Opera by Winsor & Newton (was Re: Why Winsor & Newton?

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 06/08/05-02:56:38 AM Z
Message-id: <42A6B2B6.6857@pacifier.com>

Hi All,

Yesterday I received a complimentary tube of Winsor & Newton's "opera
rose," which is an apparent attempt to piggyback on the popularity of
Holbein's less-than-lightfast "Opera."

Winsor & Newton is cagey about the mystery pigment in this paint
(MacEvoy designates it as BV 10? with a question mark) but its
description as "fluorescent dye" and its position in front of the list
of pigments would in themselves give me pause, without knowing anything
more specific about the pigment. Like food products, the ingredients in
paints are supposed to be listed in order of their magnitude, so we can
assume there is more fluorescent dye in this paint than there is PR
122. It's a really luscious fuschia, but I wouldn't trust it to last
past Christmas. It's too new to have been tested by independent testers,
and I don't see a lightfast rating on the tube, but watch for a B
rating, or maybe even an A rating, from Winsor & Newton.

In the earlier discussion about Holbein's "opera", (see below if you
want a review) I mentioned that Page gave the manufacturer's lightfast
rating as "moderate," which I took (falling right into the intended
perception manipulation, even though I should know better) to mean
somewhere in the middle. But in looking for something else, I discovered
that Holbein has done the same thing as Winsor & Newton with the
lightfast ratings. Apparently their scale goes from three asterisks to
one asterisk, and the one-asterisk category, where "opera" was placed by
its own manufacturer, is called "moderate." So, to state the obvious
again-- in Holbein's rating scale, as in W&N's scale, a fugitive paint
can get no lower a rating than "moderate" or "moderately durable." This
kind of stuff makes me nuts.


Katharine Thayer wrote: (June 1)
> 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 (handprint.com) 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.
> >
> <SNIP>
> So you didn't find that either viridian or chromium oxide green
> > required either more or less development?
> Nope...
> 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!
> Katharine
Received on Wed Jun 8 09:52:16 2005

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