Friday, November 18, 2016

More on Milk Paint

After I wrote about Artisanal Milk Paint from Sinopia not long ago, I took some time to read more about casein paint and decided to try out some tubed casein. Casein paint, made purely from pigment and casein, isn't really what you get with either the milk paint from Sinopia or tube paints. The paint is really an emulsion of casein, oil, and various other ingredients. The Richeson tube paint (Shiva), doesn't list ingredients in the vehicle, only the pigment, nor does the Richeson website page that answers questions about the paint, although other information provided onsite is quite useful. Nonetheless, the liquid milk paint that I used for the first couple of casein paintings is an emulsion, and this thicker tube paint is very likely to be as well. The milk paint was wonderful to handle--thick and rich ("meaty" according to a painter friend), rather the consistency of thick yogurt. The liquid paint covers well and dries quickly to a completely satisfactory matte finish. Moreover, you can use casein paint on nearly any support. Unfortunately though, the selection of colors wasn't necessarily all I wanted or needed. Hence the tube paint.
"Fall Visitor," 2016, casein
I bought a set of six 37 ml tubes of Richeson Shiva casein including yellow ochre, Venetian red, cobalt blue, raw umber, ivory black and titanium white. It's hard to get along without raw umber, and the other colors were fine, but I soon discovered that I needed a brighter yellow and a cool blue, so I ordered a tube of cad yellow and one of phthalo blue to complete my set. Interestingly, like Sinopia paint, Shiva paints vary in consistency out of the tube. Tubed ivory black comes out almost solid and although usable it must be broken up for mixing. Cobalt blue, in contrast, is actually slightly runny. Nonetheless, Shiva paint mixes well and produces a feel similar to the Sinopia version, if one is careful about using water sparingly and mixing thoroughly. Like the liquid paint too, tube paint dries quickly and matte. I tried it out on an 11x14 piece of illustration board in the landscape to the left.

This is a view from my studio, and the visitor is a real one--deer migrate through the woods along my creek this time of year, usually in pairs. These are city deer and are so tame you can stand nearby without sending them bounding for cover.

In the coming few days and weeks I'll do some more investigating of casein, but so far it seems preferable to acrylic if you're interested in fast drying, in part because it's a natural product rather than being produced from petroleum. Besides that, it dries matte rather than glossy but retains good chroma and value.

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