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 Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions

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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:41 am

I recently sent an email to W&N customer support to get their reply to the issue of their Artisan oil paints sometimes being too stiff to use properly. It's a problem I have encountered over the years, and one I see often repeated by other painters who have tried their brand (also with Grumbacher MAX, I found.) I had asked this question of them many years ago, but the reply was to just return them. I was more interested to know why it happens.

Anyway, I got a reply this morning. It states that she had not heard of this problem specifically, but that some paint pigments may be made differently and can have a different feel from the tube due to how much oil they require, etc. I'm well aware of that condition, but that's not the problem I described. Sometimes their paints feel like a stiff putty instead of that familar buttery feel that they should have, even compared to other Artisan paints.

She went on to ask for more specific feedback regarding this issue. In my case, all the Artisans I still own do not exhibit this stiffness problem. I either replaced them with other Artisans or with different brands. I have 14 tubes of Artisans now and they all squeeze out fine, except for a titanium white and cad. yellow pale hue that are a little stiff but usable. As such, I thought it would be good to post this message here so others who may have Artisans that are stiff can supply details for Winsor and Newton to respond to.

Her specific questions were:
> Can you tell me which specific colors you have experienced this stiffness with?
>
> If you still have the tubes that you consider to exhibit the very worst stiffness, could you send me the four digit number that is stamped into the crimp of the tube (the folded over edge at the bottom of the tube)? This is the batch number, and can help the manager locate any possible record of problems.
>
> When you say that some of your tubes are rather old, can you tell me approximately how old?
>
> Is this a recent problem?

So, for the members here, if you own Artisan paints that feel too stiff can you post your answers here those questions above? I will then forward them to the W&N contact I have to get her response, or perhaps just forward a link to this thread.

thanks, dbc
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Dana C

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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:48 pm

David -- I also have a tube or two which also are also stiff....my computer is down for a week being repaired, so I am using my work computer after hours, I will try to get the number on the tube/tubes to give to you then you can forward them to W&N. I still use them, but not as happy with them as I have been ...and I have been mixing them with oil or H2O or both to get a consistency I like and can paint with. Dana
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:52 am

David, Great idea! For me it will need to wait until Monday and I'll check them. Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
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Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:13 am

Hi David;

Thanks for looking into this with W&N. The biggest culprit for me is Artisan Lemon Yellow. Batch # 2717 is on the only tube I have left. This color has been a consistent problem for me and I have switched to another brand. Occasionally it came out of the tube only a little stiff but soon hardened to the point of needing a tube wringer to get it out. Others start out stiff and get worse. Since I mix my greens from blues and yellows, Lemon Yellow is one of my high use colors.

Burnt Umber #3519 (opened for the first time) comes out okay. Burnt Umber #1717 (only used a few times) is stiffer and drier. Burnt Umber #5018 (two-thirds empty) is also stiffer. I don't have the tubes, but on two occasions the tubes became almost stiff enough to require a wringer. Some tubes don't give problems (although I have noticed that Artisan Burnt Umber is stiffer than other brands).

Some French Ultramarine tubes seem a bit stiff even when first opened (batch #2317). One has become too stiff for comfortable use, but is not at the wringer stage (batch # not readable). Again, other tubes are okay.

I have been using Artisan paints for about 5 years.

Interestingly, in drying tests I conducted, Artisan Lemon Yellow and Ultramarine Blue were not fast driers on a surface (inconsistent results with Burnt Umber).


Oh, good point about the large tubes of Titanium White in an another reply. Batch #4314 annoyingly separated oil. Batch #4314 oil leaked out, paint now getting harder. Batch #7848 (unopened previously) okay, didn't yet separate.

Hope this help.
Regards,
Jim


Last edited by Jim on Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:19 am

I haven't experienced stiffness with Artisan paints, but actually found the opposite, when I was using a Titanium White 200ml size tube, found it to be overly oily, almost too much. Oil coming out in a quantity nearly equal to the paint, which I attributed to poor mixing at the factory.

Raw Umber from its 200ml tube was less maleable, but seemed to still be in a comfortable working range, maybe comparable to a paste consistency.

I wonder if it is a specific batch lot that is causing the stiffness issues, undermixed with oil.
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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback, folks. Keep it coming.

Jim, I've always found arylide yellow (lemon) PY3 and ultramarine PB29 to be slow drying pigments.

Re: separated or oily paints, this is a problem I've found with many brands of oils, miscibles or conventional. I have Artisan Permanent Alizarin and Burnt Sienna that are a little oiler than I'd prefer, but not as bad as some Sennelier or Lefranc conventional oils I own. One thing wrong about paints in tubes is you can't stir it up before squeezing it out. One tube was so bad I squeezed it all out into a new jar and mixed it up, which was fine for awhile until it dried out. I can also say I've bought tubes that were either oily or okay of the same paint from the same company. It's that inconsistency that annoys me the most.

I've been using Artisans since about the late 80s- early 90s. I think I still have a couple of tubes from that era, in fact. Since I use a combination of different brands and types, as well as other paint media, I don't go through them very quickly. I encountered this stiffness problem early on with some but not all of the Artisans, so it isn't a recent problem or one I'd imagine is isolated to a single source.

This youtube link shows the stiffness problem with an Artisan Cobalt blue hue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btUXfOb6Bds
He implies, unfortunately, that all Artisans are stiff, which isn't true. The fact that others have encountered this problem, however, is one of the main reasons that I emailed W&N. I was a bit surprised to hear that they had no record of this problem apparantly.
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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:27 pm

I have never had an issue of my Artisan Oils being too thick. Not sure what happened to the cobalt blue.
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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:26 am

I have neither had stiffness problems nor oiliness problems with any of my artisans.
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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Artisan paints too stiff? W&N Customer Support questions   Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:30 pm

In this case, it might be best to send W&N your information in email instead of just posting it here. You can reach them at their website under "Contact Us" for whichever country you log in.
http://www.winsornewton.com/

If you want to address this matter with them, be sure and include the batch number stamp as described above along with the color.
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