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 Quality and durability of WSO

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Dale



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Join date: 2009-11-17
Location Location: Near Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

PostSubject: Quality and durability of WSO   Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:18 am

I had someone ask me about the durability of WSO. He paints in oils and might consider trying WSO but is concerned about lightfastness after 20 - 30 years. I would like to know this myself.
Any thoughts?
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:22 am

Here's what W&N has to say about the durability:

"Artisan Water Mixable Oil colour is a relatively new medium in terms of art materials, however, colours containing oil and water are not new and have in fact existed since prehistoric times. For example, egg tempera is an oil in water emulsion, which has been used by artists for over 600 years.

During the development process, Artisan colours were tested for many properties that would be indicative of its durability such as adhesion, flexibility, drying, film hardness, and water resistance, as well as application properties such as mixability with water, flow, texture retention and wetting. In addition, the full range of colours were painted out on canvas directly from the tube and with mediums and/or water at different thicknesses and have been observed and tested at regular intervals since.

All results from this development stage have confirmed that Artisan does indeed act in the same way as a conventional oil colour.

To ensure the long term durability of Artisan, Winsor & Newton have and will continue to study Artisan under various conditions using paint films that have been allowed to dry naturally for longer periods of time (test samples that have been aged artificially) and also by use of specialised equipment. The key areas to consider when assessing long term durability are:-

* The evaporation of water from the paint film
* Film hardness and future resistance to water & solvent
* Adhesion and flexibility

In combination with the work carried out to date and the ongoing studies, there is further analysis taking place in various conservation departments across the world. "

The pigments used in Water Soluble Oils are the same pigments used in traditional oils and other painting mediums and lightfastness applies in the same way.

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Janet
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dbclemons



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Location Location: Texas

PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:31 am

The pigments used are also used in regular oils, so they are as lightfast as those oils would be. You can check the labling or website information for company lightfast ratings.

The uncertainty with them in terms of durability lies with their being a modified oil binder. Only time will tell for sure. How each company changes or adapts the oil to being miscible is not clear for proprietary reasons, but we have to take their word on how durable they are. There's also an issue of how they could be improperly used or abused by artists that could cause the works to fail, which is a problem with all paints.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:51 am

Good point David regarding improper use!

I remember the same uncertainty with acrylics. Water Soluble Oils have been around now for over 10 years. I would think that if their was any durability issues their would be some indication by now that they would have issues long term. Some of our members must have paintings that go that far back. I'd be interested in hearing from them how their older paintings are holding up.

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Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
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Dale



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Join date: 2009-11-17
Location Location: Near Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:02 pm

Thanks. That does sound reassuring. I was a bit put off when I found on a recommended site that these are recommended for beginner artists.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:40 pm

Dale,
Just remember that all artists were beginners at one time no matter what medium they started with, even oil painters.

Hopefully no negativity was included in the recommendation for beginners. Of course once they learn to use WSO's they might just really like them and use them forever. Judy

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http://judy-filarecki.artistwebsites.com/index.html *** www.filarecki.com
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:53 am

It's odd to recommend WSOs to beginners as they're not easier to work with then traditional oils. But it's exactly this type of drivel that leads people down the wrong path when starting in WSOs. They approach the medium as if their won't be any rules or learning curve. The only thing that would be easier is the cleanup and that has nothing to do with learning how to paint in oils. Just an added bonus. To some degree they may be more difficult then traditional oils just because of the lack of books and resources on them.

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Janet
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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:06 pm

I think the idea that they're good for beginners might come from all the schools that are banishing regular oils (turpentine and mineral spirits). So many supply lists specify water-mixable only. So, water-mixable = students But we know better!
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DAK723



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Join date: 2009-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:08 pm

Grumbacher Max came out around 1992 or 93, so (depending on how you look at it) they have been around long enough to have some idea if there are any inherent problems. On the other hand, when dealing with oil paints, problems may not show up for 50 years or more. Just recently, in reading about the possible problems of painting in oils on acrylic grounds, the writer stated that the the differences in flexibility between the oil layer and the acrylic ground might become apparent around the 75 year mark. That is how slowly the oil paint layers evolve! Personally, I'm not going to worry! I have a very few WM oils from around 1993 and they show no problems. Lightfastness, as others have mentioned, is a property of the pigments, so should not be a problem inherent in the fact that the paints are Water Mixable.

One reason that WM oils might have the reputation that they are good for beginners is that they are, for the most part, aimed at that market. Price-wise, aside from the MAX and Holbein Duos, the paints are considerably lower priced than their companies traditional artist grade oils. Van Goghs and Lukas Berlin would probably be categorized as student grade. Artisans, if I recall correctly, have a higher pigment load that W&N's Winton (student grade), but lower than W&N's artist grade traditional oils, but should be considered artist grade, as are the Max and Duos, in my opinion. The fact that they can be used without solvents (and, in fact, with only water) makes them appealing to beginners who then don't have to invest in solvents and mediums. (Although, as we know, people will begin to explore and invest in mediums!) There is no question that the WM paints are marketed to appeal to oil beginners.

And quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with student grade paint. For the most part, the major differences (at least as far as I know) is that the student grade paints avoid the costly pigments (like the cadmiums) and replace them with cheaper alternatives, as well as using more multi-pigment colors. Lot's of people recommend avoiding multi-pigment colors - and then mix 2 or 3 (or more) paints in every mixture anyway! And the pigment load is lesser in student grade, which is not that much of an issue unless you need very intense colors.

Perhaps, as the popularity of the WM oils increases, higher grade WM paints will come onto the market. Let's hope so!

Don
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:14 am

Callie, good point! I love the fact that I can use them anywhere. I don't have to worry about ventilation and still have the option to use techniques that require me to use washes.

Don, great observations and explanations! I was really interested in knowing if some of the older paintings completed in WSOs would hold up and what you've stated has reassured me that they would. Correct me if I'm wrong but higher pigment load would equal a little goes a long way. Holbein does state that they use the same pigment load in their WMOs as their artist grade conventional oils. Having swatches made with W&N Artisans, Lukas Berlin and Holbein Duo Aqua I can't see a difference in intensity. That might just mean that I can't detect the subtle difference.

If I remember correctly the idea of using single pigment colors is to have a more reliable mix. I went out and purchased all the single pigment colors of the Holbein to test it out. So far I'm not sure if it really makes that big of a difference.

My final choice of brand really wasn't based on pigment load or single pigments. I was hoping that one of the brands that I can purchase within a two hour drive would work for me but I do feel I have less control when it comes to the W&N Artisan or the Lukas Berlin. So more to do with consistency.

One thing I hear often from people that have used conventional oils is that WMOs don't spread in the same way. That they have more drag. Do all conventional oils have the same consistency or are their brands that have a thicker consistency? I happen to like the fact that some of them are thick and I gravitate toward those brands. I know the Lukas Berlin doesn't have this drag so their are differences in brands in WMOs in the consistency. So to say WMOs don't spread the same way as conventional oils would probably be about the brand and not so much about WMOs in general.

I did give conventional oils a test run. Just one session so probably not worth mentioning. I found the W&N Artists oils too oily and didn't like how difficult they were to clean up. I couldn't figure out a way to thin down my paint without something containing oil but no solvents. I've tried liquin and Taline Oderless Solvent so far as a test with the WSOs. Both triggered migraines so they were out. My migraines can last up to a week so they really put me out of commission and work.

Sorry for babbling. I'm finding this thread very interesting. Another thing I was wondering about is the WSOs mediums and which one contain solvents of some sort. I was going to try the W&N Thinner at some point but I'm thinking that it might trigger a migraine if it contains solvent.

Dale, Thank you for starting this thread! Smile

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Janet
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DAK723



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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:45 am

Janet,

Yes, you are correct when you say that the advantage of single pigment colors is when mixing with other colors (especially white). So if you are used to the mixes you get with Cad Yellow, for example, you might not get the same mix results if you are using a Cad Yellow substitute with 2 pigments. Out of the tube it may look like a good match, but in mixes it will behave differrently. On the other hand, if you aren't used to the single pigment original, then it won't matter too much, if at all.

Traditional oils definitely are not all the same, so it always confuses me a bit when people generalize that Water Solubles feel different than traditional oils. I'm sure Old Hollands don't feel like Rembrandts or Gamblins! I think the main difference in feel is for those who use a lot of Turps or OMS. Using those solvents is a very different feel than using water as your solvent. I don't know about the W&N thinner. The paint itself, right out of the tube, is virtually identical for the Grumbacher oils as far as feel. I would not be able to tell the difference, and I bet it is the same for the Holbeins, too. (I only have one tube of traditional Holbein, so not too much I can compare!).

The only traditional medium without solvents (that is not 100% oil) that I know of is the M. Graham Walnut Alkyd medium. You might want to try that with the traditional oils.

As far as solvents in the WS mediums - well, we have been discussing that on another forum. As far as I have been able to tell, the W&N mediums that are not 100% oil contain 2-Butoxyethanol. 2-Butoxyethanol is apparently a milder solvent than OMS or Turpentine, and it apparently needs no health labeling. Those who have some of these products hopefully can verify this. For those wanting to look at the MSDS sheets, they are on the Blick page:

http://www.dickblick.com/products/winsor-and-newton-artisan-oil-painting-mediums/

As far as the Holbein Duo mediums, here is a list from their MSDS sheet:

Product (Hazardous Ingredient)
DO522 STAND LINSEED OIL - (none)
DO529 QUICK DRYING LIQUID - (none)
DU466 QUICK DRYING MEDIUM GLOSS - (none)
DU467 QUICK DRYING MEDIUM MAT - (none)
DUO BRUSH CLEANER - (ALKYLOXY POLY ETHYLENE OXY ETHANOL)
DUO LINSEED OIL - (none)
DUO PAINTING OIL MEDIUM - (PETROLEUM DISTILLATES)

Aside from their brush cleaner, only the last medium listed contains what is probably mineral spirits. It does have a hazardous material label on the bottle.

The Grumbacher mediums, if I recall, contain no solvents.

MSDS sheets are usually available at tehe Blick website or on the web somewhere.

Hope this info is helpful!

Don
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:47 pm

Don, Thank you so much for all the great information! Extremely helpful!

Regarding using single pigments, I now see why I wouldn't see a difference. I didn't have a lot of single pigments prior to my recent purchase.

Great info on the Holbein Mediums.

The thinner has the AP seal on it.

One thing that concerns me about the W&N Thinner is the PEL of 100 ppm. (PEL=Permissable Exposure Limits) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permissible_exposure_limit
This measure seems the same or worse then some of the conventional oil solvents. I'm not sure if I'm understanding the PEL measures correctly.

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Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
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DAK723



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Join date: 2009-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:29 pm

Hopefully, when you see the "AP" label, then the product - even if it contains some hazardous elements - is not toxic under normal use. Whatever toxic elements it may contain are too low in quantity to be a health hazard. I hope that is what it means!

So, as far as the PEL of the solvent in the W&N thinner; I'm guessing that the PEL tells you that, yes, the ingredient is toxic in an amount (100 PEL) similar to turps - but that there must not be very much of the ingredient in the product, or that the ingredient does not evaporate or evaporates so slowly that you will not experience 100 PEL in your work area.

That's my guess - and it is just a guess.

Don
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:10 pm

Don, That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for your help ... I really appreciate it. I'll be testing out the thinner on my next painting. Smile

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Janet
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susanms



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PostSubject: Re: Quality and durability of WSO   Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:29 pm

When I switched from traditional oils to WS (Holbein Duo) I tried the Holbein WS Linseed Oil as well as the WN WS Stand Oil. The drag was frustrating, and it was sticky using either one. I did not like to have to use additional water with them to make them work. After I started using only walnut oil with the paint did the problem AND my frustration vanish, and I'll never try anything else with these paints again. It is a pleasure painting with this combination!
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