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Old 07-23-2017, 04:26 PM
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dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Firstly, an apology for being away from this forum for a long time, but I have need of a favor from painters here who might have new tubes of the Richeson brand (formerly Shiva) casein paints.

I was recently making some small color swatches of the paints I had to get a better idea of what I needed to either buy or make to build up my stock. I accidentally rubbed one of the dry swatches with my thumb, and noticed I got a good deal of pigment transfer. I then took a paper towel and rubbed on each of the dried paint swatches, and every one of them left some or a great deal of pigment on the paper. That's okay for dry media like pencil or soft pastel, but dry paint should never do that. Even my gouache paints don't do that, and gum arabic is a much weaker binder. I'm not saying all the swatch rubbed off, but quite a bit of paint was underbound. Only the Raw Sienna and Titanium white did not transfer. However, the Ivory Black rubbed off so much I could probably use some like a pencil.

So, to the favor: all my Shiva paints are old, and that may be why they rub off so easily. That Ivory Black is so old it's labeled "Creative Art Products" which was the company that sold the Shiva brand to Richeson. Anyway, I'd appreciate it if anyone here that owns one or a few of these paints, perhaps purchased in the last year or so, could possibly do a rubbing test for me. Paint a small swatch, and let it dry completely for several hours on a good adhesive surface like watercolor paper or illustration board. Let me know if you get the same pigment transfer that I do with my paints.

Here's a picture of the swatches I made, and the paper towel with spots of paint that rubbed off, in some cases quite a lot.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:50 PM
Artist_by_Accident Artist_by_Accident is offline
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Hi David,

I have just recently (about a month ago) purchased my casein paints and they still rubbed off as your older paints did.



These are all the colors I have - I don't have Ivory Black. The swatches dried for at least 3 hours and our house is air-conditioned with little to no inside humidity. I also rubbed a painting that I did soon after receiving the paints and still got some color on my tissue, but not as much.

The swatch was painted on Arches 140# cold pressed paper.

Hope this helps.

BTW, I think it's great you've popped back in here. I've gone to your website several times looking for tips for painting in casein &, of course, looked at all your posts here.

ABA

Last edited by Artist_by_Accident : 07-23-2017 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:08 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Oh, wanted to add that the raw sienna was just as bad as the others to rub off. The cerulean rubbed off least (the darker bits are where I rubbed so hard that the tissue pilled) & I just couldn't tell with the titanium white.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:53 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Not much help. I have some small casein sketches done this year (Jan - Feb) on Claybord and Guerrilla "Carton Paper". Plus I have a casein done in April on Acrylic Matte Medium sealed Gessobord. I am not getting any rubbing off. I have not used watercolor paper or illustration board. Gary
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:22 AM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Thank you for the feedback. Good to know that their age isn't a factor; although, I really didn't think it would be, but wanted to confirm that. I've used these paints, some of these same tubes, for decades and never bothered to check this, but also never noticed a problem with them.

I wouldn't describe this as a serious issue, but it's disappointing. When I make my own paints I always do a test rub on a dry swatch before I tube the paint. If I saw something like this, I'd do more mulling to be sure all the pigment was properly coated, perhaps adding more medium. It would be worse if it rubbed off almost completely. As it is, they're still useful, but personally I'd only mix them with my own paints, or add more medium. I might even squeeze these out of their tubes, add fresh paint, and re-tube them. With Gary's results this may be just a random thing.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:49 PM
Artist_by_Accident Artist_by_Accident is offline
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Thanks for the information. I got a bottle of the emulsion/medium when I got the casein paints so I'll be sure to add a bit for future paintings. I assume that will work? Plus, I plan to varnish any serious painting that comes out well so I hope that will also help.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:03 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

It occurred to me today that based on Gary's result the paint adhesion may improve as it ages. I'm not sure how, but it could explain why he didn't get any pigment to rub off from paintings that were a few months old. I'll make another test of swatches and let them sit for a month or two, then see if the paint rubs off as easily.

Adding some medium to your paint will help if you mix it in well. It may also make your mixture more transparent than you'd prefer. Varnishing will also help protect the surface from dusting off pigment.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:02 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

For the record, I have had oil paint applied with a relatively small amount of turpentine (consistency of thick cream) rub off on my clothes after drying for months. I tend to use more oil and little to no turpentine these days.

As for casein. Yeah, it does seem to rub off from my paintings too. Eyvind Earle also commented on the relatively fragile surface of casein (he loved the look of of it, but eventually switched to acrylics). Not sure if this is only new paintings or if it doesn't change with time.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:48 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

I just checked with my gouache, and it seems to rub off too using the same method. I think my rubbing was a bit harsh, so I tried toilet paper instead, in which case neither gouache nor casein rubbed off.

BTW I sometimes spray my casein paintings with casein fixative. I imagine that it might help a bit if some areas are underbound.
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Old 07-26-2017, 12:32 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

A small amount of transfer with hard rubbing I wouldn't consider a problem. On some of my gouaches I can see that, and it doesn't bother me. In the case of that Shiva ivory black or the cadmium green, however, I can almost get down to the paper with little more than a gentle wipe of a dry paper towel. That's not good. I made a new test sample sheet, and I'll follow up in a few months.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:03 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

That does sound too fragile, yes. My Ivory black does not seem to be like that.

Somewhat related: some artists like the fact casein can be buffed with wool, and they say that this hardens the surface (or something). I never really tried this. So the surface is a bit soft to begin with at least.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWyPhQq9zWs
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:50 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

Buffing the casein surface gives it a slight sheen, sort of like the way wax behaves, but not as much. It doesn't affect the hardness at all.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:42 AM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

I have a slightly unrelated question: since the casein ultramarine is relatively bright, is it very similar to the cobalt blue? Or is the cobalt blue still useful even if you have the ultramarine, would you say?
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:01 AM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

There is a subtle difference between these two blues. Here's a closeup of two swatches I made, and I think you can see in the photo how the cobalt has a slightly green tint to it compared to the ultramarine that appears to have a slightly higher chroma.

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Old 07-29-2017, 07:34 PM
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Re: Problem with Richeson/Shiva Casein Rubbing Off

OK thanks for the info!
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