Art Material Innovations in 2018

What are the latest developments in art materials for 2018?

Artwork Archive just returned from back-to-back conferences–jetting in from Santa Fe to Washington D.C. at the annual Portrait Society conference.

Both provided inspiration and education and allowed us to meet with representatives from various art material companies to learn more about the making of some of the most sought-after products on the market.

We saw that overarching themes started to emerge across all companies.

More and more companies are launching products that target emerging artists and students. As more companies focus on sustainability and conservation, more companies are creating environmentally friendly products. Companies continue to invent and make products that artists can carry around.

For more accessible travel, new materials are being created.

Gamblin understands that artists often travel.

Their Solvent Free Gel was created to allow you to pass security and get appropriately into your checked luggage. It’s also why it’s fast becoming one of the most popular products.

Scott Gellaty, Gamblin product manager, said that the gel is portable, durable, and can be used on the go.

Dave Bernard, a product specialist at Gamblin, said that the solvent retains a crisp brushstroke which is crucial for plein air painters.

Travel artists are pressuring companies to make it easier for them to move.

The mother-daughter team at Raymar has launched a new 8’x16″ panel carrier.

Raymar co-owner Emily Dietrich said, “It’s one our most versatile carriers. It has been a very successful addition to our product range.”

A collaboration will be made with Fabriano artistico, which will produce a special watercolor paper panel. Be sure to keep checking back for more information.

Many of the products will include education.

Rosemary & Co, a mother-daughter-led company that innovates while maintaining a high standard of craftsmanship and quality in its brushes, is a dynamic company.

Rosemary & Co had a lot of new products in 2018, but their primary goal is to help that product line with educational resources.

Symi Jackson, Director of Marketing, stated that more is needed to have a great brush. “Our goal was also to equip our artists with the resources and care they need.”

It is crucial to choose the right brush for the job. Knowing how to care for and use the meeting will ensure a better outcome for more extended periods.

Videos for their 3000+ lines are not something you can expect. You can expect informative videos from Michael Klein and Jeremy Lipking that go into detail about the most popular brushes.

Companies are being driven forward by emerging artists and the environment.

Savoir fair and Pierre Guidetti now offer a new line of oil paints, Rive Gauche. This product is intended for students and artists in the early stages of their careers and will be affordable but high-quality. It will be competitive with 1980 by Gamblin.

The company will launch a new medium-range oil, Green for Oil. This is a line of safer and greener alternatives to traditional solvents.

Synthetic materials can be made to replicate the best qualities of natural materials.

Princeton’s Aspen line was a result of the observations of the past few years. The team consulted a fifth-generation Japanese brushmaker to help them create a brush suitable for plein-air painting.

A muted ferrule color is another helpful characteristic. Vice President of Sales Michael Hammer stated that many outdoor painters cover the ferrule with masking tape to avoid light reflection. To prevent this, we chose a matte black finish.

With their synthetic Squirrel brush Neptune, they are also trying to be more environmentally friendly.

Princeton modified the bristle’s surface to make it release like Squirrel but at a fraction of the cost of natural hair.

Hammer stated that synthetics are being introduced to natural hair brushes. Princeton views this as a win-win situation for both the animal and the consumer, given the dramatic rise in natural hair brush prices over the past few years.

Companies strive to improve their business.

Winsor Newton updated us on their paper line.

Peter Andrew, Fine Art Collective, stated that “every aspect of the paper, from size to composition to texture, has been considered.”

They aim to bring them up to the level of Arches with their improvements.

Brands will inform artists about their material history and properties.

Royal Talen’s Cobra range will go from 70 to 90 colors in 2019, with a long-term goal to reach 120 colors, to match the Rembrandt line. Gamblin’s 1980 line and Sennelier’s Rive Gauche series were also launched.

Are you excited about the education programs being offered by more companies? Royal Talens has big plans for this area.

Jeff Olson, Education Director, Royal Talons, stated, “It’s free for artists groups across the country, as well as schools, retailers, and schools focused on practical knowledge about material history, manufacture, and working properties.”

The traditional favorites will continue to evolve.

Michael Harding will launch a new range of watercolors in addition to the two new oils.

Harding also developed a special nonabsorbent acrylic primer. He said he searched hard for a suitable resin and found one that was less porous and dried quickly.

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