In the latter part of the 20th century, after Lowry’s death in 1976, many new pigments became available and there were great improvements in the permanence of colours too. Vermilion Hue is now more permanent and no longer risks fading on mixing with Flake White. Flake White has been replaced by Flake White Hue which is no longer lead based and so avoids the toxicity issues. Winton is found in many artists’ studios alongside Artists’ Oil Colour which offers a wider choice of colours and even greater colour strength. There are two choices if you want to use Lowry’s palette:
Winton Oil Colour
Flake White Hue, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, Vermilion Hue and Prussian Blue. Despite the two pigment changes made, this is arguably the nearest to Lowry’s palette because the pigment strength and consistency will be ‘Winton’ quality.
Artists’ Oil Colour
Flake White No.1, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red and Prussian Blue. Many artists prefer to use genuine Flake White, the texture, drying rate and exact hue of which are unique. Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black and Prussian Blue will all be stronger than the Winton equivalents. Cadmium Red is the nearest Artists’ Oil Colour to Vermilion which has not been available since the 1980’s when the quality had become so poor Winsor & Newton decided they could no longer use it. Winton Vermilion was infact not genuine so it would seem more sensible to use Winton Vermilion Hue than Artists’ Cadmium Red. Prussian Blue still has some permanence issues because it fades in daylight and recovers in darkness. Indanthrene Blue overcomes this.
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