Art materials Student versus Artist quality.
There is an age-old debate when one is a beginning artist, about whether one really needs to use Artist quality materials or not. After all they are a lot more expensive and most beginners feel like they can’t justify the expense because they aren’t producing much of high quality anyway. So how does one solve this problem?
1. Well, let’s take a look at why there is a difference. The reason is that generally, artist quality paints have much higher quality materials in them. For example, in an artist quality paint, pure pigment will be used rather than a lot of additives like talc or chalk. One of the major problems with the additives is that these can cause changes in the actual colour of the paint.
For example, one of the worst colours for for not being true to colour is cobalt blue. When you buy a cobalt blue student colour, if you put it next to an artist quality cobalt blue you will see that the student colour has a lot of green in it. It’s very green looking, while the artist quality colour is a deeper blue and a much warmer colour as it has more violet in it. In the picture you can see that the student quality has a slightly greener cast to it. Also it took me twice as much paint to mix not even the same strength as the Artist Quality paint.
2. The second reason for choosing an artist quality material, again referring to paint, is that student colours generally not only have additives that affect the colour, but also change the consistency of the paint. The more expensive paints such as Old Holland, Bloxx and Sennelier use pure pigment only in their paint. This means, that even though the paint is more expensive, it goes a lot further because it hasn’t been watered down or diluted. I love this picture below from the Old Holland Museum, of some of the original pigments used in painting.
3. The third reason to choose Artist Quality materials is that they will give you more consistent results. It will save you time trying to mix a colour from paints that just won’t give you the results you are trying to achieve, because they are incapable of it, which can be very frustrating for the beginning painter.
4. Reason number Four, is that Artist Quality materials, whether they be brushes, paints, palette knives, or any other material, they will last longer and be easier to use than cheaper versions of the same thing.
5. Reason number Five is simply that they are such a pleasure to use. So as a rule of the thumb – ALWAYS buy the most expensive materials you can afford because you really will notice the difference!
This Week’s Question: What kind of paints, brushes and canvas are you using?
Next Week’s Post: How Important are our hands?