Posts Tagged ‘Daler Rowney’


GCMyersInkBottlesBlumerSThis a photo that Barbara Hall Blumer took of ink bottles on the table where I paint a few years back for her book, In Their Studios, which documented artist studios in the Finger Lakes region. I’ve always liked this simple photo and am showing it to just talk for a bit about one of my favorite materials to use in my work, acrylic inks.

I started using acrylic inks about fifteen years back as an addition to the watercolors I was using at that time.  I had been told about Dr. Martin’s Hydrus inks and found them and some Daler Rowney FW Artists Inks at a local art supply.  I was immediately excited by the way the inks reacted in my work.  The colors were deep in intensity as the pigments were very finely ground and the transparent colors I chose mixed tremendously well.  I was also happy with their high level of light fastness which prevented the colors from fading from exposure as is the case with many watercolors.  I wanted to make my work as durable as possible.

Over the years, as my work evolved, several colors became staples in my paintbox, particularly those from Daler Rowney.  I was using several quarts a year of certain colors and they had become almost trademark colors in my work.  For instance, their Indian Yellow , which I use as a first layer of stain on my frames.  I was buying dozens of their 8 ounce bottles of ink every year.

I was thrown a curve last year when Daler Rowney, a British company, chose to stop selling the FW inks on which I so depended in large bottles, only selling one ounce bottles.  I panicked a bit, knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my needs with the small bottles even if I could find them.  I started trying different brands of inks.  I was able to find comparable quality in certain colors but I couldn’t match other important colors.  I tried and tried, mixing different colors to try to achieve the same quality of color that I had become accustomed to with the Daler Rowney, but it always came up short and the inks reacted differently on the painting surface which altered how I painted.  It was discouraging and I felt that my work would change forever.

So earlier this year I contacted the Daler Rowney office in Britain,  desperately appealing for any help that could offer.  I really didn’t expect much in response but was surprised when they emailed back that they had a surplus quantity here in the States that they had made for a private firm and would gladly sell me whatever they could offer.  I was able to match colors with the help of their chemists and within a week I had 30 gallons of ink sitting in my studio.  Enough for several years.  At least long enough for my work to continue to evolve beyond the need for a single product.

I know I could have survived without the inks, necessity being the mother of invention that it is, but having the security of knowing that this paint will be available for a while eases a bit of the anxiety that would come from having to change immediately.  Now I can ease into it.

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