(from an article in Wildscape magazine)
Q. How did you get back to painting after such a long time?
After I failed 3rd year Fine Art, I didn't paint or draw for 15 years. I didn't believe I was good enough. Then, in 1992, a friend encouraged me to go to watercolour painting classes with Sue Kemp, who’s a fantastic artist and teacher. Slowly my love of making art began to return.
My life was at a really bad place then, but painting actually made me feel better.
My first painting subjects were flowers and still life setups. That was an excellent way to learn how to draw from life, as opposed to drawing and painting from a 2-dimensional reference source.
My work improved steadily and some paintings sold. Eventually, in 1994, it was time to take a risk and paint full time!
Myths about Watercolour/Watercolor
1.It's easier than oils and acrylics
2. It's wishy washy
3. It will fade
4. It's better than oils and acrylic
The Oil Colour Book
Composition and permanence tables
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Dating Your Paintings & Materials
Frequently Asked Questions
19th Century Archive
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Composition & Permanence Tables
Composition and Permanence tables provide all the essential information on the composition, characteristics and permanence of our colour ranges.
This technical information is extremely important for any artist who is committed to producing paintings of the highest quality. For example,
* Permanence ratings will tell you how long your painting will last over the years...
* The Chemical description will tell you exactly what pigments make up your colour and...
* Transparency and Opacity ratings are key indicators to how your colour will perform when layering colour
These examples only scratch the surface of the technical information that our tables provide. Below you will find links to composition and permanence tables for each of our colour ranges. You can browse through these to find out more.
In addition, you will also find terms explained. This glossary will help you understand everything in the tables.
Composition and Permanence Tables by range
Click on the links below to see individual composition and permanence tables.
Artists' Oil Colour Galeria Acrylic Colour
Winton Oil Colour Artists' Water Colour
Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Cotman Water Colour
Griffin Fast Drying Oil Colour Designers' Gouache
Artists' Oilbar Artists' Soft Pastels
Artists' Acrylic Colour
Composition and Permanence Terms Explained
Below each heading you will find descriptions which will explain the terms used in the Composition and Permanence Tables of each colour range.
This colour code column indicates the code number that is given to each of the colours. This is primarily for ease of reference for retail and catalogue purposes and to assist you in purchasing your materials.
This is the colour name, eg. Permanent Alizarin Crimson.
This column provides the chemical description of the pigments used in each colour. This is often useful for conservators.
The Colour Index International is the standard compiled and published by both: The Society of Dyers and Colourists, and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. The Colour Index classifies pigments by their chemical composition. This information will allow you to research a specific pigment's working characteristics in reference books if you wish. The individual pigments are identified in two ways.
Colour Index Generic Name - C.I. Name
Each pigment can be universally identified by its Colour Index Generic Name. As an example: Cobalt Blue is Pigment Blue 28, abbreviated to PB28.
Although the working properties of Winsor & Newton colours are fully detailed in our literature, we publish the Colour Index Generic Names of the pigments to allow you to cross reference the working properties in other sources if you wish, e.g. lightfastness, opacity, toxicity, etc. The Colour Index Generic Name is particularly necessary to fully identify some of the modern pigments. The disclosure of a pigment as Naphthol Red is insufficient because there are over a dozen different types, differing widely in lightfastness and opacity.
* Colour Index Number - C.I. No.
Pigments can also be identified by their Colour Index Number. It is considered an additional source of information to the Colour Index Generic Name. As an example: Cobalt Blue is 77346.
Of the two methods of reference, The Colour Index Generic Name is most commonly used.
The Series number of a colour indicates the relative price of the colour and is determined mainly by the cost of the pigment. Series 1 is the least expensive and Series 6 the most expensive. Where there is no series column, this indicates the price is uniform across the range.
The permanence of an artists' colour is defined as ‘its durability when laid with a brush on paper or canvas, graded appropriately and displayed under a glass frame in a dry room freely exposed to ordinary daylight and an ordinary town atmosphere'. This definition reflects the manner in which we expect to find paintings displayed. However, for testing purposes we are also able to utilise accelerated tests for lightfastness and binder stability, in addition to the information issued by our pigment suppliers.
Winsor & Newton ratings are therefore a combination of the natural passage of time, accelerated tests and pigment manufacturers' testing and development and are the most stringent in the industry.
AA - Extremely Permanent
A - Permanent
B - Moderately Durable - only quin and alizarin crimson
C - Fugitive
For further information on some colours, the rating may include one or more of the following additions:
(i) ‘A' rated in full strength may fade in thin washes
(ii) Cannot be relied upon to withstand damp
(iii) Bleached by acids, acidic atmospheres
(iv) Fluctuating colour; fades in light, recovers in dark
(v) Should not be prepared in pale tints with Flake White, as these will fade
* (vi) ‘A' rated with a coating of fixative
some other properties like granulating, colour strength and staining - use artist's quality - goes further
colours I use: french ultra, sepia, black, payne's grey, prussian blue, raw umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cerulean blue, van dyk brown