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Old 01-12-2019, 11:58 AM
w/c nana8 w/c nana8 is offline
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By the shores of Lake Michigan
 
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Vintage Watercolor Paint

I found some old art supplies my mom used--not sure the decade, probably in the early 60's. Pastels, charcoal, acrylic, and watercolors. The watercolor paint is from Grumbacher Acadamie and WN London, along with some WN artist grade (that I'm familiar with). Is the WN London the old name for the Cotman series?

Do any of you who have been painting a while know anything about these vintage paints? I know I can use them, but what was the quality/pigment load like back then compared to now? I don't know if it would be worth my time to play with them. Right now my own paints are DS, Sennelier, AJ, and a bit of WN(artist grade).

Curious and thanks!

~ Carol
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:11 PM
star fisher star fisher is offline
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Northwest suburbs of Chicago
 
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Re: Vintage Watercolor Paint

I have not been able to find out when W&N introduced their student line or when they adopted the name Cotman. I was buying Cotman tubes in 1992. But if yours are from the 1960s, they could be the student grade before the name Cotman was introduced.

One way that I can tell student grade paint from artist grade paints is by putting a little dab on a little square of paper and letting it dry. When dry, the student colors look chalky in masstone when compared to the artist grade paints. You could try this yourself. Be sure to label the pieces of paper before you put the paint on them so you can tell one from the other. You could do this to compare the old artist grade paints to the new ones you have to see if there is a change that might be due to a change in formula or due to aging of the paint.

I would use them, whatever you find - even if its to do practice pieces.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:06 PM
w/c nana8 w/c nana8 is offline
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Re: Vintage Watercolor Paint

Thanks, Star Fisher! I appreciate you checking this out! I am a caregiver/companion for my mom, and we try to paint together. I found her class supply list as well and it looks like the Grumbachers were purchased in the '80s. The other tubes are older. I looked at the tubes again, and I only have 5 artist grade WN in the bunch. The price was $1.92 for a 5ml tube. Don't we wish!!

In the WN London, there are 4 tubes--cad yellow lt, alizarin crimson, fub, and sepia. The tubes are pretty solid, so I'll see how much I want to try them. That's a good idea to swatch and compare the colors with the artist grade paints.
I think the question about them is more curiosity than anything.

All told, in her watercolors, there are 5 cad yellows, 3 alizarin crimson, 2 winsor green and the usual suspects (earth pigments, several reds and blues). One of the Grumbacher Academy tubes is phthalo red--interesting. I'm afraid to open that one, or even try it--I don't have a great relationship with phthalos.

Thanks again for your suggestions!

~ Carol
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:17 AM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Northern Galilee Hills, Israel
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Re: Vintage Watercolor Paint

paint with them
you will see

the simplest way
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:32 AM
star fisher star fisher is offline
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Northwest suburbs of Chicago
 
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Re: Vintage Watercolor Paint

Carol,
What I meant by putting a dab of the paint on paper is to leave a little mound of the paint on the paper to dry. You can paint out a swatch on the paper, but leave some in a little mound. The little dry dab of paint is where the differences in different paints become most apparent to me. I just squeeze out a dot onto the paper. I use a wet brush to make a small graded wash, but leave some of the dab as a little mound.

For the tubes that are solid, first open the caps to see if the paint has just gotten thick or if it is completely dry. For the dry paints, split the tube down the side and put the dry plug of paint into a pan, palette well, or small container with some water. It will take time, but it will become paint again. Be sure to write down the information from the tube before you split it. You may have to peel pieces of the tube off of the dry plug. Then its harder to read.

Regards,
Mel
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