Color Spree

Color Spree
My favorite color is "all of them." What's yours?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lukas Cryl Acrylics

Lukas Cryl acrylics are available in artist grade, economy grade and student grade. Checking on the Jerry's Artarama site reveals a variety of textures and price levels from Lukas Cryl liquid and "pastos" heavy body artist grade acrylics, to economy grade Lukas Studio Acrylics and student grade Lukas Terzia acrylics. All but the bottled liquid acrylics are available in sets.

On my last order, Jerry's Artarama generously included a trial set of Lukas Cryl acrylics. From their heavy body coming out of the tube, these are Lukas Cryl Pastos in Cadmium Yellow Light, Madder Red and Ultramarine Blue. They're little tubes, about 10ml or thereabouts although I couldn't find mention of the exact amount - bigger than the 5ml Winsor & Newton watercolor tubes but quite smaller than 15ml Daniel Smith watercolor tubes.

They certainly chose a good sample triad! Although my scanner has gamut issues with yellows and reds that result in the yellow looking more like Cadmium Yellow Medium in the scan, the color is actually a strong balanced yellow that's spot on for hue with Cadmium Yellow Light in any other form I've used it. Also, it's definitely Cadmium Yellow Light rather than a hue - it has that relative opacity and needed to be quite thin to be used like watercolor as I did in the sample painting.

The pigment load is excellent. Very finely ground and milled, the pigment was still very strong when I had it thinned past "ink" where it's got the texture of the water. I had to add even more water to get a transparent glaze of the Ultramarine. I set out little dabs in a porcelain palette and mixed secondaries, created a color wheel and strip of color swatches to test the secondaries - all are good mixers including that old favorite Ultramarine that I'm so familiar with.

Areas where I used the paint more thick have the usual satiny gloss of acrylic paints used full body. Areas where I thinned it like watercolor have a more matte appearance. These acrylics are definitely on par with other artist grade brands and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone. As with other Jerry's Artarama specialty brands, these are reasonably priced compared to other artist grade brands and often on sale.

A twelve color wood box set is on Super Sale for $89.99 that includes three brushes, 12 37ml tubes of Lukas Cryl Pastos, a palette knife (metal trowel from the photo), stretched canvas and one canvas panel, plus a wooden palette inside a compartmented wooden sketchbox. Looks like the canvas and board fit neatly into the lid of the sketchbox, making it a pretty good setup for painting plein air.

I am also pretty sure that since they sent the trial set with my order, Jerry's would probably send you one if you use their Contact form to email them and ask. I encourage you to try them for yourself, these are good acrylics.

I also used a porcelain flower palette to mix them. This is my favorite palette for using acrylics if I'm going to wash it out, since it won't stain and any dried acrylic rubs away in strings as soon as it's washed. Jerry's carries porcelain flower palettes too for under $10, so does Blick (the Blick one is an inch smaller) and Daniel Smith (a giant 9" wide one). So if you prefer using acrylics thick like oils, a traditional wooden palette or butcher tray would be better. For thin watercolor-like washes though, the porcelain palette can't be beat.

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