Vince Hart is a UK based artist who lives and works in London, where has remained since graduating from his BA in Fine Art at Central St Martins School of Art in 2018. Vince has exhibited widely and has taken part in multiple residencies and prizes, most recently via The Winsor & Newton and Royal Oil Institute Residency Award in March 2021.
“Somewhat unexpectedly, the new colours bridge some gaps in my colour palette, in some cases gaps that I had never realised existed prior to receiving the new colours but am now left wondering how I ever managed without them.”
For the past month Vince has been testing out the latest additions to Winsor & Newton’s Artists’ Oil Colour range, he talks us through his experience with these new colours and how they fit into his practice alongside the existing colours.
In a lot of my work, I place a heavy emphasis on paint as a substance. I work expediently (usually in a single layer) and often with severely thinned paint in order to draw specific attention to the physical qualities of the materials that I use and the surfaces that I use them on.
I’ve found oil paint to be the most suitable medium for this application; the extended drying times that Oils are so famous (or sometimes infamous for) afford me the chance to rework and manipulate my surfaces far more extensively than with any water-based alternative and as far as oil paint goes, these days I use Artists’ Oil Colours pretty much exclusively, this is partly due the more dynamic colour range offered by Artists’ Oil Colours.
I rely quite heavily upon the transparency of my paint and by consequence rarely mix separate colours; I also value the textural differences native to Artists’ Oil Colours. I like to be able to feel the graininess of a Cobalt, contrasting it with the smooth consistency of an Ultramarine. This variety is important to the way I construct my paintings and I’m pleased to say that Winsor & Newton’s latest additions to their already extensive oil range are no different when put into practice.
I won’t talk you through each of the new colours in too much detail, every artist will inevitably have their own preferences and methods. What I will say is that these colours really do encapsulate the variety offered by Artists’ Oil Colours, both on a textural and chromatic level. Somewhat unexpectedly, the new colours bridge some gaps in my colour palette, in some cases gaps that I had never realised existed prior to receiving the new colours but am now left wondering how I ever managed without them.
I’ve produced a colour chart which demonstrates the differences in thinning and tinting each of the new colours to varying degrees – for each colour the left-hand column is thinned with Winsor & Newton Sansodor, the right is tinted with Zinc White. This was initially for my own education when first testing the new colours but hopefully it also visually demonstrates the properties of each of them.
Admittedly, I’ve spent a lot of time working with Smalt Blue specifically. My affinity for Smalt is down to the fact that I’m just a sucker for cool, transparent blues and believe me when I say this, smalt is really, really nice. Ruby Madder Alizarin, Ultramarine Pink and a surprising (for me) favourite, Transparent Orange, all also offer incredible transparency and range, as well as some beautiful tinting possibilities.
Contrastingly, Warm Brown Pink (a smoky, dense and quite earthy colour, capable of producing very nuanced warm greys when mixed with white) Orange Laque Mineral and Mineral Green Deep bring opacity and literal weight to the new range, as well as an opposingly gritty consistency when compared with some of the smoother transparent colours.
I’ve yet to mention Oriental Blue, I saved this colour for last as I chose to work with this colour on an artwork to be featured in this article. Rather than mix it with another of the new colours I opted for an existing Artists’ Oil Colour, Permanent Carmine. Whilst partly a pragmatic decision, I wanted to demonstrate how a warm, transparent blue could be mixed with a cool transparent red to produce a spectrum of purples, violets and magentas, and ultimately exemplify just how powerful and versatile Winsor & Newton Artists’ Oil Colour pigments really are.
I also wanted to emphasise the delicacy of these paints in a physical sense, these two colours are particularly fine and when thinned with Liquin and Sansodor (I add a healthy amount of both to pretty much any mixture I make) and become incredibly malleable, especially when applied to one of Winsor & Newton’s Ultra Smooth Cotton Canvases, in this case using one of the brand’s new Synthetic Hog brushes.
I’ve ensured the images featured are as accurate as possible, and hopefully they go some way to describe the vibrancy and tactility of these new colours. Ultimately, however, my advice is that if you’re even the least bit curious, you should get hold of one of (or if you’re fortunate enough - all of) these new colours and try them for yourself. I can say with the confidence of experience that these colours are both a delight to work with and of serious practical value to any oil painter’s palette.
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