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View Poll Results: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette
Yes: I use it with almost every painting 109 27.74%
Sometimes: I can not find a replacement color 61 15.52%
Never: it is a fugitive color and its use is irresponsible 223 56.74%
Voters: 393. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-01-2013, 07:05 PM
Hoplite Hoplite is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

Originally Posted by Cariboo Bill
I am setting up this poll to provide data in an email discussion with Daniel Smith paints, they claim that Aliz Crimson is on the VAST MAJORITY of artists palettes. In my own acquaintances it is on only beginner palettes who have been taught by an old fashioned watercolor workshop person.

The real test is something they aren't going to give - sales figures. Just how many tubes of alizarin crimson do they sell in comparison to other colors (especially of the same general hue)?

I did go through the watercolor books at the local library the other day, and I'd say about 75% of them recommended either Aureolin or Alizarin Crimson or both (and maybe even some other fugitive color, but those two were far and away the two most mentioned dubious paints). And this often included books that would talk about fugitive paints. Now, a library is more likely to have older books than at a book store, but still, that's a lot of books that simply gloss over or entirely ignore the problem.

Anyway, given that and the current influx of retiring Baby Boomers getting into watercolor through non-academic channels, it may disappoint me, but it wouldn't surprise me to find such colors still enjoying widespread use. I don't expect a lot here on Wet Canvas to be using them, but this site may not be representative of the general water color buying public.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:27 PM
M.L. Schaefer M.L. Schaefer is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

AAARRRGGGHH! Daniel Smith has a number of fugitive colors, among them Opera, and some kind of Madder. I have no idea what D/S Alizarin is. Yes, I use Aureleon and Aliz Crimson - But the NEW varieties, the lightfast varieties. There is nothing besides I or I-II on my palette. So, with Virgil: A resounding NO!!!

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:04 PM
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querin querin is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

I only use the permanent Alizarin.Aureolin modern is Py150 which also is permanent
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:31 PM
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artdragon86 artdragon86 is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

I bought the fugitive PR83 Alizarin Crimson (Winsor and Newton) when I first got into watercolours because that's what the books recommended. I have three watercolour painting books (one by Keith Fenwick, one by Ron Ranson and one by Terry Harrison) and they ALL list Alizarin Crimson has part of their palette (Harrison's paints are specially made for him, though, so there's no way to know if he uses the real Alizarin or a hue).

I have a lot of (too many) tubes now, including some which are probably at least partially fugitive. However, most of what I do is illustrative work that is scanned and kept digitally, so it's not as big an issue. When I'm painting something that I want to keep, I use Permanent Alizarin Crimson instead.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:30 PM
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Cyntada Cyntada is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

Allow me to chime in with that resounding "NO".

I do have a very old tube of it though, literally from childhood when I was buying paint with my allowance and had no idea about such things. (My tube is actually student-grade madder, but same issues.) I pull it out once in a while, paint a swatch and sigh, then stuff it back in the drawer. I certainly won't fault those who like to use it for sketches and other non-archival projects, but I don't, because my sketches are like a diary and I would not be impressed to find some special memory changed (or gone forever!) due to unreliable paint.

The exceptions I might make are for reproduction art as GoldSeven said, or for truly short-lived tasks like calligraphy on an greeting card envelope. Beyond that... none for me, thanks!
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:53 AM
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Scene Chaser Scene Chaser is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

In the past I used Alizarin, but outgrew it long ago. Yes, it was a fugitive, but there is permanent Alizarin out there if you need the color.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:05 AM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

I don't use it. I use W&N Permanent Aliz Crimson.

However, as others have said... there are instances where using fugitive paints is acceptable/standard. i.e. if you are doing illustrations/commercial work that will be reproduced photographically and/or digitally.

If one is creating an advertisement for a commercial client and the ad will be photographed for use in a magazine or on the Internet, then fugitive colors are perfectly acceptable for use.

Many brands of gouache include colors that are made from fugitive pigments because gouache has traditionally been used by illustrators to create work that will be digitally reproduced so lightfastness is not an issue.

Also, if one is creating a greeting card to send to a relative or friend, then I could see using a fugitive pigment.

It is only when pigments/colors are being used in a painting that will hang in real life on a wall that there is a problem.

In that situation, I can not understand why an artist would use fugitive pigments whether it be oil paint, watercolor, acrylic or gouache. It is the pigment used to make the color that is fugitive, so the binder that turns that pigment into oil paint, watercolor paint, acrylic paint or gouache doesn't matter. Alizarin crimson and opera are fugitive in all media.

Unfortunately, as we have discussed before.... I think there are a lot of professional and serious hobbyist painters out there who know nothing about pigments. Nothing.

As I have said before, I took a workshop with a well-known watercolor artist who said that the green that he was using was very similar to phthalo green. I knew.. but obviously he didn't... that his green paint in that particular brand was phthalo green. It wasn't similar to phthalo green, it was phthalo green.

So if artists don't know what pigments are in the paints that they are using, they sure don't know which pigments are fugitive.

I have a problem with an artist not knowing the fundamentals about his/her materials.

However... the real question becomes..... Once someone educates them about lightfast issues and fugitive pigments... then what do they do???

One would hope that they would stop using and stop recommending.. in workshops, books and DVDs.... fugitive colors.

It is those who KNOW and keep using/recommending them that I have a problem with. The uninformed need to be informed...
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Last edited by sashntash : 03-02-2013 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:46 AM
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Cariboo Bill Cariboo Bill is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

Sorry people I don't see any way to edit the poll. I should have said clearly, "Is Alizarin Crimson (PR 83) on your palette." but was a bit steamed about Daniel Smith's wording and didn't get it down.

By the way any of the other versions of Alizarin Crimson, including Permanent Alizarin Crimson should have the word "hue" attached to them since they are not using PR 83, and so none of them are, technically, Alizarin Crimson.

Hmm, I didn't look at Daniel Smith's write up on aureolin, I will check that out later this morning and decide if it needs its own poll.
"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable." (Robert Henri)
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:58 AM
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CharM CharM is online now
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

It does.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. Leonardo DaVinci
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:24 PM
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watercolourfanatic watercolourfanatic is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

No, neither are any of the other culprits

Peter .
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:43 AM
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daniel. daniel. is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

Of course not. There are alternatives, it's not something that we couldn't live without. Goes for many professionals as well, the problem is lack of knowledge, not that the Alizarin is irreplaceable.

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Old 03-03-2013, 04:08 PM
botanist botanist is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

I've just started taking a watercolor class and was surprised to see alizarin crimson and aureolin on the recommended materials list. Thanks to WetCanvas and handprint.com, I'm using the lightfast substitutes.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:50 AM
SSB SSB is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

I have never felt too attached to alizarin, but I sure love Rose Madder, which it was supposed to replace!
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:51 AM
JPQ JPQ is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

PR122 is rated many brands good schmincke gives three stars of five. and is maybe most useful i think... with one dark variant form PV19. which is really important to me for violets and also in pure at least actually maybe my palette another dark red if i am going discontinue cadmiums (which is maybe likely expect for pastels). btw PB17 is pigment what i heared should be never used for art. some pastel artist says that i understanded is more really more fugitive than other pigments in same family. hue what i readed is nice but we dont need fugitive but nice colours ???
and PB16 is less lightfast than othres when i look schmincke tests they dont use PB17 but PB16 is second in lightfastness rating have only three stars when PB15 variants and PG36,PG7 have in four stras in schmincke system.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:08 AM
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GoldSeven GoldSeven is offline
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Re: Is Alizarin Crimson on your basic palette

Schmincke, as I can say from my own experience, seems to be extremely light-fast against all odds. I started a light-fastness test in the summer of 2010. The sheet has been lying in front of a window for two and a half years. I cannot see the slightest difference between the covered and the uncovered part of my Alezarin Crimson colour swatch, or the Indigo one.
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