Re: Why Winsor & Newton?

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 06/01/05-03:38:22 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
> > Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
> > Now, Holbein does have one color that no other person makes quite
> >> the same--Opera. Can't wait to make a gum with that as my magenta of
> >> choice.
> Katharine wrote:
> > Just so you know, one of the pigments in that paint, basic violet 10, is
> > fugitive. (The other pigment is PR122, quinacridone magenta).
> Interesting, but Page gives it 3 stars, her highest rating, saying
> lightfastness is very good. Maybe because the PR122 is lightfast enough to
> carry the PV10. I wonder exactly what the PV10 contributes to the color.

Actually, that's BV 10...

Well, it comes down to who ya trust, I guess. True, Hilary Page gives it
a "very good" lightfast rating, but that's one step down from her best
rating, "excellent." and according to Page, Holbein itself only gives it
a "moderate" rating. At any rate, whenever there's a discrepancy
between sources about the lightfastness of something, I always go with
Bruce MacEvoy ( who does extensive and repeated testing of
all the pigments and who says of this paint, "Holbein opera is a much
more intense bluish pink hue (chroma of 72), a fascinating and effective
floral and flamingo color, but marginally lightfast because the basic
dye rhodamine B (BV10) has been added; it should not be used for
collectible quality artwork." Rhodamine B, if I remember my research of
a couple years ago correctly, is one of the fugitive magentas used in
commercial printing inks, and it is fugitive indeed, as you'll know if
you've ever left the Sunday comics out in the sun.

Mixing fugitive pigments with permanent pigments doesn't make them less
fugitive, and a fugitive paint in a mixture will fade regardless of the
other pigments. For example, my sources all seem to agree that PR 83,
alizarin crimson, turns any paint it's mixed into fugitive.

But the more interesting question to me at the moment, in light of my
present ruminations (I'm working on a web page about pigments for
tricolor) is how the blue in the "opera" paint, if indeed it's more blue
than other magentas, may affect how well it works for tricolor, in terms
of producing a neutral blend when the three colors are mixed (testing my
hypothesis that too much blue in a red will result in a brown mix in
tricolor). But then handprint says even of the PR122 by itself, that "
Unfortunately, it leans so far toward blue that it produces rather dull
brown or tan mixtures with orange or yellow ..." I intend to test that
pigment in my soon-to-be commenced tricolor testing for this page, but
neither Daniel Smith nor Graham carry it, so I'll have to go out of my
way to buy another brand. (Speaking of availability, Winsor & Newton
isn't nearly as available to me in my corner of the world as Graham or
Daniel Smith.)

I will be testing Daniel Smith's version of PR202, which Page says is
"very similar to PR122" but of course it's not the same pigment, and in
the swatch it looks even more blue than the PR122. As a matter of fact,
Bruce Macevoy says the PR202 has the same molecular structure ( the
different hue apparently results from different crystal structure) as
PR209. (I can't look at the paint itself because it's still somewhere
between here and Seattle). BTW, I just discovered another thing I
hadn't known before, that maybe everyone else knew all along. I always
thought that you had to buy 12 of the same paint to get the volume
discount from Daniel Smith, but it's 12 tubes of DS paint, period. So I
just ordered 12 different paints and got not only the discount on each
one, but free shipping to boot. But no PR122. I'm rambling, but one more
bit of pigment trivia before I stop: when I ordered PY184, bismuth
vanadate, the woman on the phone said, "You'll like this one, because
it's the exact color of the blossom of the acacia tree." I like that
about Daniel Smith.

> >> (CZA) Katharine, I did buy one of the last tubes of genuine gamboge a
> >> while back
> >> (PY34),
> > (KT) Actually that's NY24....
> > (CZA)I tried my darnedest to find a tube of
> >> chrome yellow (PY24)
> > (KT) Actually that's PY34... PY24 is Flavanthrone which isn't used in any
> > watercolor paint.
> (CZA) Whoops, got em backwards...

I wondered about that, when I saw that you'd given gamboge the number
for chrome yellow. But still, NY24 and PY24 are different pigments.

 So you didn't find that either viridian or chromium oxide green
> required either more or less development?


 Do you think you can extrapolate
> from that, that chrome yellow would behave the same?

No, I don't venture to extrapolate.. I'd just say that the fact that
chromium oxide (anhydrous chromium sesquioxide) and viridian (hydrous
chromium sesquioxide) (PG 17 and 18) work fine for gum (IME) casts doubt
on the oft-stated belief that chromium in pigments interferes with the
gum process.

> But this is an interesting question: which pigments (not to say they "don't
> work") give people trouble? Judy said ultramarine gave her/her students
> trouble. I, and a couple others, find when I use ultramarine it gives off a
> sulfur smell. Yukky and unpleasant, but it still works.

And ultramarine has long been my pigment of choice for tricolor work
(because it produces more natural greens than pthalo); I've never had
any "trouble" with it at all, in years of working with it all the time.

The only pigment I've ever had "trouble" with, and it wasn't a big
trouble, was zinc white in a gouache, which produced dichromate stain,
but that of course could be removed with a clearing bath.

Interesting discussion --Congrats on your degree!
Received on Wed Jun 1 10:34:03 2005

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