Friday, 7 April 2017

Schmincke's New Paints (Pigments). Pt 2.

I have now looked at the remainder of the new paints from Schmincke.  I stress I have not bought any as yet so this is purely my analysis of the pigments from a purely non technical viewpoint. My source is the The Art of Color database.

Quinacridone Purple. Pigment Violet 55 (PV55). Organic.."bluish violet to violet blue". Claimed to be superior to Quinacridone Violet PV19...."Hue closer to PV23 than PV19 or PV29".  PV55 was first introduced by Daniel Smith, and I bought a tube very soon after it was introduced. Not an essential colour and it lay for a while in my paint drawer without being used. When I came to squeeze some out found it had solidified. I know there are various ways of resuscitating such paint but to
 my mind this is a negative.

 Ultramarine Blue  PB29 "The colour of Ultramarine Blue can be varied all the way from a pale greenish blue through to violet". We know this from the chart of the various shades that Zvonimir von Tosic supplied. Schmincke already have an Ultramarine "Finest' with this pigment so presumably it is one of the other shades.

Phalo Sapphire Blue. PB15:6.  Epsilon Copper Phthalocyanine. "Intense deep blue in mass tone, reddish to greenish bright blue in shades....staining". Phalo blue comes in several versions including- it is said - a 'yellowish' one. PB15:6, amongst other PB15's, is listed by Lukas who call it simply Phalo Blue. PB15 appears in most makers ranges, often in more than one version. PB15:3, a greenish shade, seems most popular.

Cobalt Azure Blue. PB35. Cerulean Blue. "light red to greenish blue with a grayish cast".  A very common pigment with several versions, mostly called Cerulean Blue.

Viridian. PG18. Inorganic. "Dull or deep mid green to bluish green". This is common in other ranges and tends to be on the weak side. The artist Trevor Chamberlain said he had tried many and eventually found one by Talens (Rembrandt) that he liked.

Transparent Ochre . PY42, Yellow Iron Oxide. This is a very common synthetic pigment, an earth colour substitute "Dull reddish yellow to yellowish brown orange...Colour, transparency can vary widely depending on manufacturer variables .... PY42 and PY43 exist in almost any shade of yellow, orange, red and violet brown to green brown". The choice is yours!

Transparent Sienna. PR101. "Synthetic iron oxide red, inorganic.....various brownish yellow to orange to red shades with violet undertones....transparency depends on particle size and other factors, grinding, additives, binder etc". You will find PR101 in most ranges but  there can be considerable variation between different makers versions.

Transparent Umber. PR101. See above comments.

Transparent Green Gold. PY154/PBr7. Green Gold is usually made with PY129. This is a convenience paint made with PY154 Benzimidazolone Yellow and PBr7. PY154 is described as `'bright, light greenish through to yellow...claimed by some as good primary yellow". PBr7 is brown iron oxide "yellowish brown to brown to dull red....transparency varies widely depending on mineral content and other impurities....exists in almost any shade of yellow" , This Schmincke is an  unknown quantity until tried.

Spinal Brown. PY119 Zinc Iron Yellow. Inorganic "Dull yellow to brownish".

Maroon Brown. PBr7. See Transparent Green Gold for description of PBr7.

Mahogany Brown. PBr33. Mixed metal oxide.. Zinc Iron chromite brown. "Dark brown to reddish brown".

Mars Brown. PBr6. Iron oxide hydroxide brown... 'inorganic...natural and/or synthetic Ferris oxide...brown to dull red. See comments under PBr7.

Green Umber. PBr7. See comments earlier on PBr.7.

Graphite  Grey. PBk10. Graphite. Inorganic...crystalized carbon...dark grey with metallic sheen"

Hematite Black. PG17. Here we have a mystery. According to my information PG17 is Chrome Oxide Green. ...dull yellowish green to mid green". How therefore can it be called Hematite Black? I checked on the pigment number and indeed PG17 was confirmed. Convinced this couldn't be correct I contacted Schmincke and received a very prompt reply from a lady called Claudia Moller.. " 14 789 hematite black contains the pigment"hematite", a black chromium oxide pigment which is named PG17." Make of this what you will. Perhaps Zvonimir will comment.

Mars Black PBk11. Mars Black..." Bluish gray to black". Inorganic. Synthetic or natural black iron oxide.

Cobalt Violet Hue. ?. I have so far no details of the pigments involved in this ;paint.As it is described as a 'hue' I assume more than one pigment is involved.

Perylene Violet PV29. Perylene Violet. ..."Organic Dark dull red purple"

Perylene Green PBk31.Paliogen Black. ..."Inorganic Intense Very dark bluish green - almost black in masstone". First introduced by Holbein and I don't know if anyone else offers this pigment.

Overall I'm not sure what all this proves as we now know that variation in pigments of the same number is considerable and the way the manufacturers formulate the paints also has a large influence on the final result. Nevertheless I hope this will enable some of us to determine whether or not we wish to explore these paints further and indeed try some that seem interesting. I think the Schmincke range is very good and with these additions even more competitive.

A word or two about PBr7. This designation or whatever you call it covers a wide range of earth pigments, in other words coloured rocks that  were and are mined, crushed and turned eventually into paints. According to Handprint - now seriously out of date (sadly) - manufacturers have been replacing true earth colours with the synthetics PR101. PY42 and PY43. What many are not doing was changing the information and still saying  "PBr7". Trading standards? It also seems more and more might be changing pigments and /or adding them without letting us - the buyers of these paints - know what is going on.  I don't know the extent of it but it is definitely happening in certain instances.  We have been told that the earth colours are running out and they had to seek alternatives ie synthetics. I don't believe this for one minute. Just in my own experience there is a mine in the Forest of Dean  that still mines earth pigments and when I was in Provence, France not that long ago you could buy tons of the stuff with shops selling nothing else. We also have Daniel Smith with the Primateks. I'm told pigments are now being mainly sourced from China and the Alibaba conglomerate will supply an much as you want in metric tons. Who is kidding who?

If you want more information see  and put Schmincke in the search box. Fantastic.

Added: 14/04/2017. There are changes to the Schmincke range that go beyond introducing these new colours.  Two of my favourites , Translucent Orange and Translucent Brown have been renamed as "Transparent Orange and Brown. I suggest if interested you consult Jane Blundells blog and also the site where there is a complete online brochure in great detail. In fact if you like Schmincke this is a must. There are other changes. 

A comprehensive INDEX for the blog is in June 2014. Type June 2014 in the top left hand search box and this takes you to it.


Jane Blundell said...

I've trIed them all Peter and there are some excellent additions to the Schmincke range. I've painted them out on my blog, with another blog explaining the full new range.
I really like the Maroon Brown - it is a beautifully granulating burnt sienna.
The Mahogany Brown is also very nice.
The ruby red deep is a rich Crimson and the quinacridone Gold hue is close to the genuine pigment.

The violet hue you mentioned is an apatite pigment so probably a single pigment colour.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks very much Jane. I'm impressed with the depth of your research into paints. I've looked at the Schmincke website, which is very comprehensive - mainly in German but with some English equivalents.
How do you do it? To buy all these paints would cost thousands.
To all whp read this look at Janes blog - just Google Jane Blundell and search for Schmincke.

Jane Blundell said...

I certainly don't buy them all Peter - I use the dot cards where possible, people send me their own dot cards of colours they notice are missing from my website, and of course I do buy some that interest me and sometimes get some sample colours to try. I contact the manufacturers for extra information where it is missing or doesn't make sense.

My plan is to eventually have a swatch of every professional watercolour available in the world on my website, which are arranged by colour then pigment, and to have a blog post with the full range from each manufacturer. I've been working on this for 5 years...

Trond Birkeland said...

Hi! Regarding the Perylene Green: I can recommend the Shadow Green by Shin Han. It is BPk31 and gives a really, really dark green. It is one of my favourite colours for the moment, and it is quite affordable, too.