Saturday 10 August 2013

A Special Saturday {Video}

...its a {video} day....but read this first... 
At the start of the month, I promised to give you a video every Saturday throughout August. If you follow along with the techniques we share, step by step, you will soon realise how easy it is to achieve great results with our paint. But there is a concept you need to understand before you buy any Fresco paints, and that is all to do with why we have opaque and translucent paints. So this week, before you watch the video, I want to take some time to explain about understanding the differences in the COVERAGE of paint. 

...high and low coverage paints
Fresco opaque paints generally have HIGH COVERAGE; they cover up what is underneath fast. For example, we painted Millie's bedroom with Bora Bora recently. It only took 1 coat to get a really beautiful even layer of paint across one huge feature wall. Bora Bora has high coverage, it's what we classify as an 'opaque'. BUT if we had painted the wall with London Bus, a LOW COVERAGE PAINT or 'translucent', then we would likely have needed to apply as many as 3 coats to get the required coverage on the wall.

...versus high and low pigmentation
So would you jump to the conclusion that Bora Bora is more highly pigmented than London Bus? Because I would have before I started to get my head around paint chemistry! But, as we continue to learn more and more from 'the magic paint lady', I now know that London Bus is one of our most highly pigmented colours. In effect, the level of pigmentation for London Bus is at the maximum capacity, if we added any more pigment, it would not change the colour, and could ultimately compromise the paint functionality, or even compromise some of the other features of the fresco paint formula. 

So how much red pigment do we need to make a pastel shade, like pale pink? Have you ever referred to a pale pastel paint as highly pigmented? Don't you think the reality is you hardly need any pigment to make a pale pink, compared to what you would require for an OTT red colour like a primary red? A broad variety of different acrylic bases are used to make all acrylic paints. The base chosen depends on the pigments required to make each colour, and how bright each paint colour needs to be. In general, for Fresco Paints, the brighter the paint, the more translucent it will probably be. But that in no way necessarily reflects how much pigment may or may not be in each colour. Probably our paint chemists are the only ones who really know the true answer to that.

I think there are plenty of people who bandy the term 'highly pigmented' about without having a clue what they mean by it, I certainly used to, so my hand is up. I think in general, we get our terminology regarding pigmentation and opacity of paints VERY confused. Every company calls their paint 'highly pigmented' as a way to label their paint as top quality, so by doing this, they have actually devalued the term. In reality, every paint within every paint range has its own quantity of pigment depending on so many other factors. It's not a one size fits all label to use.

...artist grade paints
It's also interesting to note, that artist-grade acrylic paint companies release their colours with a set of standardised names; diarylide yellow, quinacridone red, burnt umber or turquoise pthalo and so forth. Even though there are many paint companies out there, all acrylic paints are created using a standardised set of pigments. Many artist grade paints will have their pigment derivatives listed on the bottle, a kind of basic recipe. So from company to company, the colour 'burnt umber' or 'primary cyan' etc is an industry standard. As a consumer, you decide what price you want to pay, and often the more expensive ones are more highly pigmented, and certainly 'student grade' are a lot less pigmented, but still, no matter what price, they will paint out as a more or less standardised shade of colour.

This is not what we want to manufacture, replicate or reflect within the PaperArtsy Fresco paints. We don't desire to create a huge array of highly pigmented shades of paint. I'm not a fine artist trying to get 50 shades of blue-grey to paint some clouds, or 40 shades of yellow-green grass. 

...Fresco Paints
Fresco is a paint, the quality of which falls on the spectrum somewhere between Craft and Artist grade. But its hard to compare to other paints because its so different to any other paint out there. It's very matte, we labelled it 'chalk' paint because that is how it feels when you touch it, and the first batch were all extreme high coverage. But all the paints are super smooth, flat and matte. We want to make paint for people to muck about with on all kinds of surfaces. Here at HQ we are way more interested in making user friendly paint, in a nice range of colours, that does what it says on the tin. We want to bring it to you for a great price for 50 ml, and with a long shelf life. In other words, value for money, nice and easy to use, and fit for purpose. Whether you want to create backgrounds, scrapbook, journal,covering wood, create unusual textures, or add a bit of bling or crackle, we've got it covered (see what I did there). So people, rise up and become a master-splodger guru of experimentation !! We are making paint for crafting situations. And it's meant to be FUN !!

We are offering something different in the marketplace. A colour palette that reflects interior design trends, current colour trends, and current fashion trends and therefore we offer a colour palette that is fresh, relevant, fun to use and looks good on the walls of your home or in your most private journals. Most of our paints match beautifully with each other. It's not hard to select a bunch of Fresco paints that look good together. We specifically designed it that way. To make it easy for you. Light, medium, dark, super dark in families of colours.

...Fresco Paint Chart (52 colours, Gold, Silver, 6 glazes)
Have you seen this colour chart yet? We have recently printed up a load of these postcards, and we are sending them out to our retailers, and popping them in with online orders. It a point of reference for you. The colour matching is not perfect; due to the difficulties inherent with reproducing paint colours as printed ones, it is only a guide. Turquoise tones are very hard to reproduce, and the dark shades in every family are much darker than this indicates, but it still tells you what we have, where they fit in our colour groups, and if they are opaque, translucent or semi. It's also a great tick off chart so you can see what you have got, and what you might still *need*!

...Key Fresco Features
Oh and did you know that Frescos are also the bomb because they are:
  • UV resistant: they can be used for indoor and outdoor projects
  • Multi-surface: they can be used on fabric, glass, metal, wood, plastic, ceramic...oh...and card, chipboard, paper, acetate, shrink other words a crafter's dream
  • They dry to a smooth matte finish: no brush marks, accepts all kinds of ink, pigment, dye, spray inks, even ball point pen, markers and so on! So no need for specialist journaling pens to work on this paint people!
  • Available in 72 amazing colours: well almost....there are 60 for now....but the magic paint lady is currently working on the next 12 that Lin and I developed recently!!! EEeeeeeekkkkkk. Quite excited about THAT!
  • Affordable: only £3.95 each for a 50ml bottle #boom
So now that you understand all about paint coverage, opacity and how we see Frescos can work for you as a crafter as the most versatile paint in the marketplace today, maybe you might like to watch a video?

...Last Week {Part One} Video
Last Saturday I showed you a really Easy Background technique that I have been using a lot this year, it's turned into one of my favourite ways to get a background without thinking too hard. Sometimes you just need to make a start to get into 'the zone'. This method also produces a beautifully smooth stamping surface. The card does not warp, as you are only applying the smallest spot of paint which is so 'matte' it dries instantly. Stampers in particular LUUURRRRVVVVE this matte, chalky finish. This makes stamping an image on top with archival or versafine ink a breeze. You get a beautiful sharp, crisp, black image every time. If you missed it, or want to review the video you can see it again here.

...this week {Part Two} Video
So in today's video I am going to be using Fresco translucent paints in several layers to add depth to your colouring of stamped images, similar to the example above. As you now are aware, translucent paints have LOW COVERAGE, they are more see-through. But often it is these paints in the Fresco range that have higher levels of pigmentation than you might expect.

If you can master this technique, and if you are a stamper, then this is a unique and very handy feature of Fresco paints, that they enable you to add colour to a stamped image WITHOUT compromising the quality of the black-stamped image.


So grab a cuppa, (it's a much longer video than last week), and then how about you have a go! It's fun. 

I'll see you next Saturday for another video! Or perhaps we'll see you tomorrow as we are at the Stamperama Craft show at Stevenage Sunday August 11th from 10am - 4pm




Helen said...

A great read Leandra and an even better video - love the daisy! I never could colour inside the lines at school and you probably saw from your birthday card, I still struggle, lol! I think I need to get some thinner brushes...Anyhow thanks as ever for a great instructional video. See you tomorrow for some face to face lessons too!

Julie S said...

Wow. Incredibly informative blog post. You should have a link to this printed up on those colour charts.

Steven said...

Another very useful, informative and inspirational video! Thanks Leandra.

Siobhan Brignull said...

I want me a Fresco postcard, and I want it now !!! (stamps feet and pouts) xx

Trish said...

Thank you Leandra - that was great.
I have a postcard, and use it to tick off what I have and what I still *need*...
I also use it to group my colours.

Julie Lee said...

A brilliant post! Is there any more you need to know about paint after you've read this? I have one of those postcards and they are sooo useful! Frescos are magic! Julie Ann xx

Craftyfield said...

Enjoyed the video very much!

Lucy Edmondson said...

Such a great video! I will definitely try this. I am always scared of paint over stamped images. Reading your information, your frescos definitely do what you set out to achieve and I don't use anything else. So excited to be getting more colours,

Lucy x

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog post, brilliant video & a gorgeous finished project!! Thanks Leandra!

Glennis F said...

Your explanation is great - I wish I had bought some while in England _ I don't know why they were not on my list!

sam21ski said...

Fab account of what the paints do.

I have to say I just love them, they are great to work with, blend so easily with each other, but best of all, dry in no time whatsoever, and if you don't like it, just start again!!!

They really are great fun, I love mine!!!

Sam xxx

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Great article and I learned a lot. Will watch the idea soon.

Kezzy said...

Wow such in depth details of Fresco I have loved it. Fresco are amazing, I use them all the time, they have such a unique finish. I have almost got the set and can't wait for the new colours lol. I also can't wait to get the colour chart, I printed them of your shop website which I will say sorry as I'm not sure if I should, but it really has helped me. Knowing the colours in each group really makes using them easier. I can remember when I first started with using Fresco I really hated the translucent one and kept buying opaque. Then when you started at the beginning of the year with the weekly designers I was intrigued as they worked really well with them. After all your videos and your helpful advice over comments I can't live without them, they are as important as the opaque ones and what you can do with them is so unique. I would urge everyone to watch every video and practise, and keep having a go, and before you know it your crafting will jump to a whole new level. Right I'm off to watch the video. Thanks Leandra for all these useful details and videos. Kezzy :-) xxx

ionabunny said...

Thanks for the science. I always like to understand the why as well as the how. Hope there is a copy of the paint chart with my monster monday box. I'm going to add a bit of each of my paints then I a) know which I have and b) will be able to see the real colour. Perhaps you could put on the descriptions on the website a O or T opaque/translucent as I didn't know what I was ordering. Just liked the colours and the names. I buy wine if it's got a good name as well. I don't mean good as in vineyard, I mean good as in funny or catchy!! I digress. Great video. Great techniques for the colouring challenged. That's me! Hope to have some more colours to play with soon.

Linda M. Cain said...

Great post! And full of wonderful info. really is terrific information about the paints that I LOVE!


massofhair said...

I have tried a couple of other types of paints & always struggled to get results i was happy with.

Bought my first Fresco Paints last year & love to play with them especially on fabric. As you play you get to understand their nature & why every crafter needs them at some stage in their stash.

I have the postcard, it really helps but we'll need another when the new colours are released please Leandra!

Thanks for all the videos Mark & Leandra, off to watch the latest with a cup if coffee & some chocolate :-)