Re: Why Winsor & Newton?

From: Robert M ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/29/05-05:32:49 PM Z
Message-id: <BAY3-DAV13C0BD8B60969FF8264EA7E6020@phx.gbl>

> > I am ever so curious. What is so special about Winsor & Newton paints?
It is
> > not like they are the only manufacturer of suitable pigments. Are they?
> Oh lordy, it's like the Aesops fable about how the magpie learned to build
> its nest, or that's what leaps to mind. I probably should have kept my
> mouth shut -- as instructed by our esteemed "list minder." However,
> having opened the can of worms, to mix metaphors -- here's some history:

I asked a legitimate question, quite on point. No reason to discuss
alternative techniques if one cannot ask a simply "why." I am not sure what
the list minder said to you, but it seems to me, if a member asks why
Winsor & Newton is the preferred choice, they should be able to. Unless I
miss your point and I managed to avoid a rather hearted discussion, as often

>From what I gather, Winsor & Newton is preferred because it is easily

> This was before the internet and
> digital indexes, if you could believe, there WAS life before the internet
> or what passed for life (Chris, light a candle!), but not so quick & easy,
> they had to go to the library, beg and cry, and not just any library,
> because Podunk might not have even Henney and Dudley, or if it did nobody
> knew to ask for it.

I agree -the Internet has changed things. Interesting you mentioned the
library. I heavily rely upon the e-library. Not one, perhaps 130+ different
libraries, library card catalogs, and indexes. Mostly existing on the hidden

I also spend time in the brick structures to locate essential research. I
find the e-library especially useful. Although the actual book is likely not
available online, it is often readily available using the Inter-Library Loan
Program. Except some rare volumes.

Have any of you researched the patent library? I notice many patents exist
for a wide variety of color techniques

> In any event (do I digress? tough!) they brought the processes back from
> the dead and started a veritable cascade, origin of the domino
> theory perhaps, of books -- MOST of which were lifted from theirs, but
> like the game of telephone, probably diluted with each generation. By
> 1980 there were MANY manuals in print, some better than others, some
> worse -- though the artwork was (almost) always inspiring.
> In those days, as some of you have surmised, watercolor paints, ESPECIALLY
> cheap watercolor paints, had fugitive unnamed who-knew-what for pigments,
> no standards, no codes, no numbers, and the marked (and many unmarked)
> "student" grades were full of fillers -- it took 3 or 4 or 6 times as much
> pigment to get a given intensity of color. Also dispersal agents, which
> MIGHT have helped a newby watercolorist but killed gum printing because
> the emulsion wouldn't clear. Also folks generally entered the medium as
> *photographers* and knew diddle about paint. I at least had the advantage
> of entering as a former painter, and had Ralph Mayer's handbook on paint,
> and though it's probably superceded by more recent works, it still has a
> lot of good basic info about pigments and basic concepts like "covering
> power" of given pigments, etc. As someone just surmised, it's not just the
> amount of pigment but the pigment itself that matters.

So my next question is this: if "you" are concerned about vehicles and
carriers that may or may not affect the process or the longevity of the
print, why not forget commercially manufactured colors and compound your
own? There are a few good sources for pure pigments and the "simple"
requirements of the gum process/Tri-Color Carbo make compounding quite easy.

> Also, however, I would not EVER use ultramarine in any make when
> attempting *realistic* tricolor, which this fellow's book must also have
> advised. If it did, bonfire it. Not that a dandy color print couldn't be
> made with ultramarine -- but that's the advanced class and something of a
> tour de force (in my experience anyway). Thalo (pthalo) blue is certainly
> in my experience, easy, trouble free, VERY strong (hence cheap to use)
> pigment for tricolor (the closest I know to process blue) tho cyanotype is
> apparently good, maybe better, I dunno I haven't used it.

You put "realistic" in quotes. Are you interested in true color or some
approximate fidelity to sooth your vision? I am just asking. True color is
"easy" because you can easily obtain the proper dyes used to make dye
transfer prints. They should be easy to change to suite the needs of most
workers on this list.

By the way, matrix film is once again available.

Received on Sun May 29 17:40:11 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 06/02/05-10:12:03 AM Z CST