Sunday, 9 September 2012

New Paints in Box

I've been doing a bit of reading recently, books and blogs, and have been struck by the variety of colours and manufacturers that people use. Before now I've been fairly conservative in my selection of pigments using most of the standards that appear in most boxes, resisting the temptation to branch out. That is until the last few weeks. In a fit of artist envy I decided to have a splurge on a bunch of paints that until now had been a mystery to me. I was particularly attracted by what I was reading of Daniel Smith paints and on investigation was bewildered by the range. I've long been a Winsor and Newton man not seeing any reason to wander. So what to buy? Looking at the work of some artists that I admire I drew up a short list and sent for the selection. Exotic names like Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Green Apatite Genuine, Amethyst Genuine, Perylene Maroon and a bunch of Quinacridones.

Having taken delivery of the new 'toys' I set about investigating what they were like. This is an interesting process as I'm coming across characteristics that are new to me. As an example of what I mean I've posted a few pictures here of some swatches made with one of the new ones, Green Apatite Genuine. I ordered this colour, having read that Yvonne Harry (watercolourflorals.blogspot.com) was using it as the basis of her greens in her wonderful flower paintings. The main characteristic of this pigment is the degree of granulation that occurs. Whilst many pigments granulate I've never come across one that does so in such spectacular fashion. It's giving me quite a bit of food for thought as to how I will use it in future. 


Green Apatite with Winsor Yellow


Green Apatite with Cadmium Yellow Light


Green Apatite with Burnt Sienna

In the photographs you can see the aggregations of small dark particles that deposit whenever this pigment is used. 

Playing about with swatches is interesting but the real fun is to be had in making images and so on to put the new paints to use. I decided to carry on with the Iris project and selected a bloom that might use some of my new acquisitions.


Iris - Watercolour on Rough paper 16" x 12"

12 comments:

Nora MacPhail said...

Thank you so much for sharing your findings with us Mick!! Any other info about the Daniel Smith would be much appreciated. It gets expensive and often disappointing to buy a bunch of new products.
Thanks again,
Nora

Ray Maclachlan said...

The new paints look interesting Mick. If "Iris" is an example then you are on the right track. The background there really throws the subject forward. Great job.

Peter Ward said...

Now that's more like it Mick. Lovely vibrant colour. I think this far superior to the previous one.
As for Daniel Smith colours. I have(as you know) quite a few! I don't have the Green Apatite yet but Yvonne and Jan love it. You do go through it though and it isn't cheap. As you know I did a feature on Daniel Smith colours on my blog and (I think) gave a link to Handprints assesment of the Primatek colours. Well worth reading before plunging into any more. I've just ordered Quinacridone Purple, which is a very recent addition. A pure purple rather than a mixed one.

RH Carpenter said...

I agree, if "Iris" is an example of the new paints, then use them well - beautiful painting! I love the DS paints and I love the granulation you can get in many of them. Tigers Eye Genuine is a favorite dark green of mine as well as Zoisite Genuine. Of course, if you get a couple of good granulating colors, you don't need to go crazy and buy them all (as I did when I first discovered them! ha ha).

Yvonne Harry said...

A really interesting composition, Mick, and the background is a lovely mix of colours.

Mick Carney said...

Nora - Thanks. I agree with you about the wasted purchases and I'll happily share my feelings about the new bunch of paints.

Mick Carney said...

Ray - Thanks. The palette for this one is different to my usual choice and some of them bear some further investigation. I enjoy the colours in this one.

Mick Carney said...

Peter - Thanks. These Smith colours are certainly vibrant and have unusual characteristics. I'm enjoying the experimentation.

Mick Carney said...

Rhonda - Thanks. Yes there are lots of the new ones in this and I'll be carrying on using them. The Smith quality seems high and they are very different to most other brands in terms of the range and style of pigment. The only trouble is the ever expanding collection.

Mick Carney said...

Yvonne - Thanks. Taking your advice about filling the frame and cutting down on background.

Ron Guthrie said...

Wow!! Excellent work on these iris paintings Mick. This one practically jumps off the paper at you. Good work!

Mick Carney said...

Glad you like them Ron. They're giving me a lot of fun.