Spotlight on Cadmium-Free Colours
2019 sees another Winsor & Newton world first, with the introduction of a new innovation in water colour: the world’s first Cadmium-Free formulas that provide true parity in colour and performance to genuine Cadmium paints. Cadmium pigments are much loved by artists due to their ability to deliver intensely bright, lightfast results. However, Cadmium is a heavy metal and - although there is no globally harmonised view - there are some concerns about its safety. Areas such as California require a warning statement to be shown on every Cadmium paint, while others, such as the EU consider it safe.
Throughout our history we have strived to bring artists an alternative, without compromising on quality or performance. Safety is paramount at Winsor & Newton and we therefore tasked our chemists to create something totally new that would answer the needs of artists who love cadmium colours but had concerns about its impact. Our team have replicated Cadmium’s signatures: its bright masstone, its undertone for subtleties in thin layers, its tinting ability, viscosity, opacity and flow, as well as its archival lightfastness. Plus, to give an authentic experience, the weight of the Cadmium-Free paint in the tube has been carefully matched.
Don’t confuse these with hue colours. Cadmium hues already exist, using a blend of pigments to create something resembling an original Cadmium colour. Winsor & Newton Cadmium-Free water colours are something very different. Each one identically matches the colour of genuine Cadmium and behaves in the same way.
What is Cadmium?
The original Cadmium is a rare soft metal, similar to Zinc but much harder to find naturally in the earth. It was only when it was discovered as a by-product of the Zinc refining process, that it became used a commercial pigment.