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(Left) Iridescent Pale Gold (Right) Iridescent Pale Gold thinned with Odorless Mineral Spirits

Not All That Glitters Is Gold – Williamsburg Iridescent and Interference Oil Colors

Gold leaf has been used to beautify and evoke meaning in painting throughout history, functioning as a luminous counterpoint to the flesh, fabric and nature painted with pigmented media. Artists today still use gold leaf, but have also added other metal foils, glitters, iridescent and interference paints to their palettes to activate and enliven their […]

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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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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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CadmiumMill_12.15

EU Decides Not to Ban Cadmium Pigments in Artist Paints

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently published its final decision that Cadmium pigments will not be restricted in artist paints. You can read the entire document here: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8530&lang=en In two previous issues of Just Paint we shared information concerning the possibility of Cadmium pigments being banned in artist paints. Just Paint Issue 4 (October 1996) […]

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Natural Brown Earth known as Umbers (left to right): Williamsburg Burnt Umber, Italian Raw Umber, French Burnt Umber, Brown Umber, Turkey Umber

In the Shadows

From the earliest times, the darkest shades of natural brown earths, known as Umbers, have been a part of the artists’ palette. Ranging in tones from the greener Raw Umbers, which produce a range of neutrals when mixed with white, to the warmer, dark chocolate notes of Burnt Umbers, which create tans and tawny beiges […]

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Alla Prima (Wet into Wet), No washy layers

Solving the Solvents

      Oil paint can be one of the most natural and safe materials used in the making of paintings but have, through misconception, been labeled as dangerous. Oil paint is made by grinding dry powdered pigment with linseed oil. Sometimes stabilizers, additives or driers will be used in small amounts so the paint dries […]

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Oil Swatches

A Palette of Textures

“Do you like oil paint?” It’s a seemingly, almost deceptively simple question, and one that I use at the start of almost every Williamsburg lecture and demo. It’s adapted from an anecdote in The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, where a young student, wanting to know if they could become a writer, is asked: “do […]

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