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View Full Version : Curious about Casein Painting


Lauren F-M
03-04-2006, 02:37 PM
Hi!

In the April 2006 issue of "American Artist" magazine, there is an article about an artist -- Chuck Wood -- who works with casein paints. I am very curious about what these paints can do.

I would love to hear from anyone who uses casein paints -- how you like them; pros and cons, etc.

Also, how they compare with:
- oil paints
- watercolour paints
- egg tempera paints.

I'm also interested in finding some good books on how to use them, esp. the new tubed casein paints (Shiva seems to be the best source for me).

Thanks in advance for your help!:D

Lauren :wave:

tree519
03-04-2006, 07:51 PM
There was an artist from Saint John New Brunswick (my hometown) named Fred Ross who was very adept with casein tempera. I remember staring nose to glass at his paintings in a local gallery. He would sometimes combine pen and ink and even chalk on masonite surfaces framed under glass.
I know of no one else who works in this medium but I did order some Shiva caseins and tried it with mixed results. The smell is pleasantly weird. I guess it is made of milk proteins. It feels like guache (spelling?). It dries quickly like acrylic but the colors seem to shift as it dries which could be annoying but probably something you could learn to predict. The surface quality is really nice. You can buff it to a sheen with a cloth.
I only made one painting with the paints as yet so my experience is limited.:wave:

dbclemons
03-04-2006, 09:26 PM
...
Also, how they compare with:
- oil paints
- watercolour paints
- egg tempera paints.

I'm also interested in finding some good books on how to use them, esp. the new tubed casein paints (Shiva seems to be the best source for me).
...

I've used casein paint for many years. It's one of my most favorite mediums. The Shiva brand is decent, sometimes a bit watery. I think Pelican sells it too but I've not tried there's. You can sometimes find it sold as "milk paint" or from places that sell to the theatre trade. It's very easy to make your own.

They're rather unique medium, closest I think to gouache in how they handle, but dry to a more water resistant state. Blending the opague layers can be a challenge especially over large areas. You can thin it down like watercolor, but it doesn't flow quite as easily. They don't blend as easily as oils and dry very fast. To work with the value change when they dry, you can make a few color swatches as a guide. Because they can be brittle as they age if applied too thickly, and the medium is not flexible, it's best to use them on a rigid support like panels or thick rag paper.

Some general info from Richeson/Shiva:
http://www.artsupply.com/richeson/caseinbro.pdf

-DBC