yellow Ochre that is half used up being the most isolated addition). Of my Red cadmiums (the pigment type I'm getting the widest assortment of and have selected to compare)... so far arrived:
Richeson scarlet (modern)
Shiva Red light (vintage looking... but came with the recentish winton/grumbacher lot so I'd assume 10-20 yrs old)
Shiva Red scarlet (same)
Winton Medium (modern)
Grumbacher cad-bar red light (Looks new but not current tube design, 2000 copyright on tube, $19.10 price sticker... estimate 2000-2010)
Grumbacher Golden Palette cad-bar red light (aluminum tubes, estimate 70s... 2259 stamped on the crimp, but unsure if dating or batch number... Says HQ in NY, 10001... same as some lead tubes of Grumbacher I've got... more recent tubes say Jersey or Illinois)


After drying overnight, my color differences between Winton and GP cadmium reds faded significantly. The Winton Orange blend is just noticeably yellower, the GP darker and stronger. The same exists in the two pinks but to a lesser extent (Winton yellower and less deep). At 50:50 mix, the Winton lost a bit of a sheen, coming down a bit more towards brick itself (though subtly... more of a fire hydrant red still), while the GP moved in the other direction, losing a bit of the earthy quality (just a bit) but is still what I'd call a brick red.
On the whole they're moving a bit towards the other as they dry, with the Winton retaining more of a yellow hint across the board, and the GP being a bit more earthy with less brightness and sheen.

The Pure blobs of paint demonstrate this best. The Winton still looks like bright, wet paint... the GP (which never really looked wet) almost perfectly matches old brick with just a hint of paint sheen.

What was curious is the difference in yellow wasn't evident at all in the attempt at purple... they both went straight to brown when Cobalt was added. No discernible difference... perhaps they're both yellow-shifted enough to be unsuited for purples and the minor distinction in exactly how much becomes irrelevant in that use (like the difference between a salad and dinner fork in throwing hay). Definitely convinces me I need a non-cadmium based red in my palette for purple's though. I had thought from class that my blue was the problem... maybe it was green-shifted... was unsure (what originally got me looking at paint lots was trying to find cheap cobalt or cerulean blue to use instead of ultramarine as I thought it was why my purples were so muddy)... but now it's looking like it's definitely the yellow of cadmium red that's causing the problem.

JustAStudent
02-08-2019, 10:09 AM
I am curious... I have no "Deep" cadmiums here yet. Does "Deep" indicate less of a yellow shift to the red and more of a red shift to the yellow (as some deep yellows appear almost orange)? Would a Cadmium Red deep be more suitable for purples vs light, medium and scarlets, though not as much so as alternatives (such as the Thalo Rose Red as WFMartin suggested).

JustAStudent
02-08-2019, 12:03 PM
https://ibb.co/JrzFgXV

Here is a drawdown using a metal plate with a hole punched in it and a plastic thermal paste spreader (basically a tiny, palette knife with enough flex to allow me to do this with)

I placed the plate in place, filled the hole with paint from tube inverted over it, squeezed it and cut it off to the side... then I blew the paint from the hole and transfered it to paper with the knife and did the draw. Cleaned knife between each test... I'd say less than 5% margin of error just as a ballpark for quantities.

Left is the Grumbacher Golden Palette "light"

Middle Grumbacher Pretest "light"

Right W&N Winton "Medium"

Obviously the artist grade is much better at this test... looks about 50-75% more pigment than the other two. Winton looks a little heavier than the GP... but I think they're closer than they look... the GP is quite dry and doesn't smear nearly as well... I imprinted my finger in both smears right at the middle and the GP was noticeably deeper. I suspect if I worked a tiny bit of medium into the GP, it'd match up pretty well with the Winton. The question is if the color would shift as well because as you can see the Pretest (a much more recent tube that wasn't dried out at all) much more closely resembles the Winton in color... even though they are different shades (light vs medium) In fact, if I rearranged this test with the Golden palette on the right side... it'd almost make more sense as a light/med/deep transition.

Edit: just tested with camellia oil (don't have linseed at the house). The color STAYS that earthy brick red, paint gets a little wet paint sheen to it, but doesn't turn bright red like the other two.

This weekend or Monday I'll have to run down to the studio and try this out when I actually have my tools and materials. Now I'm wondering if Spirits will impact the color where oil did not.

Delofasht
02-08-2019, 12:47 PM
Excellent testing so far, much left to go, but I think you are getting an understanding of what the student grades are going to do and act like. The notes on the hue shift in tints are really informative for color mixing exercises as you have noticed. Cadmiums, even the deep, generally make fairly muted violets, keep a tube of Thalo Rose available for making vibrant violets. PV19 is one of my favorite pigment families, from bright rose to deep red violets (Quinacridone Violet labeling usually) right out of the tube.

Also, if you are on the look out for a good Cadmium hue, look for a tube with PR254 or PR255 in it. W&N make Bright Red, Scarlet Lake, and Winsor Red that utilize these pigments, all are excellent compared to Cadmium, some more opaque than others. More expensive sources make a PR254 that behave incredibly well as Cadmium replacements as well. None of the Pyrrol pigments will completely replace Cadmium though, they simply do not have the opacity that Cadmiums do. This makes them stronger tinting, while mixing with transparent colors to darker variations of what a Cadmium would.

JustAStudent
02-08-2019, 02:01 PM
Excellent testing so far, much left to go, but I think you are getting an understanding of what the student grades are going to do and act like. The notes on the hue shift in tints are really informative for color mixing exercises as you have noticed. Cadmiums, even the deep, generally make fairly muted violets, keep a tube of Thalo Rose available for making vibrant violets. PV19 is one of my favorite pigment families, from bright rose to deep red violets (Quinacridone Violet labeling usually) right out of the tube.

Also, if you are on the look out for a good Cadmium hue, look for a tube with PR254 or PR255 in it. W&N make Bright Red, Scarlet Lake, and Winsor Red that utilize these pigments, all are excellent compared to Cadmium, some more opaque than others. More expensive sources make a PR254 that behave incredibly well as Cadmium replacements as well. None of the Pyrrol pigments will completely replace Cadmium though, they simply do not have the opacity that Cadmiums do. This makes them stronger tinting, while mixing with transparent colors to darker variations of what a Cadmium would.

A lot to consider. Thank you. I am struggling to find what it is that Cadmiums truly excel at that makes them an absolute necessity on a restricted palette (as many, including my instructor have indicated to me). It seems they are strong lone colors, but generally they aren't exceptional for mixing... except in cases where you need their opacity. Is that a large part of it? That they provide a base of opacity that other translucent colors can really use to advantage in mixes? Are they as alone in this as their popularity despite their price seems to suggest? Also... are there general rules to follow about mixing colors that are opaque, translucent and semi? Does one type typically compliment another well? Essentially; does a cadmium orange or a ruddy brown built on a cadmium red offer something that isn't easily replicated with cheaper pigments like your pthalo's and your earth tones?
Basically... suppose you were a very experienced painter and cadmiums were banned and unobtainable... and had been your whole life. Suddenly a political shift lifts the ban, cadmiums are introduced to you (for the first time ever). You naturally try them, experiment with them... what do you quickly discover about them that makes you grateful that they are now available to you?

Also, I just checked one of the tubes of Golden Palette with a bit more label. They are not labeled as Cadmium Barium red (I drew that conclusion from a partial label on the one I've been using). Just "Cadmium Red, Light". No mention of a specific pigment... so it's possible that they are a secret "hue"... maybe made of iron oxide... which would explain the "brick" color perhaps. Is there any way to test this?

Weight occurred to me...
Pre-test CadBar red: 90g
Winton Cad red: 72g
Golden Palette Cad red: 60g
Various full, aluminum tube, synthetic (light) pigment paints: 50-55g
Golden Palette Burnt Sienna: 87g


Some google-fu and I see that while Burnt Sienna is a fairly heavy pigment (about 3SG) Cad red light is almost 5.5SG... looks like this is almost certainly a Hue or else very lightly pigmented. Possibly a hue that uses a small amount of cadmium stretched with a lot of synthetics... likely not iron oxide though, as it's nearly as heavy as cadmium.

Any idea what synthetic reds have this dark, earthy color? I'm leaning towards it being a Naphthol red. They would have been new around when I expect this tube was made... and Grumbacher may have figured hell, no one would know what it was... could probably pass off as Cadmium.

TomMather
02-08-2019, 02:58 PM
Personally, I use very little Cadmium Red and would not include it on a limited palette. However, I mostly paint landscapes and have little need for a warm red. Alizarin Crimson, Venetian Red or Burnt Sienna are much more useful to me. I suspect that Cadmium Red is much more useful for painting portraits and certainly flowers, and perhaps that is why it is often recommended for palettes. Since I havenít painted a portrait in 20+ years, that probably explains why Iím on only my second tube of the color.

JustAStudent
02-08-2019, 03:07 PM
I do know that a lot of our work in class will be figures, so that would make sense, but most of the people who I've read post about colors online talk about how cadmiums are inferior to earth tones for skin tone matching (though a few people seem to disagree and prefer to make skin tones "from scratch" with colors like cadmium.


On another note... I leave for work in 15 minutes, but two HUGE lots just arrived and it's like Christmas.

One was vintage Permalba's by Weber. I know a lot of people have posted that the paint is runny and weakly pigmented... but I thought maybe the old stuff was better. No time to test now... BUT. I weighed them.

Grumbacher synthetic pigment: 51g
Grumbacher Cadmium red same tube/era: 90g

Big difference, right? Lot of pigment there, right?

Permalba synthetic pigment: 53g
Permalba Cadmium red same tube/era: 97g

Not an exact science, but certainly looks like these aren't going to be underpigmented... unless they're adding Bismuth or something to up the weight.

Also some real nice surprises. One lot had a lot of Permanent green/light... which I assumed was pthalo. Nope... Viridium + Cadmium yellow.

Also... Winsor & Newton Emerald green... the heaviest 37ml tube I've encountered at over 100g... no pigment listed. Any idea what that could be? Again I assumed Pthalo... would it be enough zinc to up the weight that much?


Lots of fun surprises still, like I said, no time before work. Will be fun tonight.

AnnieA
02-08-2019, 06:12 PM
Since you mentioned something upthread about difficulty in sqeezing paint from an older tube, I wanted to mention that sometimes the paint in the tube is OK but there is blockage inside the threaded part at the top of the tube. If you scrape the dried paint out of it - I use a ceramics tool, but I'm sure there are other possibilities - often the paint will flow much more easily from the tube. And, more importantly, there's less chance of a tube developing a leak elsewhere because of the pressure needed to squeeze the paint out. If you do this, be careful to pull the dried paint directly out of the tube and not push any back deeper in it, as you don't want little bits of dried paint contaminating your painting. That's why I use a ceramics tool with a small metal claw-like shape on one end - it works perfectly for this task.

Richard P
02-08-2019, 06:24 PM
Personally, I use very little Cadmium Red and would not include it on a limited palette. However, I mostly paint landscapes and have little need for a warm red. Alizarin Crimson, Venetian Red or Burnt Sienna are much more useful to me. I suspect that Cadmium Red is much more useful for painting portraits and certainly flowers, and perhaps that is why it is often recommended for palettes. Since I havenít painted a portrait in 20+ years, that probably explains why Iím on only my second tube of the color.

I mostly paint portraits with a realism style and I find that earth reds are normally fine for the paintings. I rarely use a stronger red and that's normally only for clothes or something besides the faces.

JustAStudent
02-09-2019, 12:32 AM
Ok, so I'm home. The Green is "Winsor Emerald" but it's not their current color number... It looks like the color number is 169 SL. It's series 2. And it weighs a ton.

The permalba cadmium red is nice stuff. I spilled some when opening the tube, and did a little bit of experimenting with it. Looks very similar to the Grumbacher artist grade in draw down.

The rest of what arrived today were a couple tubes of 1862 Cadmiums, a "Master Class" cadmium orange, a lot more permalba from the same era as the cadmium I opened... mostly unopened... mostly shades of green. A handful of 150ml tubes from Van Dyke and Bellini. One Permanent green made of cadmium and veridian, one cad-barium red, a few ultramarine and even MORE burnt sienna (I'm swimming in the stuff now). A good bit of W&N with no rhyme or reason to the colors (mostly 1-3 series), as well as some more London (Including several "Cadmium" Azo pigments) and a few old Grumbacher pretesteds... all unopened, most in display/sales three-packs. A Lot of stuff to sift through and organize in the coming days. Just waiting on about ten more tubes (a couple 3-packs and a few solo tubes I bought), and it'll all be here.

And Annie, thank you. I should have heeded your advice for the permalba tube. I was thinking that if it didn't come out with just a tiny bit more pressure, I'd do what you suggested when it suddenly gave way and shot about 4 grams of paint onto the paper I was trying to just put a tiny dab on. I wrapped it up in plastic wrap to use for testing in a few days.

Update. So the Permalba paints Iím looking at. Maybe 30 or so tubes of different greens? They are ALL cadmium greens usually with another yellow pigment added. Sometimes iron sometimes hansa sometimes more cadmium. But literally all these greens (4 or 5 different types) have cadmium as the primary pigment. It was a 30 or 40 tube lot. And like 20 or more of the tubes are cadmium paints.

AnnieA
02-09-2019, 01:52 AM
Be careful, as some vintage paints, such as true Emerald Green, PG 21, are very toxic. This doesn't necessarily mean that the one you have is PG 21, since "emerald" is a typical name for many greens, but still, you don't want to risk getting arsenic poisoning! See this: http://www.artiscreation.com/green.html#PG21 Maybe you should make sure you know what the pigment is before even opening the tube.

JustAStudent
02-09-2019, 11:55 AM
Thank you, I was reading up on that before the tube arrived... because of the Winsor designation, I'm pretty sure it is a Thalo paint, but the difference in color number indicates it's a different mix than they currently use, and the weight suggests a LOT of some much heavier pigment as well... of course I have other examples of the same thing (vintages of current colors with different color numbers from Winsor&Newton).

Does anyone know of a reference for legacy (out of production) colors from W&N? If not I may have to just email them and ask for pigment information.

JustAStudent
02-09-2019, 07:48 PM
I was asked for a group picture... so here's a start.

Still got three packages en route... 4 Winton cadmiums, a small assortment of random Grumbachers (bought a lot for the brushes and it had paints with it as well), 3 Hi test cadmiums and a 3 tube Permanent Pigment red assortment.

Also missing from the picture are the paints I have at the studio... a 200ml Lukas 1862 Orange cadmium, All my Richesons, a M graham 150ml Burnt Umber, A few Grumbachers and a Winton Sap Green.

Oh and 30x Grumbacher Rose Red and 20x Golden Palette Burnt Umber (they had paint all over them, so in my garage).

The box in the back contains the 80 copies of that pamphlet with 4x4ml of Ultrecht paint each. All the other display boxes have 3 tubes each in them. And the Permalba's are almost all cadmiums (so much cadmium green).

https://ibb.co/5R8zN71

Going to be taking a tube of the Golden Palette "Cadmium" red light to class to get my instructors thoughts on what it is. Also taking several 37ml of titanium whites to class to finish off (seems they are about the only paint that really dries up as a vintage... most of my tubes of white are hard to get out of the tube, but work fine once out. The Golden palette Cad red is really the only other tubes that feel "dried up"... I expect they had some filler added that caused it). Also, transfered my exploded Burnt Sienna into a ziplock to take to class and see how it compares against my Burnt Umber.

JustAStudent
02-10-2019, 07:01 PM
So I stacked up 5 cadmium reds last night with a drawdown over text.
The Golden Palette Cadmium red light (Not specified)
The Pretested Cadmium Barium red light (PR108:1)
The Winton Cadmium red medium (PR108)
The 1862 Cadmium red light (Not specified... Jerry's says it's PO20 Cadmium orange)
The Permalba Cadmium red light (Cadmium Sulfoselenide Barium... also PR 108:1?)

So... When dried... The three lights are virtually identical. The Grumbacher went the furthest but was also by FAR the oiliest. Consequently, it has the least opacity (most text visible through it). The Permalba and Lukas went slightly shorter distances, but both are more opaque in coverage... with the Lukas winning out (pretty much opacity is inverse-linearly related to the looseness of the paint coming out of the tube... so probably similar pigment densities... but the "wetter" paint carries the pigment further, covering more area thinner.
The Winton was the medium shade... and that's a bit noticeable once dried (it's the darkest excepting the Golden Palette) Opacity/wetness is comparable to Permalba, but doesn't go quite as far.
So the Golden Palette is still a mystery. It is by FAR the most opaque... literally no text visible through it as thin as I could scrape it. But it naturally also has the least surface covered (it's thick and hard to spread thin)... perhaps some additive thickened it up a ton, perhaps the pigment isn't ground particularly fine, this I can't judge. It is perfectly workable. Doesn't feel gritty or anything, and is faaaar smoother and softer than the old tubes of titanium white I've been using (which is the texture of stiff playdoh, but still workable once you get it on the palette)... in fact other than how thick it insists on being applied, you can't really tell that it's "dried up", comes out the tube fine and looks like I expect the "superthick" paints like old holland look like on the palette... the difference probably being that old holland has that texture because of pigment and this because of something else (at least not cadmium pigment... weight makes that impossible). Also, even though it dries MUCH closer to the others than it looks wet... it is earthy in a way none of the other cadmiums are. Almost like there's a tiny touch of dried blood mixed in with it... if the weight weren't telling me that the additive can't be iron oxide either, I'd swear that's what this stuff was... cadmium red cut with iron oxide to stretch it... maybe some kind of filler/drying agent that turns stiff and slightly brown with age?

That said, all three of the artist grade feel pretty interchangeable, and I'd make my decision between them based on which texture I preferred. They all dry basically the same, but come out the tube at different textures.

I'm really caught up with figuring out what the story with this golden palette is though. I was expecting it to be LESS opaque than the others, and while the extra thickness would counteract that, there's no question even despite that, whatever pigment is being used is just as opaque as cadmium red... and I don't know enough about pigments to know what that could be. Which brings me back to thinking it's cadmium red + some other opaque pigment or filler with much less tinting strength, but which shifts the cadmium significantly darker and slightly brown.

Or maybe I'm wrong blaming the texture on the age? Maybe the paint is cadmium red, but with opaque but low tinting strength additives designed to make it to go on super thick to cover up a very low dose of pigment... where you'd have to thin it out a ton to reveal the weakness of the pigment... and the extra darkness helping it hold up when making tints? With the earthiness a consequence of this design being imperfect... or perhaps the aging of whatever was used to thicken it?

JustAStudent
02-11-2019, 03:02 PM
Ok, class was canceled for weather, but I hopped down to the studio to do a few tests.

Did a drawdown on canvas of 8 cadmium reds and 3 cadmium oranges.

Didn't really reveal much... except that oilier paint goes further in drawdown tests (revealing why the white/black card is a good idea). The Vintage "Shiva" and the golden palette cadmium reds were so stiff I added some linseed to make them work better. I almost did with the Utrecht (it was the next stiffest, but was workable so I didn't)... which is what I blame for it being such a short draw.

The Richeson and Shiva are both cadmium scarlet and look similar (should be... same manufacturer, just one vintage one current)... basically match the Winton (cadmium medium) but with a tiny hint of blue to my eye. The Golden Palette falls in with them as well, but has a tiny bit of earthiness the others lack (although it almost vanishes on canvas, to be honest).

For the Oranges, the Lukas and the Winsor Artist are swapped. Winsor should be nearest the reds, with Lukas on the outside.

The Van Dyke and the Master Class were very oily (the source of all the oil on the palette paper). The Van Dyke because it's unused and old and all the separated oil settled at the top... the Master class.. probably just because it's oily. But as you can see, that is a good thing in this test. The Van dyke had far more coverage than anyone else, and the Master Class was no slouch.

The Lukas 1862 wasn't oily, but was VERY soft and loose... similar in texture to the Winton. When I say the Grumbacher and richeson feel "wetter" but the Winton more "emulsified" I mean that the Winton almost feels like it has some air worked into it (same with Lukas)... It looks stiffer and drier than the Grum and Rich... but is actually softer. They are denser, but wetter. Hence I suspect it is the whipped butter to their crema, if you get that reference. This means it doesn't separate as much as they did (both Richeson and Grumbacher had a little oil on top when I first opened the tubes), but it also will lack the potency of pigment in a given volume (as you'd expect since it's student grade and they are both artist).

All in all, not much information gained here, but it's nice to see the colors side by side. Making tints is probably a much more effective way to judge pigment density. That'll be the next project (and I can do that at home).

Left to right on the palette:

Richeson cad scar (modern)
Grumbacher pretest Cadbar Light(vintage)
Shiva Cad scar (vintage, before addint linseed oil)
Golden palette Cad Light (Vintage, with linseed oil added)
Utrecht Cad Light Pure (Vintage? from a sample pouch, hence the smear)
Oil runoff from the Van Dyke and Masterclass
Permalba Cad Light(probably next stiffest after Utrecht, tied with W&N artist for stiffness)
Van Dyke CadBar Red Light(before mixing that oil under it back in)
Winton Cad Medium

And down from top:
W&N artist cad orange (vintage)
Master Class Cad Orange (age unknown)
Lukas 1862 Cad Orange

https://ibb.co/pbXgCHg
https://ibb.co/MGY5rmG

french.painter
02-11-2019, 03:04 PM
Most of cadmium paints I have tried contains fillers (Lefranc, Talens). Cadmiums are so easy to mull by yourself in oil that it is a pity not to try it, just once at least to discover the difference. 100% pure cadmium pigment in linseed oil is an incredible paint!

JustAStudent
02-11-2019, 03:07 PM
Most of cadmium paints I have tried contains fillers (Lefranc, Talens). Cadmiums are so easy to mull by yourself in oil that it is a pity not to try it, just once at least to discover the difference. 100% pure cadmium pigment in linseed oil is an incredible paint!

I may give that a try in the future... once I work through all the cadmiums I have now.

JustAStudent
02-11-2019, 03:42 PM
Also... by weight, the cadmium reds seem to fit in two ranges:

Student (Aka Winton, GP, etc): ~1.5g/ml- 2g/ml (Winton is near the top end of this range... probably part of why it's a well-regarded student grade).

Artist (Aka Richeson, Pretested, etc): ~2.35-2.7g/ml
The heaviest is permalba (possibly heavier packaging than the others?)

Richard P
02-11-2019, 03:58 PM
I'm not sure you can go by weight as to how much pigment there is. Like you said it depends on the packaging and the weight of the fillers in there.

JustAStudent
02-12-2019, 12:14 PM
I'm not sure you can go by weight as to how much pigment there is. Like you said it depends on the packaging and the weight of the fillers in there.
Oh it's certainly no exact science, but cadmiums are about 50% heavier than pthalo colors for student grade from the exact same line/era/packaging, and artist around 80% heavier in the same comparison. From that we can make rough estimates at what percentage of the weight of a tube of paint is due to the pigment... tuning it in a little finer by taking the difference in pigment density, the difference in tube weight and the volume of the tube and essentially getting a fairly accurate measure of pigments contribution to tube weight (for that brand/line). Applying it across lines/brands is much more of a horseshoes and hand grenades scenario, but I think there's some significance to finding that 4 lines sold as artist grade in the same (high weight-pigment)color are all within a few grams of eachother, while 3 lines sold as student are all 25% or more lighter (and with more internal spread). If nothing else it lets me quickly weigh an unknown tube of vintage and get a pretty good idea of whether it was an "artist" or "student" grade.

Hi-test? Their cadmium red is in the mid 90's... probably an artist grade.
Golden Palette? Their cadmium red is in the 60's... probably a student grade.
Interestingly, GP's Burnt Sienna (another heavy pigment, but a cheaper one), is heavy... suggesting they made pretty solid paints outside of the "premium" pigments where economy probably forced them to skimp. Probably very comparable to their Pre-tested "Artist" line from that era.

Now doing a direct comparison of Grumbacher weighs 95 and W&N weighs 94 (random numbers, I don't have a full tube of W&N artists cadmium red to weigh yet)... sure you're not gaining anything meaningful there, but on a larger spread and more general basis, I think it has value.

Gigalot
02-13-2019, 02:12 AM
Baryte and Blank Fixe are heawy weight fillers intended to fix paint tube weight. :D

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 10:39 AM
Yes, but arenít those both white, not colorless, so use in the quantity to meaningfully impact the weight of a similar density pigment would turn the paint into a tint of itself?

For instance, to turn W&n Winton cadmium red light to the same weight as their artists red light Iíd have to add blanc fixe to it at a more than 1:2 ratio. Wouldnít that noticeably affect the color in the tube?

AnnieA
02-13-2019, 01:17 PM
Doesn't tube weight also depend on the weight of the actual pigments? I thought pigments vary in their weight. Even beyond the question of fillers (added by necessity or not) if that's the case, then tube weight can't be used as a measure of the amount of pigment in the tube.

savras
02-13-2019, 02:02 PM
Doesn't tube weight also depend on the weight of the actual pigments? I thought pigments vary in their weight. Even beyond the question of fillers (added by necessity or not) if that's the case, then tube weight can't be used as a measure of the amount of pigment in the tube. Comparing pigment content only makes (some) sense if you compare paints containing the same pigments.

Comparing tube weights won't give accurate results because:
fillers tend to be heavy (barium sulphate)
various tube volumes used by different manufacturers - the most popular are 35, 37 and 40 ml. There is 12.5% difference in volume and therefore weight between 35 and 40 ml tubes.
empty tube weight varies because of tube volume, shape and metal thickness
there are differences in weight up to few grams between tubes of the same paint as a result manufacturing and filling process.And here are example weights for Cerulean Blues (PB36):
Blockx 35 ml - 88
Michael Harding 40 ml - 71
Maimeri Puro 40 ml - 69
Williamsburg 37ml - 95And here are example weights for coldest Cadmium Yellow (usually lemon) in each brand:
Blockx 35 ml - 71
Michael Harding 40 ml - 80
Schmincke Mussini 37 ml - 77
Old Holland 40 ml - 86
Maimeri Puro 40 ml - 89
Winsor&Newton 37 - 91
Williamsburg 37 ml - 81

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 03:21 PM
Yes, I was specifically comparing cadmium red light (and a medium/scarlet or two) directly. The only exception was the cadmium-barium coprecipitate vs cadmium... which I sort of suspect is a labeling difference (I expect some manufacturers simply left out the fact that their cadmiums contained the barium coprecipitate).

Volume differences are easy to correct for.
Empty tube weights less easy, but very possible
A few grams indicates a variance almost into the double digits, I would hope a quality manufacturer who's charging $30, 40, 60 for a 40ml tube of paint isn't selling tubes that are sometimes upwards of 5-10% air compared to standard.
The red herring is the additives, and there are manufacturers (Richeson for instance), that detail how much of their paint is additives. I believe Richeson says it's 95% oil and pigment and no more than 5% stabilizers/driers/smoothers.
This makes things like Old Hollands cadmium yellow being measurably lighter than W&N's a bit of a surprise to me. Especially since I've read many times that Old Holland is famous for being almost pure pigment with just enough oil to keep it from being solid (and certainly no unnecessary low-weight additives). This means W&N would be adding ~10% weight by replacing a nearly 5 gram/ml pigment with an only barely heavier than 5g/ml additive, as there's no way the W&N tube is adding almost 10g of weight (adjusted for volume, the W&N is almost 10g heavier @ 37ml). It strikes me as almost impossible. What am I missing here?

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 03:26 PM
On another note... I got a lot of brushes (my cheap brushes were already showing problems due to cheapness), and it included a handful of very old paints with it. Among them a big ol Pretested Titanium White... which like I mentioned before seems by far the most prone to hardening of these old paints. While it's still somewhat squeezable, it's definitely too hard to get out of the tube, so I pried the tube open and was able to peel it that old lead tube off like a sardine can. I've heard these paints can be salvaged by trimming off any discolored/rock hard area's and working the rest back into a good consistency with medium and a pestle. Is there a method without buying a painters pestle, or a suitable substitute for one? It's resting up in a ziplock while I decide its fate.

Also lost to hardness were a 10ml Pretested veridian with a badly cracked and rotted tube (same texture as this white, I just tossed it rather than try to salvage), and a small tube of gamma white which is as hard as concrete.

https://ibb.co/vX6rm8C

Richard P
02-13-2019, 03:48 PM
Old Holland uses an oil (I can't remember which) which makes the paint very stiff and thick. It's not due to extremely high pigment levels.

Richard P
02-13-2019, 03:49 PM
BTW: Are you actually going to do any painting, or just scientific experiments? ;)

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 05:12 PM
Old Holland uses an oil (I can't remember which) which makes the paint very stiff and thick. It's not due to extremely high pigment levels.


Ah, thatís good to know.

2 paintings so far. Technically one finished. They took down our still lifeís so we all had to restart our first painting. And thereís been two snow days. Next week we get to use color. 😂

Delofasht
02-13-2019, 07:07 PM
...Is that a large part of it? That they provide a base of opacity that other translucent colors can really use to advantage in mixes? Are they as alone in this as their popularity despite their price seems to suggest? Also... are there general rules to follow about mixing colors that are opaque, translucent and semi? Does one type typically compliment another well? Essentially; does a cadmium orange or a ruddy brown built on a cadmium red offer something that isn't easily replicated with cheaper pigments like your pthalo's and your earth tones?
Basically... suppose you were a very experienced painter and cadmiums were banned and unobtainable... and had been your whole life. Suddenly a political shift lifts the ban, cadmiums are introduced to you (for the first time ever). You naturally try them, experiment with them... what do you quickly discover about them that makes you grateful that they are now available to you?

...and Grumbacher may have figured hell, no one would know what it was... could probably pass off as Cadmium.

Trying to answer these in order:

Primarily, yes Opacity is the key for Cadmiumís being so unique. Getting high opacity, bright colors out of a tube especially in yellow and red has historically been rare. They are unique in that aspect, and will always be prized as such until such time that replacements can be manufactured. There are a couple reds and yellows with good opacity now in the market in a similar color range, but nothing quite as opaque still. Their opacity does lend themselves towards mixes which require a greater number of steps to achieve with other pigments. The hues can always be obtained, but it is much more complex and difficult. Very often with Cadmiums you can just mix it and another color to achieve a color that may take 4 or more colors mixed to achieve otherwise.

There are general color mixing rules, the short of which is basically an opaque will lighten a darker color, and in mixes with other opaques will darken in value based on proximity in color space to the hue being mixed with it. Thus, one should mix a slightly lighter hue of an opaque with an opaque of another color but near opposite in color to direct mix to a neutral without losing too much in value. Transparent pigments tend to not cover an opaque paint well, and in fact even tend to mix into them, while an opaque will generally not pick up much of a transparent paint when applied over one. This is an aspect of opaques that is good for a direct painter, and means quite a bit less to someone who strokes the paint together heavily.

In your hypothetical situation, I would notice that it can act as a shortcut for many mixtures I would normally need to use extra steps to arrive at, and that I could lay it down on top of transparent paints without the two blending together nearly as much (if at all). Also mixing steps of colors in a fairly natural hue progression is fantastic, where most reds and yellows that are not opaque tend to laterally shift in hue when tinting quite a bit while the Cadmiums tend to move through color space very linearly.

My favorite replacements for Cadmiums are Pyrroles (reds) and Bismuth Vanadate (for lemon yellow). There is no replacement for Cad Orange on the market, it acts in a purely unique way, being opaque and bright orange in color. Nothing can possibly replace it, especially with others oranges being more red and the ones that are not more yellow and transparent... just nothing else like it.

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 07:44 PM
Thank you for the detailed answer. What you say about color shift during a tint progression was what I was starting to notice and suspect might be something special about cadmiums.

On another, possibly related note. Next week Iíll be doing two studies in monochromatic color on small canvases as our introduction to color and practice creating varying depths of color. Iím planning on using red for one, but was debating what to use for my second. Would an ochre yellow qualify as monochromatic for the purposes of something like this or do you think it would be better to stick to a green, blue or cleaner yellow?

AnnieA
02-13-2019, 08:27 PM
Thank you for the detailed answer. What you say about color shift during a tint progression was what I was starting to notice and suspect might be something special about cadmiums.

On another, possibly related note. Next week Iíll be doing two studies in monochromatic color on small canvases as our introduction to color and practice creating varying depths of color. Iím planning on using red for one, but was debating what to use for my second. Would an ochre yellow qualify as monochromatic for the purposes of something like this or do you think it would be better to stick to a green, blue or cleaner yellow?
You're about right about the hue shift for cadmiums, although more accurately, it might be described as a saturation shift in tints, as more white is added to the mixture. But that's not necessarily a bad thing; many artists use this shift to their advantage.

As far as good paints for monochromatic studies, you might consider going with a darker hue. This is because it will be more difficult to get dark values with a paint that starts out fairly light, as yellow ocher does. Your only option would be to add black - is that what's intended by the exercise? Adding black will turn yellow ochre a yucky green color. Ayway, if you start out with a dark valued paint, such as a dark shade of ultramarine blue, you'll have more to work with, as it's much easier to lighten darks with white. There are other paints that would work too, but don't forget to stay away from the pthalos, or other highly-staining paints.

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 10:43 PM
Yeah that was a concern. Ultramarine is definitely an option. I think most people will likely be doing it and sap green

JustAStudent
02-14-2019, 12:14 AM
Is there a method without buying a painters pestle, or a suitable substitute for one? It's resting up in a ziplock while I decide its fate.
https://ibb.co/vX6rm8C


So that lot of brushes/paints also included a little 2oz bottle of "grumtine" a turpentine replacement from the 50's, I'd guess. Opened it up, smells like it's pure Bergamot oil. Added 2 tsp to the ziplock (with ~150ml paint) and the paint INSTANTLY turned back to paint texture. A couple squeezes and it was good to go. Zipped it up, worked it to a corner of the bag, snipped it and gave it a good squeeze and a few minutes later, I've got a good as new tube of Titanium white.
https://ibb.co/RSF619v

Richard P
02-14-2019, 10:51 AM
here is no replacement for Cad Orange on the market, it acts in a purely unique way, being opaque and bright orange in color. Nothing can possibly replace it, especially with others oranges being more red and the ones that are not more yellow and transparent... just nothing else like it.

What about the Cadmium free blends for Orange, such as the one from Utrect:

PY184óBismuth Yellow
PY73óHansa Yellow
PO73óTransparent Pyrrole Orange

Or a mix of PR254/2544 and PY184?

I also remembered reading this post by JCannon:

I'll take this opportunity to mention again the Langridge Pyrrole Orange, which is PO73, the same pigment that makes up the M. Graham version. I don't know how the Graham paint would match up in a head-to-head competition with the Langridge, but I can tell you that the Langridge is like nothing else in my collection. Absolutely opaque, very bright, paints extremely smoothly. It's the only "real world" paint that makes me feel as though I'm painting in Photoshop (with opacity turned up all the way).

In masstone, PO73 resembles the W&N Cadmium Scarlet, although the Langridge is a bit more intense. In tints, PO73 goes pinker than the Cad Scarlet. If you're looking for a glazing color, I'm not sure that PO73 is the one for you, since you have to use a lot of medium to attain any sort of transparency. But if you're looking for an opaque red-orange, this is THE paint.

french.painter
02-14-2019, 11:00 AM
Old Holland uses an oil (I can't remember which) which makes the paint very stiff and thick. It's not due to extremely high pigment levels.
Linseed oil.
One of the last manufacturers using this excellent oil. Others have changed for safflower (Sennelier), poppy (Blockx), poppy or soy bean (Lefranc) etc.
The consistency of their paints is actually given by high pigment load. OH also add a little Hydrogenated Castor Oil as a stabilizer, and this wax again stiffens the paste.
There is also a less known french colour manufacturer who keeps on grinding his paints in linseed oil : couleurs Leroux. Their four stars paints are magnificent.

JustAStudent
02-14-2019, 11:13 AM
Linseed oil.
One of the last manufacturers using this excellent oil. Others have changed for safflower (Sennelier), poppy (Blockx), poppy or soy bean (Lefranc) etc.
The consistency of their paints is actually given by high pigment load. OH also add a little Hydrogenated Castor Oil as a stabilizer, and this wax again stiffens the paste.
There is also a less known french colour manufacturer who keeps on grinding his paints in linseed oil : couleurs Leroux. Their four stars paints are magnificent.

Oh, the hydrogenated Castor oil would absolutely explain the texture. (I used to make soaps and worked with the stuff). A very small amount would firm up the paint considerably. It's also pretty light stuff, though comparable to linseed oil in that respect.

Is it just the top end manufacturers that are moving away from Linseed or are the middle of the price range ones doing so as well (Grum, W&N, Utrecht, etc)? Almost everything I've bought is vintage, so I can't say I've seen much that wasn't linseed.

AnnieA
02-14-2019, 12:17 PM
Oh, the hydrogenated Castor oil would absolutely explain the texture. (I used to make soaps and worked with the stuff). A very small amount would firm up the paint considerably. It's also pretty light stuff, though comparable to linseed oil in that respect.

Is it just the top end manufacturers that are moving away from Linseed or are the middle of the price range ones doing so as well (Grum, W&N, Utrecht, etc)? Almost everything I've bought is vintage, so I can't say I've seen much that wasn't linseed.
I believe that not all manufacturers are turning away from linseed oil here in the U.S. Linseed oil has the advantage of creating a much stronger paint film compared to other artist oils.

The problem with linseed is that it yellows, which is a problem for light colors, and blues, which can gurn greenish. Some manufacturers, such as Williamsburg, continue making most of their line with linseed, but also have introduced paints ground in safflower (or other oils) in the case of pigments for which linseed yellowing could be a significant problem. Still others offer paints ground in oils that represent a compromise, such as the paints made with walnut oil available through M.Graham and Art Treehouse.

Here are questions you need answers for before using castor oil for oil painting:
1) Is it a drying oil? If it isn't, your shouldn't use if for oil painting.
2) What effect does it have on the strength of the paint film?
...and if you receive positive answers to 1&2, one more question
3) Does it cause yellowing or other undesirable effects?

I suspect that the use of castor oil for oil painting will be ruled out by one or more of the above criteria. Otherwise, we'd be hearing lots more about it's beneficial effects.

Delofasht
02-14-2019, 12:44 PM
Linseed oil has the advantage of creating a much stronger paint film compared to other artist oils.

This is somewhat a point of contention actually, the degree of film created is not necessarily "stronger", as this term can represent difference in magnitude of a number of different aspects of a film. It would be more accurate to say it has a higher molecular weight, and thus it is more complex of a structure. This complexity also provides it with a bit more flexibility supposedly. That being said, due to the rate at which it cures in the first few days, it is exerting greater force dimensionally on the surface of an underlying layer than what would be found with other curing oils. This can mean it can result in initial cracking faster than other paint films, as often is noticed by some thinly applied fast drying linseed oil paints over somewhat thicker application of paint (which remain more flexible than the top layer). Tada! Cracks within days when done improperly... this is not a commonly occurring, in fact, one has to try very hard to make it happen in order to achieve it. It does represent a potential failing of linseed oil paint films though, and just one of several, when compared to other oils.

It is because of this that there is always a trade off in any particular oil one chooses to use for their oil paint. There is simply no best oil for oil painting, so long as it is drying and the aspects of it are attuned to the style and choices one wishes to apply to their painting.

JustAStudent
02-14-2019, 01:06 PM
I believe that not all manufacturers are turning away from linseed oil here in the U.S. Linseed oil has the advantage of creating a much stronger paint film compared to other artist oils.

The problem with linseed is that it yellows, which is a problem for light colors, and blues, which can gurn greenish. Some manufacturers, such as Williamsburg, continue making most of their line with linseed, but also have introduced paints ground in safflower (or other oils) in the case of pigments for which linseed yellowing could be a significant problem. Still others offer paints ground in oils that represent a compromise, such as the paints made with walnut oil available through M.Graham and Art Treehouse.

Here are questions you need answers for before using castor oil for oil painting:
1) Is it a drying oil? If it isn't, your shouldn't use if for oil painting.
2) What effect does it have on the strength of the paint film?
...and if you receive positive answers to 1&2, one more question
3) Does it cause yellowing or other undesirable effects?

I suspect that the use of castor oil for oil painting will be ruled out by one or more of the above criteria. Otherwise, we'd be hearing lots more about it's beneficial effects.

Castor does yellow in my experience. Pretty strongly... unsure if hydrogenation affects this though. Can't comment on the others. Not planning to use it myself, was just saying that its inclusion in Holland would explain a very stiff paint despite the weight being less than W&N.


From what little I've seen of more recent paints, Safflower is often being used WITH linseed oil on colors where linseed's yellowing would be an issue... and the ratio is determined by how much linseed the manufacturer can get away with before it becomes noticeable. Case in point, Richeson's line says: "Linseed/Safflower ratio is customized for each pigment's unique properties".

I will have to compare workability and dry time of my W&N Burnt Umber vs my M Graham to see if the difference in oils is noticeable.

More fun today. I soaked a bunch of my Golden Palette Burnt Sienna's caps in the Grumtine so I could pry them open. One ripped, two lost their heads. The rest I got open. So Now I've got 3.5 (been using the other ripped one quite a bit) tubes I need to retube. I might grab one more (whatever the roughest looking tube is) and make myself a nice big 5oz+ Burnt Sienna to go with my Titanium White. There are another 5-6 tubes to open, but they're in the protective cases... debating if I want to leave them in those and sell them as-is or pry them open as well and maybe get one more ripped tube in the process to finish off my retube. Will probably depend on how beat-up they look. Interestingly, all of the tubes turned out to be Lead. I was pretty sure it was a mix... making me suspect the aluminum tubes I saw were probably the boxed ones... in which case I'll not worry about prying them open (much less chance they're gonna tear/break).

Delofasht
02-14-2019, 03:40 PM
What about the Cadmium free blends for Orange, such as the one from Utrect:

Or a mix of PR254/2544 and PY184?

They are not a bad blend, but they do not have the covering power of a Cadmium Orange with the same hue. It is close enough to be a suitable substitute for most purposes, but it really is not exactly the same. The general oil painter wouldn't even notice, one has to be especially attuned to opacity differences. Furthermore, for most applications, one is painting thickly enough to not notice there either.

Now, keep in mind I said there is no replacement, but not that I prefer Cadmium Orange by any means, because I do not. I am actually fine with a mix of colors, as I almost always paint thickly enough that opacity of a paint is of no concern usually. I have intuitively begun to navigate color application with regards to it's opacity, knowing that I need to scrape out sometimes when going to lay a stroke of a bright color into an area of dark anytime I am using a less than fully opaque color.

Opaque on top of Transparent = clean application
Transparent on top of Opaque = blended application

This is a secret of opaque paints that I was not really aware of until these past few years. It is not true of all transparent paints, but merely of all the ones I have tried thus far, it is extremely difficult to lay a passage of a mixed purple over a white paint without ending up blending into that white and getting a lighter purple color. The reverse however is much easier to achieve so long as I don't pull back through the stroke. This really only matters to painters who are trying to apply strokes directly and without adjustment or blending, in effect it assists with scumbling for textural effects.

JustAStudent
02-15-2019, 02:10 PM
Here's a comparison of a Cadmium Red Light of one brand vs a Cadmium Red of another.

Any thoughts?

https://ibb.co/vP06ftY

RomanB
02-15-2019, 02:34 PM
Here's a comparison of a Cadmium Red Light of one brand vs a Cadmium Red of another.

Any thoughts?

https://ibb.co/vP06ftY

Second one contains more Selenium.

JustAStudent
02-15-2019, 02:55 PM
Second one contains more Selenium.
What is the significance of that, and how can you tell?


Here's another one (that I think is more of a challenge):
https://ibb.co/WGJT33t

RomanB
02-15-2019, 03:09 PM
What is the significance of that, and how can you tell?

Various hues of Cadmium pigments depend on ratio of Sulfur and Selenium in their composition. Lemon-yellow varieties (http://www.kamapigment.com/images/PS-CA0010-01.jpg) do not have any Selenium at all, deep maroon ones (http://www.kamapigment.com/images/PS-CA0065-01.jpg) are very rich with Selenium.

JustAStudent
02-15-2019, 07:04 PM
Ah, thank you. Very useful information.

JustAStudent
02-16-2019, 05:37 PM
Here's a comparison of 8 different Cadmium reds, 7 artist, 1 student.

https://ibb.co/LYvh2WQ

Top to bottom the hues are:

Light
Light
Med
Light
Light
Deep
Scarlet
Light

JustAStudent
02-17-2019, 12:32 PM
Here's a better image, with 9 paints (added 2, took 1 away). I've got 4 more to test (waiting on their arrival still)... One I believe is student, 2 more artist, and a modern Permalba (to see if it differs from this vintage stuff).

As of now it's 2 student, 7 artist... Final will be 3 student and either 9 or 10 artist paints.

My opinions so far. Of the artists: Utrecht, Permalba, Hi-Test, and WN Artist seem the most pigment dense. Then Richeson. Then 1862, Gamblin and Pre-test. Then The Student Grades.

Gamblin is unusual for being quite a bit more yellow tinted than the others... even compared to the 1862 which uses a cadmium orange as its pigment instead of a cadmium red.

Texturally, honestly, I think Winton is about perfect. Utrecht is fairly close in texture to it... just a bit looser, Hi-Test similar, but a bit tighter. Gamblin is a bit wet for me. Pretested, Permalba, and Richeson I'm undecided on. They separate quite a bit in the tube, so one time it'll be perfect and the next there'll be a spit of oil with the paint. Once I get the tubes broken in a bit, I'll have a better concept of their true textures. WN artist was a bit stiff for me, but not enough that it was difficult to use.
The Hi-Test was the one I removed from this comparison, because it's a "deep" and the color was just completely different from the rest of the paints. I think it's a gorgeous, almost violet color... very unusual... but really doesn't compare against the rest of these well. I have one of their lights coming soon and will add that hue back into the comparison.

https://ibb.co/dgjc7sY

Med
Light
Light
Light
Light
Light
Med
Light
Scarlet

JustAStudent
02-17-2019, 01:43 PM
So the modern Permalba arrived and it looks like it is lower pigment than the vintage stuff. Falls in with the 1862/gamb/pretested group.

Delofasht
02-17-2019, 04:34 PM
So the modern Permalba arrived and it looks like it is lower pigment than the vintage stuff. Falls in with the 1862/gamb/pretested group.

How are you gauging pigment load? A more liquid paint doesn't necessarily mean less pigment. Vintage paints tended to use a touch of wax and barium sulfate in their formulations, this made the paint a bit more stiff, heavier, and slightly shorter in spread. Newer formulations exchange the wax for Aluminum Sulfate, which acts to stabilize paints and also has a benefit of being a small amount of extender. It is more transparent itself than Barium Sulfate (which is actually fairly transparent as well). The resulting paints may have very similar pigment or even more pigment loading now, than in days past, but due to the change of stabilizers and fillers the colors themselves act very different.

Other potential changes can include type of oil, source of the oil, refinement of the oil, and more about the oil. Oil is a very big part of oil paint, and changes in it very commonly mark a change in the paints made with it. From one manufacturer to another the various oils can vary greatly in feel just based on that alone.

In your case, you have compared several different brands involving linseed oil and found that you like a stiffer paint (Winton and Utrecht). This is good for knowing your tastes at current, those they may well change in time. My own tastes were for a more stiff paint when I started, as I felt it easy enough to adjust the texture with added solvent or oil to reduce the stiffness of the paint. Now days I much prefer a softer oil paint, because I now also know how to stiffen up a paint considerably with various additives as needed.

Pigment loading alone isn't the end all of paint though, one only needs enough pigment to get the effect desired. The other aspects of a paint are equally important and worth being aware of, but are more difficult to ascertain as a beginner; even with a very strong knowledge of pressure control and acuity of senses developed in the various fields of work done in your lifetime.

It is good to see you are identifying some aspects of the paints that appeal to you for now though. Also good to note is that some of the brands classified as artists quality are actually marketed as "professional" quality, which is different. A professional quality means it is used by professionals, but they do not always state what kind of professional uses it, or for what purposes. An illustrator is a professional, but the longevity of the work is less of a concern for them, as it is work meant to be reproduced by other means. A fine artists is a professional whose work is expected to last more than a lifetime often. Meanwhile, there are often fine artists whose work is intended to last LESS than a lifetime and they are still getting paid to do it, so are considered professionals. Many of these other aspects of professional work is to whom those "professional" paints are marketed toward. Permabla and Lucas are both in this category. They are fine quality paints, but they may as well be upper student grade, both in pigment loading and handling often.

Now days, the marketing term studio quality is becoming a norm, it means anything used in the studio for preparatory work for a more finished work. In themselves they are of similar quality and handling to Artist's grade paints, in body and texture, sometimes even pigment loading, with less emphasis on number of times milled (thus of a lower consistency of pigment distribution). Nearly any paint can be used to make professional work, if the concept is revolving around getting paid for it.

JustAStudent
02-17-2019, 05:40 PM
Gauging pigment by how much depth of color is lost as I mix it with titanium white in the tints. For instance the Golden Palette is one of the deepest reds at start but is barely off-white at second tint.

Where I think the results of wetter paint being inferior is when the paint is separated and I might be getting more oil and less pigment at the top of the tube (I suspect this may be at play in the Richeson and Pretested especially, as they were the most ďbrokenĒ paints when I opened the tube (after the van dyke which Iím not testing yet but which poured almost a tablespoon of oil on my palette when first opened)) but this may equalize once I get a few uses of the tubes done with. Iím less convinced this is at play with the Gamblin though, as itís not separated. It seems like an intentionally thin paint throughout the tube.

And yes, I think Iíd be pretty lost trying to identify some of the more subtle differences in paint quality at this point. Right now Iím mostly interested in how far the paints go and what I think of the colors themselves, as there are several very different deep reds and even a few stark differences in lights and mediums. And I havenít even began looking at yellows. For instance whatís the difference in use between a cadmium orange and a deep yellow that looks orange out of the tube?

Delofasht
02-17-2019, 05:59 PM
Gauging pigment by how much depth of color is lost as I mix it with titanium white in the tints. For instance the Golden Palette is one of the deepest reds at start but is barely off-white at second tint.

Great! That seems a good initial method, some of the paints could be lower in tinting strength from a lack of thorough milling as well. Eventually you will probably enjoy comparing some of the more expensive brands as you acquire them one day, so keeping these charts around could be most beneficial later on down the line. It could be a great way of showing just how much or little difference might be noticed in solely the pigment loading between more expensive and less expensive versions.

Different oil types are going to have different color representation as well (though that is not commonly known). W&N is fine paint indeed, as is Gamblin, Grumbacher is adequate paint and I enjoy some colors from it quite often. M Graham is my favorite to work with, as I probably have mentioned before, definitely worth giving a try if you come across some inexpensively.

JustAStudent
02-17-2019, 06:41 PM
Yes Iím trying to get a tube of it for cheap. Their 150ml is available for about $40, so if worse comes to worse that isnít bad. Iíd like to get my hands on some Harding and Williamsburg, but they tend to get fought over when resold so havenít found a deal yet.

Also relevant is that my Grumbacher is 40+ years old, so before the change of management that some people say caused a loss of quality. My Richeson is modern but I have 40+ yr old Shiva as well. The Gamblin is about 10 years old. W&n and Winton are both fairly recent. The Permalba was 30+ yrs old and I just got a modern tube as well. So not everything Iím testing is going to reflect exactly what you buy now.

JustAStudent
02-20-2019, 10:43 AM
Not much going on... snowday here again. My Permanent Pigments arrived. A set of three reds. A Quin, a Rose Madder and a Medium Cadmium Barium.

The Cadmium was my heaviest yet. 104grams for a 37mL tube. It was locked up HARD. Boiling trick worked and I discovered a pretty substantial plug in the top of an almost gravelly scab-like crust. (Possibly related to a <2% aluminum Stearate additive mentioned on tube). It broke apart easily (not like the alkyd tubes I've unplugged which were basically cement topped). but took a bit of fishing to extract. All told I lost 2 grams between the crust and the paint once removed.

First thing to hit me was the smell. This thing smells like Osmanthus tea (a tea scented with flowers that have a fruity, peach-like smell). Very, very pleasant smell. No idea what from. Probably poisoning myself sniffing it for all I know... but I've not encountered anything like that before.

I squeezed a drop out... and I'm reminded of my Hi-Test Deep tube. I compare them... tubes look very similar. 3-tube boxes look very similar. Definitely from the same period.

Tint it out... and more reminders of the Hi-Test. Very similar paints. And given that one's a medium and one's a deep... I'd believe the colors were meant to be identical between the two lines (I've got a Hi-Test Medium coming, so I'll be able to confirm/deny when it gets here).

https://ibb.co/TLc43gW

Here's the comparison. The Permanent Pigments DOES look a bit of a stronger color (goes further). But frankly, I'd actually be surprised if these paints WEREN'T made by the same factory, and the Hi-Test was just a slightly lower quality brand/line (though it still seems to stack up well against modern Artist grades). Perm Pigments looks right up there with the best paints I've tested for the tinting strength.

Sargent Art (a division of Mead Corp) made the Hi-Test in the USA... Location not specified.

Perm Pigments also says made in Us (a Division of "Binny And Smith" aka Crayola) and lists Cincinnati as its location (though that could be headquarters, not manufacturing).


Here's the same test under brighter (but artificial) light. Sadly, snowstorm here so no good natural lighting.
https://ibb.co/nb0N7Gz

JustAStudent
02-20-2019, 01:32 PM
https://ibb.co/wK1kLgM

So here's a better (much more paint involved to get more accurate comparisons, full strength, then 50% tint, then 25%, then 12.5%) of all my mediums (missing is Hi-Test, as it hasn't arrived yet), including Shiva Cadmium scarlet (as it appears they use scarlet to mean medium), also including the Permanent Pigments medium even though it's a quite different color from the rest.


As you can see, the current Permalba is as people have said, pretty weak. Barely outperforms the Winton... and in some lights you could argue Winton beats it (Winton more yellow, Permalba more red, so the light you're under matters quite a lot). On the other hand... You can buy it for 1/3 of what Winton costs at DickBlick right now... so it's a freaking STEAL at that price (till they sellout, since it's a closeout).

Winsor Artist shows what you get with artist grade well. Its 50% tint is almost a dead ringer for the Winton at 100%, only a tiny bit more hazy.

The permanent pigments appears slightly stronger than the W&N artist, making it the winner (by a hair), but at a much different color than the rest of the lineup.

The Shiva's are 100% identical to my eyes. Pretty wild considering one is probably 50 years old and definitely from a different maker... Certainly Richeson has done a good job exactly matching the historic Shiva Cadmium Red Scarlet. Other than the vintage stuff looking a little grainy at 100% (and the Richeson being perfectly smooth and a bit wetter). I can't find a single way to distinguish the two across all four levels of tint. They're perfectly matched. As for the comparison against the rest of the lineup. They seem to lag behind W&N artist just a touch at every stage.

JustAStudent
02-20-2019, 04:36 PM
Did the same tint test of all my light reds as well, Not good enough light to even try and take a picture... but revealed a good bit. I'll put up a picture the next chance I get.


First... Gamblin did in fact get screwed by being oily on top last time... It did well this time. Grumbacher did better also, but it wasn't as huge a difference as with Gamblin.
Second, Light reds are much less of a spread than the medium reds. Even the worst example isn't completely obviously below average.

Ranking of tint strength to my eyes:

Utrecht -holds up as well as W&N artist despite starting lighter (light vs medium)
Tie between Gamblin (10+ year old tube) and Grumbacher (20+ year old tube) -Both are almost as good as Utrecht until last tint... where they fall off while it keeps going.
Tie between Permalba (20+ year old tube), Shiva Signature (40+ year old tube) and Lukas 1862 -Likewise, hold up pretty well until final tint, where they fall off slightly more than the above two.
Tie between Van Dyke and Grumbacher Golden Palette (Both suspected 50+ years old) -Both fall off at the second tint. Golden Palette is a student line (the ancestor of Academy). I suspect Van Dyke was as well, though it calls itself "artists oil color". It's a Sargent product and I would guess it was their student grade and Hi-Test was their artist grade.

JustAStudent
02-21-2019, 11:29 AM
Here we go:
https://ibb.co/PQ3GWZf

I think the Golden Palette is holding up a bit better than the Van Dyke actually... quite possibly just because it's much darker, but I'd say it can be moved up into the group with Shiva, Permalba and Lukas.


Rankings:
Utrecht/WN artist/Permanent Pigments (These are all a notable step above: )
Gamblin/Grumbacher/Shiva (scarlet) (Solid performers creating the "Median" of the Artist grade's I'm testing. You can tell a difference from those above them, but they don't feel lacking.)
Permalba (vintage)/ Lukas 1862/ Shiva (Pale) / Golden Palette (The "value" of the artist grades... surprisingly close in performance to the step above... but when hard pressed, I can see a difference... A very murky area though, as it includes a very dark Students grade... and two yellow/light artist grades (1862 uses cadmium orange, not red... and Shiva Pale is the most yellow of the paints I'm comparing)... quite possibly the chroma of the tints are being confused by subtle differences in Hue and my eye isn't skilled enough to recognize it. In any case, performance is close to the step above... there is less of a gap between these two steps than any other.

And rounding out the bottom:
Winton / Van Dyke / Permalba (Current)
No real surprises. A (good) students grade. A vintage I suspect was a students grade. And a modern artist grade that is often accused of being low-pigment and said SHOULD be a students grade.

What I've really noticed is that yes, If I compare Winton against W&N artist... there's a difference. If I compare Winton against Lukas? That's harder to see. Lukas against Gamblin? Harder to see. Gamblin against W&N Artist? Harder to see. Right now price ranges for 37mL are about:

Permalba current/Winton $4.50/7.50
Lukas 1862 $11
Gamblin $18.50
W&N Artist $18.40

So, paying 50-100% more can net you a small improvement... or paying 0.5% less can net you a small improvement.... paying 200-300% more will probably net you a noticeable improvement. Otherwise it's difficult to know, but generally tinting strength for PR108 based paints seems to mostly follow price. It'd be interesting to see if this pattern continues into the premium grades.

Of course the larger tubes don't track prices of smaller tubes exactly (and I heard W&N doesn't even offer large tubes of artist grade for many colors now)... so that complicates things more... as iirc Lukas, Utrecht, Graham and Gamblin are quite cheap in bigger tubes relative to small tube prices... making them significantly undercut W&N artist... and especially if you can get large tubes of artist grade stuff for less than what small tubes of student grade costs on a /mL basis... It gets pretty complicated pretty fast.

JustAStudent
02-22-2019, 11:33 PM
So I got a few tubes of modern Grumbacher Pretested and added them to the comparison, noticing for most of the comparisons, it's REALLY difficult to tell a difference... and I wanted an objective comparison... then it occurred to me. Image analysis, comparing the shift AWAY from the starting color scheme towards white. Now obviously getting a perfectly evenly lit and a smooth paint surface are vital to a fair comparison, so it'll take a bit of setup... but I love experimenting... so I did some rough measure of the "medium/Scarlet" side of the sheet.

Now this particular method ONLY traces how accurately the ratio of Red to White is tracked... which is a very imperfect method of determining how strong the initial color is, but SHOULD follow the same pattern as a more accurate method would... meaning a stronger paint should never lose to a weaker paint unless my methodology is at fault (I pick a poor spot to sample or improperly light the image used). Now this is evening picture under a hall light... so not perfect, but I tried to take samples at spots that accurately reflected the color of the paint. I'll do a more accurate study later; but here's the quick results from this one (mostly for the mediums with a couple lights thrown in... I'm not going to bother with the lights until I set it up more accurately, as the lights are MUCH closer together than the mediums were).


Higher accuracy indicates that less of the original paints character (ratio of red to white) was lost. Lower accuracy indicates that the resulting paint moved towards white FASTER. The math I do SHOULD correct for paints that start out closer to white because they are "lighter" or more yellow or blue out of the tube... as that is a character of the paint, and not necessarily a fault...

Winton Medium: R187G36B41
@tint3: R235G122B106
72% accuracy

W&N Artist: R183G32B41
@tint3: R225G86B81
80% accuracy

Permalba (modern, Med) R177G32B47
@tint3: R213G104B97
74% accuracy

Permanent Pigments Med R159G37B52
@tint3:R174G70B71
86% accuracy

Shiva scarlet (Industry):
79%

Shiva Scarlet (Torrance):
82%

Shiva Scarlet (Richeson):
81%

Hi-Test Deep:
76%

Grum Pretest (modern):
76%

Grum Pretest Medium (modern):
75%

Utrecht Light:
86%

Gamblin Light:
78%


Interesting to note is that the RGB values for all of the shiva's were very close to each other, so my eyes weren't wrong about them looking really similar. From the tube here were their values:
172, 172 and 169
26, 31 and 29
37, 39 and 40

After tinting, they were all within 4 of each other still... with the exception of a 6 pt spread on the green character of the two vintages (74 vs 80), with Richeson falling in the middle.

Might not sound like much, but no other colors/brands matched anywhere NEAR as close as all three of these matched... so yeah the paint was very similar out of my two vintage tubes and was replicated VERY closely by Richeson's version.

Oh and if anyone is curious. Grumbacher Pretested Cadmium Barium Red (Just red, not light or medium) is the most RED of any paint tested so far. 76% red out of the tube. The rest of the scarlets and mediums were almost all between 69 and 72%, permanent pigments and hi-test were (as you probably could have guessed due to their blue/violet nature) furthest off, both in the mid 60's. The Lights are looking to fall in that range too (more green and blue to start).

JustAStudent
02-23-2019, 01:37 AM
Put in the wrong numbers for W&N artist, it's actually:
R201G44B53
R215G82B77
85%

Also Gamblin was in a glare... took a better reading of it:
84%

While I was at it, did a few more light readings for kicks... do keep in mind this is a very imperfect setup though and once I get a well lit test, the results may well change... but for now.

Van Dyke
75%

Grum Pretested Light
77%

Grum PT light (vintage)
81%

Grum Golden Palette Light
83% (that was a surprise)

Lukas 1862 Light
83%

Shiva Red Pale
83%


Overall, looking like the "Light" versions score 1-2% higher than the mediums in the same line... probably because they are more green weighted to start... and the titanium white contributes more to the green than the blue... so in other words... the titanium white changes them more slowly by virtue of their original color characteristics without taking pigment concentration into account. If I were testing the rate of change when creating a shade, the opposite would probably be true (the mediums would score higher than the lights).

JustAStudent
02-23-2019, 03:04 AM
Ok... method was flawed in that it assumed titanium white was a perfect white. I measured it and corrected for its value in my lighting as:
R237G219B197

Now I've created a formula that should fairly precisely measure the influence of the titanium white on the resulting color in the third tint. This is pretty linear and LOWER is better:
Still using the meh-lighting though so numbers may change when I set up better light.

Winton: .50
WN art: .21
Permalba (modern): .40
Permanent: .17
Shiva's: .24 to .25
Hi-test: .30
Grum PT (Modern): .25
Utrecht: .22
Gamblin: .24
Grum Gold Pal: .36
Grum PT (Vintage): .20

JustAStudent
02-23-2019, 12:50 PM
ALRIGHTY... Good, even (outdoor) lighting, and a larger averaged sample (avoiding obvious shaded area's), and we have the results. Same formula as last post... lower is better.

Worst to best:


Permalba Md (current): .459
Winton (current): .446
Van Dyke (Vintage): .388
Grum Gold Pal Lt(Vintage): .383
Lukas 1862 Lt (current): .344
Gamblin Lt (current): .326
Grumbacher Red Md (Current): .325
Shiva Sig Scarlet (Industry plant): .316
Shiva Sig Scarlet (Torrance plant): .305
Permalba Lt (Vintage): .299
Hi-Test Deep (Vintage): .298
Grumbacher Red (Current): .297
Richeson's Shiva Scarlet(Current): .291
Permanent Pigments Med(Vintage): .270
Grumbacher PT Light (Vintage): .245
WN Artist's Red (Current): .242
Utrecht Red Lt Pure(Current): .229


Worst 4 are 3 student grades (2 vintage, one current) and a weak artists. The vintage student ranges clearly beat current ones. Then Lukas... a value artists... then a mix of vintages and current midrange artists. Utrecht and W&N are pretty clear winners of what's CURRENTLY available (I do have a modern Pretested Light I'm going to test to confirm it's the era, not the hue that is the difference there)... with Richeson, Gamblin, Pretested, and even Lukas all finishing fairly tight (Richeson winning, Lukas Lagging).

The guy I bought the Hi-test sent it postage due, so I won't be able to check their lighter hues until I sort that out, and I have a different batch of Permanent pigments coming to test. I'm sure I'll get some M Graham cadmium red sooner or later to add in to the test. Other than that, just keeping my eyes open on eBay for cheap snags of the "premium" brands like Harding, Blue Ridge, Williamsburg, OH, Blockx, etc. Not willing to spend $30+ a tube (unless it's a 5oz tube) for the purposes of this test, but I'm sure I'll get my hands on some of them eventually.

On another note, I AM trying a batch of homemade paint... yellow though (much cheaper than red, so I'll try it out and if it's successful, think about buying some cad red pigment), I'll post about that later, I'm sure. And yes, I've got gloves, goggles and a respirator. Anyone have an opinion on the oil used? Would Utrecht stand oil be acceptable (linseed oil boiled in low oxygen environment to increase viscosity)?

Delofasht
02-23-2019, 02:44 PM
Your results match up fairly to what I have noticed about the range of midgrade paints.

Permalba is a "Professional" quality of paint, like Lukas 1862. These are basically the "Studio" quality paints made by brands like Utrecht and Blick's house brand. That is why they perform well below expectation, they are not designed to be "Artist's" quality.

The Permanent Pigments paints are fantastic, I got a set of them for extremely cheap and only one of them was separated in the tube (just working the tube in my hand for awhile reconstituted it). I was sad that Liquitex had bought them up and stopped production some years later... They really did not market them very well in my opinion, but that's the way of things, wonderful products go extinct because of poor marketing.

Great notes man, excellent testing, good on you for accounting for the off white balancing of Titanium white (being more cyan leaning than a well balanced white usually is). Really fun reading your experiences here, thanks for sharing them.

JustAStudent
02-23-2019, 05:13 PM
Thanks. The New tube of permanent pigments arrived... it's the "DANA" type that some people say is what became the "Classic Artist Oils" by Triangle.

There was a thread awhile back here where someone asked about the same stuff... It's PR113 instead of PR108... Cadmium and Mercuric Sulfides. Pretty deep red, but doesn't seem to have the tinting strength of the Cadmium Sulfide + cadmium Selenide paints. I will try one more time from deeper in the tube before making a final judgement, but it's not looking promising (It takes a big hit @ the first (50/50) tint).

I agree about the permanent pigments. They look like really nice paints and without the marketing I assume were probably pretty competitively priced. I'm also liking the Vintage Shiva's I've got, though maybe I just got lucky and picked up ones that were old enough to still be good (lots of posts say that they got turned pretty mediocre over the years before Richeson bought them).

The Van Dyke and Golden palette seem fine for what they are. I'd say they may fall in that "studio" range in todays market. and I'm trying to reserve judgement on the hi-test until I get to try the other Hue's.

I did pick up some Maimeri artisti's, but no cadmium red, so I can't add it to the test.

JustAStudent
02-23-2019, 10:10 PM
Lessons learned today:

1. Utrecht stand oil is NOT a good option for paint mixing. It's the consistency of honey to begin with. Add a little pigment and it's like quicksand.

2. I can see why people do this. It was a bit of trouble, but good lord... my first attempt is maybe 2x stronger than a $50 tube of cadmium lemon yellow. I'll be honestly surprised if it winds up even being usable after it sits for a bit and settles out... but here's what a comparison against maimeri artisti cadmium lemon... Single tint... maybe 10:1 ratio.. and my paint was oily. Imagine using a thinner linseed oil and more pigment? It'd be insanely stronger.

3. Need better gloves. Maybe because of the stand oil, but my gloves got shredded in seconds. Those yellow cleaner gloves are probably a bare minimum for durability.

4. DEFINITELY NEED GLOVES. Good lord it took an HOUR to clean this garbage off my hands.

5. This really isn't that hard. You need a lot of prep to contain the mess. You need the right tools. But it looks like as long as your pigment is milled fine enough, it's pretty darned easy to do... and damn the results are impressive.


The scraped pic is just the respective hues before any tinting. The pics with a bunch of paint are the ~10:1 tints.


Pigment was PY35.
Oil was Utrecht stand oil.
Made about 80mL (I'd estimate)... weighs about 220g
I'd guess I used 4oz (weight) or so pigment and 2oz (volume) or so oil... there was a LOT of waste... mostly because I just scraped the stuff into the tube, and it was so tacky it stuck to the walls THICK and a ton squeezed out when I crimped it. Next time I'll use the wax paper trick to fill the tube.
https://ibb.co/rmxjbS5
https://ibb.co/5nFGtnZ

JustAStudent
02-25-2019, 10:35 AM
So here's the homemade yellow up against WN artist yellow pale:
https://ibb.co/KVVsrD5


The stuff acts like rubber cement (I blame the stand oil)... but mixes well once you get it on the palette. My formula isn't very helpful with these colors as they start out so high on red chroma. The Winsor&Newton went from 247 to 248, and the homemade stuff actually went DOWN from 253 to 246 with an 8:1 titanium white tint. I think testing by making shades is probably a better option.

But as a rough idea: I did another full tint (16:1) on the homemade and it was STILL more intense than W&N artist (At 8:1). The next tint (32:1) overshot it, and I added a little more from the tube to correct to a good match. I can say for certain that the homemade is more than twice as strong and less than 4x as strong. I think it's between 150% and 200% stronger. This stuff is serious. Don't think I'll be buying commercial Cadmium yellow again (the red's a bit less cut and dry because I can't find cadmium red pigment anywhere near the price I paid for yellow, but it's at least worth trying.)

If anyone is curious, my method gives a value of .261 for the winsor and .109 for the homemade... which is actually pretty accurate based on my testing... still it feels wrong that the titanium white actually makes the homemade DARKER on red.

Delofasht
02-25-2019, 11:09 AM
Well, you have discovered why making paint for oneself is such a massive difference. There are a number of reasons why a manufacturer needs to adjust their paint, often there are some additives designed to help it stay dispersed in the tube (shelf life) and others for texture and consistency control. All told between that and the fact that some pigments are inherently less powerful by their very manufacture than that of some other pigments of the exact same color index, we quickly find that making a paint from quality sourced pigments by one's own hand can produce a strictly superior paint to that which is readily available in tubes.

Now then, in actuality for pure color vibrancy purposes, Stand oil is outstanding... but it is a ton of work to get the pigment dispersed, as you found out. Furthermore, the shelf life might be so low as to not really make it a viable option. Going down this rabbit hole you can find yourself making a ton of different paints, trying different oils, stabilizers (for pigments that need it, like ultramarine), fillers, and so on. Fine tuning the formulas for a paint that handles the way you want, while also being less expensive (manual labor is a good deal of the costs of pigments in spite of how much of the work is done by machines).

Your photos will not convey the color differences very accurately on most monitors, but I can see it on my good monitor. It is a very subtle thing and the fact that you can notice it is a good indicator of your sensitivity to those differences.

JustAStudent
02-25-2019, 11:14 AM
Well good to know there was at least some benefit for the work involved with the stand oil... instead of me just making things difficult for myself. Shelf life hopefully won't be a problem. I'll swap this tube in @ class and hopefully put a good dent in it by summer. Next batch I'll find something that should have better shelf life to try. I'll have to start doing some reading on pros and cons of various medium options now.

JustAStudent
02-27-2019, 09:55 AM
Also I picked up some Holbien to add to the test. Keep finding more brands to try. Doubt I'll ever get through them all, but I'm starting to clear out all the excess paints I doubt I'd get to use so I'll have room to pick up some harder to find brands for testing here and there. It might be a bit before I go ahead and make homemade red. Based on the yellow, it'll be so much stronger as to be almost irrelevant to comparison, and with all the reds I already have, especially since many are retubed and wouldn't be very resellable, Making one that outperforms them all would just be silly. I need to burn through at least 400mL of strong cadmium reds first 😂

JustAStudent
02-27-2019, 07:49 PM
So weíve started doing small monochromatic pictures in class and Iíve been doing one per class for three days in red and yellow Cadmium. 🤪 Iíve been told I am improving. So at least thereís that. Next week we will be using two colors. Planning on Cadmium yellow and cobalt blue, but open to suggestions for better combos.

JustAStudent
04-06-2019, 02:42 PM
Haven't been comparing much, but the samples have dried and I can make this statement.

Cadmium shades are tricky, but it seems it goes from orange to violet in this order:
Pale > Light > Scarlet = Red (just Red) >= Medium >= Deep

This is in general... Most hues are consistent except medium... which definitely fell more towards DEEP in the past and seems to have been moved to match up closer to Scarlet or Red in modern paints... EXCEPT in Grumbacher Pre-tested (probably because they HAVE a "Red" in their line already). Both Modern Grum PT Medium and Vintage Grum Gainsborough Med kind of straddle between the modern and vintage mediums. (Which are themselves very close to the Scarlets and the Deeps). In contrast Winton, Permalba, Utrecht mediums are all much closer to lights.

Basically from Yellow to Deep red here's the ranking:

Master Class Cadmium Orange
Shiva Cadmium Red Pale (vintage)
HiTest CadBar rd light (Vintage)
Holbien Cad red light (modern)
Van Dyke Cad-Bar Red Light (Vintage)
Permalba Cad Rd Light (Vintage)
Grumbacher PT CadBar Rd Light (Modern)
Lukas 1862 Cad Rd Light (Modern, PO:20)
Utrecht Cad Rd Light Pure (Modern)
Grum PT Cadbar Rd Light (Vintage)
Gamblin Cad Rd Light (Modern)
Grum GP Cad Rd Light (vintage)
-----------Below this I'd say we're into MEDIUM territory-----------
Winton Cad Red Medium (modern)
Grum PT Cadbar Rd (Modern)
Shiva Cad Rd Scarlet (Vint & Mod)
Utrecht Cad Rd Md (Modern)
W&N Artist Cad Rd (Modern)
Permalba Cad Rd Md (Modern)
----Below this, I'd consider the rest "DEEP"----
Grum PT Cadbar Rd Md (Modern)
Grum Gains Cad Rd Md (Vint)
PP DANA Cad Merc Rd Md (Vint)
Grum PT Cadbar Rd Md (Vint)
PP Cad-Bar Rd Med (Vint)
Hi-Test CadBar Rd Deep (Vint)