Apparently it has been the most popular W&N booklet since it was first published over 100 years ago with generations of artists finding it an indispensable resource. I found a 1954 edition on the internet - valued at $25! The copy I bought was published in 1997 so will inevitably be limited to what was known at that date.
Unfortunately, even with my well known sleuthing abilities, I've been unable to track down any reference to the booklet at all on the W&N website - although I have found sections from it. I've no idea how you get hold if other than by asking W&N or one of their suppliers.
The booklet contains information about all the latest pigments. The contents include:
- Statement of Policy 1892
- Addendum 1997
- Historical Notes on pigments and colours
- Composition and permanence tables
- Synonymous colour names
The publication of information by Winsor & Newton has become a particularly intrinsic and important role for the company. There are now many more products available and yet much less teaching of proper technique than in the past. .......By offering a wide variety of literature we are able to support many more people across the world than we can reach personally.......The notes about permanence are interesting and the booklet provides one of the first accessible but comprehensive definitions that I've read - it's also available on the website. This particular page provides a great deal more detail about permanence - as found in the booklet.
We do not fear disclosure as we know it takes very much more than just chemical constituents to make Winsor & Newton products
The permanence of an artists' colour is defined as 'its durability when laid with a brush on paper or canvas, graded appropriately and displayed under a glass frame in a dry room exposed to ordinary daylight and in an ordinary town atmosphere'.I think this might need updating for those of us who use pastels and don't use brushes! Of more interest to artists is the following statement
Winsor and Newton Permance Ratings
It is a shocking fact that almost all artists' permanence problems arise from poor technique or the use of materials which are not manufactured for artists.You can find Hints, Tips and Techniques for every medium on their website
The effect of artists' techniques on permanence
- oil colour
- watercolour including a lot of detail about different mediums
- acrylic colour
- pastels (bad link!)
- colour mixing which includes a list of new colours for the 21st century
I can't find the historical notes about pigments and colours on the website. The notes are two short lines per pigment/colour but they're still fascinating! It covers all the commonly used used pigments and names in use in the 1990s. It doesn't include the older pigments which were less permanent and haven't been used since the early 20th century.
Composition and Permanence Tables
Like the website the booklet usefully explains colour terminology such as the colour name and colour index. (see Colour - naming dyes, pigments and paints).
Both the booklet and the website provide detailed tables for each medium which list for each colour:
- Colour Name
- Chemical Description
- Colour Index Generic Name (eg P Br7) and Colour Index No.
- Permanence rating / permanence series (by W&N)
- ASTM rating (this is the rating by ASTM)
- Characteristics eg transparency/opacity; granulating; staining; bleeding and binder used.
|Artists' Oil Colour|| ||Galeria Acrylic Colour|
|Winton Oil Colour||Artists' Water Colour|
|Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour||Cotman Water Colour|
|Griffin Fast Drying Oil Colour||Designers' Gouache|
|Artists' Oilbar||Artists' Soft Pastels|
|Artists' Acrylic Colour|
Statement of Policy 1892
This makes interesting reading on two counts. First the reasons why it came about and second its contents.
Apparently at the end of the 19th century artists were furious that some colours they were using were proving to be fugitive and that they were being kept in the dark about colours were made of. An investigation ensued and at the end of it W&N issued their statement which is written in very forthright language.
In 1892, the position they took was broadly speaking as follows:
- artists' colourmen as manufacturers are in business and must respond to the demand made upon for them for colours
- the basic training of artists includes learning about the basic characteristics of different pigments
- artists are expected to be the sole judges as to which colour was the right one to use
- artists had had access to information about the permanence of pigments for a long time - if they chose to use one which was less permanent that was their prerogative
- as artists' colourmen, they undertook to make colours as durable as they could - within the context of a pigment's inherent properties
- the commercial secrets of making colours are not limited to which pigments are involved
- scope existed to make information about composition and permanence even more accessible - hence why they published the composition and permanence tables.
So - why do other manufacturers not publish the equivalent level of detail?
- Winsor and Newton was founded by William Winsor and Henry Newton in 1832 when they invented the first semi-moist watercolours using pigment, gum arabic and glycerine. The limited company was created in 1882. Winsor and Newton watercolours have been used by JMW Turner, John Constable, Samuel Palmer, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keefe.
- WINSOR & NEWTON is now a trading name of ColArt Fine Art & Graphics Ltd, Whitefriars Avenue, Harrow, England, HA3 5RH. (http://www.colart.com)
- For more about the Making A Mark Colour Project see below.
- Winsor & Newton website
- Winsor & Newton - Composition and Permanence Tables
- Winsor & Newton - Hints, Tips and Techniques
- Making A Mark - Colour and Color - an online project
- Making A Mark - Learning about Colour - Art Book Reviews for Artists #1
- Making A Mark - Using Colour - Art Book Reviews for Artists #2
- Making A Mark - What is Colour?
- Making A Mark - Colour - a scientific perspective
- Making A Mark - Book review: Multi Brand Color Chart for Pastels
- Making A Mark -Colour - a materials perspective #1 - pigments and dyes
- Making A Mark - Colour - pigments and related colours
- Making A Mark - Colour - naming dyes, pigments and paints
- Making A Mark - Hues - a systems perspective
- Making A Mark - A Colour Round-Up
- Making A Mark - Describing a colour space - there's more than one colour wheel!
- Making A Mark - Complementary Colours and mixing neutral colours
- Making A Mark - Analogous Colours
- Making A Mark - Local Colour and Realism
- Making A Mark - Colour Schemes: Split Complementaries, Triads and Tetrads
- Making a Mark - Symbolic Colour
- Making a Mark - Colour (all posts tagged colour)