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Old 12-19-2006, 08:12 AM
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Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

I love the work of Roy Lichtenstein, and have been trying my own version in recent times. I'm using acrylic paint - and just can't seem to get the 'shine' that his paints have. I was reading recently that he used Magna Paint to get that plastic look (apparently acrylics mixed with turpentine, instead of water).

I've googled magna paint, and can't really find much out about it. Anyone know anything?

Thanks alot
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:43 AM
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Top of the morning to you Welcome to WC! and the Colour Theory forum.

Magna isn't made any more I'm afraid but there should be no problem at all replicating the colour in his work. I've not seen any of his pieces in the flesh that I recall, I presume you have, but generally speaking colour is just a function of the pigments used and the surface finish; if you paint a swatch of Cadmium Red and it has a dull surface it'll look different to the same paint with a gloss surface.

So it's pretty much just a question of using the right paints and then getting the right surface, which is the role of varnishing.

The thing about acrylics v. oils that so often comes up when people are arguing about their pros and cons, the 'special glow' of oil paints, is mostly imaginary - it's largely a function of an oil painting's glossier surface. But with a lot of work today being more matt you can't tell the medium by the colour, so other aspects of the painting may give clues to what type of paint was used.

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Old 12-21-2006, 10:09 AM
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

Morning from rainy Ireland Einion

Thanks for that - aha, that explains why I can't get magna paints anywhere! It's actually proving difficult to get a very HIGH GLOSS finish on my paints - even varnish doesn't necessarily look glossy enough.

When you say different surfaces - had you anything particular in mind? Hopef you don't mind me picking your mind here!
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishGal
It's actually proving difficult to get a very HIGH GLOSS finish on my paints - even varnish doesn't necessarily look glossy enough.
That should be a snap, what have you tried? I actually didn't realise that Lichtenstein's work had a gloss finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishGal
When you say different surfaces - had you anything particular in mind?
I was just referring to variations in the surface finish, in gloss level, not a different painting surface/support - canvas, panel, paper etc. FWIW the smoother the support you paint on the better if you're going for a high-gloss finish, so if you're currently working on canvas you might try a finer weave, filling the texture with 'gesso' or maybe try hardboard or MDF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishGal
Hopef you don't mind me picking your mind here!
Not at all, that's what we're here for

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Old 12-21-2006, 06:45 PM
perryjohnson perryjohnson is offline
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

I agree with Einion that it probably isn't terribly important to use the same paint Lichtenstein used.

From what I understand, the paint that was Magna is now being made by Golden. Sam Golden was Leonard Bocour's partner - they made Magna. The acrylic resin used in these paints is different from the water soluble acrylics available now. The solubility of these acrylic resins makes them attractive to conservators. Golden, Gamblin, Maimeri, LeFranc & Bourgeois all make paints based on this family of acrylic resins. I'll paste a few URLs below.

http://www.goldenpaints.com/products...rv/conserv.php

http://apps.webcreate.com/ecom/catal...goryFullID=213

http://www.gamblincolors.com/conservation/
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Old 12-23-2006, 11:37 AM
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

Be sure to get a high gloss varnish, or polyurethane. They come in flat, semigloss and high gloss.
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nailbender
Be sure to get a high gloss varnish, or polyurethane. They come in flat, semigloss and high gloss.
Polyurethane varnish isn't really suitable as a final picture varnish for permanent work. As a rule it's a little too rigid, making it universally unsuited to canvas pieces, and if applied to an acrylic painting the solvents necessary to remove it would pose an enormous risk to the paint film; all the major acrylic paint manufacturers now make spirit-soluble varnishes for use on acrylics (e.g. Soluvar from Liquitex and MSA varnish from Golden).

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Old 12-31-2006, 06:42 AM
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

Thanks so much for your help here.

Regarding acyrlic varnishes - I usually use a regular gloss spray - I'll take a look now for a high gloss. But I'm wondering if a spray really isn't as good as good old fashioned applying gloss with a brush?

perryjohnson -
thanks so much for those links, I'll take a read now....
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishGal
Regarding acyrlic varnishes - I usually use a regular gloss spray - I'll take a look now for a high gloss. But I'm wondering if a spray really isn't as good as good old fashioned applying gloss with a brush?
It's the type of varnish that's most important, not how it's applied. Professionally varnishes are brushed on, rubbed on (!) or sprayed on depending on the picture in question, personal preference and other factors.

What you want for standard acrylic paints ideally is a spirit-soluble varnish like those I refer to above. W&N, D-R and Talens also offer these now in case they're easier to find where you are. It's also recommended that a thin barrier coat of acrylic medium is applied between the painting and the final varnish.

Einion
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:58 PM
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

Magna paints were made by Golden Acrylics previous company, Boccur, in the 1950's to the 1980's. Golden still makes them under the name of Golden MSA Conservation Colors. They are the same product and Lichtenstein used them until he died in 1997. He was very happy that when Golden re-introduced them as the Golden MSA colors they had many more pigments to choose from.

http://www.goldenpaints.com/products...nserv/msa1.php
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:39 PM
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

Great, thanks all. You've been a great help.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Firth
Golden still makes them under the name of Golden MSA Conservation Colors.
Same paint exactly? If so good to know.

Einion
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:20 PM
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Re: Magna Paint - anyone heard of it?

Einion, according to Mark Golden they are "very similar to our MSA colors", however I do know that Roy Lichtenstein used them as a direct replacement to the Magna colors, and any differences appear to been minute if at all apparent. The only comment about the dffference I could find from Lichtenstein was about the improved color spectrum. This info is from the book Bright Earth: Art and the History of Color by Philip Baldwin. I believe it is the same Acryloid B-72 resin that was used in the original Magna paints and probably has increased ultraviolet withstanding properties from the continued advancements in the field.

Golden also sells the MSA (Mineral Spirits Acrylic) Gel that you can mix with pigment dispersions and make your own MSA acylics, as well as use as a medium with oil paints. http://www.goldenpaints.com/technicaldata/msagel.php
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