Martin Universal Design
Martin F. Weber Co.
America’s Master Artist Color Maker
What are the benefits of synthetic bristles vs. natural bristles in artist’s brushes?
What does “Series” indicate and what is the difference between each?
Natural hair brushes have long been the choice of artists but many synthetics have been developed to emulate the properties of absorbent natural hair. Synthetics are often a most cost effective choice as the raw materials are abundantly available whereas natural bristles must be harvested from limited resources. There are many considerations in choosing a brush as they are the personal tools of an artist. Determine your need, use and budget when making you brush selections.
The assigned series of a color is indicative of the lightfast rating or permanence of the pigment. Generally, the higher the series number the more permanent the color is in withstanding the effects of exposure to light. In 1984, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) established a standard for rating this component. For more information on ASTM ratings please visit www.astm.org
What does “lightfast” mean?
What is the difference between student grade and professional grade paints?
Simply put, lightfastness refers the permanence of color in paints. Over time, pigments can be affected by the exposure to light thus diminishing their brilliance. The composition of paints and the concentration of these pigments are crucial to paintings, choose paints with the highest lightfast ratings such as Series “A” or “1” as these will be composed of pigments that are the most physically and chemically constant and will resist the detrimental effects of UV exposure.
These terms are widely used to differentiate price levels to the consumer. Quality is indeed indicative of price as pure pigments are often not used. Please review the information labels prior to making your choices. Today, many student grade paints are crafted of single pigment colors which aid in accurate color mixing instruction. Professional grade colors often provide a broader range of color with pigments that cannot be accurately represented in student grade paint.
How long does it take wOil to dry versus traditional oil paint?
Can dried acrylic paint be removed from brushes?
Drying times of any paint will vary due to environmental factors. Traditional linseed oil, commonly used as a suspension for pigments in oil color was modified to create wOil. Whereas traditional oils may take up to 6 months to be dry to the touch, wOil can be in this state in as little as three days. Results will vary based on depth of paint, climate and paint additives.
Absolutely! Even old brushes caked with acrylic paint can be revived with proper cleaning. We recommend Turpenoid Natural® as it will gently remove paint without damaging bristles or loosening glues in the ferrules.
How can I speed up the drying time of my oil paints?
How long should I wait before varnishing and oil or acrylic painting?
Many additives are available to increase dry time such as the traditional choice, Japan Drier. The chemists at Weber® have developed many alternatives for the artist that will not only increase dry time but improve flow and brilliance of color. RapiDry® from Weber allows oil colors to remain workable for about five hours but will dry to the touch overnight. Res•n•gel® will also increase dry time while adding body and luminosity to paints. Temperature, humidity and other factors can have an impact on dry times of oil color even when mixed with drying additives so please make this a consideration.
Oil colors and acrylic paints will initially have varying dry times due to their principle vehicles- oil versus water. Unique factors of an artist’s environment will play a vital role in dry times as well. Acrylics will dry sooner that oils, usually dry to the touch in 12 hours. Oils can dry to the touch in 12 hours with drying additives whereas pure pigments may take up to six weeks to dry to the touch. It is important that paints fully dry prior to varnishing as this final coat will seal in any moisture. Many artists will allow a painting to dry 6 months to a year before applying a final coat.
What surfaces besides canvas can I use acrylic paint on?
Acrylics are one of the most versatile forms of paint and can be applied to a wide range of surfaces. Besides canvas, paper, cardboard, glass, wood, tile and metal readily accept acrylic paints. Some surfaces however may require priming to create a barrier which inhibits absorption. Use-specific additives may also be mixed with paints so as to improve performance on the substrate. For example, Weber® Glass & Tile Medium will improve flow on smooth, surfaces and has the adhesion properties needed for nonporous surfaces. Weber® Fabric Medium allows colors to absorb into textiles and will remain flexible even after paint is completely dry. Before beginning your next project, explore the many options now available in acrylic paints by visiting www.WeberArt.com.