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View Full Version : Replacing the Oldies with Newbies (Help! Einion, Titanium and all!)


shawn gibson
08-27-2001, 11:34 AM
Einion, Titanium, Scott and everyone.

Sorta been here before, but:

Recently, I've had a very wierd reaction a couple if times, not on test-panels but on paintings!!! I need to start considering replacements for my archaics.

I am firm on sticking with lead because of it's properties (I don't trust cobalt as a drier...).

However, my reds are now fair game.

I'm gonna go back to cadmiums in place of vermilion, adulterating with earths as required to get them less brilliant as I require.

For my lakes, I'm kinda lost. I am switching to pigments only, and using my own oils, mediums, etc. It is the only way I am comfortable now. I want to know what I'm painting with, or all of this is moot.

I need a good replacement for the following:

1) a scarlet-to-neutral-red lake with a light-ish masstone to replace W+N Rose Madder Genuine.

2) a carmine lake with a dark masstone that goes on mid-value when thin, to replace Kremer Cochineal.

AT THE CRUX FOR ME: What is the difference between say a very expensive pigment I must order from USA, vs. one I can get from Stevenson's here in Toronto? Is there a big difference in, say, the quality of various cadmium pigments? <b>I've often thought the reason to be careful with cheaper paints is, just that, the paint, and not the pigments.</b>

But now I worry about things like cadmiums being pure vs. being adulterated with pretty but impermanent dyes...etc.

I will rely on oils, balsams, varnishes, waxes and chalk as I myself put them into my fresh mix on the palatte.

All this looking for the best is wearing on my skinny wallet.

Thanks for drilling this into my head everyone!!!.
shawn:)

Scott Methvin
08-28-2001, 11:31 AM
Shawn, I have two words for you.

quinacridone red

This is the only red I use anymore. It is cheap, transparent and I make it with my own oil. It dries great.

It is every bit as good as any madder, in fact it is "madder rose" in most cases.

Get a pound from Daniel Smith online. Get the red. Great stuff. So fine, you can use a pallette knife.

Cad red is opaque and takes forever to dry.

shawn gibson
08-28-2001, 11:59 AM
OK, I'll try the quinacridones...

I have in Toronto, the supplier Stevenson's (they make paint, kinda like Gamblin from what I can tell). There are I think 4 versions of quinacridone with them.

Does anyone have experience with Stevenson's dry pigments?

I'll bring some of my cochineal and my madder with me and get the ones closest to that....

Thanks Scott!!!

PS as for cad red...that seems to be the only readily-available opaque (not semi-opaque like apparently PR255, Irgazine is...) scarlet red...? A little lead (lead sulphide lead-schmulfide!!!) should speed it up, or even some black oil...

shawn

Scott Methvin
08-28-2001, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by shawn gibson
OK, I'll try the quinacridones...

-------------------------------

Just the one-Shawn-

-------------------------------


Thanks Scott!!!

PS as for cad red...that seems to be the only readily-available opaque (not semi-opaque like apparently PR255, Irgazine is...) scarlet red...? A little lead (lead sulphide lead-schmulfide!!!) should speed it up, or even some black oil...

------------------------------

Just mix a bit of yellow and a bit of q-red. Viola' opaque red, very similar to the famous cad red and faster drying.

shawn

shawn gibson
08-28-2001, 02:15 PM
Wow, great help. Thanks Scott. That's exactly what I'll do:)

What yellow do you mean...I thought you used the moo-moo pee-pee?:)

Scott Methvin
08-28-2001, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by shawn gibson
Wow, great help. Thanks Scott. That's exactly what I'll do:)

What yellow do you mean...I thought you used the moo-moo pee-pee?:)

Old Holland gambooge lake extra is fabulous.
The moomoo peepee turned out to be a synthetic. I still like it though. I may never get to try the real thing. I have lots of Bowwow peepee here at home with the 3 pug dogs, but can't get them to eat the mango leaves.:D

shawn gibson
08-28-2001, 04:32 PM
Thanks Scott...I'll try the OH Gamboge. Boy, I'm really narrowing things down. I LOVE THAT!!!

I also only eat eggs now...


(OK I'm kidding!)


shawn:)

Einion
08-28-2001, 08:12 PM
Hi Shawn, just check <A HREF=http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14883>here</A> for my suggestions, remember?

Originally posted by shawn gibson
Recently, I've had a very wierd reaction a couple if times, not on test-panels but on paintings!!! I need to start considering replacements for my archaics.
I'm curious as to what the reactions you got were. Might be helpful to others too if you describe what happened.

Personally I'm glad to hear you have decided to give Vermilion the boot as it is very toxic (much more so even than organic lead compounds like basic lead carbonate) and not anywhere near as reliable as one should require from one's pigments.

What is the difference between say a very expensive pigment I must order from USA, vs. one I can get from Stevenson's here in Toronto?
If you are talking about the same pigment from two suppliers, not necessarily much except the price but it can depend. A given pigment is produced in many cases by a number of manufacturers and if your local store stocks one not made by, say, BASF in Germany but by a Chinese manufacturer it could very easily be much cheaper than that stocked elsewhere. This does not mean that it is inferior by any means; best to test of course.

Is there a big difference in, say, the quality of various cadmium pigments?
There can be in this case yes. Particularly for a user of lead white you want to avoid free sulphur in your other pigments as it may lead to darkening. Cadmium colours are supposedly washed to remove this after manufacture but since it is not really an issue for most end-users it is possible (likely?) that it is not done by some manufacturers. Again, test if you have any doubts. Accelerated lightfastness tests in sunlight will speed the reaction between the lead carbonate and the sulphur and should produce any noticeable change in a reasonable amount of time - UV light and heat are two of the factors most often cited for the reaction in paints.

I've often thought the reason to be careful with cheaper paints is, just that, the paint, and not the pigments.
By and large it is the use of cheaper pigments that makes cheaper paints, plus of course lower pigment loads and more extenders/fillers. Then there is reduced milling (manufacturing time being a fairly significant chunk of the end price) which can account for poor handling characteristics. Remember student ranges and the like usually just don't include cadmiums and cobalts, offering hues in their place.

But now I worry about things like cadmiums being pure vs. being adulterated with pretty but impermanent dyes...etc.
If you are buying dry pigment I would think this is highly unlikely, it's possible of course.


Incidentally, recently I read about hand-mulling for fresco work and it is not uncommon for them to mull a single batch of colour for eight hours! This is just to get the pigment to the right consistency, remember, no binder. Now before anyone jumps on me I know all pigments should not be mulled for extended periods but it's something to bear in mind for anyone making their own paint.

Einion

Mario
08-29-2001, 06:34 AM
It would be great to get opinions on which of the dyes would be best when used instead of organics (cadmiums, etc)..
What I am getting , from reading the posts by our resident chemists is; Quinacridone is much better than Napthol...although it is my understanding that Grumbacher and W+N Reds are made from Napthol and get rave reviews from sophisticated artists.
I myself have had very poor experiences with Arylides in substitution for cadmium yellows ( in search of less expensive paint) I would love to know which synthetic dyes are best..which are the best substitutes for Cadmium yellow and orange.?? Also the violet slot is an interesting challenge in industrial dyes....any suggestions???? please.
All responses from non-chemists are also very appreciated....personal experience is a wonderful thing to share...many thanks.

shawn gibson
08-29-2001, 09:43 AM
Einion said:

>>just check here for my suggestions, remember?

Thanks Einion!!! I remember that post, but what's concerned me is simply the 'matching' quality between particular quinacridones and my WN Rose Madder and Kremer Cochineal (I'm not so concerned with 'replacing' their Lac Dye, any cruddy scarlett-brown lake will do!!!). Since we rely largely on printed colour charts (and even the paint samples on some tubes are less than fully useful...). I was hoping for someone to say "X quinacridone is a good match for WN Rose Madder...' etc.). I am cheap, or rather not too rich to experiment if someone offers a way out:)

>>I'm curious as to what the reactions you got were. Might be helpful to others too if you describe what happen

The worst was litharge (a.k.a. the 'first' massicot before lead-tin) when I glazed Lac Dye over it. It went almost BLACK after a day or two!!! I've also noticed that some areas with vermilion have gotten gray. I have lead (mostly carbonate, as a white or mixed with chalk and pigments to make my tubed greys) all over the place, and so that's my guess. Maybe free sulphur in the vermilion, who knows. I'm willing to bet Kremer vermilion is not the peachy-keen stuff that Rembrandt mighta used:)

Also, I've noticed a lot of problems with tubing. My litharge, fully of juicy medium, some wax, lotsa earth, i.e., good for tubing, goes rock hard in a day or two. I ripped a plastic tube in HALF on Monday trying to squeeze out some paint!!! Ugh. I WISH I could use this stuff for flesh (which I mix, always, and have dozens of tubes sitting around...flesh and a good red...not THAT beats marriage!!!).

Vermilion doesn't like the tube either...

>>I'm glad to hear you have decided to give Vermilion the boot

Ya, she's a pain. And one thing I've noticed lately, is that even though cadmiums are 'quite loud' out of the tube, and vermilion is very attractive comparatively speaking...there is a lot that happens to a colour by the time it's dry, on your painting, giving off all it can.

My paintings are chiaroscuro essentially, and so that extra splash of brilliancy from cadmium or a more lively modern than vermilion, I'm banking on giving some punch. Funny how things change when you experiment:)

>>If you are talking about the same pigment from two suppliers, not necessarily much except the price but it can depend.

I guess that's the first order of business: find out who supplies Stevensons with various pigments. They have a LARGE selection of quinacridones and cadmiums to choose from.
Other than BASF, can you say some names that are GOOD suppliers and some which are...definitely bad...?

Thanks Einion.

shawn:)

ps I'm gonna start basic, prob'ly with Scott's quin., but I might also get some cad. red-scarlett just to facilitate the evolution more smoothely...so much to learn!!!

I still need a good cochineal quin. replacement...guess I'm gonna have to experiment with quinacridones till I see for myself.

shawn gibson
08-30-2001, 03:31 PM
Hi Einion and all. I have some info on the manufacturer of the cadmium and quinacridone pigments I have easy access to in large supply:

Stevensons cadmium red comes from <b>James Brown in England</b>; and their quina. red comes from (sp?) <b>Hurscht (a.k.a. Clarion)</b> in Germany.

Are these reputable?

Thanks everyone!!!
shawn:)

Einion
08-30-2001, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by Mario
It would be great to get opinions on which of the dyes would be best when used instead of organics (cadmiums, etc)..
First off, the "dyes" you're referring to are the organics :) Cadmiums are one of the big names in the synthetic inorganic group - as a general rule if a pigment has a metal in the name it's inorganic (with lead white being a prominent exception).

What I am getting , from reading the posts by our resident chemists is; Quinacridone is much better than Napthol...although it is my understanding that Grumbacher and W+N Reds are made from Napthol and get rave reviews from sophisticated artists.
Generally speaking, the quins are more reliable than the naphthols, but not all the naphthols are bad. PR170 is ASTM II in oils and PR188 (sometimes called BON arylamide these days but it is Naphthol Scarlet) isn't bad either - it is ASTM I! W&N make reds from both of these naphthols (Bright Red and Winsor Red respectively). BTW, Daniel Smith's PR170 may in fact be rated ASTM I which highlights the point about pigments varying from maker to maker.

Remember that a colour getting a rave review is almost always a comment on its hue, not on its reliability - you still read loving comments about Alizarin Crimson! Looking for an ASTM rating is always a good starting point if you are trying a new colour.

I myself have had very poor experiences with Arylides in substitution for cadmium yellows ( in search of less expensive paint) I would love to know which synthetic dyes are best..which are the best substitutes for Cadmium yellow and orange.??
Poor experiences with regard to lightfastness or opacity or both? Replacements for the cadmiums are tough as not only are they are reliable but they are usually the most opaque pigments for a given hue position. As a result recommendations for alternatives won't necessarily work if opacity is one of the things you most prize but here are a few of the best yellows and oranges.

Yellows
Nickel Titanate, PY 53, would be a good choice as a substitute for a Cadmium Lemon as it has superb lightfastness but unfortunately it is about the same price as cadmiums but you might be able to find it in a lower price bracket from some manufacturers.
Diarylide Yellow HR, PY83, is probably not as opaque but a good deep yellow in hue. ASTM I in oils I believe.
Anthrapyrimidine Yellow, PY108, again ASTM I in oils apparently. Fairly opaque but not really a good substitute for any of the cadmiums with a hue close to Yellow Ochre.
The Benzimidazalone Yellows PY151 and PY154 would both be worth looking at as they are extremely lightfast, but fairly transparent unfortunately.
Bismuth Yellow, PY184 is another possible substitute for the green-biased cadmiums but not as lightfast as PY53.

Oranges
Benzimidazolone Orange HL, PO36, a very reliable red-orange, ASTM I in oils. Semiopaque, apparently a good substitute for the lighter-valued Vermilions.
Perinone Orange, PO43 is a very saturated red-orange, but redder than most cadmiums and usually not as opaque.
Benzimidazolone Orange H5G, PO62 is a much better match to Cadmium Orange but not quite as opaque. Absolute top-drawer lightfastness too.
Pyrrole Orange PO71 or PO73 are both lightfast, opaque, middle oranges if you can find them.

Also the violet slot is an interesting challenge in industrial dyes....any suggestions????
Violets are an interesting challenge period! There is not a lot of choice if you want a single-pigment colour; there are only six worth mentioning.
Cobalt Violet, PV14 is extremely lightfast but unfortunately extremely expensive too. Fairly weak and low in chroma too but a lovely hue. Rowney may offer the best example, being the reddest and the most saturated.
Ultramarine Violet, PV15 offers very good lightfastness and moderate saturation. Arguably the best pigment in the blue-violet hue position, W&N's is the lightest and most saturated on offer apparently.
Manganese Violet, PV16, an opaque, middle- to red-violet with superb lightfastness but a little low in chroma. Daniel Smith's is one to look out for.
Quinacridone Violet, PV19 a saturated, intense red-violet with very good lightfastness in oils - usually ASTM I. Winsor & Newton's is apparently a unique example being the most intense, the warmest hue and also the most saturated.
Dioxazine Purple, PV23 is a very dark blue-violet with a varied reputation for lightfastness but at worst is ASTM II - the red shade (PV23RS) rated ASTM I in oils. Usually described as unsaturated and even very unsaturated, some versions are reported to be brighter than others which I very recently confirmed for myself. W&N's is more saturated and less staining than most, Rowney's is very similar. Daniel Smith and M. Graham's are darker and more concentrated, mixing grayer tints (M. Graham's appears nearly black straight from the tube apparently).
Thioindigoid Violet, PR88 is a lovely, slightly unsaturated red-violet with good opacity. ASTM I in oils. W&N's is most saturated, lighter in value and more transparent than others.

If you don't want eye-popping brilliance from your violets PV14, PV16 and PR88 are the ones to choose from - useful for landscapes and flesh halftone areas. If you want the strongest and the most saturated examples PV15, PV19 and PV23 would be the ones to choose.

Hope this helps,
Einion

Mario
08-31-2001, 11:07 AM
Wow, Many thanks, Einion..!! Just what I was looking for....it will take me a while to navigate thru your wonderful post and I cannot say "thankyou" enough..:p

Einion
08-31-2001, 05:18 PM
Shawn, sorry I canít be any more specific with replacement shades without knowing the specific hue. My suggestion would be, pick maybe one violet and one violet-red and learn to use them for their strengths. Check my post above for the only violets worth considering, and for a violet-red check the other thread, quite a few to choose from.

There are literally dozens of pigment suppliers worldwide, but not all of them are manufacturers - some are basically middle-men. Two of the best manufacturers are BASF and CPMA but there are loads more that would make good products.

Litharge? Ugh, keep it for oil modification. Way too reactive to sulphur to be safe as a pigment from what I've read. Don't be too sure about Kremerís Vermilion - it's probably top-notch stuff from China or at least made using the Chinese method so it would likely be better than European grades, historically.

Can't help with the tubing issue except to say STEEP learning curve! No offense but I'm willing to bet you're not mulling the oil into the pigment well enough. If the pigment particles are not intimately mixed (i.e. each one surrounded by oil) then they can clump together.


Mario, glad to help. By the way it's worth saying that my many recommendations of Winsor & Newton pigments above are not me plugging the product because I'm a fan: just reporting the properties of the various colours mentioned. But it does make for food for thought when considered with the properties of their other top-notch pigments like their phthalo blues and greens (max hue-difference from any one supplier) etc.

Einion

sarkana
09-01-2001, 10:27 AM
holy mackerel! einion, you are so good to share the wealth of your information!

i'd like to jump on the bandwagon to say that for lightfastness and overall tinting and handling qualities, quinacradone red rose is an excellent sub for alizarin or rose madder lake. i even find its a little more powerful. i also really like quinacradone gold, but its a b*tch to grind. all the quinacradones i have tested are strong, transparent, and don't gray out in mixture.

azo yellow is a really good sub for hansas or arylides. but it's transparent. i also use a ton of nickel yellow. opaque, useful and cheap!

dioxazine purple has always been way too aggressive for me. i tend to use ultramarine violet. cobalt violet comes in several beautiful shades, but is not strong enough for me. i'm not really a purple person.

pure genuine vermilion is very hard to find. i have some but i never use it. i'm happy with cad orange deep or cad vermilion. i use lead white and don't want to risk the reaction. i've heard others complain about kremer's, i get mine from robert doak.

shawn gibson
09-04-2001, 02:37 PM
Wow, I love asking crazy questions!!!

Einion--your info for Mario is exactly what I've been looking for. I've been 'growing' into the wealth of info on new pigments. I'm less concerned with exact matches now.

THANKS Einion, and everyone else, in getting me into some 'saner' (for want of a better term) pigments.

As for litharge, still kinda stubborn here. My own experience lately indicated it is a great mid-valued flesh tone if modified with earths freshly and used immediately. It sets up fast, and becomes unusable in HOURS!!! Rock hard in 4 tubes...ROCK hard!!! 2 weeks old...

No offense on the tubing issue, you are probably right. Could you give me some clues as to whether I'm mulling enough? what to look for, etc...

Thanks all.

shawn:)

shawn gibson
09-06-2001, 10:38 AM
Here is something I posted to that 'other' place. Einion and Scott, you'll probably hate it!!! Litharge and cadmium to replace vermilion: a very cool (and totally promising) experiment I did:

I had a semi-Eureka flash last night, and the results this morning (of my test) are very promising.
I have been hoping to replace my archaic reds with modern, reliable pigments.

In the case of my lakes, I'm going the quinacridone route (Thanks guys!!!). I have no qualms here.

But I've been worried about replacing vermilion, because Irgazine is semi-opaque, and expensive (one reason for the replacement; vermilion is also expensive), and cadmium dries slowly, but is mid-priced (right in my league).

Now:

As some of you know, I've also been playing with litharge as a pigment.

Now you know where I'm going, lead-sulfide be damned!!!

I took some Windsor/Newton Cad. Red Light, and modified it with litharge, hoping it wouldn't turn black. It hasn't yet. Mainly, I wanted to modify the hue of the red to a vermilion-type scarlet (litharge was PERFECT for that!!!); and I wanted a paint that took advantage of the lead (re: drying).

My panel was made of the following

1) WN Cad. Red Light glazed out of the tube.
2) Kremer vermilion for comarison sake.
3) WN Cad (same) modified with enough litharge to make it the scarlet I wanted (approx. requirement was 15-20%)
4) an orange (less scarlett) mixture of the cadmium and litharge, oiled out with my medium (Can. Bsm. copal, stand, and oil of spike).

This morning, the litharge-modified colours are still saturated, and look good beside the straight cadmium and the straight vermilion on the same panel; indeed, the main mix of cad with a little litharge (the scarlet) is more vibrant slightly than the 'true' vermilion; it is somewhat lighter, and I think this will lead to a more brilliant painting when used under a lake.

MOST IMPORTANTLY (outside the non-reaction with the lead and sulphur), the lithargated cadmiums are completely dry this morning. I can glaze over them.

The cadmium, and even the vermilion, are both still wet, no surface drying at all.

This is a very hopeful experiment for me. I can buy plenty of cadmium, litharge is cheap, and as long as I get a supply with no free sulphur, I am laughing all the way to the 24th Century's bank...

I am going to give these a few days to 'really dry' and I am going to glaze some quinacridone (gotta have something floating around). If it works, I will get a small supply of cadmium from Stevensons in Toronto, and one from Kremer, to test for free sulphur. If either does not go grey, I have a perfectly valid and most likely very permanent, and obviously inexpensive replacement for vermilion.

Litharge and cadmium are both toxic of course, but I am willing to risk it...and from what I've read, both are less toxic than vermilion (someone out there might care about that!)

Hope this is interesting to someone...!

shawn