How do you Cad? :)

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  • I just started playing around with cadmium pigments. I’ve always avoided them because they are opaque, but I’m finding that they paint beautifully. They are crisp, bright, dilute extremely well, and have a lot of dispersement for opaque pigments. I’ve tried them out in a few sketches in foreground elements. Not sure how they’ll work in glazing but maybe as an underlayment.

    If you cad, how do you paint with them? Any tips or advice?

    I haven’t used Cads too much and then more of the yellow range, because I’m not much for reds.  You should check out Stephen Quiller’s work.  He uses the Cadmiums to great effect.

    I’m familiar with Stephen’s work, but he and I don’t paint well together. 😀 I’m currently using the Cad Lemon Yellow and Cad Red Light. Really love both of these! They have a glow on the page that many of my colors lack.

    I really respect Stephen’s knowledge of color and have learned much from his books, but I admit his work isn’t too my taste – it seems violent to me, all slashes and sudden streaks of red.  Sometimes, I think you can learn a lot from studying the work you don’t like – when you see something in their work that vibrates with you, you really know it’s something important.

    You can see why Cadmiums have lasted so long in the artist world even when they’re so expensive.

    I agree, Sandra. He is brilliant with color but he is a fairly technical painter, and I’m much more intuitive. I have tried to watch a few of his videos and either get lost or feel like he’s going in a direction that wouldn’t suit me at all.

    By the way, total change of subject… I know you said that Strathmore Imperial is your favorite paper. I loved the surface, but I had a lot of problems with fading. Have you noticed that? If fading wasn’t as issue, I would have loved painting on it. If a paper fades, I tend to overwork. I repainted the jellyfish scene on Hahnemuhle and it came out much better. (You can see it here.) No cads used in it… I may have to paint it again! 😀

    I haven’t had any issues with fading, but I don’t usually even when using fugitive colors, etc.  I also haven’t bought any of the paper for quite some time as I had enough to last nearly forever.  I noticed that the quality of the Strathmore Aquarius #80 lb (which was my favorite before) changed and I don’t like the way it handles nearly as much.  It’s possible the Imperial has changed as well.

    Did you include a link to the jellyfish painting? I don’t see it.

    By the way, the Hahnemuhle Turner Watercolor paper has supplanted the Imperial as my favorite.  Totally different texture, and I suspect not for everyone, because of the texture.


    Tonya, I just re-read your question, and I think I took it wrong. I was thinking of fading as in the colors dull over the passage of time, but the bit about overworking kicked in and I think you’re talking about the colors fading as you paint.

    My answer is still about the same, but I have to add that I usually paint with weak washes of color and build up with glazes, so I might not notice fading so much.

    Yes, I meant that colors were constantly fading as I painted. I kept having to repaint to gain vibrancy. I also paint in lots of layers and glazes. Love the effect that one gets with building! 🙂 The link feature doesn’t seem to be working but you can copy and paste the link below if you’re curious. I have a tiny sheet of Turner, so I’ll have to give it a whirl. Hahnemühle’s Cezanne is the type of paper that seems to be an extension of my heart, so it will be fun to try the Turner. Thanks, Sandra!

    It will be interesting to see what you do with the Turner.  It’s quite different than any other paper I’ve used.

    Your jellyfish are beautiful!

    Thanks, friend!

    I was on a well for years so avoided the hassles of cadmium (and a couple other colors) in our well water.  I’ve never missed them!

    I was concerned about the toxicity also and have done a fair amount of research. The levels seem fairly negligible in the paint. Do you know differently? Now you’ve got me worried again, Kate, because we’re on well and septic. Though compared to the other amount of toxic chemicals that have probably been dumped around here through the years…

    Tonya I was also creating large canvases with acrylics.  To be safe, wipe your brushes well before rinsing them.  Another thing to do is to set your dirty rinse water (I have two rinse waters going always, the first dip and the second) in a plastic tub instead of dropping into the sink and then let it continually air dry.  The plastic tub can eventually go to the dump.  Just out of curiosity tho, you do get your well tested every so many years?  All kinds of things can happpen and it is best to know.

    We’re in a rental house right now, and I doubt the water has ever been tested… BUT yes, as soon as our house is nearer to completion, we’ll be getting our well water tested. That has to be completed to pass inspection and get our occupancy certificate. A friend dumps her paint water into kitty litter. I thought this was brilliant! A great option for those pesky cads and cobalts.

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