Re: Free Cryla samples **UK only**
okie, here's my review! I worry that I repeat a few things but ah well.
I am an abstract painter that works with heavy body paint thinning it down to glazes or working with very dry scumbles and dry brushing. My method relies on exact pigments and very thin transparent layers and glazes. The paintings themselves are very large (over 100cm) or very small (7-12cm). The paintings can contain dozens of layers, even a dozen layers of one colour to slowly build up the exact opacity I'm aiming for.
I'm a full-time artists selling commercial. Trained in oil painting, I translated my glazing methods into acrylics later. I've been using acrylics exclusively in my gallery work for approximately 7 years.
All the colours I tried seem to dry to a uniform satin finish.
This can be a pro or con. I personally prefer paints that dry to a natural finish depending on the pigment as I'm used to this and can "see" what needs doing next based on that property - plus I finish my paintings with a varnish to unify the surface.
Painters who don't varnish may prefer paint with additives to create a uniform finish.
All the paints I tried were rated on the tubes as being towards the more opaque side. I found them almost equally opaque despite the little "dial" saying otherwise. Ultramarine blue in particular is typically somewhat opaque but the Daler version seems more opaque than others (Golden and Liquitex) in my supplies.
While I applaud the opacity indication on the tubes I would prefer a handpainted swatch or at least the availability of a full colour chart that had painted swatches.
The overall body of the paint was that of a very heavy bodied paint. In this regard Daler Rowney is one of the thickest paints I've used! A fantastic texture, always smooth, that holds and is pleasant to work with. This will particularly suit painters who work alla prima or impasto style.
All the new features on the label are very welcome: opacity 'dial', pigment codes included, lightfastness rating. The new label is very clear and easy to read and looks modern and professional.
Permanence: I would like to know the top rating for context, 3 out of 4 or 3 out of 5 for example.
Pigment codes: possibly the number one improvement! I have actually avoided Daler paints in the past because I usually buy based on specific pigments and tubes didn't have this information previously.
Opacity: please see above.
Cap: large cap with deep threads is great, easy to use and less likely to fail than the old caps.
My main disappointment with the paints I received was that they were mainly mixtures and hues. I received cobalt violet hue but wondered if you have a real cobalt mix rather than hue? (I prefer real cobalt pigments.) Many of the paints were mixtures with titanium white which made them very difficult for me to use - I use zinc white almost entirely due to the nature of my technique, painting in very transparent layers. The addition of titanium white caused several of the colours to be more opaque than necessary. I would like to know if the single pigments will be available in the range as well as the mixtures.
I have two conclusions.
For other artists I would say that the new Daler paints are a clear improvement and may rank with the best brands now if they provide a full range of colours (including single pigments and non-hues cobalts and cadmiums). They have excellent body, good pigment load, and the packaging is excellent. In particular they seem perfect for alla prima and impasto painters.
For myself these paints simply had too many features that, while beneficial to other artists, worked against my technique. The uniform finish was offputting. The mixtures were contrary to the types of paints I'd usually buy, in particular the addition of the overly opaque titanium white in mixtures. The overall opacity of the range (given my small selection) was too high. I work with very thin, very transparent layers of single colours (glazing, scumbling and dry brushing) and these features meant I actually was unable to use some of the paints in my large work except in establishing the initial underpainting. Availability of single-pigment tubes and genuine pigments such as cobalts would change that.
Overall the Cryla product is much improved and I'd highly recommend it.