Snob Paints (Williamsburg pt.1)

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good start to your week. I have been sick with a cold that did a number on my sinuses. Thankfully, I’m getting better.

Continuing on with paint swatches, I am showing Williamsburg paints. Williamsburg is a company based in the U.S that has been bought by Golden paints. Golden is a very reputable company known for their acrylic paints.

I had a few of their paints already and really liked them. I was interested in more of their paints but after some research in art forums, I found that there was talk about the consistency in the paint “grind” (for the lack of a better word ). So I contacted Williamsburg and corresponded with Sarah Sands, who is the Senior Technical Specialist for Golden Paints. I found her to be very informative and gracious to deal with. Sarah Sands is also a major contributing writer for JustPaint (blog/newsletter for Golden Paints), which contains very useful technical information about art materials and best practices.

After my correspondence with Williamsburg/Golden, I learned that their paints are offered in four different “grinds”. The grind or milling of the pigment in the binder produces different effects in the final paint product. These effects may be in the form of texture, transparency, colour and general feel of the paint. Williamsburg strives to offer the different characteristics of these paints to the artist. In order to exemplify the diversity in the milling, I was sent samples of their paint. I will break up the paint swatches into 2 posts.

Format:
The left column shows the paint as they were squeezed from the tube labeled with the paint colour.

The right part of the picture is the paint tinted to increasing degrees with M. Graham’s Titanium White Alkyd paint. Please note that Titanium White does skew the colours a little cooler (Again, sorry about the quality of pictures).

Williamsburg

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Zinc Buff (very fine)
This is a gorgeous light colour with excellent lightfastness. Especially good for skin tones and any subtle light passage. The only concern with this colour for me is the Zinc content. I am trying to stay away from zinc for the brittleness that can cause cracking and adhesion problems. I have not found out yet whether zinc under certain percentages are safe or not.

Brilliant Yellow Pale (very fine)
Is a beautiful pale yellow that is a mixture of pigments so it results in a convenience colour. The lightfastness rating is Good but not Excellent.

Cadmium Yellow Medium (fine)
This is a good warm medium yellow with the opacity you’ve come to expect from a cadmium.

Italian Lemon Ochre (medium)
I love this colour. It’s an Italian earth colour with noticeable “grit” or texture. You can get some beautiful clean, subtle and nuanced light ochres with this.

Yellow Ochre Domestic (fine)
This is a good example of a solid yellow ochre, stronger than the Italian Lemon.

IMG_4544

Stil de Grain (coarse)
This is a lovely synthetic earth colour with a surprising coarse texture.

Cobalt Violet Light (very fine)
This is a beautiful transparent violet that is not a strong tinter. I don’t really like super loud violets but this one even in masstone is gorgeous.

Cerulean Genuine (fine)
This is a good cerulean blue as you would expect cerulean (an opaque greenish/grayish blue) to be.

Persian Rose (very fine)
This is a nice enough opaque convenience colour with Good lightfastness rating but I personally am not a fan of it.

Sevres Blue (very fine)
Another convenience colour that is brighter than Cerulean blue and has Excellent lightfastness rating but I’m not crazy about it.

These are my first impressions of these paints and my opinions might change with use. I will post the next batch of Williamsburg paints in my post to follow. I hope these swatches are helpful to you. If you are interested in more information about the individual paints like pigment information, drying time and texture of the paints, Williamsburg lists this information on their website.

Thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

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WIP, Glazing

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good start into your week. I have been working on a couple of projects, and in case you were getting bored with the paint swatches, I thought I would mix it up a bit. Here is a work in progress:

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This painting is half-finished. I am waiting for the layer to dry in order to apply thin glazes on top.  As usual, some parts are dry and some aren’t. As you know I am impatient but I will preserve (note my spiffy new easel)! I am working from a reference photo but I wanted to paint a looser version of the original. I’m interested in conveying the depth of the beautiful and unearthly dark and light blue-green of the water.

I hope this one will turn out the way I imagined it.

Thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

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Snob Paints (Michael Harding)

Hello everyone, yes it’s Friday! I hope your week has been good. As always, I’m looking forward to the weekend. As promised, here are swatches and first impressions of Michael Harding paints:

Format:
The left column shows the paint as they were squeezed from the tube labeled with the paint colour.

The right part of the picture is the paint tinted to increasing degrees with M. Graham’s Titanium White Alkyd paint. Please note that Titanium White does skew the colours a little cooler (Again, sorry about the quality of pictures).

Michael Harding
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Phthalocyanine Blue Lake:
This colour was one of the most pleasant surprises. Phthalo blue is one of the most strongest tinters but this one was quite easy to tame. It is very clean and you can get really lovely soft greenish blues.

Ultramarine Blue:
Very nice clean blue that leans red, a basic staple colour in most palettes. It is one of the oilier paints. After doing some research I found out that without fillers/additives, it’s difficult to get Ultramarine Blue to be stiffer. Some pigments need more oil than others when they are ground in their binder.

Terre Verte: 
A beautiful soft earth colour that is green-yellow. It has very low tinting strength and a velvety texture.

Magenta:
A lovely reddish-purple. Very versatile and useful.

Manganese Violet:
I love this violet because of the colour obviously, but also because it’s not obnoxious as some purples can get.

My overall impressions with Michael Harding Oils is very good. The company only makes oil paint. Harding himself is very active in sourcing pigments and I find the colour descriptions very helpful, since he is an artist as well.

The other thing that I appreciate is the packaging of the paints: the tubes have actual swatches of the painted colour as well as pigment name, pigment type, lightfastness rating, oil content, transparency/opacity, tinting power and drying time. Many reputable companies that sell artist’s grade paint usually list pigment name, opacity/transparency and lightfastness but not all of the other useful information that Harding provides on his paints, as in the picture below:

IMG_4563These paints are not cheap but they are less expensive than Vasari. So far they seem very nice. I still have to use them more to get a better feel for them. But from what I’ve seen so far, I highly recommend them.

I hope this information was useful if not interesting to you.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Jeannette

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Snob Paints (Vasari)

Hello everyone, I hope your week is progressing well.

As I mentioned in my last post, I acquired some new paints. These paints are some of the world’s best brands and especially Vasari is very expensive. Even more so because I’m in Canada and the exchange rate is abysmal. Vasari is a boutique paint and as far as I know, you can only order from them directly in the U.S. or from Jackson’s Art Supplies in London.

IMG_4522I also got some Michael Harding paints based in the UK (a top quality paint with decent prices), Blockx paints (an old and reputable company based in Belgium),  Mussini paints by Schmincke (a very reputable German company) and Williamsburg paints (a U.S. company that is now owned by Golden, a reputable paint company). And finally, I got some Rublev lead white paint from Natural Pigments. A couple of other brands that should be in the lineup is Old Holland and Maimeiri Puro but those will have to wait until another time.😁

I am going to post swatches of the paints I’ve mentioned here, but this post will focus on Vasari. I will post the other brands in posts to follow. I apologize for the quality of the pictures below as I was just doing these swatches for myself as reference. Then I thought why not post it for everyone else too. By the way, the white paint to colour paint ratio is very rough and I’m pretty bad with the palette knife. Hopefully, you will find it helpful if you’re interested in these paints.

Format:
The left column shows the paint as they were squeezed from the tube labeled with the paint colour.

The right part of the picture is the paint tinted to increasing degrees with M. Graham’s Titanium White Alkyd paint. Please note that Titanium White does skew the colours a little cooler.

Vasari:IMG_4547You can click on the image to enlarge

Paint colours from top to bottom:

Cadmium Lemon: I was surprised at how oily with was straight out of the tube. Nice colour similar to other Cadmiums I own but didn’t seem be overpowering, you can get some nice soft yellows when tinted down.

Genuine Naples Light: This was the most expensive paint not just because of the brand but from any manufacturer that makes it. And not many do because of toxicity/scarcity of the pigment. As you can see, it is a very different yellow that it hard to achieve by mixtures. When tinted down, you can get some really subtle pale yellows

Raw Sienna: Also a wet colour but beautifully neutral. I can see this being used quite a bit.

Ivory Black: A basic warm black that can tint neutral grays. I only have a cool black so it’s a welcome addition.

When I was considering the colours from Vasari, I wanted to get so much more. But because I spent so much on the Genuine Naples Yellow, I got more reasonably priced colours instead.

My first impressions of Vasari surprised me the most, I thought that I would hear the angels sing.. but it didn’t happen. I also new it was a “loose” paint but I was surprised at how oily or how much initial oil from the tube came out. I know you can l leach the oil out on a paper towel but it’s an extra step. There’s no doubt on the beauty of the colours but these are only swatches. I will have to see how they behave when I paint with them. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

Stay tuned for more swatches and first impressions…

Thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

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What’s New

Hello everyone, I hope you have been keeping well and the new year has been kind to you so far.

I have had a nice break. The first week of the new year was an extension of the Christmas break for our household, since the kids had the first week off from school. After that it was my birthday. I was fortunate/smart in receiving what I wanted for Christmas and birthday gifts (I told my DH exactly what I wanted: everybody is happy 😊). Below is a pic of my spoils:

IMG_4498 I got snob paints, my first real easel and an Ikea cart/taboret. I’m excited to take these babies for a spin. I will be doing some paint swatches and noting my impressions soon.

Keep well and thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

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Painting #30 and a New Year’s Wish

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, new year! Here is my last painting off my 30-Day Painting Challenge and the first painting posted for 2017:

#30 “Santorini Dreaming”, oil on birch panel, 8″x8″
img_4446This painting of Santorini signifies my outlook for this year. It looks fresh and warm with endless sun and bright blue sea. I am very happy that I was able to complete this painting and this painting challenge, that I imposed on myself😄! It was frightening but since I was committed by declaring it publicly, I was forced to complete it. In the end, I’m glad I did. I learned a great deal and I feel a great sense of achievement.

I hope this year will be fulfilling with new adventures, growth and gratitude. I am going to take a break from blogging and social media to reflect on my intention for this year.

A special thank you to all of you for reading my blog and supporting my work, I appreciate it more than you know.

Jeannette

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