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  #1  
Old 08-11-05, 03:28 PM
mara
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Default Tube watercolor vs. powdered pigment advise, Please

Hi! Can anyone tell me why straight pigment is preferred to tube watercolor for use in ET? This is just a theory but wouldn't gum arabic cause the paint to have better flexibility and protection? Is there some difference in the appearance or maybe the application that makes straight pigment better? I'm guessing maybe drying time is affected because my paint doesn't have the instant drying characteristics that everyone is always talking about. Thanks for your opinions!
Mara
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Old 08-11-05, 04:53 PM
Rosemary Rosemary is offline
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Default Other Additives

Some watercolors use additives besides gum arabic to help keep paint moist in the pans, such as honey and glycerine. These will affect drying time of heavily applied watercolor but not thinly applied washes of watercolor. When I use egg tempera, I use heavier pigment loading than when I paint in watercolor.

Try a test panel using pigment vs. watercolor and see if it makes a difference to you. So much is an individual thing. The other influence on drying time is the relative humidity of your workspace. I am seeing a much longer drying time now that our monsoon season has started in Seattle but it is not yet cold enough for the furnace to run a lot.

Most of all, just enjoy your painting experience and use what works well for you.
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Old 08-11-05, 05:08 PM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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I can second all that rosemary said....Especially the pigment load portion...You can achieve a much greater pigment load with pure pigments...I find that the tubed paints are quite convenient though. You might want to check into the ingredients of various manufacturers. Some contain honey that I find objectionable and the vermin such as silverfish are fond of. Holbein is one of my favorites. (Holbein also offers a high pigment load/ low additive line called irodori They are kind of pricey and have names that correspond with nothing in the art world besides the marketeer's idea of what the colour is like. ) I have not tried these . While Sennelier and Schminke and Daniel Smith are some of my favorite water colour brands I try to avoid them in et. I also try to use the opaque watercolours more than the transparent ones. Hope I've been some help. Feel free to disregard any thing I said if you discover otherwise.
Eric in Oceanside
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Old 08-11-05, 07:50 PM
mara
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Thanks guys for the responses. Ok, I have noticed that the pigment load is sometimes too light. I'd like to try straight pigment. Can anyone suggest a place to get small amounts of inexpensive pigment?
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Old 09-11-05, 12:14 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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nope not really.....but if your'e in the LA area I think that Pearl has some.
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Old 09-11-05, 12:19 AM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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All the comments above are quite right. You don't know what you're getting in addition to pigment with the various brands of watercolors, and you don't need the extra ingredients anyway. Gum arabic is actually kind of brittle so that wouldn't help with flexibility. Related to the lower pigment load the others mentioned, there is also the danger of under-tempering your mix if you use watercolor and egg. I've seen this firsthand when teaching one-day workshops to high school students, where we had to do a down-and-dirty pseudoversion of egg tempera. In order to get a strong enough hue, some students would tend to add, repeatedly, more watercolor to their mixtures. It still seemed to have proper brushing qualities and enough body and it wasn't until too late that they discovered there wasn't enough egg binder to keep their film from lifting. The same goes for substituting gouache. For someone unaccustomed to egg tempera, I think it's a bit risky. Better just to go with dry pigments or pigment dispersions (liquid colors.)

As far as pigment sellers go, the usual suspects are Kremer in New York, Sinopia in SF, Daniel Smith in Seattle, and you might find them at Pearl Paint, Dick Blick, Williamsburg Paint, and elsewhere. They all have internet mail order service. If you're nervous about using pigments in powdered form or worried about proper tempering proportions, you could alway try some tubed egg tempera. It's not exactly the same as whipping it up yourself, and is more expensive, but you just squeeze it out and add water. However, by all measures, straight homemade ET is the cheapest painting medium I have ever used. The pigments you buy this year will serve you for many more years. Just start off with a few, judiciously selected colors and add more as you can.
D
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Old 09-11-05, 09:40 PM
mara
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Ok guys you've definitely convinced me. I've picked a few colors that are AP approved at the Kremer website. Since I know nothing about this, I would really love your opinions on my choices:
23650 Arylide Yellow PY 74 (Hansa), bright yellow, high tinting AP
23950 Studio Red PR 3, orange red, Hansa red AP
45010 Ultramarine Blue Deep PB 29 AP stabilized for oil, lime, cement
46200 Titanium White, rutile PW 6, heavy opaque white
47010 French Vine Black AP
Thanks everybody!
Mara
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Old 10-11-05, 05:38 PM
mara
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Ok, since I'm having a terrible time waiting for my pigments I've figured a way to use tube watercolor that has great color intensity and quick drying time. I put 1 yolk and 1 whole egg in a large baby food jar. Pop both yolks and shake it up. Then I pass a fork several times thru the mix to remove any slimey bits. Let the bubbles settle out and that's it!
Used straight with watercolor (approx 1:1), it's workable and very intense for details or small areas. 2 thin layers of ultramarine is a navy blue!
Thin the paint with a little water for transparent coverage or thin a lot for smooth washes.
Thin paint dries matte and thicker dries satin. Also lovely is a higher ratio of medium to tube. Either way, used thinly it dries wonderfully fast and is so easy to prepare!
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Old 10-11-05, 06:02 PM
Rosemary Rosemary is offline
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Default Wow! Thanks for the research results.

Finding a technique for those with a lot of watercolors already sitting around is great! I will have to give it a try as it would make an easier introduction for introductory teaching purposes.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-05, 10:00 PM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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Sounds great. Some of my workshop students, by the way, did nice work with watercolor and egg yolk. I think you just have to be extra careful to get the right amount of egg in it.
Regarding your pigment list, I don't know about Kremer's Hansa yellow, but I have a terrible time with D. Smith's Hansa. Namely, it is hard as heck to wet. Water just rolls off it unless I use some kind of wetting agent. Even then, when I think I have it mixed well, powdery pigment film will gradually float to the top in my palette. Maybe another brand of Hansa yellow is better than the one I have. Instead, I use a few different yellow ochres -- some are actually quite bright -- and when I really, really need a strong yellow I carefully pull out the cadmium.
D
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