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Luis Guerreiro
08-24-2001, 01:31 PM
Dear All,
Just recently, a numbers of rumours has been going on about Old Holland oils lightfastness. As you all know, OH claims that all their colours are 100% permanent, but more recently, some artists testing has shown that some pigments fade under direct sunlight. At the same time, a London retailer also presented a claim on behalf of a customer who in turn claims that 1 Naples Yellow tube left near a windw shows its hand painted label faded under direct sunlight.
I have a contact in Holland at the OH, a British guy who does technical for their Lab.
He acted immediately and I have received today a letter via e-mail, signed by E. de Beer, on behalf of the Board.
I am pleased to announce that Old Holland has taken the matter seriously and is carrying out a serious investigation into some of those pigments. The Research Laboratory is in charge of this investigation and if pigments investigated are proved to be faulty, OH will take action in order to resolve the issue and maintain the well known reputation of an excellent paint manufacturer.
I was confident in the professionalism of Old Holland and I am not disappointed at all with the way both the Research Laboratory Tech to whom I spoke this morning over the phone and the Board of Administration have approached this issue.
I thought of leaving this little note here to inform you all and also because good examples of professionalism and co-operation with artists should be praised.:clap:
Luis

Midwest Painter
08-24-2001, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
Dear All,
Just recently, a numbers of rumours has been going on about Old Holland oils lightfastness. As you all know, OH claims that all their colours are 100% permanent, but more recently, some artists testing has shown that some pigments fade under direct sunlight. At the same time, a London retailer also presented a claim on behalf of a customer who in turn claims that 1 Naples Yellow tube left near a windw shows its hand painted label faded under direct sunlight.
I have a contact in Holland at the OH, a British guy who does technical for their Lab.
He acted immediately and I have received today a letter via e-mail, signed by E. de Beer, on behalf of the Board.
I am pleased to announce that Old Holland has taken the matter seriously and is carrying out a serious investigation into some of those pigments. The Research Laboratory is in charge of this investigation and if pigments investigated are proved to be faulty, OH will take action in order to resolve the issue and maintain the well known reputation of an excellent paint manufacturer.
I was confident in the professionalism of Old Holland and I am not disappointed at all with the way both the Research Laboratory Tech to whom I spoke this morning over the phone and the Board of Administration have approached this issue.
I thought of leaving this little note here to inform you all and also because good examples of professionalism and co-operation with artists should be praised.:clap:
Luis

I find it interseting that OH needs to carry-out research to determine the light-fast quality of their paint. Haven't they been making paint since the time of Christ? I would think they would have a "handle" on the light fast situation by now. My guess is that they know they have a problem. Perhaps they've changed pigments recently. But given their course of action, admirable or not, I would question their entire Quality Control system at this point. They should have sent you their test data, not assure you that they will look into the matter ...

Luis Guerreiro
08-24-2001, 02:15 PM
With all due respect, the ball is in our court now. And one can choose either to be professional or entirely pedantic about the Old Holland issue.
How could they send results they do not have as yet?
I mean, their letters are plain English and very clear. Pigment PR83 has been researched, is mentioned in their literature as partially lightfast and they are looking into replacing it. Fair enough. The other pigments mentioned in your questions have raised the need for further testing at their research lab and they have asked you to provide your test methodology so they can replicate it in Holland and determine where the problem is occurring. Do you want more? Compared with other manufacturers, Old Holland behaviour is 100% excellent and professional. They need to replicate the same conditions tests were carried out, which is fair as it will help them not only to replicate the tests but also review their own testing procedures.
They have been doing paint since 1664 (not the time of Christ). To assume from it that they should know by now their pigments pretty well is an anacronism. Pigments have changed in the course of time.
I have no doubts in buying Old Holland paint. In fact I feel now that I am investing my money in a manufacturer that actually listens to artists.

Luis Guerreiro
08-24-2001, 02:36 PM
I also need to say that this issue started with a post in another thread ("Looking for a good brand of oils") in which our community member Dactyl performed certain lightfastness tests which alledgedly show some of Old Holland pigments faded.
Old Holland kindly requested to be informed of what was the methodology used, so they can replicate it. If provided they will replicate it and measure the rate of lightfastness of each pigment. I have no reason to doubt it whatsoever.
So now the normal course of action would be to send them the methodology and the results.
This issue is actually an important one, because puts the responsibility of the matter in both the artists and the manufacturers hands.
I have had no problems with Old Holland oil colours and I use a standard palette of 12 colours, plus a suplement glazing shades which can vary in number of colours available, depending on the work I'm on.
I think everyone in this forum knows that I am "straight to the point" when it comes to manufacturers and their products and have no problem in pointing out issues, however unpleasant they may be to the manufacturer. On this occasion however I have to be fair and I find Old Holland paints of outstanding quality, compared to brands I used previously, such as Winsor & Newton, Talens, Lukas, etc. Views are subjective as the stiffness and/or viscosity of the paints, among other characteristics, often make an artist to like or deslike a particular brand in benefit or detriment of another. Other brands are not even worth considering, for one reason or another.
I have recommended Old Holland in the past, across several threads and have no problems in doing so again, especially considering what's on offer in the market in general.

Midwest Painter
08-24-2001, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
With all due respect, the ball is in our court now. And one can choose either to be professional or entirely pedantic about the Old Holland issue.
How could they send results they do not have as yet?
I mean, their letters are plain English and very clear. Pigment PR83 has been researched, is mentioned in their literature as partially lightfast and they are looking into replacing it. Fair enough. The other pigments mentioned in your questions have raised the need for further testing at their research lab and they have asked you to provide your test methodology so they can replicate it in Holland and determine where the problem is occurring. Do you want more? Compared with other manufacturers, Old Holland behaviour is 100% excellent and professional. They need to replicate the same conditions tests were carried out, which is fair as it will help them not only to replicate the tests but also review their own testing procedures.
They have been doing paint since 1664 (not the time of Christ). To assume from it that they should know by now their pigments pretty well is an anacronism. Pigments have changed in the course of time.
I have no doubts in buying Old Holland paint. In fact I feel now that I am investing my money in a manufacturer that actually listens to artists.


How could they send results they do not have as yet?

Don't you find it the bit curious that OH has released a product without complete testing? The test results should be on file - not be performed at a customers request. I also find it curious that what ever testing procedures they use might need to be reviewed. I would have imagined that OH, given their experience (I do realize when Christ lived ), would have written the "book" on testing. I am sure they are a great company. After all, look how long they have been in business. Regardless, I find this whole matter a bit curious.


But that is only my opinion ...

Luis Guerreiro
08-24-2001, 03:35 PM
I also find it extraordinary, but I think they deserve the benefit of the doubt and time to resolve the issue.
Let's wait and see.

Einion
08-25-2001, 02:11 AM
Luis, regardless of the outcome of this issue, if you really care about lightfastness and longevity it would be in your best interest to do your own accelerated ageing tests on the colours you use yourself. This is something we all should do perhaps, just as Titanium and others suggest.

Einion

Titanium
08-25-2001, 06:40 AM
Einion ,

to use Luis's word , the only thing I find - Extraordinary -
about all of this is the reluctance to actually read up
on commercially tubed paint and the lightfastness of
individual pigments.

Mayer , illustrates with diagrams what goes on in a
tube of paint - hand mulled and commercial .

With a little effort , one can find the light fastness
values of all those pigments and just not buy the
fugitive ones.

But then didn't you , illustrate that - amply - in quite
a few posts on this forum !!

I left an address for some information on Organic
colours did you see it ?
Titanium

Einion
08-26-2001, 10:28 AM
Yes thanks, I meant to reply in that thread - I found the Sanders site a few months back while doing some online research and the pigment information appears to be largely sound. I don't necessarily agree with some of his conclusions and decisions, especially dumping the cadmiums, but each to his own!

Einion

Luis Guerreiro
08-28-2001, 11:37 AM
Yes I checked out that info on pigments and also have some good info on technical books.
My only point is that to make my own paints is not an option, as I do not have the space and the time to do them, so I have to rely on tube oils.
Obviously the way to get round fugitive pigments is to buy a suitable 100% lightfast replacement. That's what I am doing, but I won't stop buying Old Holland, because I like it a lot. A know a British guy who works for OH and I have all good reasons to believe in their commitment to quality.

Dactyl
08-29-2001, 03:04 AM
Luis:

I think you might want a clarification from OH about its founding in 1664. In 1981 I had a Dutch friend who was trying to import OH colors to the U.S. He distributed hand painted color charts and an introductory letter about the OH brand. The following is a portion of the introductory letter.

" Old Holland Oil Colors is one of the last small and top quality oil color houses in the world, located in the Hague, Holland. The owner's grandfather was Willem Roelofs, one of the forerunners of the dutch impressionists, known as the "Hague School". His work hangs in many musea.

Willem's son Albert made a name as a portrait painter - painting himself into a small fortune. This allowed him to spend time searching for better color recipes as he was not happy with what was available then. He made careful investigation of the recipes of the seventeenth century Dutch masters, keeping those that had proven their superiority, and adding some more recently invented colors like cobalt blue. He created a workshop where he made the best materials possible for his own use. Then, artist-friends began to ask him for samples. Soon that same workshop became a small factory, now known as Old Holland Oil Colors Manufactory (or in French "Couleurs de la Haye"). It is still the same workshop. Albert's son is the president of the company now. The recipes and methods of preparation are still the same."

Dactyl

Sergey
08-29-2001, 04:00 AM
I think that this information is valuable in this thread.
Researches say that 2(two) years of direct sunlight have about the same effect as 500(five hundred) years of museum light.
So, if you're planning the test this information may be valuable.

Luis Guerreiro
08-29-2001, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Dactyl
Luis:

I think you might want a clarification from OH about its founding in 1664. In 1981 I had a Dutch friend who was trying to import OH colors to the U.S. He distributed hand painted color charts and an introductory letter about the OH brand. The following is a portion of the introductory letter.

" Old Holland Oil Colors is one of the last small and top quality oil color houses in the world, located in the Hague, Holland. The owner's grandfather was Willem Roelofs, one of the forerunners of the dutch impressionists, known as the "Hague School". His work hangs in many musea.

Willem's son Albert made a name as a portrait painter - painting himself into a small fortune. This allowed him to spend time searching for better color recipes as he was not happy with what was available then. He made careful investigation of the recipes of the seventeenth century Dutch masters, keeping those that had proven their superiority, and adding some more recently invented colors like cobalt blue. He created a workshop where he made the best materials possible for his own use. Then, artist-friends began to ask him for samples. Soon that same workshop became a small factory, now known as Old Holland Oil Colors Manufactory (or in French "Couleurs de la Haye"). It is still the same workshop. Albert's son is the president of the company now. The recipes and methods of preparation are still the same."

Dactyl
Dactyl,
Did you expect Old Holland to be founded in 1664 as Old Holland? I would expect Old Holland to be quite new in 1664. On the other hand, if you set-up something now, in 2001, I hope you consider it to develop into something better and more advanced in say, 2301. Why on Earth should I ask for a clarification from Old Holland about something that is this evident? In 1664 something happened, I don't know, perhaps 2 friends got together and decided to grind paints and now, hundreds of years later, OH people still do the same, but under the name of Old Holland. Is that such a strange thing? My Mum's family are wine producers. Do you know when we started to produce "high pedigree" red and white wines? In 1735. But todays production, although following centuries of tradition, naturally evolved and developped into what it is now. Nobody gave in in terms of quality standards or the traditional methods of making wine. It's just different, the trade name is not 300 odd years old, but the "know-how" is 300 odd years old. Currently Old Holand is not a manufacturer in the sense of an automated factory. It's an association, like a co-operative, tubes are filled in by other means rather than atomatic, they have artists and colourmen working together with Lab techs and the result is a great quality paint.

Luis Guerreiro
08-29-2001, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Sergey
I think that this information is valuable in this thread.
Researches say that 2(two) years of direct sunlight have about the same effect as 500(five hundred) years of museum light.
So, if you're planning the test this information may be valuable.
Thanks Sergey. That's valuable information.

Dactyl
08-30-2001, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro

Dactyl,
Did you expect Old Holland to be founded in 1664 as Old Holland? I would expect Old Holland to be quite new in 1664. On the other hand, if you set-up something now, in 2001, I hope you consider it to develop into something better and more advanced in say, 2301. Why on Earth should I ask for a clarification from Old Holland about something that is this evident? In 1664 something happened, I don't know, perhaps 2 friends got together and decided to grind paints and now, hundreds of years later, OH people still do the same, but under the name of Old Holland. Is that such a strange thing? My Mum's family are wine producers. Do you know when we started to produce "high pedigree" red and white wines? In 1735. But todays production, although following centuries of tradition, naturally evolved and developped into what it is now. Nobody gave in in terms of quality standards or the traditional methods of making wine. It's just different, the trade name is not 300 odd years old, but the "know-how" is 300 odd years old. Currently Old Holand is not a manufacturer in the sense of an automated factory. It's an association, like a co-operative, tubes are filled in by other means rather than atomatic, they have artists and colourmen working together with Lab techs and the result is a great quality paint.

Luis

No but I do expect Old Holland to have been founded in 1664 by whatever name. Their advertising claims repeatedly "since 1664". It appears that they were in fact started in the early part of the twentieth century by Albert Roelofs with no connection whatsoever with anything in 1664. When a company overstates the lightfastness of some of their pigments by repeatedly saying "all colors100% lightfast" and then claims a founding date of 1664, when 20 years ago they merely claimed that the company was created by the current owner's father - that's deceptive advertising. Why should a reputable company need to fabricate an artificial pedigree when it would appear they already have a perfectly sound one? Why should a reputable company claim all colors are 100% permanent when their competitors who use some of the same pigments have a starring or numbering system to differentiate between the permanent and the less than permanent? The Arches and Fabriano papermills really were started in 1492 and 12XX, and their papers have been in continuous production up until the present day. Ownership and facilities may have changed over time but the products these companies sell today have had a continuous history from those very early papers and they can legitimately claim to have benefitted from hundreds of years of experience. Can Old Holland truthfully say the same?

"It's just different, the trade name is not 300 odd years old, but the "know-how" is 300 odd years old. Currently Old Holand is not a manufacturer in the sense of an automated factory. It's an association, like a co-operative, tubes are filled in by other means rather than atomatic, they have artists and colourmen working together with Lab techs and the result is a great quality paint."

Are you implying that OH isn't using electric mixers and electric triple roll mills like every other artist's paint manufacturer? And as for filling the tubes - do really think that they are taking a spoon and filling each tube by hand? Would a hand filled tube be as evenly sized, its end so square and perfect if it hadn't been filled and crimped by a machine?

"Know-how" that's 300 years old? Are OH colors such uniformly thick pastes merely because they're heavy in pigment? Pigment and oil alone ground to that stiffness would soon separate and/or harden. Stabilizers weren't around 300 years ago because they weren't needed; paint, soft and oily, was offered in bladders or small pots that had to be used quickly. Why would Mr. Roelofs use a 300 year old recipe in paint that has to remain stable in a modern metal tube indefinitely? 300 years ago Beeswax was more of a painting adjunct - to modify paint flow on the canvas - and in a normal dosage gives a more melting texture than the stiffness of OH paint. It wasn't until the 19th that beeswax and other substances were used as stabilizers to keep the newly invented collapsable tubes shelf-stable . OH obviously has a healthy (but not excessive) dose of a 20th century stabilizer such as aluminum stearate or a modified bentonite product like Tixogel. I think that next to Holbein, Old Holland is the most stiffly stabilized professional paint on the market.
The Old Holland paints that I bought 20 years ago were a softer creamier paint - more like Blockx is today and I suspect that beeswax alone [or with thickened oil] was the stabilizer. The pigment in the Cremnitz white was coarser, and ground in oil it had a looser consistency and a distinctly yellowish tinge. I'm not saying it was a better paint - just more old fashioned. And I doubt that there is or was much 300 year old know-how in either tube of paint because both were machine ground, not hand ground.

I'm not knocking Old Holland's consistent, excellent quality. They are highly pigmented. They do handle nicely (on the stiff end of nicely). BUT - I think that they probably relied on the pigment manufacturers lightfastness ratings rather than doing tests of their own (but they obviously knew that alizarin crimson and hansa yellow lemon weren't completely lightfast). They should label each tube with a lightfastness rating (that they have arrived at by actually testing the paint) and complete pigment information. And, I think artificially creating a 1664 founding date (or appropriating the founding date of some long expired guild) is pure 19th century hucksterism.

Dactyl

Midwest Painter
08-30-2001, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by Dactyl


Luis

No but I do expect Old Holland to have been founded in 1664 by whatever name. Their advertising claims repeatedly "since 1664". It appears that they were in fact started in the early part of the twentieth century by Albert Roelofs with no connection whatsoever with anything in 1664. When a company overstates the lightfastness of some of their pigments by repeatedly saying "all colors100% lightfast" and then claims a founding date of 1664, when 20 years ago they merely claimed that the company was created by the current owner's father - that's deceptive advertising. Why should a reputable company need to fabricate an artificial pedigree when it would appear they already have a perfectly sound one? Why should a reputable company claim all colors are 100% permanent when their competitors who use some of the same pigments have a starring or numbering system to differentiate between the permanent and the less than permanent? The Arches and Fabriano papermills really were started in 1492 and 12XX, and their papers have been in continuous production up until the present day. Ownership and facilities may have changed over time but the products these companies sell today have had a continuous history from those very early papers and they can legitimately claim to have benefitted from hundreds of years of experience. Can Old Holland truthfully say the same?

"It's just different, the trade name is not 300 odd years old, but the "know-how" is 300 odd years old. Currently Old Holand is not a manufacturer in the sense of an automated factory. It's an association, like a co-operative, tubes are filled in by other means rather than atomatic, they have artists and colourmen working together with Lab techs and the result is a great quality paint."

Are you implying that OH isn't using electric mixers and electric triple roll mills like every other artist's paint manufacturer? And as for filling the tubes - do really think that they are taking a spoon and filling each tube by hand? Would a hand filled tube be as evenly sized, its end so square and perfect if it hadn't been filled and crimped by a machine?

"Know-how" that's 300 years old? Are OH colors such uniformly thick pastes merely because they're heavy in pigment? Pigment and oil alone ground to that stiffness would soon separate and/or harden. Stabilizers weren't around 300 years ago because they weren't needed; paint, soft and oily, was offered in bladders or small pots that had to be used quickly. Why would Mr. Roelofs use a 300 year old recipe in paint that has to remain stable in a modern metal tube indefinitely? 300 years ago Beeswax was more of a painting adjunct - to modify paint flow on the canvas - and in a normal dosage gives a more melting texture than the stiffness of OH paint. It wasn't until the 19th that beeswax and other substances were used as stabilizers to keep the newly invented collapsable tubes shelf-stable . OH obviously has a healthy (but not excessive) dose of a 20th century stabilizer such as aluminum stearate or a modified bentonite product like Tixogel. I think that next to Holbein, Old Holland is the most stiffly stabilized professional paint on the market.
The Old Holland paints that I bought 20 years ago were a softer creamier paint - more like Blockx is today and I suspect that beeswax alone [or with thickened oil] was the stabilizer. The pigment in the Cremnitz white was coarser, and ground in oil it had a looser consistency and a distinctly yellowish tinge. I'm not saying it was a better paint - just more old fashioned. And I doubt that there is or was much 300 year old know-how in either tube of paint because both were machine ground, not hand ground.

I'm not knocking Old Holland's consistent, excellent quality. They are highly pigmented. They do handle nicely (on the stiff end of nicely). BUT - I think that they probably relied on the pigment manufacturers lightfastness ratings rather than doing tests of their own (but they obviously knew that alizarin crimson and hansa yellow lemon weren't completely lightfast). They should label each tube with a lightfastness rating (that they have arrived at by actually testing the paint) and complete pigment information. And, I think artificially creating a 1664 founding date (or appropriating the founding date of some long expired guild) is pure 19th century hucksterism.

Dactyl


This is interesting. Perhaps Mrs. Gamblin would like to chime in here.

Einion
08-31-2001, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Dactyl
No but I do expect Old Holland to have been founded in 1664 by whatever name. Their advertising claims repeatedly "since 1664". It appears that they were in fact started in the early part of the twentieth century by Albert Roelofs with no connection whatsoever with anything in 1664.
Thanks so much for this info, great to hear more and more evidence that confirms their dodgy rep. It also makes the claim "Today, Winsor & Newton has more expertise with artists’ materials than any other manufacturer in the world." a little more believable (and warms my heart of course being a dedicated fan) ;)

Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
It's just different, the trade name is not 300 odd years old, but the "know-how" is 300 odd years old
Sorry Luis, this just doesn't wash. It is simply a matter of semantics - they either were or were not founded in 1664. Just because one's culture has produced paint for that long doesn't mean you can take credit for it in this way. There is a longer history of oil painting in Italy than anywhere else and yet you don't read Maimeri claiming they have produced oils since the 15th century! :)

When a company overstates the lightfastness of some of their pigments... and then claims a founding date of 1664, when 20 years ago they merely claimed that the company was created by the current owner's father... Why should a reputable company need to fabricate an artificial pedigree... Why should a reputable company claim all colors are 100% permanent when their competitors who use some of the same pigments have a starring or numbering system to differentiate between the permanent and the less than permanent? ...I think that they probably relied on the pigment manufacturers lightfastness ratings rather than doing tests of their own ... They should label each tube with a lightfastness rating (that they have arrived at by actually testing the paint) and complete pigment information.
You go boy! :) See my comment in the other thread in reference to their boasting about using stone rollers when others use them and it barely rates a mention.

And as for filling the tubes - do really think that they are taking a spoon and filling each tube by hand?
Hehe.

Are OH colors such uniformly thick pastes merely because they're heavy in pigment? Pigment and oil alone ground to that stiffness would soon separate and/or harden.
Yes indeedy it would! I was researching just this topic recently. Some heavy pigments have a real problem with separation (Cobalt Blue being a prime example) and if you don't mix it fresh it requires the use of some stabilisers in order to stay workable. Yet they claim they don't use any... interesting.

Einion

Einion
08-31-2001, 04:44 PM
Old Holland’s lightfastness reputation worsens the more research I do - how about PV16 discolouring? Hmmm I wonder how that happened if only Manganese Violet was in the tube...? Also, their Scheveningen Yellow Medium is apparently PY120 which may have very poor lightfastness. To add to this their Scheveningen Red Medium apparently has the wrong pigment listed and their Viridian Deep is yellowish!

And if that wasn't enough with all the talk about how saturated and bright their colours are, well compared to what? Apparently just among their single-pigment colours they offer the least saturated, dullest or weakest-staining examples of PB16, PV15, PB33, PB60, PB74, PBr7 and PG18.

Einion

sarkana
09-01-2001, 10:08 AM
i absolutely have to chime in on this issue since it is one near and dear to my heart.

every manufacturer claims that their recipe is the oldest, and that they care for the paint by hand, and that is contains the maximum allowable amount of pigment. in most cases none of those things are true and its quite a bit of fabrication. nothing short of duping artists who have already been shortchanged by an educational system that teaches us very little about materials.

old holland is great and i have no problem recommending their paint to anyone. but as others have stated, their marketing is completely bogus. the company was founded in the 20th century, i don't understand how they can even claim "since 1664". their tubes are obviously machine handled. (seriously! i *do* tube by hand and its a complete pain in the &%$) the paint is obviously extended. why bother to claim otherwise? every single manufacturer, large or small, uses stabilizers. otherwise, the paint will separate in the tube. the question becomes: which ones and how much?

i completely disagree with luis that the lightfastness testing is now in the hands of artists. i find that bogus as well. old holland should be testing their 100% lightfastness claim before making it. what i feel is in the hands of artists (and any small manufacturers who happen to be reading this) is to demand accurate accounting from the manufacturers about exactly what is in the tube. to my mind, gamblin is the most egregious practitioner, consistently claiming a pigment/oil ratio for their paints that isn't possible. but pretty much everyone does it.

i'll start:
sarkana paints contain aluminum stearate as a stabilizer. the amount varies by color, as some pigments have more of a tendency to separate than others. there is more in the earth colors, for example, and none in the azo colors (they are too light to separate). we honestly use as little of this adulterant as possible. we don't add anything else. this makes our paint pretty expensive, but we are still cheaper than old holland and willamsburg.

the only other person i know that makes oil paint this way is robert doak, who for all intents and purposes, is the one who taught me.

demand better paint! or at least better paint labels!

SheaS
09-02-2001, 12:14 AM
So is aluminum stearate (as a stabilizer) considered an extenders or filler?

"since 1664" I think tis is refering to the use of the windmill to extract the flax oil for the paints.

Titanium
09-02-2001, 06:59 AM
I believe -

Alumina Hydrate ,
Blanc Fixe ,

are considered - " White Pigments " ,
and thus the song and dance .

Alumina Stearate , thickeners , modified
bentonite , wax , driers , ....... , may
be in too small quantities to legally
have to be listed ---- " traces " .

As Big Industry keeps working on
coatings , the smaller commercial oil
paint tubers will apply the research
to their products .

Hasn't anyone realised that W and N
oil paints are translucent straight from
the tube ?

Until you don't hand mull at least one
colour , you won't understand any of
this .
Titanium .

Midwest Painter
09-02-2001, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by Titanium
I believe -

Alumina Hydrate ,
Blanc Fixe ,

are considered - " White Pigments " ,
and thus the song and dance .

Alumina Stearate , thickeners , modified
bentonite , wax , driers , ....... , may
be in too small quantities to legally
have to be listed ---- " traces " .

As Big Industry keeps working on
coatings , the smaller commercial oil
paint tubers will apply the research
to their products .

Hasn't anyone realised that W and N
oil paints are translucent straight from
the tube ?

Until you don't hand mull at least one
colour , you won't understand any of
this .
Titanium .


I may seem very ignorant here, but may I ask why make your own paint? The pigment dust is highly toxic. How can you get the same consistency from batch-to-batch? Doesn't this effort take away from the time to actually paint? Why not make your own brushes as well - trap the animals for their fur, mine the ore to forge into ferrules, and saw down trees to get the wood for the handles?


Ok, I got silly here at the end, but I still question the need, or environmental wisdom, in the effort to make your own paint. What am I missing?

Titanium
09-02-2001, 10:47 AM
MidWest ,

ha ha ha ha ha ha .
Good one .

Firstly , I am not North American and this was not
a choice based on environmental issues .

I was trained to hand mull , and I enjoy the exercise .
Also it does not take that long .

As to health , well I use Mars Colours , these are
not known to cause any health issues as say -
Strontium Chromate [ known Carcinogen ] or
or Nickel Titanium Yellow [ Nickel ] or Cobalt Aluminate ,
Cobalt Silicate or Cobalt Tin [ cobalt ] .

My white is a blend of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

For my brighter colours or top coat - Ultramarine Blue ,
Irgazine Red - Intense Yellow / Py 154 .

Even if I used Real Vermilion , one small tube would
last forever [ I am still using my tube from 1985 ] .
Or cad . yellow light , once the powder is combined
with oil , there is no dust .
A tube here also lasts a long time .

I work in my garage for hand mulling , this is a Tropical
Island and a garage is four poles and a galvanised roof .
Very well well ventilated , and not windy .
I could hand mull in a three piece suit .

It all depends on your training and use of paint .

If you look up the information on powdered pigments
you can get a sensible idea about toxicity .

I use colours that give a broad range of effects , so
only a few are needed to be mulled at time .
There is no labour intensive situation here . Plus ,
I only need to mull what each painting , has been
pre-planned to use .

As to brushes , I use Cheapo Eterna out of China ,
last forever and running cost is $0.10 US to $2.00 US
from 0 to 12 in size .

Hand Mulled paint is way more opaque that the
commercial stuff and Mars colours cover opaquely in
extremely thin coats . Ti02/ Zn0 white does not go
translucent like Lead White with time .
It is easier for me to go Opaque to Translucent , than
to go from Translucent to Opaque .
Titanium

Luis Guerreiro
09-02-2001, 10:57 AM
Dear All,
Anyone of average intelligence can see the difference between common corporate XX/XXI centuries practices and the past. What is true for Old Holland with paints is true for my Mum's family with red and white wines. Old Holland doesn't do paint by hand anymore surely. My Mum's wines are not produced by stepping on the grapes in bare feet anymore either. SO? There is a thin line that needs to be drawn between quality and modern practices. Is this such a difficult thing to sink in down our brains? Old Holland never stated it was found in 1664, it inherited traditions valid in the Netherlands since the XVII Century which have been brought to us although the package isn't exactly the same. Still, compared with other brands of Oil Paints, such as Rembrandt and Winsor & Newton, Gamblin or Grumbacher, they seem to stand up better, and surely they perform better. I can tell and anyone who uses Old Holland can tell as well. We can discuss the matter for ever and never reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Edward De Beer has been here and read all the postings. He wrote me a letter with notes on the issue and attached a comment for me to post here. He's away dealing with business stuff at the moment, surely that is not strange to the fact his Father died recently.
Here is his note and he will be available for any questions anyone wishes to post to him:

"Response By Old Holland Classic Colours To Wetcanvas Discussion Forum


My name is Edward de Beer. I am now the owner and Chief Executive of Old Holland since my father, Prof. Theo de Beer passed away unexpectedly last month. My father made paint his life’s work. He lectured all over the world on the subject. After he bought and resurrected Old Holland many years ago he spent thousands of hours researching pigments both from the traditional recipes of the old masters which were passed along throughout the history of Old Holland and from the large number of modern pigments developed more recently. His objective was to create the finest paint in the world after the style of the old masters. Hence the term, “classic” colours. I must express my extreme disappointment that our company and thus my father’s legacy is being “lynched” in the court of public opinion without any opportunity to make a proper response. It is all the more upsetting that certain members are defaming our product and even questioning our honesty and integrity. Old Holland is a small, family company that takes great pride in the quality of its products. It has no secrets from it’s customers, any of whom are welcome to visit our factory and examine our production methods, museum and research data at any time. A list of pigments used in our colours is printed on our colour chart, a copy of which is available to anybody that would like to request one via our website www.oldholland.com

All pigments used in Old Holland paints are rated for lightfastness via test method ASTM D-4302. The methodology for this testing is rigorous and is available from ASTM in Philadelphia, USA. Where pigments rated less that 1 are used this is due to the unique properties of that pigment which may not be easily replicated. While new pigments are being developed regularly, it would be irresponsible of Old Holland to incorporate such pigments into our formulas without extensive testing to ensure that they deliver the qualities our customers expect from each individual colour. Our original formulas date back many years and the performance of our paint and the satisfaction of many demanding professional artists is testament to their integrity. We have an ongoing research project to improve our colours as new pigment alternatives become available but we will only change a formula after exhaustive study of all aspects of the product’s performance, not just lightfastness.

Our determination of lightfastness, particularly in mixed pigment colours, is based upon the assumption that finished artwork will be stored and/or displayed in a responsible and appropriate manner. It is a practical rating system that reflects reality, not theory.

As previously stated, lightfastness is one important factor in selecting pigments but there are many others which must be considered and it not our philosophy to sacrifice all other attributes of our colours to the altar of one factor alone.

Old Holland had an extremely old philosophy of paint making which stood it and it’s users in good stead for centuries. My father developed the company with full respect for those traditional methods and materials. The unique characteristics of our oils and watercolours may not be to the taste of every artist and we of course respect that every artist will judge a product from his or her own viewpoint and arrive at their own personal conclusions. We do however strongly believe that our philosophy is sound and that our colours are among the best available in the world at any price.

We take our responsibility to serve the artist very seriously and will of course treat any constructive criticism of our products with the utmost concern. It is without question that we will conduct an appropriate investigation into the legitimate concerns of any of our users, freely and openly providing the results of all such tests.

We appreciate that nothing is perfect and even in the most carefully controlled situations there may be ways in which improvement can made. It is and has always been our commitment to the artist to constantly strive for perfection in everything that carries the Old Holland name. That was my father’s way and I will ensure that his passion for art materials is kept alive as the next generation moves Old Holland forward.

Rather than continue with this discussion based upon unsubstantiated assumptions and allegations I would like to make an offer. If your forum would like to prepare a short list of pertinent questions regarding Old Holland products I will be happy to provide clear and unambiguous answers to each question. My only caveat is that I cannot share any propriety information, particularly as one of the participants in your initial thread “looking for a good oil paint” was in fact a commercial paint producer and thus one of my competitors. I am sure that everybody appreciates that certain information must be held confidential in a forum where we cannot know the true identity of any of the participants.

I look forward to the opportunity to respond to your members concerns."

Those who are professional enough in the Arts will appreciate the above, I am sure of it.

Luis

Midwest Painter
09-02-2001, 12:20 PM
Thank you Luis. I would like to pose one question to Mr. de Beers.


Mr. de Beers,


The question I have regards your light-fast testing procedures. I understand that you rely on pigment manufacturers and their respective ASTM D-4303 testing results. Does Old Holland perform any independent testing to confirm the ASTM-D4303 results? If so, do you keep these test results on file?


Thank You,

Lauren

Raffaele
09-02-2001, 03:07 PM
I have read this thread and numerous others in silence and must say take little notice of much of what is said. I do however find it admirable that Mr. de Beer has responded to such bold attacks upon his company. I for one have been using OH for longer than I can remember. I most certainly am not swayed by such petty comments as those made by certain forum members. Sadly though there are those who will believe the comments made. So be it. The majority of the worlds artists who use OH do so because they know and see the difference. They have attained that level in their work where the paint used (plus other materials) is imperative to the quality of the completed piece. The price is not an issue nor is its immediate availability. I for one drive many hours to obtain their products (when in Canada) because I believe they contribute to the quality of my work. I do not and will not settle for inferior products. Equally an artist who truly knows his materials can easily weed out the misinformation found throughout these forums, whether here or elsewhere. The problem with forums such as these is that it is usually only handful of individuals that are continuously contributing to the threads, misleading and misguiding many, the many being the newer or quite junior artist, the guidance being again provided by the junior artist, or dare I say it, the so called know it all. A few years along into their craft they will begin to really learn, to understand.
If I were Mr. de Beer I would not take much notice of the comments made. The members here represent a minute fraction of the worlds artists. Continue to produce a superior product and those in the know will continue to buy.
On another note, the professionalism of OH is above all others (with perhaps only Blockx at par). I have written in the past for information, to be promptly replied to with the information requested. Not once have my requests gone unanswered. Quite a rarity today.

Dactyl
09-02-2001, 05:40 PM
Luis said:
"Old Holland never stated it was found in 1664, it inherited traditions valid in the Netherlands since the XVII Century which have been brought to us although the package isn't exactly the same."


At the time of Old Holland's launch of its newly reformulated ( and still current ) lineup of colors in 1988, their literature included a printed color chart with a complete listing of pigments and their color index number (admirable) and a four page tract that tells about the about OH's uniqueness, history etc. On the back page they make statements I'd like to see some supporting evidence for:

" * The Old Holland Oil Colour Association was established in 1664 and is still in 1988 continuing their tradition of 324 years; the oldest artist's paint factory in the world.

* The paints of Old Holland are still manufactured according to the 16th century methods and under the supervision of artists.

* The old Dutch masters used Old Holland paint, such as Rubens, Vermeer and Van Gogh."


That last statement is really a jaw-dropper - and um, didn't Rubens die in 1640?

This literature was still available as late as 1999 and perhaps still is.

Dactyl

Einion
09-02-2001, 09:42 PM
Raffaele, most of your ire is obviously directed at me for I am clearly one of the most vocal critics of OH's products; however I try to be fair and open-minded as should be amply demonstrated by my recent review of Blockx's pigments. Polar opinions tend to generate negative feelings from people with the opposing view, as we all know, and which I don't have a problem with.

That being said I have to comment on your post which I hope you will take in the same spirit.

Originally posted by Raffaele
... such bold attacks... petty comments... misinformation... misleading and misguiding ... superior product
Hmm, I for one don't class criticisms of specific failings as a bold attack or petty comments, but opinions vary.

As for the 'misleading misinformation', could you be more specific? Have you compared the brilliance and covering power of the same pigment from them and from others? What about lightfastness? Others have and I have accurately reported the results in my posts. I am also very conscientious to make a clear distinction between my opinion and facts so that it is easy for the reader to distinguish between them. And in every case where I stated something as a fact I can give the original published source (and will do so if required) while you appear to be giving nothing more than your opinion, which we have nothing to use as a yardstick against.

How do you know their product is superior? Have you tested it, or are you going merely by feel?

...I for one have been using OH for longer than I can remember... The majority of the worlds artists who use OH do so because they know and see the difference.... I do not and will not settle for inferior products.
Okay, have you compared it to other paints recently or did you decide long ago,as you imply, that it was the best available and have used nothing since? If so you need to realise that your opinion is just as invalid as someone who uses none of it. Again, have you tested it or have you read any independent test of their products so you know it is a superior product as you believe?

...Equally an artist who truly knows his materials can easily weed out the misinformation found throughout these forums, whether here or elsewhere.
Sorry but this is a fallacy. No matter how well one knows a paint's handling characteristics there is no way to determine what is true or not true about reports about its other characteristics. Tell me this, would you buy a car based on the manufacturer's literature solely, or would you get opinions from other owners, press reports etc?

The problem with forums such as these is that it is usually only handful of individuals that are continuously contributing to the threads, misleading and misguiding many, the many being the newer or quite junior artist, the guidance being again provided by the junior artist, or dare I say it, the so called know it all.
Yes, this is completely true, the few tend to contribute the bulk of posts to threads, here and in every other online forum I have seen. But what makes you so sure the few are "junior artists" or "know-it-alls" (and by implication know-nothings)? Virtually none of us know anything about any of the others, you included, except for those with websites and so forth. We don't know how valid your views are any more than anyone else's. Read my next post if you're curious about mine.

So let me put you on the spot, is lightfastness/longevity important to you? If it's not that's fine, we all have our peccadilloes, mine happens to be about reliability and I wouldn't for a moment suggest it has to be everyone's. If it is important to you what I find particularly telling is your comment that you take little notice about much of what is said, since of late it relates directly to this issue.

On another note, the professionalism of OH is above all others (with perhaps only Blockx at par). I have written in the past for information, to be promptly replied to with the information requested. Not once have my requests gone unanswered. Quite a rarity today.
As I said to Luis elsewhere, is this informed opinion? What information did you request, did it relate to lightfastness? Have you tried to contact other manufacturers without success? If not your comment is misleading. They replied, that's great; alas, customer support does not a good product make, see my comment elsewhere about a response I got from Daler-Rowney.

Einion

EastDevil
09-02-2001, 11:16 PM
I have downloaded the colour chart from Old Holland's website and there are no pigment information at all.

SheaS
09-03-2001, 01:35 AM
What a viscous thread this is. Wish more of the paint companies would come clean as to what is in their paints. They know who they are. But they wont do it because illusion sells. People like to think they are next in line to the old masters. Here you can have my spot.

One thing that I find funny is people that claim they follow the methods of the old masters. The only ones that come close to meeting those claims are the ones hand mulling their paints, stretching their own linen, sizing it with bunny glue (yes dead rabbits), etc. I have to laugh!!!!!!!! Lets be honest with ourselves here. Some of us follow SOME of the traditions of the old masters some of the time.

And the ones that really make me laugh are the ones that use "lost secret" of the old masters. Only they know it . And it came from a tube. Shhhhhhhhhhh. Don't tell anyone.

Midwest Painter
09-03-2001, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by SheaS
What a viscous thread this is. Wish more of the paint companies would come clean as to what is in their paints. They know who they are. But they wont do it because illusion sells. People like to think they are next in line to the old masters. Here you can have my spot.

One thing that I find funny is people that claim they follow the methods of the old masters. The only ones that come close to meeting those claims are the ones hand mulling their paints, stretching their own linen, sizing it with bunny glue (yes dead rabbits), etc. I have to laugh!!!!!!!! Lets be honest with ourselves here. Some of us follow SOME of the traditions of the old masters some of the time.

And the ones that really make me laugh are the ones that use "lost secret" of the old masters. Only they know it . And it came from a tube. Shhhhhhhhhhh. Don't tell anyone.


I always thought the "Old Masters" focused on the actual art itself, and not on the materials.

Luis Guerreiro
09-03-2001, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Midwest Painter
Thank you Luis. I would like to pose one question to Mr. de Beers.


Mr. de Beers,


The question I have regards your light-fast testing procedures. I understand that you rely on pigment manufacturers and their respective ASTM D-4303 testing results. Does Old Holland perform any independent testing to confirm the ASTM-D4303 results? If so, do you keep these test results on file?


Thank You,

Lauren

Lauren,
You can also send your question to Old Holland site itself, that possibly being the best thing to for a rapid reply.

Luis Guerreiro
09-03-2001, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by Raffaele
I have read this thread and numerous others in silence and must say take little notice of much of what is said. I do however find it admirable that Mr. de Beer has responded to such bold attacks upon his company. I for one have been using OH for longer than I can remember. I most certainly am not swayed by such petty comments as those made by certain forum members. Sadly though there are those who will believe the comments made. So be it. The majority of the worlds artists who use OH do so because they know and see the difference. They have attained that level in their work where the paint used (plus other materials) is imperative to the quality of the completed piece. The price is not an issue nor is its immediate availability. I for one drive many hours to obtain their products (when in Canada) because I believe they contribute to the quality of my work. I do not and will not settle for inferior products. Equally an artist who truly knows his materials can easily weed out the misinformation found throughout these forums, whether here or elsewhere. The problem with forums such as these is that it is usually only handful of individuals that are continuously contributing to the threads, misleading and misguiding many, the many being the newer or quite junior artist, the guidance being again provided by the junior artist, or dare I say it, the so called know it all. A few years along into their craft they will begin to really learn, to understand.
If I were Mr. de Beer I would not take much notice of the comments made. The members here represent a minute fraction of the worlds artists. Continue to produce a superior product and those in the know will continue to buy.
On another note, the professionalism of OH is above all others (with perhaps only Blockx at par). I have written in the past for information, to be promptly replied to with the information requested. Not once have my requests gone unanswered. Quite a rarity today.

Raffaele,
Thanks for your post. I am sure you will appreciate that I have been painstakingly here trying to put a point across which is not going through, not because of its validity, but because there is an ill-will about the whole thing. Let us keep in mind that the main point about all this wasn't even the silly episode with Naples Yellow, but another thread elsewhere about some pigments, among them PR 83 (Alizarin). Old Holland has been under attack over a pigment that an army of other manufacturers also use. The whole thing is pathetic, especially because Old Holland has shown professionalism in the matter. I most definitely agree with your posting on the whole and in particular in what concerns Mr. De Beer and Old Holland. In this matter, Old Holland wins the match, professionalism always does.

Midwest Painter
09-03-2001, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro


Lauren,
You can also send your question to Old Holland site itself, that possibly being the best thing to for a rapid reply.

Hello Luis,


That is a good idea. I wll send them an email regarding my questions then I will post their reply.


Lauren

Luis Guerreiro
09-03-2001, 10:45 AM
It is clear that all manufacturers emphasize their products.
Is it fair to single out Old Holland? No!
It is clear that all major manufacturers used or still use PR 83.
Is it fair to single out Old Holland? No!
As for other pigments, whoever is concerned about permanence, instead of using limited lightfastness pigments should use prime rate pigments such as cadmiums and cobalts. Expensive? Oh yes, very! But again, if one is prepared to pay peanuts, all one will get is chimps!
I have extensively made my point. The quality of Old Holland is unsurpassed, perhaps "au pair" with BlockX. That is something those who tried can feel at the tip of the brush. Is it fair to trash down Old Holland because of 1/2 dozen pigments? No!
Whatever each one's position, the realistic point about Old Holland is that it is the best or one of the best paints around, apart from grinding them in the studio.
As fas as I am concerned, the case is closed.

Midwest Painter
09-03-2001, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
It is clear that all manufacturers emphasize their products.
Is it fair to single out Old Holland? No!
It is clear that all major manufacturers used or still use PR 83.
Is it fair to single out Old Holland? No!
As for other pigments, whoever is concerned about permanence, instead of using limited lightfastness pigments should use prime rate pigments such as cadmiums and cobalts. Expensive? Oh yes, very! But again, if one is prepared to pay peanuts, all one will get is chimps!
I have extensively made my point. The quality of Old Holland is unsurpassed, perhaps "au pair" with BlockX. That is something those who tried can feel at the tip of the brush. Is it fair to trash down Old Holland because of 1/2 dozen pigments? No!
Whatever each one's position, the realistic point about Old Holland is that it is the best or one of the best paints around, apart from grinding them in the studio.
As fas as I am concerned, the case is closed.


Luis,

I am not a professional artist. By undergraduate degree is in engineering. For more than 15 years I managed the quality control efforts at high volume manufacturing facilities in the US and Asia. I have no fight to pick with OH. Far from it.

Quality is defined as consistency. Every product is exactly (measurably) the same. For example, if one tube of Cadmium red is stiff, while another is oily, the manufacturer is not consistent and hence has low quality. I am sure OH is a quality manufacturer.

My question is in their testing. While there is nothing wrong with relying on the ASTM tests of a pigment supplier, it does not preclude the manufacturer from performing their own testing. This testing should be thorough and completed before the product is offered for sale.

When you inquired to OH about the lightfast qualities of Naples Yellow, I found their response puzzling. While offering to test this product at your request is noble, it was not clear whether they, themselves, tested the product beforehand. There should have been test results on file. Perhaps there was something lost in the translation. I would be very surprised is they did not test. This is the point I wanted to illuminate. I have no interest in bashing OH, or any other paint manufacturer. But unless we consumers strive to demand better products the science, and art, of painting will suffer. Asking hard questions and expecting hard answers is not bashing - it is the professional way of handling a situation such as this.

Scott Methvin
09-03-2001, 01:04 PM
I am impressed that the president of Old Holland took the time to respond to questions.

Old Holland is certainly my favorite brand of oil paint and I particularly enjoy the quality of certain yellows.

When I go to Amsterdam in November, I will make a concerted effort to visit the factory, which I hope is near by.

As for some of the comments made in this thread...
-------------------------------------------
"One thing that I find funny is people that claim they follow the methods of the old masters. The only ones that come close to meeting those claims are the ones hand mulling their paints, stretching their own linen, sizing it with bunny glue (yes dead rabbits), etc. I have to laugh!!!!!!!! "
SheaS
-------------------------------------------

This statement is obviously made by an artist who really doesn't understand the materials used by oil painters. If she did she would know that hand mulled paint is far superior to anything that can be purchased in the art store. (With a few exceptions, of course.)

She also has no clue as to why we use the rabbit.

And she also buys her canvas off the rack.

Ignorance is bliss.

SheaS
09-03-2001, 02:36 PM
We are closer to the same page than you think. I understand why artist use bunny glue. I do! Its still the best! The traditional materials have a quality that has hundreds of years of testing behind it.

I wish all the paint makers would say whats really in their paints. They wont do it because people are hung up on the idea they are the next old master. The only way to TOTALY work like the old masters is to make your own paints,etc like the old masters.

I think its unfair to single out Old Holland. Let all the paint makers say whats in their paints. Then we can get over our illusions and back to painting.

Einion
09-03-2001, 04:34 PM
Okay, so what matters are facts, preferably substantiated facts. Fine, for any of the facts I have posted on this forum and elsewhere on the Internet, as opposed to my own opinions, deductions or conclusions, I have, and am perfectly willing to quote, my references - so no there are no "unsubstantiated assumptions" and no "lynching" going on here.

Since Mr. de Beer was gracious enough to offer to answer questions about Old Holland products and that we are welcome to examine their research data it seems churlish to criticise his letter so I will restrain myself.

For Mr. de Beer:

Dankuwel, meneer de Beer, dat u de tijd en moeite genomen heeft om commentaar te leveren op deze zaken.

Do you use exactly the same pigments in your oil and watercolour ranges?

Do you manufacture any pigments yourselves or do you buy them from other sources?

Do you use any pigments rated ASTM III or IV in oils or watercolours?

Do you use stabilisers of any kind in your oils or watercolours? If so why does your product literature claim you do not? If you do not how do you prevent separation of pigment from the vehicle?

If, as you say, it is not your "philosophy to sacrifice all other attributes of our colours to the altar of [lightfastness] alone" why does your product literature state that all your colours are 100% lightfast and your tubes list no lightfastness ratings?

Considering the claim in your literature to only use lightfast pigments please comment on this quote "Among [167 colours], you'll have to discard several fugitive pigments". Examples: PR48:2 in Madder Lake Light, PR83 in Alizarin Crimson, Madder Lake Deep.

I understand that ASTM D-4302 uses accelerated lighting conditions in order to mimic long-term conditions. Do all of your colour pass this test? What ratings do the weakest examples get in oils and watercolours?

Why are your hue colours not labelled as such?

How long does a pigment need to be tested in order to pass scrutiny by your company? For example you use benzimidazolone pigments and they were not utilised in artist's paints until the late 70s. DPPs have been around since the early 1980s and the quinacridones have been used in artist's paints since the late 1980s.

How can a single-pigment colour based on PV16 discolour (reported by Hilary Page)? How can the same colour show poor lightfastness (reported on the Handprint site)?

Why does the pigment in Scheveningen Red Medium not appear to be PR188 but instead PR178 (reported on the Handprint site - based on colorimetrics, handling and lightfastness)? Could you confirm the Colour Index Number?

Why do you use Benzimidazolone Yellow, PY120, in Scheveningen Yellow Medium when the pigment is reputed to show poor lightfastness and tests of your product support this (Handprint)?

If Prussian Blue, PB27, is used in Paris Blue Extra why did it fade (Wilcox, 1987)? Could you confirm the Colour Index Number?

How can your Cadmium Orange contain only PY37 when it is quite red? Why is it not Cadmium Orange, PO20? Could you give us the Colour Index Number for your example? (Wilcox, 1987, confirmed by looking at your colour chart.)

Why does your Cadmium Red Light differ so much from the expected hue for this colour? (Wilcox, 1987, confirmed by looking at your colour chart.)

Why have you not yet replaced Alizarin Crimson, PR83:1 when virtually every other top manufacturer has? Anthraquinoid Red PR177, Quinacridone Carmine PR N/A, Quinacridone Violet PV19 and Quinacridone Magenta PR122 all offer greater lightfastness in a similar hue position and could, at the very least, provide the basis for a mixed hue.

Why do you offer so many convenience mixtures yet not offer the single pigments used to mix these as individual colours?

Unfortunately I do not have your full pigment list as I was unable to find this information on your website even under the link for pigments, otherwise I am sure I would have more questions than these. I will be requesting one from your website as you offer.

I look forward to your clear and unambiguous reply.


<exasperated> Luis, let me remind you yet again that the problem with OH using PR83 (and other pigments actually worse than Ali Crimson - see above) is their consistent marketing claim to using nothing but lightfast pigments. Every other manufacturers I am aware of who supply this class it in a lower lightfastness category - something which OH claim they don't need - some go out of their way to point out that it is not reliable and offer an alternative and point the user to it (W&N's Hints On Colour Mixing, Daler-Rowney's product literature, Gamblin's website to name three).

I am sorry to hear the case is closed for you. Would one of their colours failing on one of your canvases reopen it for you?

Originally posted by Midwest Painter
Asking hard questions and expecting hard answers is not bashing - it is the professional way of handling a situation such as this.
Well said.

Einion

Scott Methvin
09-03-2001, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by SheaS We are closer to the same page than you think. I understand why artist use bunny glue. I do! Its still the best! The traditional materials have a quality that has hundreds of years of testing behind it.



Shay
Please accept my appology. Perhaps I should finish my coffee before posting. This may help.:rolleyes:

Luis Guerreiro
09-04-2001, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Einion
For Mr. de Beer:

Dankuwel, meneer de Beer, dat u de tijd en moeite genomen heeft om commentaar te leveren op deze zaken.

Do you use exactly (...) Luis, let me remind you yet again that the problem with OH using PR83 (and other pigments actually worse than Ali Crimson - see above) is their consistent marketing claim to using nothing but lightfast pigments. Every other manufacturers I am aware of who supply this class it in a lower lightfastness category - something which OH claim they don't need - some go out of their way to point out that it is not reliable and offer an alternative and point the user to it (W&N's Hints On Colour Mixing, Daler-Rowney's product literature, Gamblin's website to name three).
I am sorry to hear the case is closed for you. Would one of their colours failing on one of your canvases reopen it for you?

Einion,
As far as it goes for bashing, yes the case is closed for me. I am prepared for mercurial discussions, don't take me wrong, but there is a line I don't usually cross. As far as it goes for anything else concerning technical issues, the case is very much open indeed.
As for your kind reminder, let me remind you that it was I who started this thread with the intention to:
1 - Highlight an issue regarding certain pigments
2 - Promote a technical discussion over the issue
3 - Provide the manufacturer with the chance to:
A) Have its testing methodologies revisited;
B) Co-operate closely with the Artist;
C) Consider reviewing pigments
4 - Provide the Artist with a closer contact with the manufacturer.
5 - Create awareness from which both manufacturers and artists have a lot to gain.
6 - Close the gap between the artist and the manufacturer, who have been at odds for far too long, leaving ART to suffer.
As for fading colours persuading me to keep re-open cases, unless you can prove me wrong, I believe paintings fail faster due to the artists poor methodologies, ill-informed practices and bad knowledge of the materials, rather than fading/fugitive pigments. Generally, we have better pigments than the Old Masters ever did, their paintings have survived admirably. On the other hand, look at Turners works, a lot of them in a dreadful state. I know you know this.
Your list of questions above puts this thread back to what it should have been from the start, a discussion of pigmens, a list of questions to be put across to Old Holland. Questions, any questions are legitimate and such co-operation between artists and manufacturers is most desirable and much needed.
Just make sure you post the list of your questions to Old Holland web site, c/o Mr De Beer.
And next time, if you have something to say to Mr De Beer here, please do write it in English. Notes in a foreign language in a forum where everybody is using English (including Mr. De Beer who happens to be Dutch) is rather rude :rolleyes:
Luis

Raffaele
09-04-2001, 12:40 PM
My ire (as you have referred) was not directed at you in particular Sir, though yes you are one of the more vocal members of late. However this should not imply that your conclusions are well founded or for that matter I should trust that you are in a position to make such statements. I for one most certainly do not intend to document within this thread my many years of experience and knowledge acquired as a serious painter. Not everything is free in life. Nor do I intend to do battle with you. Simply said, I have found no paint to date that surpasses the quality of OH.

Einion
09-04-2001, 03:35 PM
Luis, the foreign language I used in my post was Dutch, as a courtesy to Mr. de Beer.

Einion

Armstead
09-04-2001, 09:23 PM
Hello everybody, by way of introduction I am a friend of the de Beer family. Mr. Edward de Beer had asked me to follow developments in this thread while he is away as he was very distressed by many of the postings. He also encouraged me to respond to the issues raised in his absence if I could and if I felt it appropriate. Just to be "open", I also have a business relationship with Mr. de Beer so you must judge my comments against the backdrop of me being both a friend and a business associate. In terms of my background, I am not an artist but I have been involved in the art materials industry for 25 years both in the USA and Europe. I have been involved in ASTM committees on lightfastness and toxicity and I have visited more than my fair share of colour making facilities around the world. So, overall I feel that I have some credibility to comment in this thread. I obviously will not comment on the specific questions regarding pigments etc. that have been raised as that is for Mr. de Beer and his technical people but I do want to address some more general issues.

Firstly, I was amazed and disappointed at the tone of many of the posts in this thread. Surely (as Luis pointed out just recently) one of the values of this kind of forum is to establish a dialog with manufacturers so that a legitimate and helpful exchange of information can take place. How can that objective be facilitated when so much of what is written is aggressive, negative, sarcastic, condescending and often downright rude? I doubt that any of us would like to be treated personally with such disdain so why is it acceptable to treat a company populated with people just like us in that way. The short answer is, it is not. Frankly, I am surprised that Mr. de Beer has offered to respond to this thread given the nature of the comments made. However, I understand that he has done so in an effort to rise above the general level of the postings and to provide information that members may find useful. I hope that his generosity and openness in this regard do not prove wasted.

Secondly, I would like to pass general comments on some of the issues raised.

Hand made or machine made? – Commercial paint manufacturers will tell you that hand made paint cannot be as well ground (usually to 5 microns or less) and dispersed as their products leading to a duller product with less film strength. Devotees of hand made paints will argue that position and also point out that they know exactly what goes into their colours whereas with a commercial paint there is a profit (read cost saving) element involved so “obviously” the manufacturers are adulterating their products with cheap fillers and the such like to make more money. My experience of the better commercial manufacturers is that despite very different philosophies in how they formulate and produce their products, all are very committed to delivering a high quality product to the artist. They need to be because if they are not, the discerning artist knows it and will look elsewhere for their colours. That’s not a good way to make a profit. I think that there are artists that will want to mull their own colours and artists that would rather spend the time creating art. Neither is right or wrong. Certain people like to undertake their own home improvements and others pay somebody else to it. If you select a reputable builder there is reason why their product should be any inferior to your own efforts. Some people just like to do stuff themselves for the satisfaction and security (in a quality sense) involved and others want to spend their time differently. In my experience artists who want to use commercially produced paint have a better than ever array of fine products available to them which will perform in a highly satisfactory manner. It is of course up to the individual artist to select a product that is right for them and this will involve many different factors that will vary from individual to individual. I would heartily support trying different brands until you find one that is “right for you”. Please remember that this does not mean that it’s right for everyone else; but who cares?

Hand filled or machine filled? – I find this all a bit amusing. While small manufacturers love to create romance around hand filling (Sarkana is right - it is a pain in the you know what) the real reason that they do it is that they cannot afford a filling machine that costs a very considerable amount money. I am sure that I would not be any more (or less) impressed with the taste of hand filled cornflakes than I am with the machine filled variety. The same is true of paint. Perhaps the only legitimate argument is that liquids over a certain viscosity will not go through a filling machine well and the faster the filling machine the less viscous the liquid needs to be. This might imply that commercial paints are “thinned” to allow for automated filling but that is not necessarily the case. In any event, as stated above, it up to the user to decide if the paint provides the right qualities irrespective of whether it was filled “with a spoon” or on a Tonazzi high-speed filler. For information, from visits to Old Holland I know that their product is in fact hand filled but not with a spoon. The open tube is placed under a “spigot” and a lever pulled that drives a piston down (by “arm power” alone) which injects paint into the tube. Once filled the tube is placed in a crimping machine that (under electrical power) folds or crimps the end of the tube thus sealing it. I am not sure where this lies between the spoon and a high speed filling line such as that used by the major brand names but you can decide for yourselves if it makes any difference to the quality of the product.

Made Since 1066 on granite rollers hand chiseled from our private mountain? – Marketing in any industry is an “art” and that is certainly true in the art materials industry itself. There is a belief, rightly so perhaps, that convincing your customers that you have been around for centuries and that everything is done by wizened old craftsmen that served a 30 year apprenticeship under a master that beat them daily makes them feel that you offer a better product. Obviously this would not work too well for Microsoft but it does (or the conventional wisdom is that is does) in art materials. For this reason nearly all manufacturers of the traditional mediums try to reinforce their history and the “craft” employed in making their products. The fact of the matter is that it does not matter much one way or the other, it’s the quality of the end product that counts. Some very large companies with a good history behind them manufacture products in entirely different ways today than they did in “whenever” and in that vein Einion, you might want to question why certain manufacturers make so little play of the use of granite mills these days. But who cares? If the product is good then how it is made or how old the formulas are is of little matter. All that these companies are trying to do is say “hey, we make really good stuff just like we used to”. In fact most of them make better stuff that they ever used to but if they told you that they did it on a “Supermegaatomicpaintmaker” without a person near it for most of the time you would think that the product is rubbish. It’s not but that’s the common perception. All of this stuff is not directed at connoisseurs of colour, it’s directed at the “mass market” as that is where the money is. No manufacturer will make a fortune selling to people on this site, it’s all the people that are not as into the finer aspects of colour making that buy it. Having said this, I do not condone fabrication and I doubt that any respectable manufacturer indulges in it. Looking for and making a legitimate connection between history and/or craftsmanship is fine and that’s what many do. Having known the late Prof. De Beer and spent time with him discussing his passion for history and for colour making, I am sure that Old Holland can provide the links that members in this thread seem to doubt exist. And by the way Sarkana, I think it’s entirely unacceptable (and I believe in contradiction of the rules of this site if I remember what I agreed to when I registered) for you to “advertise” your products for sale while making statements regarding Old Holland’s claims to a historical connection being “entirely bogus”. If you want to advertise by all means do so in an appropriate vehicle but please do not engage in promoting your product in stealth mode while trashing another brand to further your own ends.

Finally, those of you who seem to find something “fishy” about the fact that there is no pigment information under the “Pigments” link on the Old Holland site just misunderstand the structure of the site. The Pigments link is to a section relating to the range of dry pigments provided by Old Holland for those that wish to make their own paint (not many suppliers offer artists this choice these days by the way). It is not intended to be a list of pigments used in Old Holland products although I agree that would be helpful and I will say the same to Mr. de Beer when he returns.

In conclusion I would reiterate that if this kind of discussion (uniquely enabled by the wetcanvas site) has a value it is bringing artists and those who serve them closer together. Please lets not waste that opportunity by indulging in behavior that at the very least might be termed “uncivil”. By doing that we all lose.

Cobra1
09-04-2001, 11:58 PM
Hello ladies and gentlemen. I post over on Cennini and some of your discussion leaked over there. I thought that I might join the fray. This may ramble because it relates to so many items in the preceding posts.

Old Holland offers PR177 as #166 Burgundy Wine Red. It offers PV19 beta as #184 Royal Purple Lake and PV19R as #29 Scheveningen Rose Deep. PR122 is sold as #181 Old Holland Magenta. OH Carmine Lake Extra (#160) is a mix of PR83, PV19b, PV19R and PR88. OH Alizarin Crimson Lake Extra (#163) is a mix of PR83, PV19b, and PV19R. OH Mader Lake Deep Extra is a mix of PV19b and PR83. Mader (Geranium) Lake Light Extra is a mix of PR168, PR175, and PR83. Nowhere in the OH oil line is PR48 used. Old Holland was the first artist's paint manufacturer to abandon PR83 as a sole constituent of an oil paint. The firm did this years before Winsor & Newton thought it necessary. All of the quinacradones were in the OH line as of 1981. To my knowledge, the earliest manufacturer to use the quinacradones was a firm called Permanent Pigments (acquired by Liquitex) back in the 1970's. If there is a firm that made it possible to abandon PR83, it was either Old Holland or Permanent Pigments.

Old Holland's claim is that it is the oldest paint facility in continuous operation in the world. To date, this contention has never been successfully refuted. The de Beers have never claimed to own the company for 300 years. Testimony is considered truthfull in most of the world until it is proven false. Whether anyone believes it on this forum or not does not speak to the validity of the claim, it only expresses your opinion. Until someone demonstrates the claim is false, I will accept it at face value. Either way, the paint quality must be judged by its performance.

I tend to accept the firms statements that they fill the tubes by hand because my tubes don't have squared bases that someone here has referred to, they leak more than a machine loaded tube would, the tubes do not have uniform amounts of paint, and they they occasionally have pigmented fingerprints. This strongly suggests hand loading.

I've ground paint for several years using various sources for materials. My earliest practices did not include the use of any fillers. I have hand ground tubes in my possession that are over 5 years old and show no seperation whatsoever. Some of these are cobalt blue, some of them are cadmium red, and some are yellow ochre. I used cold pressed linseed oil from Belgium, a glass muller, and a marble slab to grind these paints. If I could accomplish this in my early attempts, I'm reasonably certain that a paint manufacturer could accomplish this.

My process of grinding over the last three years or so has been to use a small amount of beeswax into my oil before grinding. I can assure you that my paints that include the wax handle nothing like Old Holland paints. So I am in disagreement with an earlier post speculating about the use of wax.

Criticism of OH's PB33 was leveled by Einion. I have and do use PB33. I have W&N and OH, so this is a comparison that I can easily make. The Old Holland is stronger and goes much further in a white mix. It simply is not even a close comparison. Criticism was also leveled at OH PB16. I haven't used any by any other manufacturer. so I have no basis for comparision. If it were any stronger, it would be obnoxious. What I have is no less powerful than any other phthalocyanine blue.

The name "Cadmium Red Light" and "Cadmium Orange" are names -- nothing else. I have purchased CP PR108 pigment sourced from Europe and sold as Cad Red Light that matches OH's color exactly. I have also purchased the CP PO20 that matches OH's color, also out of europe. Wilcox's comment on OH's orange tells far more about him than it does about the Old Holland pigments. These are in fact cadmium pigments appropriately labeled and they are as lightfast as the other shades of red or orange.

Citing someone else's conclusions as fact when no complete analysis has been performed is unacceptable to anyone seeking the truth. In the States, this is referred to as "heresay" and would be condemned appropriately as "facts not in evidence."
Old Holland is following an appropriate course of action. Obtain the sample, compare it to controls (if any), test the material to the widest degree possible, and arrive at a scientific conclusion.
At this point, no one has posted any information allowing me to conclude that:

Midwest Painter
09-05-2001, 12:12 AM
Thank you very much, Armstead, for taking the time to post a response. Please realize that nobody is here to "bash" any manufacturer. But we are here to ask questions. Hard questions. You are mistaken to think that any reputation, however old and storied, automatically inoculates one from questions - this is cyber space - the world market. A reputation is only as good as your next tube of paint.


With that said I have only one question - Do you test your paint for light fastness before you offer it on the market or do you rely on the pigment manufacturers for your test results? I am not trying to insult Old Holland paints, or Luis, or anybody else that likes, and uses, Old Holland paints - I am just asking a question.

Cobra1
09-05-2001, 12:43 AM
Hello ladies and gentlemen. I post over on Cennini and some of your discussion leaked over there. I thought that I might join the fray. This may ramble because it relates to so many items in the preceding posts.

Old Holland offers PR177 as #166 Burgundy Wine Red. It offers PV19 beta as #184 Royal Purple Lake and PV19R as #29 Scheveningen Rose Deep. PR122 is sold as #181 Old Holland Magenta. OH Carmine Lake Extra (#160) is a mix of PR83, PV19b, PV19R and PR88. OH Alizarin Crimson Lake Extra (#163) is a mix of PR83, PV19b, and PV19R. OH Mader Lake Deep Extra is a mix of PV19b and PR83. Mader (Geranium) Lake Light Extra is a mix of PR168, PR175, and PR83. Nowhere in the OH oil line is PR48 used. Old Holland was the first artist's paint manufacturer to abandon PR83 as a sole constituent of an oil paint. The firm did this years before Winsor & Newton thought it necessary. All of the quinacradones were in the OH line as of 1981. To my knowledge, the earliest manufacturer to use the quinacradones was a firm called Permanent Pigments (acquired by Liquitex) back in the 1970's. If there is a firm that made it possible to abandon PR83, it was either Old Holland or Permanent Pigments.

Old Holland's claim is that it is the oldest paint facility in continuous operation in the world. To date, this contention has never been successfully refuted. The de Beers have never claimed to own the company for 300 years. Testimony is considered truthfull in most of the world until it is proven false. Whether anyone believes it on this forum or not does not speak to the validity of the claim, it only expresses your opinion. Until someone demonstrates the claim is false, I will accept it at face value. Either way, the paint quality must be judged by its performance.

I tend to accept the firms statements that they fill the tubes by hand because my tubes don't have the squared bases that someone here has referred to, they leak more than a machine loaded tube would, the tubes do not have uniform amounts of paint, and they they occasionally have pigmented fingerprints. This strongly suggests hand loading.

I've ground paint for several years using various sources for materials. My earliest practices did not include the use of any fillers. I have hand ground tubes in my possession that are over 5 years old and show no seperation whatsoever. Some of these are cobalt blue, some of them are cadmium red, and some are yellow ochre. I used cold pressed linseed oil from Belgium, a glass muller, and a marble slab to grind these paints. If I could accomplish this in my early attempts, I'm reasonably certain that a paint manufacturer could accomplish this.

My process of grinding over the last three years or so has been to use a small amount of beeswax into my oil before grinding. I can assure you that my paints that include the wax handle nothing like Old Holland paints. So I am in disagreement with an earlier post speculating about the use of wax.

Criticism of OH's PB33 was leveled by Einion. I have and do use PB33. I have W&N and OH, so this is a comparison that I can easily make. The Old Holland is stronger and goes much further in a white mix. It simply is not even a close comparison. Criticism was also leveled at OH PB16. I haven't used any by any other manufacturer. so I have no basis for comparision. If it were any stronger, it would be obnoxious. What I have is no less powerful than any other phthalocyanine blue.

The name "Cadmium Red Light" and "Cadmium Orange" are names -- nothing else. I have purchased CP PR108 pigment sourced from Europe and sold as Cad Red Light that matches OH's color exactly. I have also purchased the CP PO20 that matches OH's color, also out of europe. Wilcox's comment on OH's orange tells far more about him than it does about the Old Holland pigments. These are in fact cadmium pigments appropriately labeled and they are as lightfast as the other shades of red or orange.

PB27 has a reputation for being "twitchy." By this, I mean it has always had a reputation for odd color changes and unexpected fading. Many artists do not consider it lightfast due to their own experiences, yet the pigment is rated ASTM I with no qualifications. In fact, it is considered stable enough for fresco.
I have used the paint sourced from several manufacturers and never had a problem. Other artists have had problems with Prussian Blue. This may not be a lightfastness problem, but a stability problem. This would be similar to true ultramarine, where the pigment is lightfast, but not stable in certain atmospheres. The result is "ultramarine sickness", a graying or greening of the paint.

Citing someone else's conclusions as fact when no complete analysis has been performed is unacceptable to anyone seeking the truth. In the States, this is referred to as "heresay" and would be condemned appropriately as "facts not in evidence."
Old Holland is following an appropriate course of action. Obtain the sample, compare it to controls (if any), test the material to the widest degree possible, and arrive at a scientific conclusion.
At this point, no one has posted any information allowing me to conclude that, the support was not contaminated, the sample was not exposed to any gas or vapour that would effect lightfastness or stability, that the sample was not exposed to extremes of temperature, that there was no organic cause, that the sample was not a counterfeit, that the sample was not labeled as OH by mistake, that mediums didn't effect the sample, etc. Until testing eliminates the possibilities, there are no facts here -- only conjecture and opinion. This statement is true for every example of a perported failure by OH presented on this thread. Being an agent of the U.S. Government, I can assure you that I wouldn't present any of the statements on this thread as fact in a court of law.

As for Winsor & Newton, I work hard not to use their paints. I have a bad history with them, which I will summarize here.

I was using W&N naples yellow, and one day the paint didn't mix or behave the way it always had. I was able to talk with the W&N rep who assured me that this was genuine naples yellow. Sometime after this, W&N started putting the pigment information on their label along with the vehicle descriptions. The new label was a mix of lead white and cadmium. Out of curiosity, I bought a new tube and took it home to compare it to one of the old tubes. The paints were identical in every respect. My conclusion is that the firm's agent lied to me.

I was also advised by a W&N rep that the firm used only alkali refined linseed oil as a binder. One day I walk in to a local store, see new lables and find out that the firm has been using poppy and safflower oils in many of the colors I used. I was not alone in being angry. A number of artists locally began trying out other brands as a response to this deception.

I was comparing OH's cremnitz white with W&N's. I was assured that W&N only used genuine lead white in it's chremnitz white.
I believe you can guess the rest.

There have been other issues over the years that follow the same pattern. As a result, I have gone from someone who used W&N paints to someone who is severely disillusioned with the company. :mad:

Since I have done tests with linseed oils, walnut oil, poppy oil, safflower oil, and stand oil, I am comfortable in saying that poppy oil and safflower oils are inferior to cold pressed linseed oil, walnut oil and stand oil in most respects. Most of the available literature supports this conclusion. If anyone is concerned about archival paints, I don't see how they can use anything with safflower or poppyseed oil as a vehicle. I would disqualify most of W&N's line based on this issue alone. My theory is: bad oil -- bad paint.

I've run out of gas for tonight, so I'll stop here. As always, this is JMHO. Have a good evening.:)

Armstead
09-05-2001, 12:45 AM
Thank you, Midwest Painter, for your considered response.

As I stated previously, I am not a part of the Old Holland company so I cannot and should not answer questions relating to their formulations or procedures. Mr. de Beer will do that I am sure. What I can relate is that the late Prof. de Beer conducted lightfastness tests according to the "Blue Wool" standard on each of his colours before the ASTM standard was officially adopted and I know that he believed in the veracity of his results. So, in that sense I can say that Old Holland did not rely upon ASTM (single pigment) standards to arrive at their conclusions but relied upon their own tests of the actual product in it's finished form. I do not intend this to be an answer to your question in entirety but at least (perhaps) it addresses the nagging question as to whether Old Holland actually tested their finished product or just relied upon "published data" in their determinations.

Cobra1
09-05-2001, 12:54 AM
Sorry for the double post. Somehow I posted part of my response before it was finished, so the first post is incomplete.
New forum, new boo boos. :o

sarkana
09-05-2001, 01:04 AM
mr armstead,

i am as much a participant in this forum as anyone else both as an artist and as a small scale manufacturer. and was taken aback by the accusation of impropriety. i in fact, like, use, and recommend old holland paints. the quality of OH products is not an issue for me, they are great. what i do not like is what seemed to be obfuscation regarding the quality of the products being discussed.

my organisation is a tiny one run by a few artists in a basement in brooklyn. i/we will gain no customers by "bashing" other manufacturers, least of all one of the most popular ones in new york. but i will get on my soapbox at a moment's notice about how little artists are taught about how their materials work and what goes into them. noone is suggesting that proprietary trade secrets be divulged, but an honest accounting of what goes into the paint is not an outrageous request.

i have tried to be honest and talk with my fellow artists here about my practices much as you are now doing. through this exchange, i have learned invaluable information about pigments, paintmaking, artists' practices. and i have tried to share whatever little information i have at my disposal. i certainly did not mean any disrespect. my participation here is not a marketing effort, i post to this forum because its a community i enjoy.

--sharilyn

Armstead
09-05-2001, 01:28 AM
Sarkana,
Then I need to apologize to you. I appreciate the sentiments in your response and I agree with them. Hard questions need to be asked and answered and the ultimate objective here is for all artists to have a better understanding of the materials that they use and for those that supply art materials to have a closer connection to those that use them. I am sure that you make a great product product with great passion and I hope that members try and enjoy it. I am equally sure that your product stands on it's own merit and I know that you will understand that your posts on this thread as a "manufacturer" must be viewed differently to those posted by third parties. I know that the de Beers have no problem with small manufacturers as they (in essence) are one themselves. I think that everybody is trying to achieve the same goals here and I am gratified that the debate is shifting back to a constructive mode. I cannot speak for Mr. de Beer but I am sure that he would welcome the opportunity to see you in Holland and share knowledge about materials and methods of manufacture with you.

EastDevil
09-05-2001, 02:34 AM
We are just simply creatures of habits.

Old masters used hand-mulled paint because that was what they can get to. I personally do not think they do it just because of vanity or ego.

Our ancestors would have complained about tubes filled by hand in the past.

We are now complaining about tubes filled automatically.

Our decendents will be complaining about Mr Armstead's “Supermegaatomicpaintmaker” machines and wondering why they do not use the simple automatic paint filler anymore like we do. ;)

Can we instead just move forward and discuss more on how each brands perform? How are their handling? Proven lightfastness? etc... I would prefer to know more about these...

Luis Guerreiro
09-05-2001, 06:34 AM
Armstead,

Firstly let me heartedly welcome you to this discussion. I read through your post with great interest and it is indeed a pleasure to see the validity and truthfulness of your contribution to the thread.
I take it, from the your comment in your reply about myself that both you and Mr. Edward De Beer fully and clearly understood the intention of my initial posting and subsequent postings in reply to several other members.
As I said on a previous posting, the idea is to bring people together, artists and manufacturers to discuss issues.
All the way throughout this thread I never ceased from emphasizing how wrong it would be to put an entire reputaion down to 1/2 dozen pigments and marketing literature. Reasons why Old Holland paints are considered to be of the best in the market today have more to do with the way the paint "feels" handling properties, viscosity, among other qualities I have mentioned before so many times.
I trust Mr Edward De Beer has done the right thing for standing up here. The low level of a few postings must encourage him to keep in touch in the name of the higher level of others.
Cobra1 and myself both post also at the Cennini forum and you will find there as well as in here an enormous amount of support.
I find it is not an ethical thing to do for other manufacturers to come here disguised as normal members or otherwise with the intent of damaging the competition reputation nor that should be the main purpose of this thread.
What could have been a fruitful discussion became a rather sad business, but I believe one should never give up, if assisted by righteousness and good faith.
Luis

Luis Guerreiro
09-05-2001, 06:49 AM
Originally posted by sarkana
mr armstead,

i am as much a participant in this forum as anyone else both as an artist and as a small scale manufacturer. and was taken aback by the accusation of impropriety. i in fact, like, use, and recommend old holland paints. the quality of OH products is not an issue for me, they are great. what i do not like is what seemed to be obfuscation regarding the quality of the products being discussed.

my organisation is a tiny one run by a few artists in a basement in brooklyn. i/we will gain no customers by "bashing" other manufacturers, least of all one of the most popular ones in new york. but i will get on my soapbox at a moment's notice about how little artists are taught about how their materials work and what goes into them. noone is suggesting that proprietary trade secrets be divulged, but an honest accounting of what goes into the paint is not an outrageous request.

i have tried to be honest and talk with my fellow artists here about my practices much as you are now doing. through this exchange, i have learned invaluable information about pigments, paintmaking, artists' practices. and i have tried to share whatever little information i have at my disposal. i certainly did not mean any disrespect. my participation here is not a marketing effort, i post to this forum because its a community i enjoy.

--sharilyn

I'm disgusted at how you can be this hipocritical. Not only you did not disclose at any point in time to be a manufacturer, we had to find it out from another posting.
Not only that, while following a line here, you are participating in another thread following a different line and discourse.
You are being reported to the moderators, because I believe in honesty and good-faith and in my book there is no room for this sort of hipocrisy.
Have a nice day.

Luis Guerreiro
09-05-2001, 07:15 AM
Cobra1,
Thanks for the honesty of your posting. It is much needed right now (the honesty... and the posting).
Regards
Luis

Midwest Painter
09-05-2001, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro


I'm disgusted at how you can be this hipocritical. Not only you did not disclose at any point in time to be a manufacturer, we had to find it out from another posting.
Not only that, while following a line here, you are participating in another thread following a different line and discourse.
You are being reported to the moderators, because I believe in honesty and good-faith and in my book there is no room for this sort of hipocrisy.
Have a nice day.


Hi Louis,

You nay need to refer to page 2 of this thread. Sarkana made it very clear that he/she makes paints. Look for the post with the title my two cents. He/She even provided their company's website. But regardless, I wouldn't, and neither would OH, claim Sarkana paint is a competitor in the same marketplace. One is a group of artists making paint in their basement in NY, while the other is a large manufacturing company in Europe. I see no wrong doing here.

Lauren

Titanium
09-05-2001, 07:59 AM
LUIS ,

what are you doing ???????

Sarkana [ Sharilyn ] has previously posted that
she made paints and sold pigments.
It was on my announcement made weeks ago ,
that Mr. Jusko and Scott heard about her and the
Indian Yellow .

Have you not seen and read all of her discussions
on pigments / oils etc. ?

There is no need for this type of bully boy behaviour.
Titanium

blondheim12
09-05-2001, 08:10 AM
I am not a scientist or a paint mixer. I do know that I have been very pleased with Old Holland Paints. Rob Howard suggested that they were the best a long time ago when he was posting at WC. I bought a few to see if I would like them. They are the best quality paints I have used.
Linda

sarkana
09-05-2001, 08:54 AM
thanks for standing up for me you guys.

i'm seriously not trying to do anything shady. if i wanted to pose as an anonymous third party and bash other manufacturers, it would be really easy for me to do so. that is not my goal.

as others have pointed out, my "business" is so tiny that old holland (or gamblin or w&n) has absolutely nothing to worry about. we make handmulled paint in tiny 1/2 gallon batches to sell to the artists here in brooklyn. i'm certainly not in the same league as OH or even some of the other paintmakers here on WC.

but now i'm completely off-topic, so i apologise.

but i have actually loved this thread. i use old holland in my own paintings for colors we can't or won't grind by hand. it's great to get to learn so much about the people behind the color.

Luis Guerreiro
09-05-2001, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by Titanium
LUIS ,

what are you doing ???????

Sarkana [ Sharilyn ] has previously posted that
she made paints and sold pigments.
It was on my announcement made weeks ago ,
that Mr. Jusko and Scott heard about her and the
Indian Yellow .

Have you not seen and read all of her discussions
on pigments / oils etc. ?

There is no need for this type of bully boy behaviour.
Titanium

Titanium,
I have read all the posts, and it is not ethical to classify a manufacturer literature, claims, methods, etc as "bogus", especially by another manufacturer. Regardless of size and market share, Sarkana is Sarkana paints and it is not ethically correct to do this against another paint manufacturer.
What I'm doing here is to leave it clear that there should be no room for this sort of thing. Do you realise how much has been going on on this thread?
I feel sick about this sort os ethical approach and to be honest I feel more like leaving this site for good, where I feel I am wasting my time.
What should have been a perfectly acceptable discussion turned into an ugly business. Is this what we expect? Maybe it's time to have all the manufacturers here bashing eachother, members with interests in the paint making industry making comments on others, etc...
This situation has now been reported to the site moderators and I am not being soft here because it is important to establish a minimum code of ethics in issues like this. It is wrong by all known accounts for a manufacturer to opiniate about another manufacturer in a way I do not consider adequate, taking into consideration it is coming from another paintmaker.
If the moderators do not consider this wrong doing and decide not to take action to prevent it, then I will leave Wetcanvas and I promise you that I won't use it ever again.
Websites like Wetcanvas should be spaces to privilege exchange of information, and even when spirits fly high and heat reaches high temperatures, there is normally a reasonable line of conduct which I think has been broken here. My initial intent here was 100% honest as I have stated before. What happened later is regretably the worst discussion I have seen.
I have no disposition nor time for this sort of thing because I firmly believe that even when discussions get hot, there is still space for ethics, civility, etc.
Luis

Titanium
09-05-2001, 09:15 AM
Luis ,

I really don't see why you should leave Wet Canvas .

To be frank , I am not even sure I understand why
you are so upset .

People have their opinions and personal beliefs.

After all is said and done , the only way to judge
any Paint is to TRY IT .

Even then years , months , weeks , days later ,
your situation may change , and the same paint
you hated , may grow on you .

I have known enough painters who have hated
this or that , and with time altered their tastes .

Lastly , this is one of the reasons why I continue
to hand mull my own paints. If anything goes
wrong , I can only blame ------- ME .
Titanium

Luis Guerreiro
09-05-2001, 09:20 AM
Titanium,
It is wrong for a paintmaker to make comments about another paintmaker in a public forum. It's just not ethical.
This is not about people, this is about people with a share in paintmaking and the inherent responsibilities.
It's just ugly.

Titanium
09-05-2001, 09:27 AM
General Comment -

Folks ,

I see no reason to report anyone to the moderators
for past postings .

Sarkana , has never made a posting that even raised
an eyebrow's hair on my face .

Please no scapegoats .

Purchasing anything is an individual's choice , if the
moderators had not liked Sarkana's handle , they
would have removed her or the handle.
That is however the moderators decision , as far as
I am concerned.
Titanium

Titanium
09-05-2001, 09:46 AM
Luis ,
[ sigh ] ,

There are no children amongst the Adults here
in this forum .

The participants are intelligent enough to make
up their own minds.

So what if Sarkana [ Sharilyn ] said what she
said , will I be so jelly fish in spine that I will drop
my paints and rush out to buy Brooklyn tubed
stuff .

These forums are full of opinions ---- educated ,
informed , mal-formed and mis - informed .
You should still read from other sources , test
and think .

Profound and humble apologies , I still don't
understand your ire .

You could try this e-mail group if you seek a higher
level of discussion .

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cowdisley

and here for ethics , Fine Art , etc .

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/goodart

I am afraid I have nothing further to contribute
to this particular part of the frailing thread .

However , I do look forward to further postings
from you .
Stay Well .
Titanium

Midwest Painter
09-05-2001, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
Titanium,
It is wrong for a paintmaker to make comments about another paintmaker in a public forum. It's just not ethical.
This is not about people, this is about people with a share in paintmaking and the inherent responsibilities.
It's just ugly.

Luis,

I think you need to take a deep breath. I went back and reread all the posts - there is no ethics problem. It seems everybody likes OH products. But some have questions. Perhaps the "rough and tumble" nature of this debate is leading you to believe otherwise. It may just be a cultural thing, I am not sure. But I ask you to reread what was said and look at it with your other eye.

scottb
09-05-2001, 10:59 AM
Jeez, I don't come in here for a few months, and already the bar is in shambles! :D

Seriously though (and I don't have the patience to read all 5 or 6 pages of this thread in entirety, so bear with me)...

Community members are free to share their opinions of products out in the marketplace. That is how we can best leverage the collective experiences of everyone here. Now, with that said, it is important to point out that there are several individuals who work at art supply manufacturers who come in and post at WC on a regular basis. This is fine, in fact, I've gone to great lengths to encourage it. I strongly feel that this is a great way for them to have a unified, neutral forum for the discussion of their products.

It is often amazing to me how much of someone's"message" is lost in the transport of electronic text or posts. :-) Take 5, and a deep breath ... I will leave it to Cheryl/Sutherland as to how they want to handle this. They may post their thoughts and leave the thread open, or perhaps they'll close it. Either way, let me say that if there are technical merits to this discussion, I encourage everyone to continue it ... :-)

Cheers.
Scott

paintfool
09-05-2001, 11:29 AM
I DID read all of the posts. My oh my! all 63 of them..... This is an interesting thread and i wish to see the dialouge continue. I hope, Luis, that you understand that there has been no wrong doing here as most of us have been aware for sometime that Sarkana does indeed manufacture paint. I actually find that to be a very valuable asset to a conversation about well... paint. Please reconsider your position on leaving WC, as we all appreciate your contributions. It was said earlier in this thread that we will never come to a conclusion that will be satisfactory to all and that is true but as far as ethics are concerned i find nothing unethical in this thread what so ever. Please carry on.
Cheryl

SheaS
09-05-2001, 11:57 AM
"sarkana paints contain aluminum stearate as a stabilizer"

Thank you for being honest about whats in your paint. I'm more likely to buy from a paint maker that is honest. Daniel Smith has also stated that they use a very small amount of additives in their original oils line. Honesty, its good for the soul.:angel:

Luis,
Don't leave wetcanvas. You have done a great service to the artists here by raising questions. Keep raising questions. :clap:

shawn gibson
09-05-2001, 03:45 PM
In this world of dog-eat-dog ethics-free professional behaviour (the big corporations, etc., and even the small guys down the street), it bothers me that someone who has been so totally kind to other manufacturers (I remember good comments on Doak, OH, etc. here and on other forums from sarkana) can be called "unethical" simply for mentioning another firm's name in a PUBLIC forum (i.e., NOT private!--this isn't Sinopia!). O.H. does not own this site, from what I can tell anymore than Gamblin 'truly owns' it.

Neither does a poster ever have the RIGHT to tell another what is 'ethical' or NOT (indeed, this is not an ethics forum). That is what moderators are for. I don't like corporal punishment, or certain business practices (I don't like a LOT of things...!), but that's not the concern of what is essentially a technical oil painting forum. It's irrelavent and if it crosses the line, it is intolerable.

It <i>behooves</i> us to give the benefit of the doubt when IN doubt, out of humanity and selfish prudence; it <i>belittles</i> us when the doubt has been PROVEN unwarranted and yet we still act like dogs. Luis, Sarkana is not the enemy just because she is a competitor. She has proven herself gracious, if, like the rest of us, occasionally a true human being.

shawn gibson

I'm sorry, but I just don't like slamming someone on ethically shaky grounds in the name of ethics itself.

EastDevil
09-06-2001, 12:10 AM
Guys,

Shall we forget about the silly arguments and persistent clarifications and move on? I have being using forums/chats on BBS/Internet for the past 14 years and trying to convince everybody that your point is correct and win the argument online is IMPOSSIBLE. So let's shake hands and move on because you will hardly remember this happened some time later.

I just ordered a bunch of Old Hollands and Blockx and I would appreciate if someone could share their experiences with Old Holland both good ones or bad ones and what to look out for.

Scott Methvin
09-06-2001, 02:45 PM
I have done business with Sarkana and she is a very honest person who has great passion for oil paint.

Luis, she can say what ever she wants. It is a public forum. There is nothing covert here. I also know YOU have the oil paint passion and should stay in here and keep sharing it with the rest of us.

Ps, I love Old Holland.(But not as much as my home-made :) )

Degas5
09-06-2001, 05:00 PM
East Devil,
Just use OH and Blockx and you will know how you feel about them. Paint is such a personal subject; that's why it is best not to read too much into them, because that will predispose yourself to notions that are not your own, but another painters feelings about the paint. I would assume, if you ordered tubes of OH and Blockx that you did so because you heard that they were worth giving them a try. I don't grind my own paint, but at this point I try to buy the best paint available commercially from a store like Pearl, which has a very good selection of venders. If you are comparing them to WN or Maimeri Puro, two very good paints in my opinion, you should be very impressed with their quality. They're very different, Blockx being a buttery paint and OH much drier. But I think they're the creme dela creme.
It doesn't hurt to be too informed in the properties of the pigments you use and the information in this thread is very informative, but I wouldn't worry about fugitive pigments, iunless you're talking abut asphaltum, which I bought a tube of on one of my impulsive shopping days, and when I got home and read in Mayer how impermanent it is, I regretted it. But I can tell you I have a hand drawn watercolor chart on the wall for about ten years now and, in normal light conditions my alizarin and sap green look fine to me. My advise is to do a draw down at the art supply and if you like the feel and the look of the paint give it a try after reading the pigments which are always on the tube, if not, on the color chart and should give you a permancy rating, which I trust, since in my experience in using OH and Blockx which I use exclusively now, I have no reason to doubt.

ldallen
09-06-2001, 06:20 PM
I admit I don't have a CLUE about the technicalities when it comes to the composition of oil paint - all I want to do is paint and it's too late for me to start taking chemistry courses. I have just started buying OH and I love it and there have been too many people, from all walks of the art world, who have advocated it for me to question it. But I won't rule out the possibility of ordering other paints to try.

Luis, it would be shame to separate yourself from us. I hope you have reconsidered.

Degas5
09-06-2001, 07:52 PM
Les,
I'm just like you. I don't have the patience to delve into the chemistry and testing, although I don't mind if someone else does the leg work. But when I read so many facts and analyses my brain goes into overload and I don't want to hear anymore. I guess I know the important facts though, because I've been satisfied with how my paintings have held up over the years. I wish I had more time to paint and if I worried about all the particulars, I'd never get anything done. I've been reading Max Doerner's book. It is good reading for sure. I just bought a new book about Rembrandt and his painting techniques entitled Rembrandt the Painter at Work by Ernst Va De Wetering. It quesdtions alot of sources on Rembrandt, including Doerner and sounds convincing. I just started reading it, but it sites statements about how he worked by students that worked under him. I know that you love Rembrandt, so I thought I'd mention it even though it's not pertinent to the subject. Regards, Bonnie

paintfool
09-06-2001, 09:18 PM
Like Les and Bonnie the chemistry can be mind boggling to me. (i stunk at chemistry in school and doubt i'd do any better today) I think that stems from a simple lack of interest. But these conversations are good for collecting a common consensus and as far as i can see OH gets a lot of thumbs up. I really already knew that. I just recieved a good sized commission check and will be treating myself to some new supplies. On the list: some OH paints. Can you believe that i've never used them?
I'd like to learn enough to be able to choose quality materials but am much more interested in reading about techniques. So those of you who have knowledge in the field of chemical make up of the paints have my blessings. You may "do the leg work" and share with me at any time! :) thanks. It is appreciated. Does anyone have any opinions on Permalba? They claim to have the 'Best white in the world' but no where in thier ads do i see what the base is (lead, titanium etc)
Cheryl

Titanium
09-06-2001, 09:28 PM
Cheryl ,

I was told that Permalba was -
Zinc Oxide ,
Barium Sulphate,
Titanium Dioxide .
[ please don't quote me .]

Been around since 1923

Now there is a Permalba black .
I have no idea what is in it.
Titanium

Einion
09-06-2001, 10:16 PM
Geez, you don't visit a thread for one day...

Originally posted by Armstead
...aggressive, negative, sarcastic, condescending and often downright rude...
You might like to view discussion threads elsewhere to get some perspective on what constitutes the above before levelling criticism at some of the members here, all of whom I'm sure share a desire for a little less marketing hoo-ha and more unequivocal facts.

I won't bother commenting on most of your post except to say that anyone with an interest should look up: particle sizes for different pigments, grinding time and their combined effect on brilliance. Interesting that someone who has been on ASTM committees would make such a slip.

Originally posted by Cobra1
Old Holland offers... OH Carmine Lake Extra (#160) is a mix of PR83, PV19b, PV19R and PR88. OH Alizarin Crimson Lake Extra (#163) is a mix of PR83, PV19b, and PV19R. OH Mader Lake Deep Extra is a mix of PV19b and PR83. Mader (Geranium) Lake Light Extra is a mix of PR168, PR175, and PR83. Nowhere in the OH oil line is PR48 used. Old Holland was the first artist's paint manufacturer to abandon PR83 as a sole constituent of an oil paint.
Sole constituent or not, a mix is only as lightfastness as the weakest pigment it contains. So, in order:
Carmine Lake Extra, contains PR83, therefore it's not lightfast.
Alizarin Crimson Lake Extra, ditto.
Madder Lake Deep Extra, ditto.
Madder (Geranium) Lake Light Extra, ditto.
So they actually use this unreliable pigment in four colours? Thanks for supporting my case so admirably. PR48 is used in OH's watercolour for the colour stated. I did ask whether they use the same pigments in both ranges for precisely this reason.

And if I could just interject here again, what's wrong with single-pigment colours for crying out loud!

Originally posted by Cobra1
Citing someone else's conclusions as fact when no complete analysis has been performed is unacceptable to anyone seeking the truth
Obviously the standards of what constitutes a fact have changed while I wasn't looking. Any other published 'facts' you want to dispute? I would agree completely that citing an opinion as fact would be unacceptable; regrettably for your argument, these results are not opinions. And as you so eloquently put it "Testimony is considered truthfull[sic] in most of the world until it is proven false".

I was particularly amused that your own comparison of two tubes of paint (by hand and eye) allowed you to make a definitive conclusion as to their contents. Is this a 'complete analysis' by your definition?

Your stated results for your handmade paint showing no separation in the tube after five years (any hand mullers want to tackle that? I wouldn't be in a position to comment as all I can quote are published sources) is no more or less acceptable as a 'truth' than any of the quoted sources, Dactyl's lightfastness results included - firsthand data that I am sure you did not see. Or do you count those as hearsay too?

As to the wax issue, I can't offer comment either way but I must highlight that your experiences with hand mulling would not mimic the results of a triple-roll mill, even with precisely the same ingredients, as I am very sure you know.

Originally posted by Cobra1
...At this point, no one has posted any information allowing me to conclude that, the support was not contaminated... etc.
Oh come on, get real. As I read so aptly put elsewhere, this is lightfastness testing, not rocket science!

Originally posted by Cobra1
If anyone is concerned about archival paints, I don't see how they can use anything with safflower or poppyseed oil as a vehicle. I would disqualify most of W&N's line based on this issue alone.
"Most of their line" hmmm, really? Interesting since W&N don't use poppy at all (any Blockx users reading this?) and only use safflower for their top-coat whites. To quote "linseed oil is the predominant vegetable oil used in Winsor & Newton colours", gotta stay current on your facts.

Originally posted by Cobra1
The name "Cadmium Red Light" and "Cadmium Orange" are names -- nothing else. I have purchased CP PR108 pigment sourced from Europe and sold as Cad Red Light that matches OH's color exactly. I have also purchased the CP PO20 that matches OH's color, also out of europe.
Fair point, paint names are entirely subjective. Personally, I do think that Cadmium Red Light should be the fiery shade most expected under that name and not what one would expect in a tube of Cadmium Red Deep but I'm funny that way. Your point about PO20 is entirely valid - this pigment can indeed be dark-valued and reddish - however if you read my comment carefully you will see that's not what OH say is in the tube, which was my point.

Originally posted by Cobra1
Wilcox's comment on OH's orange tells far more about him than it does about the Old Holland pigments.
Really? I think your comment tells us more about your opinion of Wilcox than it does anything else. Wilcox's assessment for those who don't have it "No assessments offered. There must be more than the PY37 in this red-orange. Company did not confirm ingredients." According to available literature, cadmium sulphide cannot represent this hue; additional processing which introduces selenium, making it cadmium selenosulphide, can however - this makes PO20, not PY37. So I think Wilcox's comment is factual and fair. As this highlights a labelling accuracy issue, as do a number of the questions I have raised, it calls into question the trustworthiness of OH's labelling practices.

Anyway, all of this is not to the matter at hand. I for one await Old Holland's response with much anticipation.

Einion

Midwest Painter
09-06-2001, 10:45 PM
Any comments on Williamsburg paint? I recently bought an entire palette worth along with Venice turps. I think they are fantastic. The people I dealt with were first class.


But now after reading all these pigment concerns I am now afraid that one of these tubes will sneak out of my paint box one night, smoke some cigarettes, unplug the refrigerator, and then frighten the cats. Should I be worried?

Brie
09-07-2001, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by Einion
W&N don't use poppy at all (any Blockx users reading this?) and only use safflower for their top-coat whites.

Last week I was looking over some of the Winsor & Newton artist-quality line in the store, and in at least two cases beyond topcoat whites, the label did specify the inclusion of safflower as well as linseed oil. If my memory serves me correctly, the colors in question were Transparent Yellow and Permanent Rose. Sorry that I can't be more precise. I wanted to verify this information before posting, but was unable to do so; the W&N website has color charts, but lists no pigment/vehicle composition that I can find. Furthermore, there's no way listed on that website to submit a query by e-mail or phone. However, safflower oil was definitely included in more than just whites, and I'm glad for the precise labelling on the tubes.

I have followed this discussion without comment, but with interest. Of the densely ground brands of paint, Old Holland is far and away my favorite. It's the Mercedes of the palette, as far as I'm concerned. I especially enjoy the depth and complexity of their earth colors. I look forward to Old Holland's answers to the technical questions Einion raised, and am glad that he asked them. Substantive discussions about technique and materials are worth a little heat. - Brie

Armstead
09-07-2001, 12:37 AM
Einion,
I assume from your frequent use of immotive terms like "apparantely" and "interesting that" (the latter in regard to my participation in ASTM buisness) that you choose to cast "knowledgeable" doubt upon anything that anybody says that does not agree with your own opinion and moreover, that you are calling me a liar. My intent was was to draw a fair but non-technical comparison between hand made paint and commercially made made paint which was "to the point" in this forum and thread. I had no intent to explore the matter in infinite detail as to do so would be time consuming and tedious. If you can find anything in my posting that promotes one over the other or in particular promotes Old Holland then I made a mistake for which I apologize. I have no interest in arguing with you over my experience nor over your accusation of "marketing hype". As Scott poited out (and he runs this thing) he encourages manufacturers to participate in these forums for the benifit of all. Based on this thread I doubt the value of any manufacturer being present as to do so obviously invites scorn. If I were a manufacturer I would certainly steer clear of this kind of debate.

You may continue to disrespectfully "disect" others comments line by line but I will not engage with you in a debate over the validity of my credentials. You may argue with opinions but you cross the line when you call people liars.

You have been invited to and have asked questions of Old Holland which I am sure will be answered after Mr. de Beer returns (in two weeks). In the meantime I would think it appropriate to hold your counsel on those matters.

It's a shame that those in the "industry" (which you seem to so despise unless it is represented by one of your favoured brands) that I am sure have something to offer to this discourse are so completely alienated by the "attitude" I have experienced here. Despite the circumstances, I was excited to find out about wetcanvas after Mr. de Beer asked me to monitor this thread. Having spent a couple of days doing so I am completely dissillusioned that the dominant tone is so combative. Ask questions respectfully and with luck you will get the answers that you want. Ask them disrespectfully and you will get nothing.

I appreciate that Luis opened this debate and then tried in a clearly non-partisan and professional manner to keep it on track. I mourn his loss as he was a rational voice that could have kept the channels of communication open.
What a wasted chance to use wetcanvas to promote real dialog. I am truly sorry.

Midwest Painter
09-07-2001, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Armstead
... Ask questions respectfully and with luck you will get the answers that you want. Ask them disrespectfully and you will get nothing.

hmmmm ...


Not exactly what I would describe as "Customer Focus".

Armstead
09-07-2001, 01:20 AM
Midwest Painter,
Why is it that everything that is said here is misconstrued? Why is it so hard to understand that if a question is asked politely as opposed to agressively, it may elicit the desired response? Hard questions can be asked politely, even in the web based global community or am I just too old (no answer required). If I call customer service I ask questions politely. I only get "nasty" if I am given the run-around. I do not see that happening here. I see a manufacturer offering to respond to constructive questions that are put in a respectful manner. Not respectful of the manufacturer's reputation but respectful of the fact that the person you are dealing with is actually a human being with emotions just like everybody else. Just because I, or Mr. de Beer happen to be involved in the commercial rather than the the creative end of art materials, does that make us less deserving of common decency? Does my original posting in some way solicit a veiled accusation of being a liar? Please tell me if it does because it eludes me.

Midwest Painter
09-07-2001, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by Armstead
Midwest Painter,
Why is it that everything that is said here is misconstrued? Why is it so hard to understand that if a question is asked politely as opposed to agressively, it may elicit the desired response? Hard questions can be asked politely, even in the web based global community or am I just too old (no answer required). If I call customer service I ask questions politely. I only get "nasty" if I am given the run-around. I do not see that happening here. I see a manufacturer offering to respond to constructive questions that are put in a respectful manner. Not respectful of the manufacturer's reputation but respectful of the fact that the person you are dealing with is actually a human being with emotions just like everybody else. Just because I, or Mr. de Beer happen to be involved in the commercial rather than the the creative end of art materials, does that make us less deserving of common decency? Does my original posting in some way solicit a veiled accusation of being a liar? Please tell me if it does because it eludes me.


Thank you Armsted for your reply. But I see we have quite a large philosophical divide between us when it comes to business practices. I agree that common courtesy is the best practice. But I disagree that a customer does not have the right to demand answers from a vendor - regardless of how the questions are posed. The very concept that a customer is somehow privileged by the act of having a question answered is an alien notion to me. Rather the vendor should feel privileged by having the opportunity to answer customers’ questions. If it weren't for customers, OH would soon be out of business.

Armstead
09-07-2001, 02:12 AM
Midwest Painter,
This is getting old. I believe it is Old Holland that has offered to answer questions. No other manufacturer has been singled out for such treatment on this site and perhaps if they were, no other would offer such a generous response. I am sure that Old Holland understands that without it's customers there would be no Old Holland. My point, which you chose to ignore, is why do questions need to be posed in a way that accuses the "questionee" of being a liar? I became involved in this at the request of a friend and in the space of 24 hours I have been "cleverly" called a liar in respect to my experience in this industry. Again, if you examine my post and find anything that promotes commercial paint or in particular Old Holland over hand mulling or any other commercial brand please let me know because that was not my intent. I guess your position is "all manufacturers are liars and should be treated as such until proven truthful". It seems to me that is harsh and unfair to all manufacturers that strive to make a worthy product.
In any event, I feel we are now into an ethics discussion that cannot be resolved.
I trust that the answers that Old Holland provides in due course will be acceptable to you. If they are not please let me know as my first language is English and Mr. de Beer's is not so perhaps I can clarify something if necessary.
By the way, I am not engaged as Old Holland's attorney nor their PR company. I am just a person with 25 years in the artists materials industry that is not a liar.

alva
09-07-2001, 02:19 AM
Hey, maybe we could all play charades...

Cobra1
09-07-2001, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by Einion
I won't bother commenting on most of your post except to say that anyone with an interest should look up: particle sizes for different pigments, grinding time and their combined effect on brilliance. Interesting that someone who has been on ASTM committees would make such a slip. Einion

Several scientists that supported Hitler were on significant scientific committees during the 1920's. Should I accept their conclusions on what constitutes science, when most of my experiences I have argue against Wilcox's conclusions? To do so defies logic and reason. Anyway, Wilcox's research will stand or fall in time based on merits. Most of the watercolorists that I know don't particularly care for some of his analysis. I try to stick to oils, acrylics and pastels. Since he doesn't opine on oils, his opinions really don't matter to me, other than as an intellectual excercise.

Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
I could just interject here again, what's wrong with single-pigment colours for crying out loud! Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

Nothing, nor is there anything wrong with mixes. The pigments you trumpet as lightfast are offered unmixed by OH, as I pointed out.

Einion [/B][/QUOTE] Obviously the standards of what constitutes a fact have changed while I wasn't looking. Any other published 'facts' you want to dispute? I would agree completely that citing an opinion as fact would be unacceptable; regrettably for your argument, these results are not opinions. And as you so eloquently put it "Testimony is considered truthfull[sic] in most of the world until it is proven false".Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

Technically speaking, you are incorrect. You are citing conslusions. A conclusion reached without accounting for all the available facts may still be, and frequently is, wrong. I pointed out a number of circumstances that had not been eliminated as possibilities. Therefore, those conclusions may reasonably be questioned. Since I have been a federal agent for approximately 20 years, and have testified and been cross-examined in court, I think I am familiar with what constitutes reliable evidence and what constitutes a fact. I didn't see much in your profile to suggest that your qualifications in law or as an artist are in any way superior to mine, so I don't understand the sarcasm. Certainly my statements have been more accurate, as evidenced by your safflower oil claim below.


Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
I was particularly amused that your own comparison of two tubes of paint (by hand and eye) allowed you to make a definitive conclusion as to their contents. Is this a 'complete analysis' by your definition? Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

When you mix the two tube colors together and there is no color change, that's a pretty good indicator. When you mix it with other paints and you can't tell the difference, that's another good indicator. When I approached the W&N rep later, she did confirm that she was in error, and she would be unable to get the original paint as it was no longer made. She then lectured me on the evils of lead, and how we should do away with toxic chemicals. This was humorous since the new naples included lead carbonate and had a skull & crossbones symbol attached to the tube. Since I usually accept confession as evidence of guilt, I conducted no further tests on the two tubes of paint. (I was obviously remiss.) This discussion did nothing to improve my view of W&N.

Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
Your stated results for your handmade paint showing no separation in the tube after five years (any hand mullers want to tackle that? I wouldn't be in a position to comment as all I can quote are published sources) is no more or less acceptable as a 'truth' than any of the quoted sources, Dactyl's lightfastness results included - firsthand data that I am sure you did not see. Or do you count those as hearsay too? Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

No, but since we cannot confirm the types of exposure I addressed previously, and since he didn't present any other tests, there is still room for significant doubt. That doesn't call into question Dactyl's character, it merely points out that there is more that should be done. It is appropriate for Dactyl to opine having done his tests, but you citing his conclusions as fact without verifying the results is heresay. It would also be heresay for you to present any of my results as fact without having verified the results. Having as studio with probably 1000 different pigments, paints and chemicals for everything from ceramics to sculpture, I know how easy it is for one thing to contaminate another. It's hard for me to get out of the studio without having something on me somewhere. Since some fairly obvious possibilities have not been eliminated, it is reasonable (and prudent) to question any conclusions drawn from these tests.

Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
Oh come on, get real. As I read so aptly put elsewhere, this is lightfastness testing, not rocket science! Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

There are other causes of fading than light. By definition, causes other than light do not speak to the lightfastness of a pigment.


Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
"Most of their line" hmmm, really? Interesting since W&N don't use poppy at all (any Blockx users reading this?) and only use safflower for their top-coat whites. To quote "linseed oil is the predominant vegetable oil used in Winsor & Newton colours", gotta stay current on your facts. Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

Most of the light colors do include safflower oil - it says so right on the label. Certainly many of the earth colors do -- again, it says so right on the label. I'm not the one that needs to stay current here, unless W&N markets completely different paints than those they sell in the States.

Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
Fair point, paint names are entirely subjective. Personally, I do think that Cadmium Red Light should be the fiery shade most expected under that name and not what one would expect in a tube of Cadmium Red Deep but I'm funny that way. Your point about PO20 is entirely valid - this pigment can indeed be dark-valued and reddish - however if you read my comment carefully you will see that's not what OH say is in the tube, which was my point. Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

I think you're trying to split hairs because you don't like OH. I buy these paints for the pigment and the color, not the description. I don't care if they call a red "Affluent Ferrari Red", as long as I like the color and the pigment. If someone isn't interested in looking at what they buy, that's not my problem, and frankly, it's not an OH problem. You cannot protect people from their own stupidity, nor should you try.


Einion [/B][/QUOTE]
Really? I think your comment tells us more about your opinion of Wilcox than it does anything else. Wilcox's assessment for those who don't have it "No assessments offered. There must be more than the PY37 in this red-orange. Company did not confirm ingredients." According to available literature, cadmium sulphide cannot represent this hue; additional processing which introduces selenium, making it cadmium selenosulphide, can however - this makes PO20, not PY37. So I think Wilcox's comment is factual and fair. As this highlights a labelling accuracy issue, as do a number of the questions I have raised, it calls into question the trustworthiness of OH's labelling practices.Einion [/B][/QUOTE]

I don't know why a company should have to confirm ingredients that are in all their literature. What did Wilcox expect them to say? "Yes we really, really did use that pigment." Anyway, since my experience doesn't match Wilcox's, I tend to discount his opinion. Since watercolorists I trust disagree with the results, this tends to reinforce my opinions. Since Wilcox is indebted to various art company interests, it's difficult to really take his analyses at face value. My job has made me cynical about opinions where there are corresponding business relationships.
I'll take a very large producer's word in this case -- they sell to too many companies with reputations that are on the line.

Midwest Painter
09-07-2001, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Armstead
Midwest Painter,
This is getting old. I believe it is Old Holland that has offered to answer questions. No other manufacturer has been singled out for such treatment on this site and perhaps if they were, no other would offer such a generous response. I am sure that Old Holland understands that without it's customers there would be no Old Holland. My point, which you chose to ignore, is why do questions need to be posed in a way that accuses the "questionee" of being a liar? I became involved in this at the request of a friend and in the space of 24 hours I have been "cleverly" called a liar in respect to my experience in this industry. Again, if you examine my post and find anything that promotes commercial paint or in particular Old Holland over hand mulling or any other commercial brand please let me know because that was not my intent. I guess your position is "all manufacturers are liars and should be treated as such until proven truthful". It seems to me that is harsh and unfair to all manufacturers that strive to make a worthy product.
In any event, I feel we are now into an ethics discussion that cannot be resolved.
I trust that the answers that Old Holland provides in due course will be acceptable to you. If they are not please let me know as my first language is English and Mr. de Beer's is not so perhaps I can clarify something if necessary.
By the way, I am not engaged as Old Holland's attorney nor their PR company. I am just a person with 25 years in the artists materials industry that is not a liar.


Mr. Armstead,


It is no longer necessary for OH to answer my questions. Thank you for your time.

ldallen
09-07-2001, 07:35 AM
Bonnie and Cheryl - I share your sentiments exactly. I have been using W&N for at least 30 years and I really can't complain about how they look - still (just wish the technique had been better - but I'm learning). But I'm sure the composition of the paint has changed. I actually have a couple of tubes of paint from back in the early 70's that are still soft and pliable. I may order a few tubes of Sarkana to see how I like them - sounds interesting.

Bonnie - GMTA - Have "Rembrandt the Painter at Work" too and I love it. Since we orignally "talked" I have collected a whole shelf of art books. I'll take a look at Max Doerner's book. Want to get a couple of books on landscape painting if you have any suggestions.

Cheryl - we come from the same neck of the woods (almost) where do you get your art supplies?

Titanium
09-07-2001, 08:00 AM
SAFFLOWER OIL ,

if this oil has been used in India for thousands of
years to bind pigment . Then to test for it's
durability , simply find an old painted example.

If it can survive those subtropical - tropical conditions
then it is sound.

Be more afraid of the amount of Drier used to speed
up it's drying time and the long term effects.
[ 7 days for a thin coat of oil on canvas to natural dry -
tropical conditions - 70 % humidity ]

Also since W and N is such as translucent paint -----
the browning of the oil that comes with age .
[ This oil is water white when you , think of all those
lovely pastel colours , in the long run ]
Titanium


* Hey less ego , more information please , beg , beg .

paintfool
09-07-2001, 10:18 AM
Les, i have one art store here in Ocala. Red Swan. I am probably going to be doing some online shopping soon, as Red Swan has a fairly limited stock. Michaels is about to open and i'm really hoping for more variety.
Kim, Thank you for the Permalba answer. Yes they do have black. Actually they now have 64 'pigment rich' colors. So it says in this ad in the American Artist magazine.
Cheryl

Magenta Divine
09-07-2001, 04:31 PM
Boy! There sure is a lot of opinion floating about. Not much of it is based in any real knowledge of the subject but it is 100% organically pure opinion. What is most amusing is the concern with longevity from people who don't even have a gallery or exhibit regularly. Do they expect their paintings to be discovered in an attic in a century or two? Caramba!

Does anyone actually know anything about paint or does everyone just have passionate opinions based in what they heard some teacher say or read in some obscure place on the internet?

Magenta Divine
09-07-2001, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Einion


You might like to view discussion threads elsewhere to get some perspective on what constitutes the above before levelling criticism at some of the members here

Hmm, I read those responses to your James Joyce-like stream-of-consiousness prose and have to say that your treatment was well deserved. I think they left your post standing as a monument to a rambling aggressiveness and an odd style of communication. Were you aware of what you were doing when you wrote it? I know that there are people who wake up in the morning with no knowledge of how the family car got wrecked.

You must admit that you present a very different persona here than you did there.

Cobra1
09-07-2001, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Titanium
SAFFLOWER OIL ,

if this oil has been used in India for thousands of
years to bind pigment . Then to test for it's
durability , simply find an old painted example.

If it can survive those subtropical - tropical conditions
then it is sound.

Be more afraid of the amount of Drier used to speed
up it's drying time and the long term effects.
[ 7 days for a thin coat of oil on canvas to natural dry -
tropical conditions - 70 % humidity ]

Also since W and N is such as translucent paint -----
the browning of the oil that comes with age .
[ This oil is water white when you , think of all those
lovely pastel colours , in the long run ]
Titanium


* Hey less ego , more information please , beg , beg .

I am not really familiar with what you’re talking about with India, so I can’t really comment on it. It sounds interesting though. India aside, safflower oil is close to being a non-drying oil. Most oils you cook with are non-drying. Safflower oil requires a dryer for use in oil paints. Experimenting with safflower oil, I had to use about 5% dryer to get a paint that dried reasonably well. Adding Verdigris didn’t help much either. Safflower’s film is still regarded by every source I could find as inferior to linseed oil. It’s primary virtue seems to be that it costs less than good quality linseed oil. But I guess brittle is as brittle does. (My apologies to Forrest Gump, et al)

Like using Alizarin, people are free to use whatever they are comfortable with. I personally don’t use Alizarin. Since I buy OH at W&N prices, I don’t see why I should buy a product ground in an inferior vehicle. Add to this, most of the colors I use are stronger than their equivalents in the W&N line. I haven’t researched it, nor have I tried to test this possibility, but you have to wonder whether pigment load is adversely effected by the use of safflower oil. Since I usually paint on stretched linen or cotton supports, I lean toward the more flexible vehicles.

Your last comment about clarity bears some response. I haven’t seen a significant difference between darkening between OH and W&N. I’m not saying that there isn’t a difference, only that I seem to be able to paint paintings that include both brands with no apparent differences upon drying. This circumstance may be a byproduct of my painting style. I tend to paint images in a slightly lighter value, since it seems easier when adjusting to keep color harmonies intact going down the value scale, rather than up the value scale.

Midwest Painter
09-07-2001, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Magenta Divine
Boy! There sure is a lot of opinion floating about. Not much of it is based in any real knowledge of the subject but it is 100% organically pure opinion. What is most amusing is the concern with longevity from people who don't even have a gallery or exhibit regularly. Do they expect their paintings to be discovered in an attic in a century or two? Caramba!

Does anyone actually know anything about paint or does everyone just have passionate opinions based in what they heard some teacher say or read in some obscure place on the internet?


Perhaps you could share your knowledge of paint with us. I am always ready to learn.

Cobra1
09-07-2001, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by Einion

And if I could just interject here again, what's wrong with single-pigment colours for crying out loud!

***

"Most of their line" hmmm, really? Interesting since W&N don't use poppy at all (any Blockx users reading this?) and only use safflower for their top-coat whites. To quote "linseed oil is the predominant vegetable oil used in Winsor & Newton colours", gotta stay current on your facts.

***

As this highlights a labelling accuracy issue, as do a number of the questions I have raised, it calls into question the trustworthiness of OH's labelling practices.

Einion


List of W&N Oil Paints Containing Safflower Oil as a Vehicle in Whole or In Part -- Source: Tube Labels

Winsor Lemon, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Indian Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Winsor Orange, Cadmium Scarlet, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red Deep, Permanent Rose, Winsor Violet, Permanent Magenta, Manganese Blue Hue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue Red Shade, French Ultramarine, Permanent Green Light, Permanent Green,
Prussian Green, Sap Green, Olive, Naples Yellow Light, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ocher Light, Yellow Ocher, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, Mars Violet, Brown Madder Alizarin,
Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Davy’s Gray, Mars Black, Mauve, Jaune Brilliant, Flesh.

This list is incomplete since I don’t have immediate access to the complete line, and I couldn’t get to the store. If you include specific whites, this brings the total of adulterated colors to 44. I only had access to about 60 colors in all. I'll be out to my store tomorrow to identify the other adulterated colors for the sake of complete accuracy. I'll let you know what I find out. It’s a rhetorical question, but if a paint is only as good as it’s weakest constituent, does 44 adulterated colors out of 60 make W&N a good paint line, a mediocre paint line or a bad paint line?

Does the fact that W&N offers PR83 and NR9 (Alizarin Crimson and Madders) make the line a good paint line, a mediocre paint line or a bad paint line? Should we condemn W&N’s practice of selling bad pigments as acceptable for artist’s use?

The tubes of Naples Yellow and Naples Yellow Light that I saw were not true naples yellow. The fine print ingeniously hidden on the back of the tube in plane view reflected that no PY41 was in either paint. Does this make W&N’s labeling misleading? Does this make W&N an untrustworthy company?

I noted that W&N also engages in OH’s practice of selling mixes to the general public. Are you as critical of W&N doing this as you are of OH?

A last point about OH. The company prints its color chart, composition chart, and pigment lists for both oil and watercolor. This is readily available to any store that sells OH paints. If the store you deal with doesn't stock the literature, you might ask them to start carrying this information since it's free. I have never had trouble identifying the constituents of OH paint.

ldallen
09-07-2001, 07:00 PM
Cheryl

Hope you have a better Michael's there than we have here. They specialize mostly in "craft" type supplies and have a huge floral department, VERY limited fine art supplies. Dick Blick was pretty good and delivery was pretty quick. I'm looking at some other sites to compare prices though. On some things they are o.k. (like paint - but they don't have OH) others very high.

paintfool
09-07-2001, 10:33 PM
I sure hope so Les. Ah the pitfalls of living in a small town I need to make a trip to Orlando soon :)
Cheryl

paintfool
09-07-2001, 10:35 PM
Magenta D, enough with the insults already. I've turned my head to them just about long enough. Please help us to keep this conversation civil amd productive. Thank you.
Cheryl

Einion
09-08-2001, 01:55 AM
Hehe, Magenta, actually I was not referring to the likely response to that post as I have not seen it but you're in the right ballpark. Did you read the two posts that prompted my defence of myself and, I might add, other members here? Now those were the definition of rambling aggressiveness. We, apparently (oh, no I used that word again) are "assinine" "semi-amateurs" and "untalented dilletantes"[sic] with "mediocre skills", "dime-a-dozen ideas" and "paranoid delusions". Did I miss anything out? Oh yes, my favourite was socialists of some sort. In return I merely accused him of self-aggrandising, corrected his spelling and pointed out a tautology, hardly aggresive but maybe I'm wrong.

Cobra1 thanks for pointing out my error about safflower oil in W&Ns. I have only their oil colour book to go on and it does not state the binder for each paint, my mistake. I might argue that safflower oil is not an adulterant but that would be mean-spirited. :)

I posted this on Cennini as I am sure you know, but thanks for giving me the opportunity to post it here:
And as for jumping on OH and ignoring other manufacturers who offer the same pigment, I am equally derisory of anyone who continues to offer it but what rates particular attention is their claim that all their products are lightfast, which is the crux of the issue for many people. PR83 is by no means the only, or even the worst, offender in their range.

I find W&N's continued offer of NR4 laughable (customer demand, whooteedoo) but they specifically highlight its poor lightfastness, along with Alizarin Crimson's.

Originally posted by Cobra1
The tubes of Naples Yellow and Naples Yellow Light that I saw were not true naples yellow... Does this make W&N’s labeling misleading?
Some of it, yes.

Originally posted by Cobra1
Are you as critical of W&N doing this as you are of OH?
Yes.

Originally posted by Cobra1
If the store you deal with doesn't stock the literature, you might ask them to start carrying this information since it's free.
The last time I checked none of the stores in Ireland I have used stocked their paints.

Einion

Degas5
09-08-2001, 12:42 PM
Hi Les and Cheryl,
I didn't know that you had Michael's down if Florida. It's a great store for crafters, but our Michaels here, I have two nearby, one that my son works in part time, has a very limited art paint section. That's the dept. he works in. He also worked at Pearl and there is no comparison to great variety that Pearl has to offer. I know that your Pearl is not as well stocked as ours up here, but your's is still probably a better store to shop in that Michael's for paints and brushes. I.e. they offer WN artist's grade paints in a very limited palette and only in SMALL itty bitty size tubes. They carry some decent lines of brushes, but very limited styles. You won't find a nice selection of mediums either if it's anything like our store. Did you ever consider Pearl's mail order? Or Jerry's artarama mail order? There's also ASW out of N.J. that I haven't ordered from, but hear they have great prices and a good selection of venders.

Armstead
09-20-2001, 07:38 PM
I am posting this response to questions posed by Einion at the request of Mr. Edward de Beer of Old Holland Classic Colours.

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS PUT TO OLD HOLLAND


Dear Mr. Einion,

I apologize for the delay in answering your questions however I have been away from the factory for over two weeks. I am offering below our response to each point that you raised. I have tried to be direct and unambiguous as I promised. Having offered to answer questions, as I stated in my original posting, I do not plan to get into a discussion regarding my answers. I trust that you respect that. As we have tried to be open with you, I would appreciate the same consideration in return. I would be genuinely interested to know your background, the type of media you use, your style of painting and where your works might be viewed. If you care to provide this information you may e-mail it to me at [email protected] Thank you in advance for your consideration and I trust that the information below proves helpful to you and the other members.

The questions are answered in the same order as you posed them.

Q1. Our very first watercolour range bore no resemblance to today’s range. In fact, when my late father (Prof. Theo de Beer) bought Old Holland he quickly discontinued the range as in his opinion it was not worthy of the Old Holland name. Our reformulated 168 colour watercolour range was launched in 1996 and at that time, the pigments used were the same as those in our oil formulations. Since that time our ongoing R&D efforts have identified pigments that offer better characteristics in a water based medium and as a result, the two ranges (oil & watercolour) have become gradually more separate in terms of composition. It may be that some of the opinions that you are quoting relating to watercolours appertain to the original range that my father discontinued.

Q2. No we do not manufacture our own pigments. All of our pigments are purchased from leading manufacturers such as Clariant, Ciba, B.A.S.F., Bayer etc. The manufacturing and technical facilities of these companies is “cutting edge” and this, together with their ISO QC procedures, is far in excess of anything that we as a small family company could employ. As an additional comment, my father purchased what we believe to be the entire residual stock of Manganese Blue (PB 33 – ASTM I) from Bayer when they ceased production of this pigment. We have enough in stock to last Old Holland for several decades at current rate of usage. Note: ASTM D4302 describes this pigment as “not commercially available”.

Q3. Yes, PR 83 (ASTM III) but see answer to Q6.

Q4. The original oil colour formulations were unstabilised however, as a result of requests from our customers we reformulated to add a hydrogenated oil (less than 2% in most cases). In watercolours a modified sugar is used both as a stabilizer and as part of the binder system. No artificial cellulosic or Sodium Alginate stabilizers are used in our products

Q5. Our philosophy regarding “permanence” (as opposed to pure lightfastness) was established by my late father who spent many years evaluating the best pigments available at that time for inclusion in our ranges. My father tested all of our colours in their finished form against the Blue Wool Scale and all achieved between 7 & 8, hence his determination that all colours in our range are permanent which he felt also meant lightfast in the commonly accepted use of the term. As you are aware, ASTM ratings apply only to single pigments with the lowest rating of any pigment used in the mixture applying to the mixture as a whole. When my father did his research the ASTM standard was not in existence however, in later years he did disagree with the practice of arbitrarily rating mixed pigment colours at the lowest ASTM rating. He felt it much better to test the paint in it’s finished form which would be the way that the artist used it. Having said this, as a service to our customers we do plan to add ASTM ratings to our oil colour tube labels in due course and as soon as practical we will provide them along with updated composition data on our website. Please note that ASTM ratings only apply to Artists’ Oil, Resin-Oil and Alkyd paints. There is no standard at the present time for watercolours and thus it is not possible to state ASTM ratings for any pigment used in a water-based medium. For this we must rely on our own test results.

Q6. Old Holland does not use PR 48:2 in any colours. PR 83 is used as a constituent in several mixed pigment colours. It is not, and never has been used as a single pigment in any Old Holland formulation. PR 83 is used as the beauty of this pigment cannot be matched exactly by any of the modern alternatives and hence it was included in several of our formulations at the request of our advisory panel of artists. We do not claim PR 83 in it’s pure form to be lightfast. We do offer a single pigment alternative with an ASTM I rating in Burgundy Wine Red (PR 177).

Q7. See answer to Q5 above.

Q8. As stated in our literature Old Holland uses the term “Extra” as a suffix to the colour name to denote “Traditional colour made from lightfast pigment”. We feel that this accurately reflects the description of the colour, i.e. “Extra lightfast”. Many large and small manufacturers prefer to use their own nomenclature rather than adhering rigidly to the ASTM D 4302 labeling conventions. “Hue” is most commonly used to indicate the use of a less expensive substitute pigment for the pigment used in the colour name. For instance, using “Cadmium Red Hue” to describe a colour formulated with an organic pigment instead of the genuine heavy metal pigment indicated by the colour name. As Old Holland does not name any colours by their chemical pigment name unless they actually contain that pigment the use of “hue” in the commonly accepted manner is redundant. Old Holland does provide less expensive alternatives to the heavy metal pigments but these are generally prefixed by “Scheveningen” with no reference to the inorganic pigment that is being approximated in the formula as we believe that this can be confusing to the artist.

Q9. We are continually upgrading and developing new colours as new pigments are introduced. We recently evaluated over 300 new pigments submitted by manufacturers for future inclusion in our colours, either as replacements for pigments currently used or for completely new colours. We have now reduced that list to 220 pigments that are undergoing further testing for possible inclusion in our range at some future date. In terms of “how long” do we test, this depends upon the quantity and quality of information supplied to us by the pigment manufacturer. Given the excellent technical resources of the reputable manufacturers, if thorough and conclusive testing to accepted independent standards can be substantiated, this reduces the testing (and thus the time taken) that we do ourselves. Old Holland has never contended that it does not use “modern” pigments. Quite the reverse, if a modern pigment is of benefit to the artist we will certainly use it. Our philosophy is to manufacture in the spirit of the masters with dedicated attention to maintaining unsurpassed quality. We do not claim to only manufacture using inorganic pigments that are thousands of years old nor do we claim to wait 500 years before introducing a new pigment into our range. We wait as long and test as long as needed to be responsible to our customers and to our history.

Q10. I cannot explain this. The colour is based on PV 16 (ASTM I) pigment from the world’s leading manufacturer and performed perfectly in our own tests. Perhaps the environment was contaminated or the manner in which the test was conducted was in some way compromised.

Q11. Although my father’s testing indicated that this pigment performed within our criteria, some time ago Scheveningen Red Medium was reformulated on PR 112 (ASTM II). This information will be included in updated literature in due course and on our website.

Q12. .Although my father’s testing indicated that this pigment performed within our criteria, Scheveningen Yellow Medium is identified as a current candidate for reformulation.

Q13. I cannot explain this. The colour is based on PB 27 with added PB 15, both ASTM I and performed perfectly in our own tests. Perhaps the environment was contaminated or the manner in which the test was conducted was in some way compromised.

Q14. Please refer to our current literature which clearly states colour nr. 17 is formulated on PO 20. Depending upon the date the information you quote may have related to our old watercolour range that was replaced by the current range in 1996.

Q15. Our original colour range was selected by my late father and a panel of professional artists. As colour choice is a personal preference we rely on their judgment. Many colours carrying the same name from different manufacturers exhibit entirely different hues as there is no standard for the hue of a certain named colour. We rely on the artist to make their own selection from all available brands.

Q16. See answer to Q6. above. Our range also includes Royal Purple Lake (PV 19 – ASTM I), Old Holland Magenta (PR 122 – ASTM 1), Scheveningen Rose Deep (PV 19 – ASTM I) and Ruby Lake (PR 168 & PR 209 – ASTM II & BWS 8 respectively).

Q17. I assume that your question relates to finished paint as we do offer single pigments in dry form (indicated by “PIG” on our colour chart).

My father’s philosophy was to offer the artist the widest possible range of superior colours. The expanded (current) range was evaluated by a panel of artists over many months until the 168 colours that we offer today were finalized. We freely admit (and publish) that many of these colours contain more than one pigment but that was my father’s philosophy and we will continue to respect it. There are also many single pigment colours in our range. Other manufacturers offer less colour choices based predominantly upon single pigments and of course, the artist can purchase these products and mix his or her own colours. It’s purely a matter of philosophy. We have ours which is not necessarily right for every artist but it is what defines us and we will continue to pursue it.

As a closing note, because of pigmentation, ALL of our tubes ARE filled by hand cylinder or hand present “machines” one at a time. It is literally impossible to fill colours as highly pigmented as ours on an automatic filler. If we could, we probably would as that would enable us to keep our costs down and thus allow us to offer a more affordable product to the artist. The only way that we could do that however is to reduce our pigmentation and we will never do that out of respect to our history and our customers.

We are a small company dedicated to providing artists with the highest quality product. If you have any doubts about Old Holland we would welcome you or any of the Wetcanvas members to visit our factory in Holland, see the colour made and filled, and visit our museum in which we have artifacts and pigments tracing the history of our company.


Edward de Beer
Old Holland Classic Colours

VictoriaS
09-20-2001, 07:53 PM
I love Old Holland. And now even more. Thank you, Mr. de Beer and Armstead.

Armstead
09-21-2001, 12:44 AM
I apologize as Mr. de Beer sent this to me right after his previous communication but I was not online at the time. I have just recieved it and wanted to post it immediately. Please consider this as part of his earlier post. It is without doubt that I join in his sentiments.

From Mr. Edward de Beer

In my efforts to respond quickly to Mr. Einion’s questions I unconscionably overlooked a very important matter for which I apologize.

All of us at Old Holland are deeply shocked at the events that occurred in New York on September 11th. Our prayers are with those that lost loved ones and those brave people that still work in peril of their lives to rescue anybody that might still be alive. While we are an ocean apart, everybody at Old Holland shares the pain that these acts have visited upon the United States.
The differences expressed on this website now seem small compared to the horror that our friends in the USA have suffered.
It is our hope that through regular communication between civilized people we can resolve our differences, whether they be in terms of artists’ materials or the greater issues that now confront us all.
Our thoughts and our prayers are with the people of America as they deal with this tragedy.


Edward de Beer and the Staff of Old Holland.

ldallen
09-21-2001, 01:35 PM
Armstead and Mr. Edward de Beer:

First of all I want to thank you for your thoughts regarding our tradegy. It is good to know so many people around the world share our grief. The world has become so small that we should all be one.

Secondly I want to thank you for your response to the questions raised. I for one have printed it for study at a future time (when I can think straight again). As only one small member of WC I want you to know it is appreciated.

frankcote
09-21-2001, 03:04 PM
Armstead and Mr. Edward de Beer:

I would like to echo Idallen's thoughts. It is excellent information and nicely said. You are an excellent spokesman for OH.
Perhaps you or someone else on the forum could briefly describe what goes into an ASTM or Blue Wool Scale test for lightfastness. It sounds like something I would like to try at home.

paintfool:

Thanks for your plea for civility.

Most people don't realize that this medium makes comments seem twice as rude as they were intended.

Frank

Armstead
09-24-2001, 08:04 PM
Dear Frank,
Thank you for your reply which is much appreciated.
The Blue Wool scale involves taking a blue wool chart (purchased commercially) which comprises eight blue dyed sections that each fade at predetermined and controlled rates. This chart is half covered with a light blocking medium leaving eight "half" sections exposed to light and eight not exposed. The item(s) to be tested is/are similarly covered so half of each specimein is exposed and half is not. Both the blue wool chart and the test items are placed under the same source of light (artificial or natural) for a predetermined amount of time. Both are then exposed and the degree of fading in the test item(s) is compared to the (controlled) degree of fading of each blue wool section. The section on the blue wool chart that most closely matches the fading of the test item is then the blue wool scale rating for that item, 1 being the most fugitive and 8 the most permanent. This is a simplified explanation but I hope it helps. The ASTM methodology is quite complex. If you interested however it can be downloaded in .pdf form from www.astm.org
for $33.00.
Regards,

paintfool
09-24-2001, 11:46 PM
Your welcome Frank and yes you are right. We sometimes do not realize that when we 'speak' with passion and conviction on the internet we can be easily misunderstood as being aggresive or mean spirited. I am as gulity as anyone.
Armstead and Mr. deBeers, than you for your support and hand of friendship in this dufficult time. Although the tragedy took place on American soil we are ever knowing how deeply it has affected our brothers and sister abroad as well.
Cheryl