Adding other brands to Geneva paint

edited November 2021 in Color Mixing
Hi all, 

I joined DMP yesterday but ended up making a new account bc I didn't like my username and didn't know how to change it... lol. Cabbage it is. Anyway:

I find the Geneva paints to be too runny and I want to augment them with stickier brands (like Williamsburg). 

Can I just throw in some Williamsburg Pyrrole Red to the Geneva Pyrrole Rubine? 

How about substitutions for Cadmium Yellow? A few of the suggestions from my previous post were: 

chrome yellow medium & chrome yellow light
Arylide yellow
I'd really love to use a limited, but powerful, palette without cadmiums.

Thanks for your help.

Attaching a picture of yesterday's still life which kinda got away from me.



  • Do you feel a health risk from cadmium? The real health issues are for the workers who make cadmium products.

    I see influences here from daily painting.

    You can thicken up Geneva with Gamblin Cold Wax Medium. I've done a  few nice paintings with Geneva and Cold Wax. Here's one...

  • Winsor Newton paint would probably be a good choice.  I say that because back in the early days of DMP, I believe Mark used WN paint. 
  • @KingstonFineArt that's a fine piece and like the way you achived transparency.
  • Your painting is very good.  I have used cold wax medium before and liked it.  However, if you are just familiarizing yourself with Geneva paint I would fore go the wax medium.  And you can add other paint to the geneva.  Have fun.
  • edited December 2021
    I like you painting, @cabbage. I like the simplification. It works as painting as it is but I like also that when I squint at it everything resolves beautifully into a smooth image. That's the result of accurate values and form. Well done!  :)

    I also like my paint a bit thicker than Geneva. There is no problem mixing other brands with Geneva. In regard to yellows, I think you'll find the Arylide yellows a good substitute for the cadmiums. I use them. They are cheaper but just as powerful powerful as the cadmiums.  :)
  • @oilpainter1950
    I used the cold wax because I don't like the surface leveling of Geneva. The color is grand but I find the liquidity and self leveling to be... weird. When using a bit of Geneva with other paints there's a inconsistent drying problem. 
    I am planning a large still life for Geneva with cold wax. Even with the cold wax the drying time is too slow. So I'll be 'wicking out' some of the oil in the paint. I have a large supply of old Geneva from testing in the beginning. Wicking and wax makes it work well.
    Several other things about Geneva.The fumes irritate my eyes and the smell permeates the studio. It smells like and old fashioned dentists office.
    The only reason I use Geneva is when I want a highly saturated neutral if that makes sense. The painting above is all semi neutral color mix from a Geneva spectrum.

    Gee I wish Geneva Art Material would sell that old medium. I can't find real Venice turps in a small size.   I made a quart of DMP medium about 7 years ago. I used it as my medium with W&N and Lukas paint until it ran out. I have about 1/8 cup left. I'm hoarding it. I've been trying lots of supposedly great mediums but they all burn my eyes.   My go to medium for a couple of years has been Gamblin Galkyd Light.   Any ideas?
  • Kingston:

    I'm not quite sure why you are using Geneva at all? Other artist ranges (Williamsburg, M Harding, Langridge) have pigment levels that are high enough to do what I think you mean by a 'highly saturated neutral'
  • @Richard_P
    I do use some Williamsburg, W&N and  MGraham. I don't like Michael Hading. My main paint is Lukas 1864. I use the primaries to mix a full intensity12 color spectrum. Which I then mix to a semi neutral and neutral set. I do the same thing with Geneva. I have a lot of Geneva from testing days. Not the best. Not bound together well yet. That's where the wax comes in. 

    Honestly if I could afford Old Holland.. the best of the top end paint in my mind.. I'd use that. 

    When I look back at the painters I admired from the 20th century. Grumbaker was the paint they used. 

    I use Lukas because it is inexpensive. Augment it with a little Williamsburg earth color some W&N dual primaries and Rembrandt Transparent Red Oxide. I have a great workingman's palette. 

    I think painting with too narrow a view of color is restrictive. I think chasing color is wasteful and frustrating.

  • TedBTedB -
    edited March 2022
    When my mother was in art school after WW2, Grumbacher was the Gold Standard in American-made oil paints and brushes. Weber was also highly-regarded especially for their Permalba White. 

    Personally I never cared much for the ubiquitous W&N in the art shops, I've been using Soho Oils and Williamsburg oils recently.
  • W&N is owned by Colart who also own other brands like Conte A Paris and Liquitex, they manufacture their products mostly in China using cheap pigments.
    I'd avoid W&N as it stands on it's brand name more than anything these days.
  • I wouldn't say they use cheap pigments (they have the normal range of cadmiums, etc..) They might just use less pigment loading than high end brands.
  • @Richard_P
    Ah yes, I didn't word that correctly..cheaper products to manufacture with less pigment.
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