Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

My paint testing thread

Hi all,

Over the years I've used different pigments and methods of extending the paint (Geneva Paints, Clove Oil, etc..) but I've never done any actual testing of different paints to compare drying times, opacity, colour, etc..

I am halfway through testing a large amount of paints and will be posting the results here as well as detailed photos so as to help other people out who are interested.

This is the method:
  • PET-G sheets (nonabsorbent) painted with a layer of W&N Clear Gesso. This is an acrylic medium with silica particles for tooth. This Gesso is transparent and is less absorbent than white gesso and has more of a tooth.
  • Lightly sand the dried sheets with a worn 600 grit sandpaper just to take off the rough parts and still leave a good surface.
  • The resulting surface is the same as I would use for painting (except I would paint on a lightly sanded Aluminium Composite Material Panel).
  • With an adhesive spray attach a printed paper to the back which contains details of each paint tested as well as an area to test for opacity and one for drying so it looks like this:
Name  test1jpgViews 7Size  1710 KB

Each black box area will have two applications of paint to test for opacity, on the left straight from the tube, and on the right of the box when thinned down with walnut oil to a slippery consistency. I will then paint a strip above the names which I will use for drying tests.

The sheets will be stored in a box (not airtight) in the dark in my house with an average room temperature of 20-22C. This is how I store my paintings and palette when I am working on a painting to lengthen working time. Once it is done I place it high up on a shelf in a room lit by indirect sunlight to dry properly.

Each day I will take a rubber tipped shaper and draw a vertical line through the swatch to remove the paint. I will record the day I can't erase a full line of paint through the swatch (partially dried) and when I can't pull off any paint at all (fully dried) I will record that date and not test that swatch again:
Name  test2jpgViews 7Size  893 KB

(Quick photo, not colour accurate or light checked)


For whites I have prepainted a strip of Golden Heavy Body Titanium White (Acrylic) next to the black boxes so that I can test for yellowing after a few months of drying in indirect indoor sunlight.

I am looking at paints of all grades, from student grade paints like W&N Winton, to mainstream artist grades like W&N Artist and Rembrandt, and up to more high end Schminke Norma and Michael Harding paints.

I will mostly be looking at opaque or highly tinting colours (Phthalos, etc..)

I will not be looking at fugitive colours (PR83, PR1, PR5, PY1, etc..), or pigments that are overall less lightfast or can vary from batch to batch (PY3, PR112, PR170, PR188, PY73, PV23). I will look at some cadmiums, and a bismuth yellow but Cobalts are out of my price range, as are paints like Old Holland and Vasari.

I hope this proves useful to others (as well as myself!) 
Richard
PaulBBoudiccaBOB73tassieguy

Comments

  • My first paint sheet is complete but I am waiting for the last ones to dry. This sheet focuses more on opaque pigments like PR101, PY42, PY6, etc..

    I have a second sheet half complete (in terms of paints tested) and this looks more at student colours in a range of hues.

    These are the paints being tested on the first sheet:

    Paint name + Pigments Oil + Brand
    1 Titanium White – PW6 Sunflower Oil – M Graham
    2 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    3 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    4 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    5 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil – Sennelier Artist Oils
    6 Bismuth Yellow – PY184 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    7 Cadmium Yellow Pale – PY35 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    8 Cadmium Yellow Lemon – PY35 Unknown Oil – Schminke Norma
    9 Naples Yellow Deep – PBr24 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    10 Yellow Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – W&N Winton
    11 Yellow Ochre Pale – PY42 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    12 Yellow Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Van Gogh
    13 Yellow Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    14 Yellow Ochre – PY43 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    15 Orange Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    16 Light Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Winton
    17 Terra Rosa – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    18 Light Oxide Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Van Gogh
    19 Light Oxide Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    20 Venetian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    21 Venetian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    22 Venetian Red – PR101 Safflower Oil – Sennelier Artist Oils
    23 Naples Yellow Deep - PBr24 / PW6 / PY154 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    24 Venetian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    25 Terra Rose (Venetian) – PR101 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    26 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Winton
    27 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    28 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Van Gogh
    29 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    30 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    31 Cadmium Scarlet – PR108 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    32 Cadmium Red Light – PO20 Unknown Oil – Schminke Norma
    33 Permanent Red Deep – PR254 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    34 Chrome Yellow Hue - PY216 / PY53 Unknown Oil – Schminke Norma
    35 Quadricone Magenta – PR122 Linseed Oil – Jacksons Professional
    36 Ultramarine Blue – PB29 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    37 Sennelier Blue – PB29 / PB15:6 Safflower Oil – Sennelier Artist Oils
    38 Winsor Blue (Green Shade) – PB15:3 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    39 Winsor Green (Yellow Shade) – PG36 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    40 Mars Black - PBk11 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    41 Oxide Black - PBk11 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    42 Oxide Black - PBk11 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    43 Oxide Black - PBk11 Unknown Oil - Maimeri Classico
    44 Lamp Back - PBk7 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    45 Naples Yellow Light - PBr24 / PY53 Unknown Oil - Schminke Norma
    PaulB
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    Is it out of scope to to a fingernail test?  i.e. when pressing with a fingernail no longer leaves a mark.  Not very scientific though, I guess.
  • I think the rubber shaper method works well so far Paul :)
  • I have 7 colours to dry on this sheet (the rest are dry).

    There are 26 swatches painted on the second sheet, and 14 paints to arrive to complete the testing when painted and dried.

    Some surprises already in terms of drying time and opacity. 
  • Finally got the last set of swatches painted tonight. I can't justify buying any more paints! Already surprises in how some brands paints look, and drying time. The good news is I think I can find some naturally long drying paints to not have to use Clove oil. Need to let more of them dry to be sure :)

    The full list of 86(!) paints (some gaps in the numbers where I have a few empty swatch areas left):

    Paint name + Pigments Oil + Brand
    1 Titanium White – PW6 Sunflower Oil – M Graham
    2 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    3 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    4 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    5 Titanium White – PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil – Sennelier Artist Oils
    6 Bismuth Yellow – PY184 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    7 Cadmium Yellow Pale – PY35 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    8 Cadmium Yellow Lemon – PY35 Unknown Oil – Schminke Norma
    9 Naples Yellow Deep – PBr24 Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    10 Yellow Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – W&N Winton
    11 Yellow Ochre Pale – PY42 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    12 Yellow Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Van Gogh
    13 Yellow Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    14 Yellow Ochre – PY43 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    15 Orange Ochre – PY42 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    16 Light Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Winton
    17 Terra Rosa – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    18 Light Oxide Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Van Gogh
    19 Light Oxide Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    20 Venetian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    21 Venetian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    22 Venetian Red – PR101 Safflower Oil – Sennelier Artist Oils
    23 Naples Yellow Deep - PBr24 / PW6 / PY154 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    24 Venetian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    25 Terra Rose (Venetian) – PR101 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    26 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Winton
    27 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    28 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Van Gogh
    29 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    30 Indian Red – PR101 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    31 Cadmium Scarlet – PR108 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    32 Cadmium Red Light – PO20 Unknown Oil – Schminke Norma
    33 Permanent Red Deep – PR254 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    34 Chrome Yellow Hue - PY216 / PY53 Unknown Oil – Schminke Norma
    35 Quadricone Magenta – PR122 Linseed Oil – Jacksons Professional
    36 Ultramarine Blue – PB29 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    37 Sennelier Blue – PB29 / PB15:6 Safflower Oil – Sennelier Artist Oils
    38 Winsor Blue (Green Shade) – PB15:3 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    39 Winsor Green (Yellow Shade) – PG36 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    40 Mars Black - PBk11 Linseed Oil & Safflower Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    41 Oxide Black - PBk11 Linseed Oil – R. Talens Rembrandt
    42 Oxide Black - PBk11 Walnut Oil – M Graham
    43 Oxide Black - PBk11 Unknown Oil - Maimeri Classico
    44 Lamp Back - PBk7 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    45 Naples Yellow Light - PBr24 / PY53 Unknown Oil - Schminke Norma
    46 Titanium White - PW6 / PW4 Safflower Oil - Van Gogh
    47 Titanium White - PW6 / PW4 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    48 Titanium White - PW6 / PW4 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    49 Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue - PY74 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    50 Azo Yellow Medium - PY74 / PW6 Linseed Oil - Van Gogh
    52 Chrome Yellow Hue - PY74 / PO62 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    53 Cadmium Yellow Hue - PY74 / PW5 / PW6 Linseed Oil - Schminke Akadamie
    54 Cadmium Yellow Light Hue - Unknown Safflower Oil - Sennelier Rive Gauche
    55 Chrome Yellow Hue - PY74 / PY65 / PW6 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    56 Yellow Lake - PY74 Linseed Oil - M Harding
    57 Mixed Yellow - PY74 / PW5 / PW6 / PY42 Van Gogh Yellow Ochre, Winton Titanium White, Schminke Akadamie Cadmium Yellow Hue
    58 Bright Red - PR254 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    59 Pyrrole Red - PR254 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    60 Pyrrole Red - PR254 Safflower Oil - Sennelier Rive Gauche
    61 Pyrrole Red - PR254 / PW5 Linseed Oil - Schminke Akadamie
    62 Winsor Red - PR254 / PR255 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    63 Cadmium Red Light Hue - Unknown Safflower Oil - Sennelier Rive Gauche
    64 Primary Magenta - PR122 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    65 Helios Purple - PR122 Safflower Oil - Sennelier Rive Gauche
    66 Primary Magenta - PR122 Linseed Oil - Schminke Akadamie
    67 Phthalo Blue - PB15 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    68 Ultramarine Blue – PB29 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    69 Ultramarine Blue – PB29 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    70 Viridian Hue - PG7 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    71 Ivory Black - PBk9 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    72 Ivory Black - PBk9 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    73 Cadmium Orange Hue - PO73 / PY65 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    74 Magenta - PR122 / PB15 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    75 Phthalo Turquoise - PB15 / PG7 Linseed Oil – W&N Artist Oils
    76 Mixed Orange - PO73 / PY65 / PW74 / PW5 / PW6 / PR254 Winton Cadmium Orange Hue, Schminke Akadamie Pyrrole Red, Schminke Akademie Cadmium Yellow Hue
    77 Pyrrole Orange - PO73 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    78 Permanent Rose - PV19 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    79 Ultramarine Blue – PB29 Linseed Oil - Van Gogh
    80 Cobalt Blue Hue (Ultramarine) - PB29 Linseed Oil - Van Gogh
    81 Permanent Blue - PB29 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    82 Phthalo Blue - PB15 Linseed Oil - Van Gogh
    83 Primary Cyan - PB15 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    85 Phthalo Green - PG7 Linseed Oil - Van Gogh
    86 Phthalo Green - PG7 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian
    88 Lamp Black - PBk6 Linseed Oil - W&N Winton
    89 Lamp Black - PBk7 Linseed Oil – D. Rowney Georgian

    I'll post more details about all of this when they have dried a bit more.
    Bobitaly
  • edited June 4
    General Brand observations
    All of these paint brands tested have a different feel. Some are more stiff, others more sticky, others more oily. However, when mixed with sufficient medium (in this case Walnut Oil) all of them felt exactly the same. There will be different levels of extenders, fillers, stabilisers in the brands of course, but it raises the question: If you don’t use paint directly from the tube do you really need the more expensive brands?
    From the tube I would say Schminke Norma and M Graham had the nicest flowing feel when applied to the surface. I suspect this is to do with the oil used as Schminke Norma adds Sunflower oil and M Graham Walnut oil which are lighter more flowing oils than linseed. In comparison the paints with safflower oil sometimes felt sticky and stuck to the brush more than the other which is perhaps a characteristic of the oil as it’s less yellowing than walnut?
    Daler Rowney’s Georgian brand is an oddity. It looks dry, more matte than the others and waxy (I’m sure it contains waxes) but when pressed with a brush it’s actually nice and soft on the brush.
    Van Gogh and Rembrandt have the same oily feel. Winsor and Newton’s Artist oils is firmer, while Winton feels stiffer in general.
  • edited June 4


    Paint swatches illuminated by bright daylight lamp:


    Paint swatches backlit by bright white monitor to show subtle opacity differences (left is direct from the tube, right is thinned down with walnut oil over white and dark grey):



    Observations
    I was surprised by the Rembrandt Yellow Ochre. I thought it took longer to dry when I used it previously, but it was completely dry in 5 days, compared to 16 for the Van Gogh version. As both are ground in linseed oil it appears that the Rembrandt version has driers.
    All of the paints were opaque, but the Winton version was slightly more translucent than the others. It also appeared slightly more chromatic than the other brands as well. But also felt slightly more clumpy and sticky then other versions. In terms of colour though there was very little difference between the brands in hue, chroma and value.
    Daler & Rowney’s Georgian version was not tested as it was listed as only semi-opaque on their colour chart.
    M Graham’s version is listed as a natural iron oxide (rather than the synthetic PY42 version). Despite that it was not only opaque but the backlighting photo revealed that it was more pigment dense than all the other brands tested. However is the extra pigment load necessary?
  • I've decided to put all this information on a simple webpage on my google drive account(with bigger pictures). I've added in the 15 red iron oxides I've tested as well:

    https://1kbnidl8oczyjdwquzdjcq-on.drv.tw/Website/
    SummerKaustavdencal
  • I haven't had chance to properly write up all the results. But they have enabled me to narrow down the choice of pigments and brands to do the next stage of testing on a palette (so far still fluid after 19 days when stored in the dark and mixed with pure walnut oil, no clove oil)

    I thought I'd post these links to the results, some surprises!

    The results are interesting. In general I’d found that student grades seem to have a lot of dryers (and some brands like Sennelier). For my purposes apart from the odd exception they dry too quickly. As expected the pigment load is a lot less, although some are stronger than others.

    Earth colours are all very similar, the difference comes in the more transparent pigments.

    Results Spreadsheet:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YRxIvRKLoLjql-7YGXKlu10xWFCBpew1

     

    Colour drying sheet 1 image

    Showing opacity when applied direct from the tube, and also when mixed with walnut oil to a fluid consistency. Also used to show drying time in days:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CHNm6q8ofNxmT7o5pAs6byABVpx3C0Pp/view?usp=sharing

     

    Colour drying sheet 2 image

    Showing opacity when applied direct from the tube, and also when mixed with walnut oil to a fluid consistency. Also used to show drying time in days:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D1SAa2rHC0MqhWiaj7-qJd_R_av6BI4p/view?usp=sharing


    Hope you find it interesting, and the images useful if nothing else! :)
Sign In or Register to comment.