More colors January 3, 2018 10:45

I've been learning more and more about casein and finding out just how very much this stuff is capable of. Lots and lots of glazes, for a start. I haven't had much of a problem with lower layers of paint lifting ever since I quit dipping the brush in water. I just clean it off between colors and then dip it in binder before I dip it in paint. That really helps. 

Perylene paletteI've been getting into colors in a big way. I first added a bunch of synthetic organic colors in pigment dispersion form, in particular, a bunch of perylenes. I have always liked them in both watercolor and acrylic, but in casein they are even darker and more moody. So if anything I have to scale them back a bit when I use them. I know it's going to take me some time to get a real handle on them in this form. 

Forest on the Edge, casein on paper, 18 x 24" by Harold RothThey dominate my most recent painting, "Forest at the Edge," 18 x 24" on heavy watercolor paper. I'm thinking of putting both this and "Witch Tower" on panels so they are easier to display. Going to seal them with wax.

I had only one blue, ultramarine, so I went to Guerra Paint's site to order some indanthrone, one of my favorite colors, and was tickled to find they have a red shade and a green shade. This is the first time I ever heard of indanthrone having shades like phthalos. Those are coming today. Indanthrone aka anthraquinone is great for making moody skies, night, and oceans. Can hardly wait to mess with it. It was key to my acrylic palette for a long time, along with anthraquinone red (PR177), azo yellow (PY153 or PY154), benzimidazolone orange (PO62), and raw umber. I was able to make pretty much anything I needed with these plus titanium and zinc white.

I'm not going to be using raw umber anymore, even though it is one of my favorites, because I am quite a slob when I paint and I didn't realize than it contained manganese, which is a neurotoxin that among other things can cause tremors. I already have Essential Tremor, so I don't want to risk that getting worse because I was messy with my paints and got raw umber on my skin. I do use ArtGuard now, but sometimes I forget. Giving up raw umber means having to find another way to make black besides adding raw umber to ultramarine, and perylene green + perylene violet make a wonderful black. So that problem is solved.

But along the lines of titanium, out of curiosity I bought some pigment Guerra describes as transparent titanium. I still haven't used it much, but yesterday I read that it was developed for sunscreen so that it did not look white on the skin but still blocked the sun. It has nanoparticles. So that is one I've got to experiment with more. Although I am not sure how I feel about nanoparticles of pigment.

I have found that zinc white acts a little differently in casein and gives a sort of almost greasy feel that is quite convenient when you are trying to make smudged or misty or blurred edges. I used that quite a bit in this painting, combining it with ultramarine to make glazes.

The other item I ordered today is something I never would have bought in the past, although I was taken by Daniel Smith's interference colors in watercolor and ALMOST bought their Iridescent Scarab. I got thinking that I might like to use an interference or iridescent color to make sigilistic designs over the top of a casein painting, so I chose some Liquid Glass Pearl pigment to play with. You can tint this with transparent pigments to make iridescents. So looking forward to this!

Cobalt Bermuda blue pigmentDespite my fear of toxic pigments (no cadmiums evah!), I did put a bunch of cobalts on my list. These are generally blues, greens, and violets. I really like the blue end of the wheel in painting. From what I have read, they are considered only slightly toxic (way less so than raw umber). I don't generally like plain cobalt blue--kind of dead looking--but some of its other colors, wow. Like how about this Bermuda green!

I have to say that casein has allowed me to experiment more than I ever have before. I had intended to try various mediums in acrylic, like crackle and molding paste and stuff, but I never got around to it. With casein, I am getting around to experimenting right away, not only in terms of content and style but in terms of color.