Gamblin Conservation Colors

Restoration of van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. Photo courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum.

At Raw Materials Art Supplies, it is important to us to carry products from the companies who are out there doing good things for artists and art. The work that Gamblin Artists Colors does with their Gamblin Conservation Colors is a good example of that.

In the world of art conservation today, there are three important considerations regarding the materials used on artwork. First, the materials used for this work should be stable – meaning that the materials should not change over time. Second, the materials should be reversible and able to be removed without damaging the original artwork. And third, the binder of the material should visually saturate the pigment in a similar manner as linseed oil.

In the mid-90’s, Robert Gamblin collaborated with a group of conservators to improve upon these considerations. Gamblin Conservation Colors were born from this collaboration. They include 50 lightfast colors – made with pigments found in the Gamblin Artist’s Grade and 1980 oils and bound in a contemporary resin binder, which makes the restorations stable and reversible.

Conservation Colors are not sold to artists for a couple reasons. First, they lack the texture and mark-making possibilities of oils. Second, they demand a stronger solvent than artists have (or are willing to work around) in their studios.

Gamblin Conservation colors is truly a labor of love in support of conservators around the world. When you purchase Gamblin materials, you are also supporting the field of conservation and helping to protect our visual history. We are very grateful for your support.

Introducing Wrapped Wood Panels by Lucius Hudson, Inc.

PVA-sized linen wrapped on a cradled wood panel by Lucius Hudson, Inc.

Lucius Hudson, Inc. has been making fine art stretcher bars and wood panels for artists since 1966. Their dedication to detail and the quality of their products is legendary, and you may have heard of some of their clients. (Does Takashi Murakami ring a bell?)

When they approached us to be the first-ever retailer for their products, how could we not want to put these beautiful surfaces into the hands of our amazing customers? We are excited to start with a selection of their linen-wrapped wood panels in two popular sizes.

These aren’t your every-day cradled wood panels: these are made using torsion box construction: a matrix of 4″ × 4″ inch boxes glued between two plywood sheets produces greater strength and stability over traditional cradled wood panel designs. For acid and moisture protection all panels are sealed with shellac. Each panel has a full cleat, allowing it to be hung from any side. Panels that are wrapped in canvas or linen are cut with notches in the corners so the fold doesn’t protrude.

Back side of the panel, showing the cleat edge (and a hint of the notch for the fold).

Let’s talk a little more about that notch, because this is one of those design details that just demonstrates the commitment to quality that Lucius Hudson, Inc. has. When you stretch a canvas (either on stretcher bars or over a panel like these), you have probably noticed the bulges on the corner where the canvas has to be folded. (Or, worse, had a canvas eventually fall apart because someone had the bright idea to cut the overlapping fabric.) They’ve solved that problem by engineering the panel with small notches, so the fold naturally tucks in and no longer causes that unsightly bulge.

So dig deep into your wallet and prepare to pay highly-inflated prices for these highly-engineered surfaces, right? Wrong. Lucius Hudson really wants to get these into the hands of artists, so they’ve worked with us to offer special pricing on a curated selection of sizes and varieties. We have started with a couple of sizes of panels wrapped with PVA-sized linen, and we would love to hear from artists what other varieties they would like to see us have on hand.

(And they don’t just make wrapped wood panels, stay tuned for more exciting products in the future!)

Happy Inktober! Meet the New Piñata Alcohol Ink Colors

New Piñata Alcohol Ink Colors: Teal, Blue-Violet, Coral, Pink, and Golden Yellow

5 NEW reasons to love Piñata Color: Golden Yellow, Pink, Coral, Blue-Violet, and Teal! Piñata Colors are fast-drying, super vibrant alcohol inks for non-porous surfaces like glass, metal, plastic, ceramic, YUPO®, leather, polymer clay and resin. Indelible and impervious to water, Piñata Colors clean up and re-wet with alcohol, allowing for unique effects and techniques not easily achieved with water-based inks.

New Piñata Alcohol Ink Colors: Teal, Blue-Violet, Coral, Pink, and Golden Yellow

WHY 5 NEW COLORS? Some colors are more challenging to mix from scratch than others. This is especially true of complex colors like teal and coral. Alcohol ink artists have been asking for these colors, and Jacquard is proud to announce their release.

NEW PIÑATA EXCITER: Jacquard is also proud to introduce the NEW Piñata Overtones Exciter Pack! This collection of 9 alcohol inks includes the 5 NEW colors + Blanco Blanco, Copper, Brass, & Pearl. The Piñata Overtones Exciter Pack makes a superb companion to the original Piñata Exciter Pack, offering a complex palette to compliment the more elementary colors in the original set.

Watch below as artist Annie Morcos (@AnniesArtStudio) creates a resin petri project featuring the new Piñata Colors!

All About Gamblin Oil Painting Ground

Gamblin Artists’ Oil Colors

Oil painters are increasingly invested in the craftsmanship of their artwork. An accomplished and experienced oil painter recently asked us about Gamblin Ground, and why they would use it instead of or in addition to regular gesso. Creating a strong foundation for imagery is an important consideration, and Gamblin Oil Painting Ground creates the perfect foundation for contemporary oil painters. Below are notes on the key characteristics of Gamblin Ground, application tips, and notes about shelf life.

Gamblin Ground
Gamblin Oil Painting Ground makes a strong, bright, non-absorbent foundation for oil paintings. Gamblin Ground is formulated from alkyd resin, titanium dioxide, and calcium carbonate – titanium dioxide gives opacity, while calcium carbonate gives tooth for strong adhesion.

Gamblin Ground makes a brighter and less-absorbent ground layer compared to acrylic “gesso” – meaning that oil paint layers on top retain better color saturation. Gamblin Ground can be applied to a “pre-primed” acrylic gesso canvas or panel to make a good painting support a great one.

Not every day is Christmas…
We all have a collection of less-than-successful paintings that shouldn’t see the light of day. Since Gamblin Ground is oil-based, it can be used to cover old paintings so the support can be re-used. We recommend roughing up the old painting with sandpaper or steel wool, followed by wiping the surface with a rag wet with Gamsol before the Ground is applied. This will ensure proper adhesion.

Application
Because the percentage of pigments is so much higher than in acrylic “gesso”, painters need only apply TWO thin coats of Gamblin Ground instead of the recommended four coats of acrylic. Fabric supports should be sized with PVA Size before applying Gamblin Ground.

Gamblin Ground is thicker than acrylic gesso, and requires different application techniques, which are demonstrated on Gamblin’s Video Demos page.

Shelf Life, Formulation Improvements. 
We have heard from painters who’ve experienced Gamblin Ground skinning over in the can, and Gamblin has taken steps to mitigate this by managing formula solvent levels and drying rate. They have also improved the Ground by lowering its odor.  Ongoing tests show that formula adjustments over the past two years have resulted in reduced skinning and improved shelf life. 

Still, Oil Painting Ground is formulated to dry faster than oil colors, and it doesn’t discriminate between drying on a canvas and in the can. Gamblin date stamps the bottom of each can. Painters, please remove the wax paper seal after the first use, drizzle a little Gamsol on the surface of the Ground and cover with a plastic seal (i.e. Ziplock baggie cut to fit).  This will help prevent skinning in the can by limiting the Ground’s contact with oxygen. 

Painting with Gamblin Radiant Colors

Gamblin Radiant Colors: (clockwise from top left) Radiant Lemon, Radiant Yellow, Radiant Red, Radiant Magenta, Radiant Violet, Radiant Blue, Radiant Turquoise, Radiant Green

Vibrant. Subtle. Harmonious.

Gamblin Radiants work together as a system of accent colors, enabling artists to easily and predictably punch-up the color and intensity in their paintings. When used in mixtures, the Radiants allow painters to warm-up or cool-down colors without darkening them. Radiants can also neutralize colors into more nuanced mixtures.

Gamblin Radiant Colors are composed of eight intense tints – mixtures of pure color and white, at Value 7 on the Munsell System. In this page, we share how the Radiant Colors came to be and we showcase how painters utilize Radiant Colors in their work.

Development: a Radiant collaboration

Wolf Kahn’s Studio

Gamblin Radiant Colors were developed out of Robert Gamblin’s friendship with painter Wolf Kahn. Wolf’s landscapes are spoken in the language of pure color – the natural world is expressed through a vibrant palette and bold shapes. Wolf is just as fluent in working with soft pastels as he is in oil paint. As pastels are a “dry” medium, one would have sticks of pure pigment (Ultramarine Blue, for example) plus several tints of that pigment at different values. Wolf took the same approach to his oil color palette – incorporating pure colors from the tube alongside lighter tints. Robert worked with Wolf in developing the eight intense tints that became known as Radiants.

Wolf KahnA Brook Flows By It, oil on canvas 36″ x 52″

Modern Tints

Each of the Radiant Colors are tints of modern organic pigments. The one exception is Radiant Blue, which is a tint of Ultramarine. Modern organic pigments retain their intensity in tints in mixtures, which is the reason the Radiant Colors maintain such a high chroma at their light values. It’s also worth noting that these modern organic pigments are transparent in nature, yet the Radiant Colors are all opaque, due to the addition of titanium white in their formulas.

Radiant White: the brightest of whites

Gamblin Radiant White

Gamblin Radiant White is pure titanium dioxide bound in safflower oil. Radiant White is the brightest white oil color Gamblin makes. Safflower is paler than linseed oil which means that Radiant White is not only brighter, but it is more neutral in temperature compared to linseed oil-bound whites. With its high load of titanium dioxide, Radiant White reflects back 97% of the light that falls on it.

Without modification, Radiant White is Gamblin’s most brushable white – meaning it has the least amount of resistance under the brush or painting knife. Radiant White is also slower drying than other whites, making it useful for painters who wish to work wet into wet or otherwise desire more open time.

Techniques for painting with Radiant Colors

Lori Putnam

Colored whites

Radiant Turquoise, Radiant Violet, and Radiant Blue have become my first “go-to” colors for lightening values when cooler colors are needed. Rather than heading straight for my Titanium White, these colors serve me better because all three are cool, very light, and intense and they help with neutralizing colors. For example, if I am trying to neutralize Napthol Red and do not want a dark, warmer color (as I would get if mixed with its complement, Green), I add Radiant Turquoise. The result is a rich, cooler, mid-value color.

Napthol Red mixed with Radiant Turquoise:

Similarly, I can get a more natural violet by mixing Radiant Blue with my Napthol.

Napthol Red mixed with Radiant Blue:

Mixing with Radiant Turquoise vs. Titanium White:

By lightening Quinacridone Violet with Radiant Turquoise instead of Titanium White, I will get more nuanced color mixing. The mixture of Quinacridone Violet and Radiant Turquoise passes through the blue section of the color wheel, yielding beautifully subtle mid-value blues. When Quinacridone Violet is mixed with straight white, the corresponding tints remain in violet hue family.

Here I use mixtures of Quinacridone Violet and Radiant Turquoise in this painting of snow on a sunny day:

Lori PutnamBlurred Lines, oil on linen, 28″ x 36″

Warm and cool Radiant mixtures

Try this: mix Cadmium Orange with Radiant Turquoise in one pile and with Radiant Violet in another. These two greys will be the same value, but one will appear cooler and the other warmer. When placed next to one another in the distant landscape, the beauty of a late afternoon mountain comes to life.

Anna Rose Bain

More than Radiant

When I started experimenting with Gamblin’s line of Radiant colors, I expected they would end up in the “occasional use” drawer. To my surprise, I found myself employing them in nearly every painting—especially figurative works—with Radiant Green and Radiant Turquoise claiming permanent spots on my palette. Some of the others (like Radiant Red and Violet) join the party almost as often. Whenever I teach or give a portrait demo, the first thing people ask me about are “those bright colors” on my palette and how to use them.

I find Radiant Green and Radiant Turquoise particularly useful in adjusting the hue and/or temperature within a painting, while maintaining light values. Others in the Radiant line, such as Radiant Violet and Radiant Red, are almost impossible to substitute. The Radiant Violet is very cold in color temperature. I’ve seen nothing else like it on the market. Depending on the nature of the light source, Radiant Violet and/or Radiant Red are often the perfect choice for painting the brightest highlights on a model without having to default to titanium white.

In this passage of a recent alla prima portrait (below), you can see a subtle light blue along the temple area and around the eye socket. In those areas where there is a plane change, gradually turning away from the light, the color becomes cooler, but not necessarily darker. This was a perfect opportunity to use Radiant Turquoise.

Anna Rose BainKat Profile

In addition to creating luscious skin tones, the Radiant line is great for nailing local color. The little boy in this portrait (below) was wearing a white and sea-green shirt, and sat outdoors on an overcast day (so cool light). Instead of mixing white with Phthalo or some other darker color, I was able to use Radiant Green almost straight out of the tube for that shirt. Additionally, you can see passages in his face and throughout the painting (leaves, stone steps, etc.) where I mixed the green and turquoise in, creating an overall harmony for the piece.

Anna Rose BainSimon
Anna Rose BainSimon (detail)

In this portrait of Colquitt (below), I used Radiant Violet all over the background (in front of a light transparent wash of ivory black), and for the bold highlight in the middle of his forehead.

Anna Rose BainColquitt

Radiant colors are invaluable for cooling down a color mixture without getting a darker value and for obtaining bright highlight or local colors without having to use a ton of white.  Whether or not you are painting from life, the Radiant colors are wonderful shortcuts for all of your “high key” needs.

Featured artists and contributors:

Wolf Kahn

Lori Putnam

Anna Rose Bain

Pendulum Pours w/GOLDEN Color Pouring Medium Matte & Gloss

GOLDEN Acrylic Colors – Pendulum Pours w/Color Pouring Medium Matte & Gloss

Here’s a new way to do acrylic pours – with a pendulum! We are most definitely going to try this at home! GOLDEN Color Pouring Medium Matte (CPM Matte) and Color Pouring Medium Gloss (CPM Gloss) are new and exciting products for 2019. Have you tried doing an acrylic pour yet? So much fun. Unlike most acrylic mediums that develop an initial “skin” when drying, this medium avoids skinning over and is resistant to “crazing”. This process also allows for air bubbles and tool marks to readily disappear.

When it comes to acrylic pouring, craze-resistance is mucho important and muy practical – it allows more freedom while painting. You do like freedom, don’t you? In any case, CPM Matte and CPM Gloss levels well, creating smooth, uniform paint layers. Blend the medium with Heavy Body, Fluid, or High Flow Acrylics as desired, although we recommend starting with relatively low levels of paint (around 10% color) until you gain some experience with the product and its mannerisms. Then you can, and should, go crazy.

These are Drying Times

Check out this video where Richard and Darin of R&F Handmade Paints talk about things that affect the drying rates of R&F Pigment Sticks. Probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get about Pigment Sticks is, how long they take to dry compared to oil paint out of a tube. Don’t forget that R&F Pigment Sticks are ON SALE at 15% OFF during our MOVING SALE.

OPEN Slow-Drying Acrylics Landscape Set

Just in time for summer, Golden Artist Colors’ OPEN Slow-Drying Acrylics Landscape Set is ON SALE at 30% OFF! Designed for the traditional painter looking for an alternative to oil paints, plein air painters, and/or acrylic painters whose palettes need to remain wet far longer than other acrylics. Blend, soften and shade with traditional painting techniques, reduce skinning on the palette during long painting sessions, both in studio and outdoors. The Golden OPEN Slow Drying Acrylics Landscape Set includes seven (7) 22ml tubes: cadmium yellow primrose, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson hue, cadmium red light, ultramarine blue, manganese blue hue, and sap green hue. Also includes one 59ml tube of titanium white and one 30ml bottle of OPEN Thinner.

R&F Pigment Stick Video Tutorial w/ Charles Forsberg

R&F Pigment Sticks Video Tutorial with Charles Fosberg

Charles Forsberg demonstrates how Pigment Sticks by R&F Handmade Paints are both a drawing and painting medium like no one else. He frequently returns to drawing, forcefully striking marks into the heavily manipulated buttery paint, then tearing it apart, alternating in a push-pull sequence of drawing and smearing, scraping back, revealing previous drawing marks, and piling what he has scraped up into thick sculptural mounds.

Painting becomes an amazing and unceasing gestural exercise over many hours, as Forsberg turns the formless ooze he started with into a powerful structure of shapes and sharply accented marks. www.charlesforsberg.com/

As part of our MOVING SALE, R&F Pigment Sticks are ON SALE at 15% OFF, including all R&F Pigment Stick Sets. The 6-color sets come packaged in a 6½” × 7½” cradled Ampersand Gessobord with six (6) 38ml pigment sticks. The 12-color set coms in a 8″ × 12″ Ampersand Gessobord with twelve (12) 38ml pigment sticks.

Flashe Matte Artists Colors are back!

It’s the same great extra fine, vinyl-based professional grade line of matte permanent colors offering the optics, spirit, and feel of gouache, old tempera paints, and primitive painting grounds that you’ve always loved, but after being unavailable for what felt like forever, Flashe Matte Artists Colors are back with a new look and eleven (11) new colors for a total of 76 colors (including 12 iridescent and 6 fluorescent)!

Oh yeah, Flash Matte Artists Colors are ON SALE at 20% OFF!

Dans ce tutoriel, découvrez les spécificités de Flashe, émulsion vinylique au fini mat. Rendez-vous sur notre site pour en savoir plus.

Hyper-matte, velvety, and perfectly opaque on any surface, Flashe Matte Artists Colors are extremely highly pigmented, versatile, and can be applied densely for maximum opacity, or diluted with water to create transparent watercolor effects. Offering good adherence and resistance to weather aggression, Flashe Matte is ideal for fresco and wall painting, faux finish, film/tv/theater decoration, etc. Compatible with paper, canvas and other supports, or for preparing grounds.