The Color of Art - Recipes, Formulas and Mediums

Oil Paint, Acrylic, Watercolor and Tempera Recipes and Formulations useful to Artists

Recipes, Formulas and Mediums for the Artist

It is beyond the scope of this web site to cover every possible medium or artist formula, but rather these are a basic collection of art recipes and formulas that I have found useful or interesting. If you have a secret recipe you'd like to share, feel free to write me . If I find it useful or unique and I'll include it here. I added a few links to other sites that have artist formulas here.

Acrylic


Acrylic Binding Medium;

Marble Dust;

Oil Painting

 

Mediums:

Balsam Medium;

Balsam Glazing Medium;

Balsam Medium #2;

Balsam Medium #3

Black Oil;

Glazing Medium (standard);

Fast Dry Glazing Medium;

Grinding Medium

Italian Drying Medium;

Solvent Free Medium;

Sun-thickened Oil;

Wax and Oil medium;

 

Driers:

Super Siccative;

Super Duper Double Duty Drier;

Tormin's Drier:

 

Grounds:

Traditional Chalk;

Gesso

 

Miscellaneous:

Marble Dust

Tempera

 

Egg Tempera #1;

Egg Tempera

Grinding Medium;

Whole Egg #1

Varnishes

 

Amber;

Bleaching Amber;

Running Amber;

Beeswax;

Combined Waxes;

Copal;

Making Run Copal;

Dammar;

Mastic;

Watercolor

 

Mediums:

Gouache Grinding Medium;

Watercolor Grinding Medium;

Gum Arabic Medium;

 

Preservatives:

Alcohol;

Formaldehyde;

Listerine;

Oil of Cloves;

Oil of Spike;

Phenol;

Propynyl Butylcarbamate

Other Formulas:

 

Fixatives:

Egg Yoke & Water

 

Pastels:

Oil Pastels:

Soft Pastels

It's hard to believe all the art information available on the internet. I have searched and found hundreds of free and public domain art books & ebooks and put them on my free art books page to save you the time of hunting them down yourself. Some of these are the original books with the recipes and secrets of the old masters themselves. There are many books on making pigments, lakes, and mineral pigments including pigment chemistry and historical pigment production techniques.
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  Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Acrylic Painting


Acrylic Binding Medium: from Dick Blick Site

All ingredients are per 100g pigment.

50 g to 80 g acrylic medium,

1 g anti-fermenting preservative,

5 g to 20 g water if needed,

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, keep in a sealed jar or air proof container.

 

Marble dust:

Add marble dust to acrylic mediums or paints to make a thick modeling paste or add texture and body to paints. Adding excessive amounts can keep the medium from binding properly.

Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Oil Painting Mediums | Grounds | Miscellaneous | ^Top

Mediums:    ^up

 

Portuguese Balsam Medium:

1 Part Sun-thickened linseed oil [WL.om]

1 Part Strasbourg turpentine (preferred) or Venice turpentine

1 Part pure gum spirits of turpentine

1% Oil of Spike Lavender [HO.om] (optional)

3% Lead oxide drier (optional)
Stir the oil and Strasbourg turpentine together until completely mixed. Add gum turpentine to the desired consistency. The oil of spike is probably there to make it smell better. Lastly mix in the drier.

 

Balsam Glazing Medium:

1 Part Linseed Oil

1 Part Walnut Oil

1 Part Venice Turpentine

2 Parts Oil Of Spike [HO.om] (can be substituted with gum turpentine)

Add a small amount to paint to improve gloss, transparency and leveling.

 

Balsam Glazing Medium #2:

4 Parts Turpentine or Oil of Spike

1 Part Sun-thickened Oil

3/4 Part Canada Balsam

Leaner version of above. Add a small amount to improve flow, gloss, transparency and leveling

 

Balsam Glazing Medium #3:

2 Parts Stand Oil (will slow drying time) or can be substituted with Sun thickened Linseed Oil [WL.om] or Sun thickened Walnut Oil to speed drying a little.

1 Part Canadian Balsam

2 Parts Gum turpentine or Gum Oil Of Spike [HO.om]

Combine in a sealable glass container, add more or less gum turpentine to adjust the thickness. Used as a glazing medium it produces a strong glossy paint film with very little yellowing over time.

Small amounts of a cobalt/zirconium dryer can be added to speed drying.

This medium can be mixed with dry pigments or oil colors directly on the palette. can be applied with a rag or brush. When diluted with additional Turpentine it can be used as a retouch varnish. (adapted from a recipe by Kremer Pigments)

 

Black Oil:

I or 2 Parts Litharge

20 Parts Linseed or Walnut Oil

from The Secret Formulas and Techniques of the Masters by J.Maroger,1979, partial text here, and p.160 recipe here

Grind the litharge with some of the oil before adding it with the rest of the oil. Place the receptacle containing the mixture over a low fire and stir constantly with a spatula during the cooking.

Between 180 and 200 degrees centigrade, the oil begins to smoke and to become brownish in color. This is the sign of the beginning of its combination with the lead. The litharge has a tendency to agglutinate at about I50 degrees, and the spatula will stick in it at the bottom of the vessel. Towards 2I0 degrees, however, this deposit softens and it will finally mix with the oil at about 230 degrees. Towards 250 degrees, the oil takes on the brown and transparent color of coffee and loses the muddy look it had earlier in the process.

If there is no means of gauging the heat, as with a thermometer, it is important to see that the oil smokes only very slightly. Too long and too hot a cooking (as high as 280 degrees) will lend to a sort of rubberiness in the oil and the product will be unfit for use in painting.

It is difficult to give precise instructions as to the length of time this oil should be cooked. The masters always spoke of a "low fire," whatever they meant by that, and they spoke of also of two hours of cooking. When the oil has become a dark brown and the foam which partly covers it has taken on a the golden tone, the lead should be entirely combined with the oil and the operation might be considered as finished. But with this is a matter of individual taste and another artist might have a preference for an oil that has been cooked for a longer or shorter time. Over a low fire the cooking might be allowed to last for from two to three hours to obtain a thicker and more brilliant product. After the cooking is finished, the temperature of the oil must come down to 75 degrees centigrade before it can be poured into a bottle.

Let it sit for a week or more until all the lead has settled to the bottom and then carefully decant into a bottle. Marbles can be added to keep the level at the top of the bottle.

 

Fast Dry Glazing Medium:

1 Part Sun-thicked Linseed Oil

1/2 Part Black Oil

1 Part Venice Turpentine

1- 2 Parts Turpentine (use more or less to adjust leanness or fatness)

Add a small amount to paint to shorten drying time and improve gloss, transparency and leveling.

 

Glazing Medium (standard):

1 ounce stand oil

1 ounce damar varnish

5 ounces turpentine

15 drops of cobalt drier or CoZiCa drier [EH]

Combine all ingredients store in a sealed glass container. The cobalt or CoZiCa driers are optional and added to speed the drying time of the stand oil that drys very slowly, if too much is used the medium may coagulate and will have a greater tendency to crack when dry.

 

Grinding Medium for Oil Colors from Dick Blick Site

All ingredients are per 100g pigment.

3 g to 100g oil

2g to 3g Courtrai drier (Ivory Black requires 5g to 8g)

Add 1 g to 3 g purified beeswax to create extra body.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, keep in a sealed container with no air inside. Pebbles or marbles can be used to bring oil to the top of the container.

 

Italian Drying Medium: quoted from Natural Pigments

From Secret Formulas and Techniques of the Masters, by Jacques Maroger, 1979

(all measurements are given by weight):

10 Parts Raw Linseed Oil

1 Part Litharge

1 Part Beeswax

Grind the litharge with some of the oil before adding it with the rest of the oil. The mixture is then simply heated to 250° C. It is done when it turns dark black brown. It thickens into a paste when cool

 

Solvent Free Medium:

2 Parts Black Oil (substitute stand oil for longer dry times)

1 Part Venice Turpentine

Improves flow, speeds drying time, reduces brush stroke, adds a glossy enamel like finish.

 

Sun-thickened Oil:

1 Part Linseed or Walnut oil

1/20 Part Litharge (optional)

If using litharge it is best to grind it with a little oil first. Place the oil and litharge in shallow dish made from glass or lead (lead roof flashing can be used to form a pan). Place in a southern facing window so it gets direct sunlight. Cover with a sheet of glass and stir well every day or so to keep a skin from forming. When it reaches the desired thickness it is done. It takes about 3 weeks to several months depending on heat, amount of sun, type of oil and degree of thickness desired. Decant the oil into glass container. If litharge was used, allow to rest a week or so to make sure all the lead has settled and re-decant.

Another process of making Sun thickened oil is with out Litharge is described in The Materials and Techniques of Painting, by Jonathan Stephenson. In the summer, pour about 1/2" - 1" thick linseed oil onto a flat, glass dish. Cover the with a glass plate slightly opened to allow for air flow. The flat dish creates a large surface area for exposure to the sun and the air. Place the dish outside were it will receive the maximum amount of sun. Stir daily to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the oil. Continue the process until the oil has thickened to a syrupy consistency. Impurities will settle out to the bottom, and the oil can be poured poured off. Store in a sealed glass container.

 

Wax and Oil medium

1 part bleached beeswax

2 parts linseed, sun-thickened, or stand oil

1-2 drops Cobalt or CoZiCa drier [EH] (optional)

Heat the oil in a double boiler (a pot or container placed into another pot containing boiling water). When the oil becomes hot enough to melt the wax, slowly add the beeswax in small pieces, stirring constantly, until all the wax has been melted and become incorporated into the oil. A small amount of a Cobalt or CoZiCa drier can be added to speed drying. The consistency when cool should be that of lard, if necessary the medium can be reheated and more wax or oil added until the desired consistency is reached. Store in a sealed glass container.

Used small amounts to add "buttery" quality to oil paints, or in larger amounts thicken paints for impasto work. It should not exceed more than around 20% of the total paint volume.

 

 

Grounds:    ^up

 

Traditional Chalk Gesso:

3 parts of glue size (by volume)

1 part chalk

1 part pigment (usually lead white or titanium white, but other pigments can be used for for colored grounds.)

Chalk Grounds: Directions

Measure out the glue size solution into a metal container. Add the dry ingredients. Stir well but avoid getting air-bubbles. Place container in a double-boiler or enclosed hot plate. Apply warm mixture with a broad brush. Allow layer to dry to the touch and re-coat

 

 

Oil Paint Driers:

 

Super Siccative:

1 part Cobalt Dryer

1 part Lead Naphthenate solution

1-2 parts Turpentine or OMS (optional- Dilutes the drier enough so a regular small eyedropper can be used to add to paints)

Mix well and put in a small dropper bottle. Extremely powerful only use a small drop for a 1" pile of oil paint or your paint will dry up right on your palette. Over use can cause darkening and premature cracking.

 

Super Duper Double Duty Drier:

Blend of driers promotes through drying, not just the top layer, but must be used cautiously in small amounts.

1 part Co-Zi-Ca Drier Blend (MSDS; Cobalt octoate - actively promotes drying; zirconium octoate - is an auxiliary drier, promotes through drying and an active cross linking agent; calcium octoate-good axillary drier reduces skin-formation, silking, and blooming; zinc- helps prevent "skinning" so the oxygen can penetrate inside the paint film.)

1/2 to 1 part Lead Naphthenate solution (promotes polymerization beneath the surface and imparts a optimum balance of drying characteristics when used with cobalt and calcium)

1-2 parts Oil of Spike (optional- Dilutes the drier enough so a regular small eyedropper can be used to add to paints. if Oil of spike is not available turpentine or OMS can be used)

Mix well and put in a small dropper bottle. Extremely powerful! Only use a small drop for a 1" bean of oil paint or your paint will dry up right on your palette. Over use can cause darkening and premature cracking.

 

Tormin's drier:

1 part of white lead

1.5 part litharge

1.5 part Sugar of lead (Lead Acetate)

1.5 part Red lead

12.5 parts of linseed oil

20 parts of oil of turpentine

Pour 1 part of white lead and 1.5 parts each of litharge, sugar of lead and red lead to 12.5 parts of linseed oil, and allow this mixture to boil for 8 to 10 hours. Then remove the kettle from the fire and add to the mixture 20 parts of oil of turpentine. During the boiling, as well as during and after the pouring in of the oil turpentine, diligent stirring is necessary, partly to prevent anything from sticking to the kettle (which would render the drier impure) and partly to cause the liquid mass to cool off sooner. After that, it is allowed to stand for a few days, whereby the whole will clarify. The upper layer is then poured off and added to the tints, while the sediment may be used for the darker shades.

 

 

Miscellaneous:    ^up

 

Marble dust:

Add marble dust or chalk to oil paints and gesso to make a thick impasto paste, extend colors or add texture, tooth and body.


Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Tempera

Egg Tempera #1:

1 Part egg yoke

1 Part water

To separate the egg yolk from the white of the egg; Place the yolk in your hand and pass it from one hand to another until all the white has drained through your fingers. Then puncture the yolk and drain it through your fingers into a container.

Add the water and egg together in a sealed container and shake vigorously until it is completely emulsified.

Add a little at a time to your pigment and mix well with a palette knife until you have the consistency you want. Tempera can be thinned with a little water. It is wise to make a fresh batch of paint for every painting session.

 

Egg Tempera Grinding Medium from Dick Blick Site

All ingredients are per 100g pigment.

25g to 4 g gum arabic in 35% solution,

5g to 10g glycerin,

1g egg yolk,

1g anti-fermenting preservative,

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, keep in a sealed jar or air proof container.

 

Whole Egg Tempera #1:

1 Whole Egg

1 Part Linseed, walnut, sun thickened or stand oil

2 Parts water

1 drop clove oil

Add ingredients one at a time in a closeable container shaking vigorously between additions. Add a small drop of clove oil as a preservative. A small amount of alcohol or vinegar can be used instead of the clove oil. Close tightly and keep in the refrigerator.

 

Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Varnishes

Amber:

Bleaching Amber: adapted from Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes c1916 by Norman W. Henley - see free books page

1 Part Amber

2 Parts. Rock Salt

4-10 Parts Distilled Water

Place a quantity of yellow amber in a suitable receptacle, such as an earthenware crucible, of sufficient strength, adding the rock salt, and then pouring in as much spring water as will dissolve the rock salt. When the latter is dissolved more water is added, and the crucible is placed over a fire until the color of the amber is changed to a white. The bleached amber is then placed in an iron pot and heated over a common fire until it is completely dissolved, after which the melting pot is removed from the fire, and when sufficiently cool the amber is taken from the pot and immersed in spring water to eliminate the salt, after which the amber is put back into the pot and is again heated over the fire till the amber is dissolved. When the operation is finished the amber is removed from the pot and spread out upon a clean marble slab to dry until all the water has evaporated, and is afterwards exposed to a gentle heat to entirely deprive it of humidity.

 

Running Amber: from The Manufacture of Varnishes and Kindred Industries c1904 by JOHN GEDDES McINTOSH - see free books page

What is known as the German method is as follows.
The pounded and sieved amber is put into a cast-iron pot with a flat bottom, which is just covered over with the material, and this is held over the fire until the amber is thoroughly melted and is quite liquid. It is then run in thin coats on to a cast-iron plate, and after this quick re-cooling it is broken up into small pieces. In this state it is soluble in varnish oils. When the fusion has been well done the fracture of the amber should be half as brilliant as that of the primitive material.

 

Copal Varnish:

The Copal needs to be "run" before it can be combined with the oil. See Running Amber for instructions on how to make Run Copal.

Here is a second method to Run Copal: adapted from Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes c1916 by Norman W. Henley

"Take the copal and expose it in a vessel formed like a cullender to the front of a fire, and receive the drops of melted gum in a basin of cold water; then dry them well in a temperature of about 95° Fahr"

Another method of running copal: "Heat the copal resin until it melts (between 356° and 644°F, or 180°C and 340°C). Pour the melted copal onto a cast iron pan or skillet in a thin layer and let cool. Then break the cooled copal into small lumps."

2 Parts Run Copal (Copal can be bought already "run", or process with one of the above methods)

3 Parts Linseed or Walnut Oil

10 Parts Turpentine

Crush the already run copal as much as possible and mix with the Oil. Slowly heat the mixture to approximately 482°F (250°C), for about 1 hour stirring constantly. Use a candy thermometer and do not overheat or it will burn the oil. When the oil darkens and all the copal is dissolved it is ready. It will be cloudy or Milky looking when cooled so the copal/oil should be set aside for 1 to 6 months to clarify and age. After it has become completely clear, it can then be filtered or decanted and mixed with the turpentine to thin.

 

Dammar Varnish: Standard 5lb. cut

Complete instructions with pictures are available at cad-red.com (link takes you off site)

1 Part Dammar Crystals

4 Parts Rectified Turpentine

Wrap the dammar crystals in cheese cloth, nylon stocking or muslin and tie shut with a string, leaving extra string for hanging outside the jar. Fill jar with turpentine and place the "tea bag" of dammar crystals into the jar leaving the extra string hanging outside the jar. Put the top on the jar and leave until the all resin has dissolved. It should take about 1 or 2 days. Then remove the empty clothe and dispose or clean for further use. You can filter trough a fine screen or more cheese cloth if needed.

 

Mastic Varnish:

See Dammar

1 Part Mastic Tears

3 Parts Rectified Turpentine

Wrap the mastic tears in cheese cloth or muslin and tie shut with a string, leaving extra string for hanging outside the jar. Fill jar with turpentine and place the "tea bag" of mastic into the jar leaving the extra string hanging outside the jar. Put the top on the jar and leave until the all resin has dissolved. It should take about 1 or 2 days. Then remove the empty clothe and dispose or clean for further use. You can filter trough a fine screen or more cheese cloth if needed.

 

 

Wax:

 

Beeswax Varnish:

1 part by volume of pure bleached beeswax

3 parts by volume of turpentine spirit

Cut the wax into shavings, a cheese shredder works well.

You need to heat the wax so you can mix it with turpentine, but it is dangerous to do this heating and mixing on the stove. So heat water on a big pan. Once the water is boiling, shut the stove off and take the pan with hot water to a safer place. Put a smaller pan into the bigger pan and add the wax to the smaller pan. Pour in the turpentine and mix thoroughly until it cools into a paste.

How to use: Apply thin coat to thoroughly dry painting and buff with a soft cloth. Also up to 2% can be used a stabilizer when grinding oil paint.

 

Combined Waxes:  adapted from 200 Formulas for Painters by Robert Massey

2 Parts Carnauba Wax

2 Parts Ceresin

1 Part Beeswax

15 Parts Turpentine

Cautiously over low heat melt the ingredients together in a double boiler or enclosed hotplate. Turpentine is flammable so be careful, make in a well ventilated area, keep away from any open flames, and have a fire extinguisher handy. Allow to cool enough to pour into a container and allow the mixture to further cool to a paste.
Use: Apply thin coat to thoroughly dry painting and buff with a soft cloth. Also up to 2% can be used a stabilizer when grinding oil paint

Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Watercolor

Mediums:

Gouache Grinding Medium from Dick Blick Site

All ingredients are per 100g pigment.

25g to 50g gum arabic in 35% solution, or yellow dextrin ,

8g to 10g glycerin;

1g anti-fermenting preservative,

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, keep in a sealed jar or air proof container.

 

Grinding Medium from Dick Blick Site

All ingredients are per 100g pigment.

50g to 100g gum arabic in 35% solution,

10g to 15g glycerin,

1g anti-fermenting preservative

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, keep in a sealed jar or air proof container.

Gum Arabic Medium:

1 part Gum arabic Powder

2 parts water

clove oil (optional)

Boil water and remove from heat, then slowly add the gum Arabic powder stirring constantly until all as been completely mixed. Add 1 drop of clove oil per pint as a preservative.


Preservatives for Watercolor Paints:

Alcohol, add 10 parts alcohol per 100 of watercolor medium, Gin is said to work well. Alcohol acts as a wetting agent and also a drier for humid conditions..

Formaldehyde or paraformaldehyde in a 4 percent solution. Add 1g per 100g or 1 part per 100 parts of the 4 percent formaldehyde solution into the watercolor medium before grinding.. "Formaldehyde can react erratically with some binders and is better suited to industrial than to amateur use"-www.noteaccess.com reference;

Listerine, add 1/2 teaspoon per 100g. Use at own risk, not proven archival.

Oil of Cloves. Add 1 drop per 100g of watercolor binding medium, mix well.; Clove oil available from Natural Pigments.

Oil of Spike Lavender [HO.om]. Add about 1 part per 100, or 1 gram per 100g to the watercolor grinding medium, mix well.;

Phenol (carbolic acid), about a half teaspoon of a 1-10 percent solution to a pint or roughly 1 part per 100 parts. Should be able to find at a well stocked drug store, look in the first aid section. Phenol is available from Natural Pigments.

Propynyl Butylcarbamate see additives in the pigment database (Biocarb, Troysan Polyphase), may be found in chemical supply stores or some pigment suppliers. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the powder to a quart of binding medium or approximately .5g per 100g or 1 part per 200 parts.;

Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Formulas of general interest to the Artist

Fixatives:

 

Egg Yoke and Water:

1 part egg yoke:

34 parts water

1.) Separate yoke from egg.
2.) Combine the egg yoke and water in a tightly closed jar.
3.) Shake until thoroughly mixed,
4.) Strain through cheese cloth or fine screen.

Directions: Apply very thinly with atomizer or soft brush. Dries quickly.
Use: Makes a quick drying layer isolating a under drawing so paint can be applied over it. This helps keep the drawing from effecting the over painting and keeps the drawing medium from migrating through the paint.

 



Pastels

 

Oil Pastels: from Dick Blick Site
All ingredients are per 100g pigment.
30g to 40g beeswax or mineral oil,
15g to 25g oil, Vaseline, or non-drying petroleum oil,
Mix all ingredients thoroughly and form into sticks.

 

Soft Pastels: from Dick Blick Site
All ingredients are per 100g pigment.
80g to 90g pure pigment,
2g to 3g gum tragacanth, glucose, gum arabic, or dextrin + water,
1g anti-fermenting preservative.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly and form into sticks.
Great step by step tutorial on making pastels at www.artgraphica.net

 

Acrylic | Oil Painting | Tempera | Varnishes | Watercolor | Other Useful Formulas for the Artist | Links | ^Top

Links to Many More Formulas & Recipes Useful in the Art Studio

A plethora of old formulas of all kinds are in the The Household Cyclopedia.

Tad Spurgeon has formulas and examples of the effects including burnt plate oil.

Earth Pigments has many useful recipes

The Real Color Wheel's Medium Table (http://realcolorwheel.com)

Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes and Processes



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©2010 by David Myers, All Rights Reserved. Please email me with corrections, additions or comments.

 

 

Artist Reference Resources:

Historical Artist and Pigment Reference Sources:  
This is just a partial list, for a more complete listing of Historical Pigment References see the
Free Art Books Page.

  1. The Industrial and Artistic Technology of Paint and Varnish,
    By Alvah Horton Sabin, Published by J. Wiley & Sons, 1904
  2. The Painters' Encyclopaedia,
    By Franklin B. Gardner, Published by M.T. Richardson, 1887
  3. The Science of Painting,
    By Jehan Georges Vibert, Published by P. Young, 1892
  4. A Treatise on Painting,
    By Cennino Cennini, Giuseppe Tambroni, Mary Philadelphia Merrifield, Translated by Mary Philadelphia Merrifield, Published by Lumley, 1844
  5. A Treatise on Painting,
    By Leonardo Da Vinci, John Francis Rigaud, Published by J.B. Nichols and Son 1835
  6. The Book of the Art of Cennino Cennini,
    By Cennino Cennini, Cennini, Christiana Jane Powell Herringham, Translated by Christiana Jane Powell Herringham, Published by G. Allen & Unwin, ltd., 1899
  7. The Chemistry of Paints and Painting,
    By Arthur Herbert Church, Published by Seeley, 1901
  8. A Handbook for Painters and Art Students on the Character and Use of Colours,
    By William J. Muckley, Published by Baillière, Tindall, and Cox, 1880
  9. The Household Cyclopedia,
    By Henry Hartshorne 1881
  10. The Chemistry of Pigments,
    By Ernest John Parry, John Henry Coste, Published by Scott, Greenwood, 1902
  11. Facts about Processes, Pigments and Vehicles: A Manual for Art Student,
    By Arthur Pillans Laurie, Published by Macmillan, 1895
  12. The Manufacture Of Earth Colours:
    By DR. JOSEF BERSCH, translated by CHARLES SALTER,SCOTT, GREENWOOD & SON , 1921 Link
  13. Materials for Permanent Painting,
    By Maximilian Toch 1911

 

Modern Pigment and Artist Reference Sources:

  1. The Artist’s Handbook,
    by Pip Seymour, Arcturus Publishing (September 16, 2003)
  2. The Artist's Handbook, Revised Edition,
    Ray Smith; DK Publishing 2003
  3. The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques,
    Third edition, by Ralph Mayer; Viking Press 1979
  4. Artists' Pigments: Volume 1: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
    Edited by Robert L. Feller
  5. Artists' Pigments: Volume 2: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
    Edited by Ashok Roy (Oct 2, 1993)
  6. Artists' Pigments: Volume 3: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
    Edited by Elisabeth West Fitzhugh (Oct 1997)
  7. Artists' Pigments: Volume 4: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
    Edited by Barbara Berrie (Jun 7, 2007)
  8. Collins Artist's Colour Manual,
    Simon Jennings; HarperCollins Publishers 2003
  9. Color Index International Pigments and Solvent Dyes,
    The Society of Dyers and colourists, third edition 1998
  10. A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques,
    Ralph Mayer, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969
  11. The Materials and Techniques of Painting,
    by Jonathan Stephenson (May 1993)
  12. The Painter's Handbook,
    Mark David Gottsegen; Watson-Guptill Publications 1993
  13. Painting Materials A Short Encyclopaedia,
    by Rutherford J. Gettens and George L. Stout; Dover Publications 1966
  14. Pigment Compendium,
    by Nicholas Eastaugh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall; Butterworth Heinemann 2004

 

 

Web Resources and Art Suppliers with Excellent Reference Materials:

  1. American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC):

    National membership organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation of cultural material, establishes and upholds professional standards, promoting research and publications, educational opportunities, and fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public.

  2. AMIEN:
    a resource for artists dedicated to providing the most comprehensive, up-to-date, accurate, and unbiased factual information about artists' materials
  3. Blick Art Materials;
    has done a extremely thorough job of indicating the pigments used in most of the paints they sell, making the Dick Blick art supply website much more than just a store to purchase paint and art supplies.
    Dick Blick also has the MSDS sheets
    for of most of the products they sell , making the Blick site a valuable resource for toxicity info and the health and safety of artist materials.
  4. Coloria.net,
    a large and thorough site on pigments, in Finnish http://www.coloria.net/index.htm
  5. Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO), The Materials Database,
    developed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), to be a more comprehensive and well-rounded encyclopedic resource for the art conservation and historic preservation fields. The MATERIALS database contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on over 10,000 historic and contemporary materials used in the production and conservation of artistic, architectural, archaeological, and anthropological materials.
  6. Conservation OnLine (CoOL):
    A freely accessible platform to generate and disseminate vital resources for those working to preserve cultural heritage worldwide.
  7. The Handprint,com;
    site by Bruce MacEvoy has loads of excellent information on watercolor pigments and Has a excellent color wheel showing where the actual pigments are in color space. Truly an awesome site, the site is directed at watercolors, but is a good general reference for any paints or pigments.
  8. Webexhibits.org;
    Great pigment sight that even includes step by step instructions for making you own pigments.
  9. The Real Color Wheel;
    by Don Jusko is also a great color site.
  10. Studiomara;
    has a fantastic pigment reference database sorted by the marketing paint color name and brand.
  11. Health and Safety in the Arts;
    A Searchable Database of Health & Safety Information for Artists
  12. Household Products Database;
    Health and safety information on household products from the US Department of Health and Human Services
  13. Natural Pigments:
    One of the best sources of rare natural and historical pigments and information.
  14. Pigments and their Chemical and Artistic Properties; by Julie C. Sparks, is part of The Painted Word Site. Wonderful stuff.
  15. Paintmaking.com: By Tony Johansen, Great Paint making site with all types of useful pigment and binder information for the artist.
  16. PCImag.com; Paint & Coatings Indusry
        2010 Additives Handbook by Darlene Brezinski, Dr. Joseph V. Koleske, Robert Springate, June 4, 2010;
        A History of Pigment Use in Western Art Part 1;
        A History of Pigment Use in Western Art Part 2
  17. Dick Blick Artist Supply:
    Full Range of art supplies at discount prices and has pigment info on most paints they sell
  18. Kremer Pigmente EuropeKremer Pigments USA site;
    Has a huge amount of pigments and information.
  19. Earth Pigments:
    Specializes in earth pigments.
  20. Guerra Paint and Pigments:
    Many rare and out of production Pigments mostly in aqueous dispersions
  21. Sinopia:
    Lots of Pigments & info

Health and Safety in the Arts References and Info:

  1. Art and Craft Safety Guide (PDF, 250 KB)
    Consumer Product Safety Commission
  2. Art Materials Business Guidance
    Consumer Product Safety Commission
  3. Art Safety
    Environmental Protection, Health & Safety, California State University at Monterey Bay
  4. Artist Safety
    Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, Oregon Health & Science University
  5. Environmental Health & Safety in the Arts: A Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans
    U. S. Environment Protection Agency
  6. Exposing Ourselves to Art (PDF, 6.83 MB)
    Scott Fields. Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 105, Number 3, March 1997
  7. Health & Safety Bibliographic Resources and Resource Guides in Art Conservation
    CoOL – Conservation Online, Stanford University Libraries
  8. Health and Safety Guides and Publications
    American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work
  9. Art Safety
    Office of Environmental Health and Safety, Connecticut College
  10. Health and the Arts Program
    The Occupational Health Service Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago
  11. Online Health and Safety in the Arts Library
    The Occupational Health Service Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago
  12. Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
    New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
  13. Studio Safety
    Gamblin Artists Colors

 

 


 

Color Index pigment info on brand name paints

The Color of Art Pigment Database Reference of artist paint and dry pigments, pigment powders, and pigment dispersions along useful for artists and illustrators painting or drawing in oil or watercolor, acrylics or other art media that uses color in their artwork. it is a complete painting resource for the artistic palette, showing the meaning of the color index pigment codes usually indicated on the paint tube label. The color index pigments numbers can be found on acrylic paints, watercolor both water color tubes or dry watercolor (often called "pans", "half pans" or "watercolor cakes"). Watercolors can also be in the form of water soluble drawing sticks and water soluble colored pencils.
Tubes of oil color with the pigment names on the oil paint tubes contain important info on the pigments the paint is made from. The CI generic pigment name codes on tubes of professional artists paints in any media oil color, watercolor, alkyd paint, pigmented inks, or even contemporary manufactured historic egg-oil emulsion tempera are an international standard and can be looked up in the Color of Art Art is Creation Pigment Name Database. The color of art database also Includes info on casein milk paint and gouache opaque paint. Oil paint and historic egg-oil emulsions and tempera were often used by the old masters of painting in their artwork. The reference pigment information found here will assist in the artistic creation of all artists, skilled craftsmen, craft women or craft persons, and other crafters or hobbyists of all types. The pigment database can also be put to good use by artisans in all the fine arts and visual artists, and is also the info necessity for art conservators and art restoration, particularly painting restoration professionals or art restorers. The pigment reference is even a useful resource for Graphic illustrators, commercial artists and graphic designers.

This page of the Art is Creation Color of Art has the art supplier and manufacturer color charts indicating color index pigment names of their products. All artist paints and pigments that are ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) and ASTM D4236 - 94* compliant that are sold in the United States must have the pigment identification number or generic chemical names of the pigments that were used to make the paints or dry pigments (either powdered or in the commonly found "pigment dispersions") and should be have the generic pigment name printed on the paint label. The oil paint tube or jar, oil color paint label, along with the label on tubes of acrylic paints, or jars of acrylic paint, or even including the label on tubes of watercolor often found as pans, half-pans or dry cakes in often sold as a complete palette or "watercolor set", will have the pigment or pigments index number on the label, or the paint label or pigment id is printed directly on the paint tube.

 

*other ASTM specifications used the the labeling of artists materials are:

D4236-94(2011) Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials for Chronic Health Hazards

D4302-05(2010) Standard Specification for Artists' Oil, Resin-Oil, and Alkyd Paints

D4303-10 Standard Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists' Materials

D4838-88(2010) Standard Test Method for Determining the Relative Tinting Strength of Chromatic Paints

D4941-06(2010) Standard Practice for Preparing Drawdowns of Artists' Paste Paints

D5067-05(2010) Standard Specification for Artists' Watercolor Paints

D5098-05a(2010) Standard Specification for Artists' Acrylic Dispersion Paints

D5383-02(2010) Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists

D5398-97(2010) Standard Practice for Visual Evaluation of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by the User

D5517-07 Standard Test Method for Determining Extractability of Metals from Art Materials
See also WK41263 proposed revision

D5724-06(2010) Standard Specification for Gouache Paints

D6801-07 Standard Test Method for Measuring Maximum Spontaneous Heating Temperature of Art and Other Materials

D6901-06 Standard Specification for Artists' Colored Pencils
See also WK27266 proposed revision

D7354-11 Standard Guide for Artists’ Paint Waste Disposal in Private, Non-Commercial Settings

D7355-10 Standard Guide for Artists' Paint Waste Disposal in Smaller Commercial or Educational Settings

D7733-12 Standard Specification for Acrylic Dispersion Ground

WK28388 New Specification for Traditional Artists Watercolor Paints
WK37409 New Test Method for Measuring Aspiration Potential of Aerosol Products
WK37916 New Specification for Standard Specification for Artists Pastels

 

© 2014 by David Myers