One of the many perks of working at Jerry's is all of the new products that we bring in. For certain items that are new to the market, we must test them before we can decide to bring them in. And who better to test them than Jerry's employees who are also artists?! Sharon DiGiulio and I spent hours of "grueling work (haha)" testing the new products we may bring in. Everything from acrylics made by one of our finest oil paint vendors, Charvin, to new gel mediums and colors premixed with these mediums from a great paint company, Lukas!
First task....Charvin Inks. These inks are a shellac based Egyptian ink similar to the Sennelier shellac based inks. Testing and comparing these inks, we were extremely pleased with how comparable they were to the most popular Sennelier inks. In the photo you can see the sest of these inks on raw canvas, watercolor paper, and printmaking paper. Sharon also tested the inks on canvas board, our Soho boards, as well as practicing stamping. We found that the inks were best suited for the printmaking paper and then second, the watercolor paper. Although she was able to get a decent stamp by using a brayer, I would not recommend this over printmaking inks.
Next was my favorite to try...Charvin Acrylics. I am an oil painter and I swear by Charvin! I am not very comfortable with acrylics and so I wanted to see how this paint compared to other acrylic paint as Charvin has a very special grinding process that gets the pigments so fine and is the reason for their buttery consisitency. The piictures below show the colors we used that Sharon painted in her sketchbook as well as a picture I painted on canvas panel of an eye. I will say that I am still an oil painter through and through (as I have difficulty with a medium that dries so quickly) but of the paints I've used I was most pleased with these. The mixablitity was very suprising and as long as the colors were mixed on the palette, it was very easy to create your own colors. In addition, although acrylics tend to dry very flat, I was suprised by the comparative luster of these paints (although i wish the photograph reflected this better.
Last, but not least, Sharon tested the Lukas Art Gels. This was really a fantastic product that can be used for both painting and stampling. First, Sharon tested all of the colors on both white gesso canvas and black gesso canvas. You can see that the colors retain their vibrancy on both surfaces. The paint uses the new Lukas Artist Gels with equal pigmentaiton to paint in order to allow the artist to keep from diluting their colors by adding clear mediums. You can see that the paint holds its peak extremely well in these examples.
To test this further, Sharon used stampes to see how well it cannot only retain its peak, but retain impasto shape. She first used a this stencil made of foam (the green stamp) and filled the cut-outs with paint. Peeling the stamp off slowly, she was able to create a perfect stamp. Then, as true art supply testers, we wanted to see how far it would go. Sharon got a 1/2" thick piece of material, similar to foam core, cut out some shapes and repeated the same process. To our amazement, the paint was able to keep it's shape with so much more applied. Needless to say, we were extremely impressed with this product!