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Author Archive | Sarah Sands

SID Testing of Various Sealers on Hardboard where we looked at how effective GAC 100. Polymer Medium, and BIN were when using OPEN and Regular Gel.

OPEN Acrylics, Shellac, and SID

In many ways this article is a continuation from an earlier one,  Waterproof India Inks and Shellac-based Primers, which focused mostly on the alkaline sensitivity of shellac-based india inks when used with acrylics. However, towards the end of the article we briefly looked at  Zinnser’s B-I-N®, a common pigmented shellac primer, to see if it had similar […]

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Image 1: CAA Materials Panel Presentation Board showing Cobalt and Ultramarine Blue in watercolor, casein, 
egg tempera, acrylic, encaustic, and oil.

Pigment Volume Concentration and its Role in Color

Mention a well-known pigment like Ultramarine or Cobalt Blue, and we instantly picture a very particular and unwavering color. And why not – it is easy to think of pigments as having characteristics that remain constant as one moves between different mediums such as acrylics, oils or watercolors. Even if we accept that the handling […]

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Testing Inks on Various Substrates for Sensitivity to GOLDEN Gesso, GAC 100 and QoR Watercolor

Waterproof India Inks and Shellac-based Primers

We all get tripped up and surprised sometimes. Even the simplest description can set in motion assumptions that lead us to expect one thing only to be sitting there, moments later, head slightly tilted, a quizzical glance showing equal parts frustration and fascination. Which is where we found ourselves a few years back when testing a variety of […]

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Comparison of Williamsburg's Cobalt Blue Deep. Cobalt Blue, and a trial batch of YInMn Blue

YInMn Blue

Imagine inventing a color. Not a new shade or tint or blend made from others on the palette, but an entirely new pigment with a novel chemistry. For most artists that thought alone can instill a strong sense of wonder, of something magical and mysterious being coaxed into being from an alchemical mix of ingredients. […]

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Alizarin Crimson

Alizarin Crimson: Now You See It…..

If a single color embodies the dividing line between pigments considered suitable for permanent works of art, and those that are suspect and poor in lightfastness, Alizarin Crimson (PR 83) would be it. And yet it is still used by many artists who are drawn to it in spite of its many problems. Some of […]

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Apple and orange on a white background

Are acrylics as durable as oils?

  If oil paint was just now being invented, and had to sell itself to the marketplace as a new medium, it would probably have an incredibly difficult time – especially if we knew beforehand that its list of problems would include yellowing, cracking, wrinkling, flaking, embrittlement, hydrolysis, fatty acid crystallization, protuberances and delamination caused by […]

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Tubes representing the average volume of oil vs pigment.

Volume, Weight, and Pigment to Oil Ratios

Oil painters concerned with fat over lean will often turn to information about the oil absorption values for particular pigments as a way to compare how oily or lean certain colors might be. However this has led to many misconceptions and outrightly wrong conclusions which seem to persist in various forums and articles. In what follows […]

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Image 1 - Showing a side by side drawdown of GOLDEN N8 Neutral Gray, Titanium White, and between them, a 7:1 blend of GOLDEN Titanium White to GOLDEN N8 Neutral Gray. The scale shown underneath is an official Munsell® Neutral Value Scale, Matte Edition.

Neutral Gray Number 9

If comparing GOLDEN’s Neutral Gray series to the Munsell® Grey Scale that they are based on, you might quickly realize that one step is missing – namely N9, the Munsell® gray that is one step below pure white. And clearly the natural question is why? When the Neutral Grays were first created it was felt […]

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