FAQS

Hi Artists and Friends,

Art material is our business and our passion. We also believe that it is also a very important input in your creative process. Since art material is ‘MATERIAL’, it has its own properties. If you want to get the best result, understanding the properties of the material is of vital importance. By understanding these ‘properties’ i.e. ‘possibilities’ and ‘limitations’, the artist would be able to use the proper material, on the proper surface, in the proper manner, with the help of proper tools and mediums, to get the best results. This is the ‘Science of Art’ and it helps the artist to be very sure of the output as well as the look and life of the painting.

Artists are creative people, driven by visual results and hence, they should have the freedom to explore the same. But it is important for them to understand the nature of the material and methods employed as well as their impact on the look and life of the painting. Experimentation is fine, so far as it is well informed; artists should be prepared for the outcome and own it, rather than being surprised and blaming the quality of the tools.

Art material is a very wide category and there are a lot of things included, like:

• Surface/Substrate • Colours • Tools
• Drawing material • Mediums • Accessories

Each of the above has multiple variants and to further widen the scope, colours also have a vast number of shades. Each one made up of different ingredients, some organic and others inorganic; some natural and some from the chemical industry and hence, they behave differently. This complexity of possibilities and limitations, demands a thorough understanding of the material on the part of the users/artists.

We have been receiving a large number of questions about the properties, peculiarities and impact of the material from artists and art students on our website and during personal interactions. We found them very useful, generally speaking, and decided to collect all these questions and answers for the benefit of the art fraternity. We are sure you would find answers to questions that might be on your mind too. Do send us your feedback and any additional questions you may have to info@kokuyocamlin.com, we would love to hear from you and will do our very best to provide you with the best possible responses.

A. GENERAL QUESTIONS (HISTORY)
Q1:
What is the history of art materials?

A:

It would be a pleasure indeed. Art material is very important for the creative expression and journey of art itself. From the early cave painter, man wanted to record his observations, experiences and thoughts and resorted to draw and paint them as language and script were still centuries away. They sourced material from the surroundings like pieces of coal from last night’s bonfire or a lump of limestone or red earth. First it was only drawing and then he used water to dilute the colours available and used palms, fingers and twigs as tools. Early man also tried ‘Spray Painting’ with a mouth spray. Fascinating, isn’t it?

With time, many more shades were added to the palette as new pigments coming from minerals, vegetables and chemistry were discovered and perfected. Those early artists also experimented with gums and resins they got from trees and animals to add more life and lustre to their works. Many more exotic pigments were discovered and used like the Ink gland from Cuttlefish, Emerald and Lapis Lazuli, extract of roots, beetles and even cows’ urine. Many toxic and harmful chemicals like Vermillion and Strychnine were also used as permanent and vibrant pigments. Though dyes were avoided due to their limited light fastness, some of them had to be converted into pigments after absorbing white pigments in case no others were available for such shades and there was a need.

Oil Colours were discovered in the 10th century and the first known users were Buddhist monks in the Bamiyan valley. They concocted the mixtures to paint on cave walls and the world got a wonderful gift. Since oil colours offered water proof film with very long life, they caught the fancy of the art world and became popular across Europe and Asia. It was first used on planks of wood (Russian icons) and later canvas, which is still very popular. Oil Colours were the mainstay of the Renaissance period and grew popular during the time; however the first European artist to use oil as a medium was Jan Van Eyck.

However, during early days colours were not very easy to acquire unlike today. The artist would purchase pigments, resins and other raw material from specific shops and get them blended, ground and prepared by apprentices in their own workshops. Anyone who wanted to become an artist would join such ‘schools’ and start with tasks of preparing colours and canvases for years, only then would they get a chance to draw and paint.

In 18th century a French pigment supplier was requested by an arthritic customer to prepare colour for him and he obliged just to earn some extra money. This service caught on. Thus Lefranc Bourgeois became the first commercial art material manufacturer in the world. Soon, others like Winsor and Newton joined the industry in different parts of Europe. The colours were initially supplied in skin bladders which gave way to syringes and collapsible tubes. The mediums and tools also developed along the way as people experimented with different vegetables, mineral oils and animal hair.

In the 1950s an artist experimented with acrylic resins and created a colour which was water soluble but became waterproof, like oil colours, when dry and also dried much faster. Acrylic colours soon became popular worldwide and became quite the rage. Due to its versatility and faster turnaround time it has become the most popular art material of today’s generation as well.

Asian contribution is also sizable in the development of art material. The Chinese and Japanese have given us a vast range of papers, inks and brushes. They are unique and very popular for water colour painting and calligraphy. On the Indian subcontinent, with its long history of creative art, had a huge understanding of art materials used in miniature and rock paintings. Many of which like Indian yellow and Indigo Blue became global favourite and also innovative use of precious metals and stones in painting. Though many companies experimented with artists’ materials, Camlin became the first industrial enterprise to successfully manufacture a wide range of art material in the early 1960’s for artists, schools and hobbyists.

 
Q2:
What is the history of Camel colours?

A:

Camel began their journey in 1931 as Dandekar and Co. by manufacturing writing ink when a young chemistry graduate, Mr. Digambar Dandekar, decided to go into business for himself. He made slow and sure progress and with the help of his elder brother, Mr. Govind Dandekar, an engineer with the BMC. Soon a brand name, “Camel”, was decided by the founder while having tea in an iconic Irani Café. A poster of Camel cigarettes that said - I can walk miles with a Camel - gave him the idea of using this useful animal with its high endurance, long range, adaptability and ability to take hardship in a stride, for his own company. Since Camel is easy to pronounce in all Indian languages, it was chosen as the official brand name. Later ‘Camel’ and ‘Ink’ together, became the reason behind company’s name, “CAMLIN”.

By mid 1950s the company had established a nationwide presence and was a leading brand for most of the products it manufactured. The founders’ son, Mr. Subhash Dandekar, who later became Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of the company, started visiting Camlin regularly to help his father and uncle. He wanted to do something enterprising rather than just continuing with the established business. Considering the consumer feedback and company’s strength in inks, he decided to experiment with coloured drawing inks. They became instantly popular amongst the cartoonists and designers and gave the quest of making colours a real boost.

Art material or the colours for art and craft, were being imported to the tune of 100% until then and the entire country was dependent on these foreign products. There were a few manufacturers around but the product quality was nothing close to the expectations of the small art community. Hence, Camlin decided to enter the field and ensure import substitution in the field of arts and education.

However, making colours is also very technology intensive; Mr. Subhash Dandekar thus decided to set sail to Glasgow, to further his education in colour chemistry. After returning, he set up a laboratory and started work on formulating colours for the Indian market. After relentless work for months, he was ready with Oil Colours, Oil Pastels, Poster Colours, Crylin etc. which were introduced into the market in 1962. In 1964 the company formally created a division called the “Art Material Division”.

The initial response was not very warm as in most schools there was no credible art experience, whereas premium residential schools and professional artists were happy with their imported products. The government of India had especially sanctioned the apex body of art, the Lalit Kala Academy, to import art material without paying duty and make them available to the artists at cost price. Selling colours was proving to be more difficult than making them. Apart from exhaustive visits to consumers and ensuring proper communication of the benefits of Camlin’s products, various other modes of publicity, including demonstrations, exhibitions and sales etc. were used to help encourage people to start using their products.

In 1967, exhibitions were held in Delhi and Mumbai, where leading artists of the time were given all the material to create paintings which were showcased to the public and offered for sale. This convinced artists to shift from imported products to Camel colours. The change in policy of importing art material for domestic consumption by the Lalit Kala Academy also gave support to the shift to indigenous art material. The introduction of art contests for schools students drew the attention of the educators and parents towards the importance of art in the development of children and was finally instrumental in the inclusion of art in our curriculum.

Artists Acrylic Colours, which were invented in the 1950’s in the US, were introduced into the Indian market in the 1970’s on the recommendation and demand of artists like M. F. Husain and Satish Gujaral. This new age medium soon became the rage among artists and has become the most popular and largest selling artists colour in India. In fact, Camlin’s Artists Acrylic colours are unique in many ways; their high tacking power and ability to instantly dissolve in water makes them one of a kind.

We are proud that our consumers have bestowed their faith and confidence in the brand and products. This has made Camel and Camlin the most recognizable brands in the field of art material and stationery. Whether it is a professional product like Oil Colours or Poster Colours or school art material like crayons or pastels, each one of them have been appreciated and adopted by consumers whole heartedly. The response has been same with our promotions like the Camel Art Contest, which is the largest art contest of the world and holds a Guinness world record, or the Camel Art Foundation’s annual art exhibitions.

 
Q3:
Which colours were used to make paintings of Bhimbetka caves 10000 years ago?

A:

Those early masters were very candid and spontaneous with their art. They used their art to chronicle their day-to-day lives and important events taking place around. They first started drawing with pieces of coal (from wood fire), lime-stone, chalk and lumps of red-earth. With time they started mixing these basic pigments with water and used the paste with their fingers or twigs to paint. You can compare these with today’s Camel Soft Pastels and Camel Premium Poster Colours, though the range of shades they had were very restricted.

 
Q4:
What kind of colours has been used to paint Ajanta caves?

A:

You are right, they are absolutely stunning and that that is the reason, aficionados from across the world visit these cave. The colours used in Ajanta, Elora, during Buddhist era (2nd century BC), are made from the pigments used with gum Arabic for better life. Pigments were sourced from minerals and vegetable sources and had a very good permanency (do we need to say this after such a long time!). These colours are closest to Camel Poster Colours in look, life and composition too. However most pigments now are from chemical sources.

 
Q5:
What kind of colors is used in miniature painting?

A:

What a beautiful question? We have got a long and vast tradition of miniature paintings in India. From Pahadi&Kangda in North to Tanjaur in South and from Kalighat and Company in East to Rajput in West, and not to forget Mughal miniatures in center, it is a very huge heritage, which we should be proud of. From around 17th century, when the miniature painting took root in India after coming from middle east with Mughals and other invaders, to the time commercially produced colours became popular in later part of 20th century, the artists used to make their own colours.

  • The pigments used to come from nature, either in form of minerals, like earth of various hues, precious and semi-precious stones like emerald and lapis lazuli, plants like haritaki, fauna like kermes beetles and a few chemicals like Vermillion or Strychnine. For metallic hues, the miniature artists used the foils of real silver and gold. Artists and their family members used to process these pigments manually along with resin (Gond) of Acacia tree and use them with brushes fashioned out of squirrel hairs. There were some very exotic pigments used by these artists like Indian Yellow (derived from the urine of the cow fed exclusively on mango leaves) and indigo blue etc.

  • However with advent and easy availability of commercially produced colours, especially Camel Poster Colours, the trend changed. Slowly the artists started trying the Camel Poster Colours and soon the entire industry shifted on it. You may find some miniature artists displaying exotic pigments in the showroom, but that is just for effects. In the workshop you would find only poster colours being used. In our interaction with master artists we have found that they do use handmade colours for restoration of old paintings, but for new work, they use Camel Poster Colours only. The quality is absolutely perfect for miniature painting.
Q6:
What are the medium used in tribal arts like Varli, Gond or Madhubani? 

A:

Tribal art is the purest form of expression and is very close to nature. They also used to source the material from their immediate surroundings like cave or rock art. However with time and commercial pressure they have innovated and started using commercially produced art material. Since the surface is mostly absorbent and permanency and being wash proof is the need of the consumer, they are mostly using Acrylic Colours. The Gond and Varli art is mostly executed with Camel Artists Acrylic Colours whereas Madhbani most goes on fabric and hence Camel Fabrica Colours are used. The artists engaged in Pat Chitra etc. are still happy with the Camel Premium Poster Colours. We are proud to be a part of such great traditions.

 
B. DOs AND DON’Ts
Q6:
DOs and DON’Ts to be considered while painting with Oil Colors?

A:

Oil Painting has been the most popular form of painting since the 15th century. However it is the most technical one too and hence, if you use all the right inputs in the right manner and proportion, your painting would come out excellent and would last long, really long. Let’s try to understand the inputs and how they should be used;

  • Surface or substrate:
    • We recommend using a Camel Stretched Canvas; the size is at your discretion.
    • If the subject demands an infinite and robust look or a square shape or you wish to avoid framing, the Camel Deep-Edge Canvas would be a better choice.
    • If you have an uncommon size or shape in mind, get a wedge-joint frame made out of bevelled strips made of good quality, strong wood that’s light weight; get the Camel Cotton Canvas stretched over it.
    • The canvas generally tends to loosen up after the application of colours; it would perform better if you could stretch it a little further by inserting wooden chips into the slots in the corners of canvas stretchers and tapping them lightly with a hammer.
    • If the canvas becomes a bit slippery and is not accepting the colours properly, use the finest sand paper you can find to rub the surface lightly and ensure you clean the dust off before starting work.

  • Drawing:
    • Drawing is optional as some artists prefer to start with paint right from the beginning. However if you must, please use the Camel Natural Charcoal for drawing. It will help you with painting but the charcoal would neither tarnish the colours nor would the drawing be visible under the painting.

  • Painting process:
    • For a painting that you’d like to have looking good and would last a long time, always use Camel Artists’ Oil Colours, as their superior ingredients, rich formulations, and better processing will give you the desired results.
    • While selecting the shades, always refer to the transparency and permanency indicated on the shade labels.
    • Paint in classic Fat over Lean technique and keep increasing the quantity of the medium (linseed Oil) in every subsequent coat for better drying and finish.
    • While mixing shades, please keep their individual composition in mind as some pigments do not go well with others.
    • Do keep the drying speed and vehicle absorption nature of the shade in mind while painting shades over another or side by side.
    • Add sufficient mediums to shades; not less, not more.
    • Cautiously handle the earth shades which don’t absorb enough mediums but become transparent or crack if they are not saturated with sufficient mediums.
    • Unless you are using a wet-on-wet technique to blend the shades on the surface, let the first coat dry properly before applying the next one. and
    • Don’t over-brush and give the painting a “wooly” look or use stark outlines to make it “Edgy”.

  • Mediums:
    • Preparatory:
      • If you want to paint on canvas with any special texture or any other material as a surface, use Camel Gesso in 3 to 4 coats to prime the surface and make it suitable for oil painting.
      • If you need to create any special texture on the surface, use Camel Texture White.
      • The ideal way to use Camel Texture White is in thin layers and building up the area gradually; there’s no need to apply Camel Gesso on already primed canvas.
      • The drying time depends upon the thickness of the Camel Texture White used.
      • Let the Gesso/ Texture White dry completely before you start painting.
    • Painting:
      • Mix sufficient medium in the colours on the palette with a palette knife before painting as required by the shade concerned and your individual technique.
      • For fluid application Camel Purified Linseed Oil is the appropriate medium, however if you want faster drying, you can use Camel Artists’ Drying Oil.
      • For thicker application with a knife etc. you should blend Camligel with the colours before applying on the canvas.
      • Turpentine should be used to clean brushes or thin the colours if required. However being a volatile material, you need to take some special precaution. Please refer to the relevant question for more details.
    • Preservation:
      • It is advisable to varnish the oil paintings after it is fully dried for longevity.
      • Please ensure that the painting is fully dry before varnishing.
      • Please use all precautions and processes while varnishing the painting as suggested earlier.
      • Use Camel Spray Varnish or Camel Picture Varnish in the manner suggested.

  • Tools:
    • Camel Wash Brushes (SR 58), is the ideal tool for applying gesso or a base coat of oil colours in broad washes.
    • For developing paintings you can use Camel White Bristle Long Handle Flat Brushes if the viscosity is moderate.
    • For Thicker colours, Camel Painting Knives are ideal tools for painting.
    • In case of colours with very thin consistency, Camel Synthetic Flat Brushes could be used.
    • For details and line work Camel Synthetic Hair round brushes also would be the right tool.
    • Make sure that the brushes are dipped in solvents like Camel Distilled Turpentine to avoid residual colours from drying.
    • A Camel Brush Washer would help retain the shape of the brush and clean it thoroughly.
    • Clean the brush completely with Camel Distilled Turpentine and wash them thoroughly with soap and water before storing.
    • Dry the brushes thoroughly and store them in a container with a dehumidifier and Naphthalene balls for better protection.

  • Accessories:
    • As you may know, accessories are not compulsory but they do help in improving the experience and results. Camel has a large range of accessories for oil paintings -
      • Camel Oil Painting Palettes
      • Camel Double Dippers
      • Camel Studio/ Table/ Sketch Easels
      • Camel Brush Washers
 
Q7:
DOs and DON’Ts to be considered while painting with Acrylic Colors? 

A:

Acrylic colours were first used in the mid twentieth century, but within a short span, acrylic painting has become very popular and is loved the world over, by professionals and hobbyists alike. For reasons like versatility and faster drying, Acrylic painting has become a favourite of the current generation. The following precautions are advisable while executing an Acrylic Painting;

  • Surface or substrate:
    • Please use Camel Stretched Canvas (size of your choice); though you can also use paper or any other surface.
    • A thorough cleaning and a coat of Camel Gesso are advisable before commencing painting if you are planning to use a non-paper/non-canvas surface.
    • If the subject demands an infinite and robust look or square shape or you wish to avoid framing, Camel Deep-Edge Canvas would be a good choice.
    • If you have an uncommon size or shape in mind, get a wedge-joint frame made out of bevelled strips of good quality light weight, yet strong wood and get the Camel Cotton Canvas stretched on it.
    • The canvas generally tends to loosen up after the application of colours; it would perform better if you would stretch it further by inserting the wooden chips in the slots in the corners of the canvas stretchers and tap them lightly with a wooden or plastic hammer.
    • The canvas might have become a bit slippery and might not accept the colours properly initially. This is due to the nature of the canvas. Please use fine sand paper to rub the surface lightly and clean the dust before you start painting.

  • Drawing:
    • Drawing is optional as some artists prefer to start with paint right from the beginning. However if you must, please use Camel Natural Charcoal for drawing. It will help you in painting and the charcoal would neither tarnish the colours nor would the drawing be visible under the painting.

  • Painting Process:
    • Always use Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours for a painting for a better look and longer life as they have superior pigment quality and load and offer better processing.
    • While selecting the shades, always refer to the transparency and permanency indicated on the shade labels.
    • While mixing shades please keep their individual compositions in mind.
    • While using the wet-on-wet technique to blend the shades on the surface, please use Camel Acrylic Retarder to keep the colours wet for a longer time and allow mixing on the canvas.
    • Don’t over-brush and give the painting “wooly” look or use stark outlines to make it “Edgy”

  • Mediums:
    • Preparatory:
      • If you want to paint on canvas with any special texture or any other material as a surface, use Camel Gesso in 3 to 4 coats to prime the surface and make it suitable for Acrylic painting,
      • If you need to create any special texture on the surface, use Camel Texture White.
      • The ideal way to use Camel Texture White is in thin layers and building up the area gradually; there’s no need to apply Camel Gesso on already primed canvas.
      • The drying time depends upon the thickness of the Camel Texture White used.
      • Let the Gesso/ Texture White dry completely before you start painting.
    • Painting:
      • Mix a sufficient medium in the colours on the palette before painting as required by the shade concerned and your technique.
      • For fluid application with a glossy finish, Camel Acrylic Gloss Medium is appropriate, however if you want a matt finish, you can use Camel Acrylic Matt Medium.
      • For thicker application with a knife etc. you should blend the Camel Acrylic Gel Medium with the colours before applying it on the canvas.
      • Use Camel Acrylic Retarder for slowing the drying and facilitating the wet-in-wet blending of colours.
      • Water is the vehicle for Acrylic Colours but not the medium and hence we don’t advise the use of water as a medium. It may cause issues like fungus and a dry/ chalky look.
      • However, if you are using water make sure to use purified or boiled water to protect the painting against contamination.
    • Preservation:
      • It is advisable to varnish the Acrylic paintings for longevity
      • Please ensure that the painting is fully dry before varnishing.
      • Use Camel Spray Varnish for varnishing Acrylic Paintings.
      • You can also use Camel Acrylic Gloss or Matt Mediums as varnish.

  • Tools:
    • Camel Wash Brushes (SR 58) is the ideal tool for applying gesso or a base coat of colours in broad washes.
    • For developing paintings you can use the Camel White Bristle Long Handle Flat Brushes for colours in the moderate viscosity.
    • For Thicker colours, Camel Painting Knives are ideal tools for painting.
    • In case of colours with very thin consistency, Camel’s Synthetic Flat Brushes could be used.
    • For details and line work Camel Synthetic Hair round brushes would be ideal.
    • Make sure that the brushes are dipped in water to avoid residual colours from drying and rendering them useless.
    • A Camel Brush Washer would help retain the shape of the brush and clean it thoroughly.
    • When you’re done, clean the brushes completely with Camel Distilled Turpentine and wash them with soap and water before storing.
    • Dry the brushes thoroughly and store them in a container with a dehumidifier and Naphthalene balls for better protection.

  • Accessories:
    • As you may know, accessories are not compulsory but they do help in improving the experience and results. Camel has a large range of accessories for oil paintings -
      • Camel Deep Well or Folding Palette
      • Camel Studio/ Table/ Sketch Easels
      • Camel Brush Washers
 
Q8:
DOs and DON’Ts to be considered while painting with Water Colors?

A:

Water Colour Painting is one of the first forms of painting used by humans and still a very popular form. Every artist’s creative journey starts with water colour painting and then moves ahead to the other mediums. However this one is also the most difficult and demanding form of painting;

  • Surface or substrate:
    • Paper is the most popular surface for water colour painting.
    • Paper with high rag content and without acid, is ideal.
    • The texture of paper is very important and should be selected keeping the style and application in mind.
    • A paper with alkali reserve would guard the painting against external acid attacks for a long time.

  • Drawing:
    • Drawing is optional as some artists prefer to start with paint from the beginning.
    • However if you must, you can use Camel Premium Water Colour Pencils or Camel Premium Colour Pencils for drawing.
    • You can use the relevant shade of the pencils for drawing so that after painting the remaining lines, if any, would not look odd.

  • Painting Process:
    • Always use Camel Artists’ Water Colours for best results as they have superior pigments, higher pigment load and better processing.
    • While selecting the shades, always refer to the transparency and permanency indicated on the shade labels.
    • Start Painting from the left-hand bottom corner and move towards the right and top to avoid accidentally touching and disturbing the colours. For those who are left-handed, the order would be in reverse.
    • While mixing colours please keep their individual compositions in mind.

  • Mediums:
    • Preparatory:
      • There is no preparatory medium required for water colour painting.
    • Painting:
      • Use of purified water is recommended for maintaining purity and the brilliance of the shades.
    • Preservation:
      • There is need of a preservation medium for Water colour paintings, just glass painting is enough,

  • Tools:
    • As colours would be of a very thin consistency, Camel Synthetic Flat and round Brushes could be used.
    • Make sure that the brushes are dipped in water to avoid residual colours from drying and ruining the brush.
    • Clean the brush completely with Camel Distilled Turpentine and wash them with soap and water before storing after finishing the work.
    • Dry the brushes thoroughly and keep them in a container with a dehumidifier and Naphthalene balls for better protection.

  • Accessories:
    • As you know accessories are not compulsory but they do help in improving the experience and results. Camel has a large range of accessories for oil painting -
      • Camel Deep Well or Folding Palette
      • Camel Sketch Easels
 
Q9:
DOs and DON’Ts to be considered while making a drawing??

A:

Drawing is the oldest form of creative expression. They are done as a precursor to paintings and are an independent artistic creation as well. Here we would be discussing drawing as an individual creative discipline so that we can talk about the whole process.

  • Surface:
    • Paper is the ideal surface for drawing, however the texture would depend upon the drawing material used and the style of the drawing.
    • For colour pencils and drawing pencils etc. smoother paper would be better, whereas for products like pastels and charcoal, a paper with a bold texture would be ideal.
    • What it needs are the right ‘teeth’ to hold the drawing material and ability to withstand the test of time, hence being acid free (alkali reserve) and high in rag contents are desirable.
    • However canvas is also an excellent surface for drawing. Its texture and size flexibility also adds to the excitement.

  • Drawing:
    • Drawing material could be divided into two broad segments - with some binder and without any binder.
    • Oil Pastels and Colour Pencils etc. are the drawing materials with binder and would retain themselves without a Fixative.
    • But Soft pastels and Charcoals etc. are without any binder and must be fixed with a Fixative or the drawing would smudge and disintegrate and the powder might fall-off.
    • New products like water soluble colour pencils and graphite, which could be used to draw even by applying water, could also be converted into a painting.
    • Camel is happy to serve drawing enthusiasts with a handsome range of drawing materials like -
      • Camlin Drawing Pencils – 15 degrees, out of which 10 soft drawing degrees (from B to 6B) and an A set of 6 Assorted soft degrees
      • Camlin Charcoal Pencils – Soft and Medium variants and a set of 3 assorted grades (Soft, Medium and Hard)
      • Camlin Premium Colour Pencils – Sets of 12 and 24 Assorted shades
      • Camlin Water Colour Pencils – Sets of 12 and 24 assorted shades
      • Camel Natural Charcoal
      • Camel Compressed Charcoal
      • Camel Soft Pastels – Sets of 20 assorted shades

  • Drawing Process:
    • Start drawing from the left-hand top corner and go towards the right bottom so that there are less chances of accidental damage to the drawing during the process.
    • Along with the drawing material chosen and tools like an eraser, the other most important thing is a clean duster and or paper napkins to keep the surface neat and clean.
    • Perspiration is very bad and hence try to avoid it.
    • The room should be airy and well ventilated but strong winds and gusts could easily disturb the work so try and work away from breezy locations.
    • Use Blending Stomps of a suitable size to spread and manipulate the drawing material.
    • The unfinished drawings could be and should be protected with a fixative so as to avoid accidental smudging and damage.
    • While drawing with colour pencils, techniques like hatching and cross-hatching could be used to create effects of mixed shades and gradation.

  • Mediums:
    • Preparatory:
      • There is no preparatory medium required for drawing
    • Painting:
      • There is no medium required while creating a drawing
    • Preservation:
      • Preservation of drawing is necessary as most drawing materials are devoid of added binder.
      • The Camel Fixative Spray is the best protective medium for drawing.
      • For drawing material with binder, like oil pastels, a fixative is helpful as it protects the drawing from dirt, soot and friction and would and helps maintain the neatness.
      • Unlike Varnish, Camel Fixative Spray could be applied on the drawing immediately after completion or even during the process.
      • You can draw further over the dried layer of fixative.
      • Never apply Camel Fixative on any painting as a fixative as it’s is not removable; this would become a problem if you try to restore the painting.

  • Tools:
    • For drawing, the only tool available is Camel Blending Stomps
    • Camel Blending Stomps are available in a set of 6 assorted diameter.
    • Both ends of Camel Blending stomps could be used equally
    • Once the points of the stomps get dirty, they could be polished with a fine sand paper and made usable again,
    • A kneadable eraser would also be a great help in drawing with pencils and charcoal,
 
C. FRAMING, DISPLAY & HOUSING
Q10:
DOs and DON’Ts while exhibiting the painting in home/gallery?

A:

  • Painting or drawings are either a labour of love or acquired at a hefty cost and hence are very valuable and must be handled and displayed with great care.
  • Paintings/ drawing should be either glass framed or protected with varnish/ fixative, as the case may be, before displaying.
  • Care should be taken to frame the art work properly with an acid free mount and back-up board so as to protect it from damage and deterioration.
  • Select a prominent wall for display, but avoid the walls which are;
    • Damp
    • Uneven and weather beaten
    • External walls
    • Gets prolonged direct or bounced sunlight
    • Faces a water body or an open field

  • The painting should be hung at eye level and its centre should be between 150cms to 180cms from the floor
  • The painting’s back should not be flat against the wall but a little tilted at an angle of 15° to 30° depending upon the height
  • The painting should be properly and sufficiently illuminated so it could be admired; the light should be covering the entire frame evenly and no harsh light should fall on the viewer’s face
  • The painting should be cleaned with a dry duster periodically from all sides to remove soot and dust
  • In the case of a glass frame, the glass could be cleaned with glass cleaners, but NO liquid, neither water nor any other chemical should touch the painted/ drawn surface, even if it is protected with varnish or fixative
  • In the case of a stretched canvas, the gap between the canvas and the wooden frame should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt and dust
  • The stretched canvas should also be re-stretched or tightened when the canvas expands and loosened when it shrinks or shrivels
  • If the room where the painting is displayed is not getting any sunlight during the day, it would be good to show the painting to sun from both sides periodically,
  • The room would become exciting and look fresher if the displayed paintings are rotated periodically

Art is precious; take pride in your collection and take care of it; it will add value to your personality.

 
Q11:
DOs and DON’Ts while storing a Painting?

A:

Paintings and drawings that are not being displayed should be stored in a safe manner so that they don’t deteriorate.

  • If the paintings or drawings are unframed, they can be packed in a compact manner and could be preserved better -
    • For the sake of protection, a smooth sheet of butter paper should be placed in between two paintings or drawings.
    • Wrap them in brown paper or old newspaper loosely so that air can circulate freely.
    • Put the bundle in a polybag with moisture absorbing crystals and seal it to prevent any moisture from entering.
    • Add a few moth-balls in a pack to protect the work from insects.
    • The canvases could be rolled with a butter paper on the painted surface; put in a polybag; and packed in a plastic or paper tube along with the moisture absorbing crystals and moth balls.
    • Keep the pack in a cool and dark place away from sunlight and dampness.
    • Ensure that the pack is not touching the floor so keep it propped up on wooden planks.
    • Make sure that there is no moisture or dampness near the container.
    • Dust it regularly from the outside and check the surroundings for any dampness and insects. Check the inside of the container as well.

  • For framed paintings or drawings and stretched canvases;
    • Clean the painting/ drawing thoroughly with a duster and/or a vacuum cleaner.
    • Ensure that these are absolutely dry and there is no moisture present.
    • Wrap individual frames/ stretchers in a brown paper or newspaper .
    • Make a bundle with a couple of canvases/ frames of similar sizes and wrap them in a polybag with dehumidifier crystals.
    • Keep the bundle propped up on a wooden or plastic storage palette or wooden pegs so as to keep it above ground level to avoid any accidental damage by flowing water or dampness.
    • Don’t prop these against a damp wall or one which is external and might get wet during the rains.
    • Expose the work to the sun for short while after reopening the bundle.

Art is precious; take pride in your collection and take care of it; it will add value to your personality.

 
Q12:
Should oil paintings be glass framed? Why?

A:

Usually people scoff at the idea of glass framing an Oil Painting, thinking that since the paint film is hard and water proof, there’s no need to frame it behind glass. The size of oil painting is also an issue and hence it is considered just enough to varnish them. However technically speaking glass framing is good for oil paintings as well after it is completely dried. It protects the painting better from the pollutants, elements as well as frictions and at the same time also cuts harmful ultra-violet radiation. The only cautions is that, the glass should not touch the paint film, the mount and back-up board, if used, should be acid free and archival quality and the frame should allow “breathing” of the painting. Glass framing enhances the beauty and life of the oil painting and hence advisable.

 
Q13:
How to protect paintings from fungus?

A:

India is full of art, but is sadly also full of adverse conditions for maintaining it. Being a peninsula, we have an extensive coastline with high humidity. Our inland borders are high altitude zones with colder climates and lush vegetation. These conditions are conducive for fungus, which grows very easily but isn’t removed as effortlessly.  Cleaning Fungus infected work is no Do-It-Yourself project. It’s a specialized task that needs to be performed by a qualified restorer. Hence, our emphasis should be on avoiding fungus.

  • Some precautionary measures that we recommend for the same are:
    • If possible, avoid working in the monsoon.
    • Try drawing and experimenting with Pastels, Pencils or Charcoals.
    • If you must, use Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours or Camel Artists’ Water Colours.
    • Try using mediums that help colours dry faster.
    • Avoid using tap water, and use purified or boiled water while painting.
    • Don’t stack or hang paintings on exterior walls or walls with dampness.
    • Hang paintings in a tilted manner. This will ensure there’s constant air circulation even behind them.
    • Stay clear of a mess and keep your studio premises clean and tidy.
    • Periodically, or whenever possible, expose the paintings in the sun.
    • Don’t hang or store paintings close to vegetation.
    • Don’t touch the canvases and papers while eating.
    • Use dehumidifier crystals to manage humidity.

If the fungus has already infected the paintings, it’s best to contact a qualified restorer.

 
D. SURFACE FOR PAINTING
Q14:
Which is the best surface for oil painting?

A:

A properly primed or coated canvas is the most suitable surface for oil paintings as it prevents the oil from the colour to seep into the fabric. This ensures an excellent finish, look and life. However, an economic alternative is Oil Sketching Paper, which is a primed or coated drawing paper used only by entry level students.

 
Q15:
Why oil colors can only be used onprimed paper and canvas?

A:

Oil Colours are unique in their formulation. The slow drying oils, e.g. - Linseed Oil, perform the role of both the vehicle and binder. An uncoated surface would absorb the oil and cause the colours to dry and weaken. Hence, to avoid such issues, oil colours are used only on coated surfaces, be it paper, cloth or wood (icon).

 
Q16:
What are the qualities of a good painting canvas?

A:

Canvas is the most preferred and widely used substrate for Oil, Acrylic and even Mixed Media works. Canvas, or painting canvas, is made of three important components, namely: Support, Fabric and Priming.

  • Let’s review the quality parameters that we should expect from each of the individual components to make a good canvas:
    • Support (the frame or structure) – Strong and non-warping, long-lasting, adaptable to changes in the weather, convenient to paint, house, display and transport, properly constructed.
    • Ground (the fabric) – Made of virgin material, starch/acid free, free from weaving defects, knots and lint, strong, tightly woven and stretchable, having even and uniform texture.
    • Priming(the coating) – Flexible, non-porous, non-flaky, long lasting, free from pin holes, non-absorbent but with tooth to hold colours and maintain the desired texture
 
Q17:
How many types of canvas are available under Camel brand?

A:

Kokuyo Camlin has been making artists’ canvas for over four decades now and its current range includes the following products:

  • Camel Cotton Canvas Rolls: Made by coating highest quality acid free, lint and knot free canvas fabric  with flexible and non-cracking/non-flaking priming material to avoid deterioration, Available in 5 meter rolls having width option of 71 cm (28”), 91 cm (36”), 106 cm (42”), 121 cm (48”), 132 cm (52”), 152 cm (60”), 182 cm (72”) and 213 cm (84”) packed in paper tubes.
  • Camel Canvas Boards: Made with superior Camel Cotton Canvas by pasting it on quality Masonite board, the Camel Canvas Boards offer a non-sagging sturdy and firm surface for painting, Available in 20 popular rectangular and squire sizes from 20 cm X 20 cm (8”X8”) to 90 cm X 90 cm (36” X 36”), Camel Canvas Boards offer a wide range to the oil colour users.
  • Camel Pre-Stretched Canvas: Manufactured by mounting the Camel coated Canvas on the frame made of bevelled/slotted strips of seasoned wood making this non-warping, non-sagging surface. Individually wrapped in Polly-film, the Camel Pre-Stretched Canvas is available in wide range of 14 sizes ranging from 20 cm X 25 cm (8” X 10”) to 90 cm X 120 cm (36” X 48”).
  • Camel Deep Edged Canvas: Camel Cotton Canvas mounted on frames with thicker (38mm X 38mm) wooden strips makes Camel Deep Edged Canvas sturdier and can be displayed without any frame. Available in 18 sizes, both square and rectangular ranging from 15 cm X 15 cm (6” X 6”) to 120 cm X 150 cm (48” X 60”) Camel Deep Edged Canvas offers an infinite world of possibilities.
 
Q18:
Can we use canvas only for oil paintings?

A:

Canvas was initially designed for oil paintings, but it can be beautifully used with several other mediums. The most important use of canvas, apart from Oil painting, is Acrylic and Mixed Media painting, though they too could be executed on a wide variety of surfaces. Apart from these, canvas is a very good surface for Charcoal, Water Soluble Graphite, Oil Pastels and Soft Pastel etc. Even colour pencils could also be used on canvas with stunning results.

 
Q19:
How back-stapled canvas is better than the cheaper side stapled ones?

A:

Good question. One of the benefits of using a stretched canvas is that if the artist wants to transport a big canvas, they can simply unstaple it, disassemble the frame, pack the canvas and frame strips separately, ship it, and reassemble the frame and re-stretch the painting on it once it arrives at the destination. This is only possible if the canvas is back stapled. If the canvas is side stapled, there is no margin to hold the canvas for stretching. Hence, it makes more sense to use a slightly more expensive Back Stapled Camel Canvas rather than the cheaper side stapled one. Hope you agree.

 
Q20:
What is the difference between Camel Stretched Canvas and the local ones?

A:

An interesting question really. To answer this we need to understand what all goes into making a stretched Canvas. A combination of three major components, fabric, priming and structure makes the canvas and quality aspects are hugely different in all three which will impact the art and the artists. Let’s study them one by one:

  CAMEL STRETCHED CANVAS UNBRANDED FRAMED CANVAS
GROUND STRONG FABRIC WITH DENSER WEAVE MADE OF VIRGIN COTTON, STARCH and ACID FREE, WITHOUT IMPURITIES OR KNOTS. CHEAP THIN RECYCLED FABRIC, NO STANDARDISATION, FULL OF DEFECTS, LOOSE WEAVE .
PRIMING CONTINUOUS MULTI-COAT ROLL PRIMING WITH MACHINE, NON-FLAKEY and NON-POROUS, SMOOTH, ADEQUATE and UNIFORM ACRYLIC GESSO PRIMING. FRAME PRIMING WITH HAND/BRUSH, DOUBTFUL and UNSTABLE PRIMING MATERIAL, FLAKY and POROUS, INSUFFICIENT and UNEVEN COATING
WOOD STRONG SEASONED WOOD, MACHINE SHAPED, PROPER THICKNESS, BEVELLED INNER  SURFACE CHEAP RECYCLED WOOD, MANUALLY SHAPED, THIN WEAK STRIPS, UN-BEVELLED FLAT STRIP.
FABRICATION WEDGE JOINTS, BACK STAPPLED, EXPANDABLE WITH STRIPS, PROPERLY STRETCHED, SHRINK WRAPPED. FIXED JOINTS, LOOSE STRETCHING, SIDE STAPPLED/NAILED, IMPROPER PACKING.

Now you might know the difference between the two, but might wonder how all these qualities impact you. You are right, any quality aspect or feature is of no consequence if it is not benefiting the consumer. So here are the benefits of all the features of Camel Stretched Canvas:

ELEMENTS FEATURES OF CAMEL STRETCHED CANVAS BENEFITS OF THE FEATURES
GROUND STRONG FABRIC WITH DENSER WEAVE MADE OF VIRGIN COTTON, STARCH and ACID FREE, WITHOUT IMPURITIES OR KNOTS Better fabric ensures that the application of colours is smooth. It also ensures that the painting has the required texture and look, and ensures its longevity.   
PRIMING CONTINUOUS MULTI-COAT ROLL PRIMING WITH MACHINE NON-FLAKEY and NON-POROUS SMOOTH, ADEQUATE and UNIFORM ACRYLIC GESSO PRIMING Better priming will result in smooth application of colours, brilliant and lustrous feel, no seepage and pealing of paint film. Apart from this, it makes sure the painting is more vibrant and long lasting.
WOOD STRONG SEASONED WOOD MACHINE SHAPED PROPER THICKNESS BEVELLED INNER  SURFACE This ensures a strong structure which facilitates better execution and display of the painting as it retains the shape forever. The painting would not sag or warp.
FABRICATION WEDGE JOINTS, BACK STAPPLED, EXPANDABLE WITH STRIPS, PROPERLY STRETCHED SHRINK WRAPPED This ensures a well-stretched canvas that retains its shape over time. It facilitates periodic adjustments and re-stretching of the painting.

 

Q21:
What is the advantage of Camel Deep Edge Canvas over Camel Stretched Canvas?

A:

Even though all the materials used in manufacturing of the Camel Deep Edge and Stretched Canvas are the same, there’s a difference in the shape and hence the utility. The profile of the wooden strip used for making the Camel Stretched canvas ranges from 38mm X 21mm to 18cm X 24cm and 44mm X 21mm for the larger sizes, whereas the strip used for Deep Edge Canvas is 38mm X 38mm. The extra thickness of the frame provides extra strength and stability to the Deep Edge canvas, which ensures that they do not warp or bend even in large sizes. Artists prefer to use the Deep Edge frame as they can be exhibited without additional framing. It also looks more robust and strong. By using the Camel Deep Edge Canvases the artists saves the cost of framing, and can also paint on the sides, giving a bold infinite look to their painting. Though we are not sure of the reasons, the square sizes are more popular in Deep Edge Canvases, they probably just look better.

Q22:
Would Canvas boards or stretched canvas be better for painting cluster of small canvases?

A:

You can use either of the two, or even the Deep Edge canvas. It all depends on the way you want to display them. If you have a cluster-frame or structure in mind, Camel Canvas Board would be a better choice as it is easier to frame thin boards. If you wish to exhibit them framed individually in a random arrangement, Camel Stretched Canvas would be better. Deep Edge Canvas would be more apt if you want to display them unframed. Camel Deep Edge Canvas will add another dimension to your painting as the sides could be painted too. This will give your painting a unique infinite and 3-D feel. All three options would do justice to your visual imagination and add glamour in their own unique manner.

Q23:
What is the use of 8 wooden strips found with Camel Stretched Canvases?

A:

Good discovery. Yes, we put these chips in the pack of Camel Stretched Canvas as they are integral part of it. We hope you are aware that the canvas expands after absorbing moisture from the atmosphere and colours. When this happens, the canvas tends to become loose on the frame. It looks untidy and it is also difficult to paint on such a canvas. If not attended, the canvas can sag at the bottom where dirt, lint etc. will get accumulated. This will further absorb moisture and become a fertile ground for spreading fungus and dampness, which would add to the deterioration of the painting and lead to serious damage. We don’t want this to happen to your paintings and hence we’ve fashioned our stretcher in a way that the canvas frame could be further expanded to accommodate the expansion of canvas. You need to insert 2 chips in each corner of the canvas frame in a manner that the indented side is facing outward from the frame and lightly tap with a light plastic or wooden hammer. This would expand the frame and adjust the canvas removing any chance of further deterioration. Hope this helps.

Q24:
Why Camel stretched Canvas frame is tapered?

A:

Interesting discovery. Have you also checked both the paintings side-by-side? If you do, you’ll see that the painting on the Camel Canvas looks uniform throughout, whereas the painting on the other canvas stands out more prominently on the wooden strips and is a little under toned in other areas. This is due to the tapered frame strips on the Camel stretch canvas. Since they do not touch the frame, the full canvas gets painted uniformly. On the contrary, the plain flat strips used to make the frames on ordinary stretch canvases touch the canvas and hence changes the look of the painting in the areas where it touches the frame as compared to the rest. In addition to weakening the overall look of the painting, such frames stick to the canvas and might damage your painting. Please avoid using such canvas in future.

Q25:
Why paint does not adhere properly to the surface of some canvases?

A:

What you have is a slippery canvas, which is quite common and there is nothing to worry. When the canvas is primed with acrylic material and heated at a high temperature to dry, the surface acquires a shine and slippery texture. Due to this, the colours, especially thin washes of Acrylics, do not seem to adhere properly on the canvas. Also, when you get the canvas stretched locally, the handlers leave stains of oily hands on the canvas, which are invisible but might create an issue with adhesion of colours. This is a common issue with canvas but not to worry, the remedy is very simple. To ensure better adhesion, gently rub the canvas with the finest sand paper and remove the dust. This will open-up the ‘teeth’ and make the canvas more receptive for colours. Don’t overdo this as it might damage the surface of the canvas.

Q26:
Would a coat of Camel Texture White improve the performance of local canvas?

A:

This query addresses two key questions, should Texture White be used for priming and can it improve the cheap canvas. Given that Texture White was mainly designed for creating relief texture on canvas prior to painting, Camel Gesso would be a better to prime canvas. The cheap canvas comes coated with some material, which would also be cheap and hence might crack, flake and peel-off within a very short time. By applying one more coat of Texture White or Gesso, you may assume that you will no longer have any trouble with the canvas. But this isn’t the case. As the material is already coated, it would behave the way it is and the additional layer might not be able to check it. It may not crack itself but will not be able to help the undercoat from cracking. Hence the right thing is to use the right thing from beginning; either buys Camel Canvas or buy good quality starch free raw canvas and prime it with Camel Gesso.

Q27:
What does Fungus Free canvas means?

A:

It means that the canvas has been treated with a fungus retardant chemical providing protection to the canvas from fungus. However, none of this can ensure 100% protection from fungus and hence the canvas can be called ‘Fungus Retardant’ at best, but can never be ‘Fungus Free’. It only an added protection against fungus and not an absolute guarantee. You must still take necessary precautions against the various factors causing fungus.

Q28:
What is the difference between Fine grain and Medium grain canvas?

A:

Since there are different type of artists and different types of art, there are different types of canvases available. Both the canvases are woven with cotton thread of same thickness on the same kind of looms; however the difference is in the surface texture. As the names suggests, fine grain is finer in texture and favoured mainly by portrait painters and those who want to paint realistic images, whereas medium grain is good for a vast range of painting styles, be it landscape, abstract or composition. Apart from individual preference, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two.

Q29:
What is the difference between Cotton and Poly-cotton Canvas?

A:

As the name suggests, the cloth used for making the canvas makes all the difference. A canvas woven with 100% cotton cloth makes a Cotton Canvas and that woven with one thread of polyester makes a Polly Cotton one. Both are good in their own ways, the difference is again in individual choices. The use of Polly-cotton results in a more flexible canvas and provides better fungal protection. Cotton on the other hand has a better overall life. Choose whichever you prefer.

Q30:
Is thicker canvas is always a better than thinner one?

A:

Ounces are to Pounds like grams are to kilograms. However, in case of canvas it refers to the thickness of the canvas in “X ounces per square foot”. It is similar to the modern measure of thickness used for paper, called Grams per Square Meter (GSM), which is the weight of a standard measure of paper or canvas. Though this denotes the thickness of canvas, it does not have any bearing to the ‘quality’. It is a fallacy that the thicker canvas performs better than a thinner one. It may even be the other way around in some cases. The artists’ concerns are that the canvas should not tear on applying normal pressure, beyond that thickness is not a desired feature. It may even make the canvas unnecessarily stiff, robbing it off of the suppleness and flexibility.

Q31:
What is the ideal surface for water colours?

A:

Water colour is a very beautiful and delicate medium of art and has a following of its own. The ideal surface for water colour painting is paper, preferably with high rag/cotton content for strength and optimum sizing for better controlled absorption and desired texture. Ideally, the paper should be acid free to avoid yellowing and subsequent damage of the paper and deterioration of colours. In India, students and beginners use handmade papers, which is good but being brush-sized, the sizing is uneven and only on the surface. On the other hand, serious artists use paper made by legendry paper manufacturers like Canson, Fabriano etc. Apart from being acid free, best water colour papers also boast of an alkali reserve (PH level 6.5) which will fend for itself against atmospheric acid damages for a long time. These papers are tub sized for better results.

Q32:
Why colors slip at one spot and blotting at another spot on the paper?

A:

It’s a common issue with handmade paper as they are brush sized with hand. As the process is manual, there are chances of uneven sizing resulting into uneven behaviour of the same sheet of paper. Wherever there are gaps in sizing, the colours would blot or get absorbed fully, leaving very poor barely noticeable colours. However wherever there is an extra deposit of sizing material, the colours would slip and would not find tooth to hold on. Since this is the result of the process and human factor involved, there is no way to avoid it 100% unless the process of sizing is changed by the manufacturers. The imported papers are sized with ‘engine’ or ‘tub’ sizing and don’t have such issues.

Q33:
The paper I use for water colour painting is very good in all respect, i.e. composition, texture and sizing. However I have noticed that wherever I use an eraser, the paper starts absorbing colours. Why?

A:

Very interesting observation. As explained earlier, handmade papers are brush-sized and hence the sizing is deposited on the surface. With actions like erasing, the paper gets damaged and the spots start to absorb colours. It is normal considering the process. Imported papers are tub or engine sized and hence sizing gets penetrated deep within the paper. Hence, there should be no issue with such paper as it will retain the similar characteristics event after it is scraped, cut and sliced. 

Q34:
My father used to paint with water colours and I recently came across one of his sketch books. I was aghast to note that the papers have turned yellowish and colours are looking bad. Why did this happen?

A:

We think your dad had used a sketch book made with acidic paper and hence the deterioration in quality. Such paper has some amounts of Chlorine present in then, which starts to yellow after reacting with moisture. With time it turns brownish and become brittle. Some shades also react negatively with acids making the painting look worse. Such damage is gradual but permanent. The only remedy is de-acidification, which is a difficult and expensive process of restoration. The best way is to avoid such issues is to use acid free paper.  If possible, use one with alkali reserve for better results.

Q35:
What makes the papers and canvasacid free and what are its benefits?

A:

Let’s explore the background and benefits of these below:

  • Paper is made from old rags or botanical waste like husk, wood etc
  • This makes pulp a dirty gray/brown colour and so would the paper if the pulp is not bleached
  • The common bleaching agent for cleaning/brightening pulp is Chlorine
  • Chlorine gets deposited in paper and remains there even after drying
  • It reacts with the moisture in the atmosphere and creates Hydrochloric acid, which attacks the paper and painting from the inside
  • Due to this acid attack the paper turns pale cream, yellow and brownish with time. It also makes it brittle
  • As a result the painting changes hues and becomes susceptible to disintegration with time
  • Some shades are very sensitive to acids and tend to fade and get damaged faster than others
  • This is called internal acid damage and could be easily avoided by using acid free paper (PH level 7)
  • Vehicular and Industrial pollution also lead to an increase in the toxic gas Sulphur-dioxide which turns into sulphuric acid and attacks paper and paints from outside
  • This is called external acid damage and could be avoided by using paper with alkali reserve (PH level 6.2)
  • In case of normal paper, there is a possibility of de-acidification before or after the deterioration set in, but it is a tedious and costly process
E. DRAWING MATERIAL
Q36:
What is the difference between all three types of Charcoal products available in your range?

A:

All three variants of Charcoal are interesting mediums. Let’s study them closely for better understanding

  • Two of the three variants of charcoal are made synthetically and the other is natural (made from grape vine).
  • The natural charcoal pencils are available in 3 options (Soft, Neutral and Hard) whereas the other two are single products without any variation.
  • Since Charcoal pencils can be sharpened, they can be used for fine line work but the compressed and natural version would be limited to broad strokes and masking works.
  • Natural charcoal, being absolutely without any binder, can also be used for pre-painting drawing on canvas whereas the compressed and pencil version would be more suitable for independent drawings.
  • Regardless of the variants, a fixative is must for preserving a charcoal drawing.
Q37:
What is the difference between Charcoal and Drawing Pencils?

A:

Charcoal pencils are made from synthetic charcoal and thus result in a blackness that is denser, whereas the core or lead of drawing pencils is made from a combination of graphite and clay giving it a more greyish tone. Moreover, the combination of graphite and clay in drawing pencils gives it a greater range of firmness and shade variations. On the other hand, charcoal pencils are limited to 3 options (Soft, Neutral and Hard). 

Q38:
What is the meaning of the alphanumerical code (2B, HB so forth) on drawing pencils?

A:

These are the degrees of drawing pencils and denote the hardness and blackness quotient of the lead inside. The clay brings Hardness ‘H’ and graphite brings ‘B’ blackness. More graphite and less of clay will result into softer and blacker lead and will move upward on ‘B’ table till 10B, which is the softest but the darkest black pencils in our range. On the other hand more of clay and less of graphite would make the lead hard but less of black. And the count would move upwards on ‘H’ scale. Generally speaking B grades are more preferred by artists for sketching and drawing whereas the H grades are preferred in technical drawings like civil, mechanical etc. where the width of the line is important and makes difference.

Q39:
How to use Camlin Water Color Pencils?

A:

Camel Premium Water Colour pencil is a wonderful product and we’re sure you will love it. It will give you a great drawing experience and also initiate you into the world of painting. These pencils encase a core or lead made with finest quality pigments, binder and other essentials which gives you vibrant and solid strokes. Draw as you please with Camel Water Colour pencil and just run a wet brush in the direction of the stroke to convert the drawing into a water colour painting. If you want a more fluid and spreading effect, simply wet the paper and start drawing. You will find a wonderful exuberance of colours on the paper. However, please don’t ever dip the pencils in water as it will make the core soggy and render the pencils useless.

Q40:
What is solution to the drawing being visible from under the painting?

A:

Good question indeed. Hard pencils leave marks on the canvas, which are visible even after a number of coats of paint. The soft pencils get mixed with the paint and tarnish it. You can solve both these problems with the use of Camel Natural Charcoal Sticks. The drawing made with Camel Natural charcoal sticks would flake off the canvas in the process of painting, it would neither be visible under painting nor would it mix with and tarnish the colours.

Q41:
What is the difference between soft pastels and oil pastels?

A:

Both are pigment based opaque drawing mediums of highly soft consistency that result in smooth painting like effects. Oil pastels are made by mixing pigments with waxes and non-drying oils as binder, whereas the soft pastels either have very little binder or none at all, which is not enough to hold it on paper after application. Hence oil pastels adhere to any surface and its layers hold themselves on their own, while soft pastels can’t stick to any surface and the powdery discharge can’t hold itself without support of a fixative. Therefore, a fixative is a must for soft pastels but is completely optional for oil pastels.

Q42:
What is the difference between soft pastels and Dry pastels?

A:

There’s very little difference between the two. Soft Pastels are smooth pastels without any internal binder. Dry pastels are a similar product, but are harder compared to the soft texture of Soft Pastels. Globally, soft pastels are used for works similar to paintings and crayons or Conté are used for line work and sketches. Some manufacturers introduced an in-between product and claimed it could be used for both line work and painting; they called it Dry Pastels. It is worth mentioning that they were supposed to perform both tasks, but being an in- between, it can’t do either of them perfectly.

F. COLORS (COMPOSITION)
Q43:
What are the colours for art made of?

A:

Pigments are the main ingredient used for manufacturing colours for art. Apart from pigments, other ingredients like, vehicle, binder, plasticizer and preservatives are also used while making the colours to ensure the required flow, adhesion, binding and shelf life (preserving it from fungus etc.).

Q44:
What are the pigments?

A:

Pigments are coloured particles which are opaque and have good light fastness but don’t dissolve well in mediums and have low colouring power. Pigments come from various sources like minerals, earth, vegetable and chemical etc.

Q45:
Why only Pigments are used in art colors and not Dyes?

A:

Though pigments don’t dissolve in any medium, have low transparency and tinctorial value in comparison with dyes, they have very high permanency and hence are preferred over dyes, at least for art colours.

Q46:
Are dyes not at all used in making art materials?

A:

No, but they have a very limited role in artists’ material. Transparent Photo Colours, solvent and water based Glass Colours and Coloured Drawing Inks, except White and Black shades, are made with dyes. Also some shades, for which there are no pigments available in nature or chemistry, are made by absorbing the dyes in transparent white pigments.

Q47:
What is the meaning of A, B, or C and other signs painted on the pack of colors?

A:

These marks/signs are ways to convey very important information about the product. The A, B or C denotes the permanency of the colours and series numbers point at the cost bracket of the pigments used. ‘A’ means absolutely permanent, ‘B’ means permanent and ‘C’ means fairly permanent. The information about permanency of particular shade is very important for a user; however the series numbers are just related to prices and hence have no practical application, apart from the time of purchase. This information will help the artists purchase and apply shades that are suitable for the purpose, and if they are not as per the artists’ need, they can be managed by either adding a specific medium, or by using them in a particular manner.

Q48:
How to define permanency in art colors?

A:

To understand permanency we will first have to understand the tones, the way in which colours are used by the artist, i.e.

  • Mass Tone: Colours are used directly from the jar or tube without mixing anything.
  • Glaze Tone: Colours are mixed with medium or linseed oil and used
  • Wash Tone: Colours are mixed with water or turpentine and used
  • Reduced Tone: Colours are mixed with white and used

Now let’s understand permanency from this perspective;

LEGEND MEANING DETAILS
A Absolutely Permanent The shades would be permanent in any tone; however in reduced tone a slight fading might be noticed.
B Permanent Permanent in Mass tone, Glaze tone and Wash tone but fades in reduced tone.
C Fairly Permanent Permanent in Mass Tone only, in all other tones gradual fading could be observed.

 

Q49:
How to ensure decent life for shades with ‘B’ or ‘C’ permanency rating?

A:

They certainly can, don’t worry. The whole idea of marking permanency rating on the pack is to inform the users about the nature of the pigment used so that they can take caution while using it and get the best out of it. It is possible to get a decent life even from shades with lower permanency rating. Once you know that the shade you must use is a shade with ‘C’ permanency rating, which is permanent in Mass tone but fades in all other tone, you can get a better permanency by:

  • Using the particular shade in mass tone (without dilution)
  • If it needs a lighter shade, use thin wash of transparent white on top for it instead of adding white,
  • If thinning is must use linseed oil or medium and not water/turpentine

In this way, you can get the best out of the shades with low permanency rating.

Q50:
What are the factors responsible for the life of paintings?

A:

It is important to understand here that the life of a painting, though mainly dependent upon the shade, also depends on many other factors like:

  • Action of the surface/substrate used – acidic deterioration, absorption of colours and medium in canvas, flaking, pealing etc.
  • Interaction of various pigments used – mixed or layered etc.
  • Action of vehicle and mediums used while painting
  • Action of framing/mounting of the art work (mount, back-up board etc.)
  • Action of light – Direct, indirect and bounced.
  • Action of Moisture – humidity
  • Action of temperature – fluctuations rather than the harshness of it is harmful
  • Actions of pollutants like sulphur-die-oxide etc.
  • Accidents, mishandling, human negligence and bad storage
Q51:
Why there are squares looking blank, filled and half-filled on the color packs?

A:

As a serious manufacturer of art material, we prefer to keep our valuable patrons aware of all information vital to the products they purchase. For artists’ colours, apart from permanency, the most important factor is transparency of the shade. We use these boxes to convey the transparency of the shade to our users. The meaning of the boxes are as follows;

These icons help you understand the transparency of the shades regardless of your understanding of any language. This will empower you in buying and using shades with greater understanding and confidence.

Q52:
Why there is excessive medium in some shades and almost nil in others?

A:

As you know different shades are made from pigments from different sources and hence have different properties. Apart from permanency and transparency the main properties of shades are vehicle absorption, film elasticity and drying speed. The difference in consistency of the shades in tubes/jars is due to the different level of vehicle absorption among shades. The shades with higher vehicle absorption would ‘swell’ and become tighter, whereas the ones with lower vehicle absorption would ‘shrink’ and become thin and runny. In low vehicle absorbing shades, one may find chunks of coagulated medium on mouth or crimp of the tubes. There is no need to worry as it doesn’t impact the quality of the colours in any manner.

Care and Caution:

  • Saturate the high vehicle absorbing shades by adding sufficient medium while painting
  • While using low vehicle absorbing shades, don’t add liquid medium like purified linseed oil as it will make the colours thinner, transparent and runny
  • Instead add thick mediums like Camligel, which will add body and strength to the colours
  • Using low vehicle absorbing shade on high vehicle absorbing shade might cause the shade on top to become dry and crack.
Q53:
Why some shades have ‘Hue’ as a suffix to the shade name?

A:

Due to the reason of toxicity or the prohibitive cost of the pigments, some classic pigments have to be replaced with some reasonable alternative, like Vermillion Hue or Cobalt Blue Hue. The genuine Vermillion pigment is highly toxic whereas the Ultramarine Blue’s original pigment is a semi-precious stone called Lapis Lazuli, which cost more than gold, weight by weight. Hence genuine pigments are replaced with alternative pigments giving the similar visual impact. However for the sake of maintaining the transparency and clarity in communication, we denote such shades by adding ‘HUE’ to the name.

Q54:
What is the meaning of Lake in ‘Crimson Lake’?

A:

The process of creating pigments from dyes is called ‘laking’ and the shades made from such pigments are identified as ‘lakes’. It is interesting to note that even after such an advancement of technology, for some of the shades there are no pigment available. Hence dyes are absorbed in transparent white pigments and such pigment is used to make colours, this process is called ‘laking’. These shades generally have lesser light fastness and hiding power and hence the suffix LAKE is used to inform the users about the same. Please use with caution as some ‘Lake’ shades also tends to bleed.

Q55:
What is the difference between Artist quality colours and Student/Studio quality colours?

A:

In art material industry the colours are basically divided in two categories, i.e. Artists’ or Extra Fine quality and Student/Studio or Fine quality. The difference between the both is as follows:

PARAMETER ARTISTS’/EXTRA FINE QUALITY STUDENT/STUDIO/FINE QUALITY
PIGMENT QUALITY The original classical pigments are used while making colours, Low cost substitute pigments are used
PIGMENT CONCENTRATION Higher pigmentation (pigments in higher proportion in colours) Normal pigmentation with higher ratio of extenders
IDENTIFICATION Different series with different prices Single price band (some brands charge more for special shades)*

* Metallic, Iridescent, Fluorescents etc.

Benefits of using artists’ quality/ Extra Fine colours over using student/studio or Fine quality;

  • Greater coverage due to greater pigmentation
  • Superior finish and beauty due to superior pigments and processing, and
  • Greater post painting life (permanency) due to superior pigments
Q56:
Why one should paint in ‘Fat - over - Lean’principal?

A:

This is a classic principal to create a sound oil painting, which simply means that each subsequent coat of paint should have more oil in comparison to the earlier one.  According to this principle the artist should use colours with very little or no oil in the first coat and keep adding more and more of oil to the subsequent coats. This will also ensure better finish and longer life of the painting. And don’t forget, Turpentine plays no role in this formula.

Q57:
Why one should paint as per‘Fat - over - Lean’principal?

A:

Please note that Linseed oil, or any oil for that matter, dries due to polymerization. This is unlike water which dries due to evaporation. The process of polymerization requires oxygen drawn from the air. Hence the lower (lean) layer of paint with less oil will dry faster than the (fatty) upper layer with more oil. This will not only give a better finish to the painting but would also ensure better life. If this principal is violated, the lower layer would dry after the upper one and cause cracks in it. However since water dries by evaporation, no such precaution is needed while painting with Acrylic on canvas.

G. COLORS (APPLICATION)
Q58:
I have been painting with oil colours for a while and I recently received Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours as gift. I want to try it out, but I need clarification on certain queries -

A:

  1. On what surface it could be used?
    Acrylic is a multipurpose medium and can be used on any surface including coated and uncoated canvas, paper, board, ply, wood, stone, metal and practically everything including human skin. However Camel Canvas, in any of its four avatars, would be the best substrate for Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours.

  2. What are the properties of Acrylic colours?
    Acrylic colours are fast drying, water soluble colours, which become water proof and permanent on drying.

  3. What kind of visual effect do Acrylic colours have?
    Acrylics can mimic the visual effects of water colours, oil colours and poster colours apart from the unique acrylic style.

  4. Can it be used along with oil colours?
    Using along with or after oil colours would not be possible as water based colours can’t merge with or work on top of oil colours. However it is possible to use oil colours on top of the acrylic colours. In fact it gives you a unique advantage to the artists as the under layers of the painting gets developed rapidly with acrylic colours and the top layer with oil colours would give it all the glamour of oil painting. 

  5. What are the mediums to be used with it?
    Acrylic is water soluble but water is of course not the medium for it. There are various mediums for acrylic painting in Camel range like Camel Acrylic Gloss Medium (impart Oil like gloss), Camel Acrylic Matt Medium (imparts smooth yet sober matt finish), Camel Acrylic Gel Medium (for thicker application with painting knife and last but not the least, Camel Acrylic Retarder (to reduce the drying speed and give more time to work).

  6. Should I varnish the painting? How and when?
    It is good to varnish Acrylic paintings. As in case of oil paintings, these also should be varnished once the painting is completely dried and there is no moisture in the colours. For this purpose you can either use the Camel Spray Varnish or Camel Acrylic Gloss or Matt Mediums.

  7. What is the life of the paintings made with acrylic colours?
    Since the acrylic colours were invented in 1955 only, it has a history going back to 60 year only, however the chemists have vouched after extensive research that the Artists Acrylic Colours also have quite good permanency as both the light and weather fastness is very good.
Q59:
Why there is fungus formation in some Acrylic color jars and how to manage it?

A:

Fungus in Acrylic is a real issue and is very difficult to drive out after it appears in a colour jar or on the painting. If it is limited to the jar, you can remove the colour affected with fungus and use the remaining colours without any reservation. However, it is important to know why it appears in the first place. Though we have acrylic colours in tubes (40ml and 120ml) and Jars (500ml and 1000ml), the fungal problem is noticed in jars only and never in tubes. On studying the issue in our lab we’ve learnt that fungal infection takes place due to the use of untreated water from unreliable sources and unhygienic studio practices. To avoid fungal problem you must always use purified or boiled water from reliable sources and scoop the colours from the jars with a clean spatula or spoon in a palette or dish.  Don’t add anything to your Acrylic Colour jars, keep them tightly capped and store in a cool and dry place. Also try to keep your studio, tools and accessories clean. It will also help to keep food-stuff and greenery away from the studio.

Q60:
Some of my friends use fabric acrylic colours for painting. Camel too has Fabrica Acrylic colours. I am confused, should I continue to use Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours or start using these economical options?

A:

Good observation. Yes, they are acrylic colours and chemically close to CAAC, as far as the binder is concerned, but there is a huge difference too. Both Fabrica and fabric colours are acrylic colours designed for fabric painting and are closer to Student quality colours. Apart from the normal differences you’ll find between artists’ quality and student quality colours (explained earlier in Q. No. 55), these are made for fabrics and hence their shades are more suitable and attuned to fashion rather than art. Therefore it always better to use the Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours for creating a piece of art and Camel Fabrica colours should be used for adding glamour to your garments and furnishings. However if you wish to and are planning to paint something that doesn’t require longevity and the shade intensity is not on your priority list, you might as well use Fabrica. It can be used on canvas too along with a host of other substrates, but it will not be as lightfast and pigment rich as the Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours. At best, Fabrica would give you results comparable to the Students quality colours. Hence, please make an informed decision.

Q61:
I paint religious works and want to use metallic shades like gold, silver etc. but fear they might tarnish. Is there a way out?

A:

We have a long tradition of using metallic colours in paintings, be it Mughal miniature or Royal commissions. Tarnishing of metallic shades was a big issue in past as these were made with metallic powders, but not anymore. These shades are made with special synthetic pigments, which look and shine like metal but don’t have any metallic ingredients whatsoever. As a result, these new metallic shades keep shining and remains fresh for a long time unlike any other shade. There’s no need to take special precaution or use special varnish etc. to maintain the looks and longevity. Simply use the metallic and iridescent shades of Camel Artists’ Oil and Acrylic Colours and give a special glow to your painting.

Q62:
How much is the life of Acrylic colors?

A:

Very intelligent. There is no doubt that oil colours are time tested and hence their durability cannot be disputed.  Since Acrylic colours have been around for not more than 60-70 years, they cannot be compared to the oil colours; however it is possible to simulate the effect of exposure to sun light, humidity and ultra violet radiation in a laboratory. This test, called the Florida Test, replicates the impact of long term exposure and makes it possible to predict the long term impact of exposure to the elements in a short time. The long life of artists’ acrylic colours is a claim that is based on the reliable results of this test.

Q63:
What is the use of Art Powder colors & how to prepare them for application?

A:

Art Powder Colours are poster colours in their dry form and can be used in almost all applications where poster colours are used; however, since they are ultimately processed by the user, the finish is not as smooth as Poster Colours. Posters, banners, child art, Rangoli or Kollam including large format art works are some of the applications apt for this product. Currently, this product is mostly used in schools to allow the students to play with fluid colours at a lower cost. They are a combination of pigments, binders and other ingredients with the exception of the vehicle and therefore the vehicle, water, needs to be added separately to make the colour usable. The process is simple but needs to be followed properly

  • Empty the required amount of powder from the jar into a dish or bowl
  • Add a few drops of water and mix, keep adding water gradually until it acquires the consistency of paste
  • add almost equal volume of water and let the colour ‘wet’ till it ‘swells’ by absorbing water,
  • Mix well with a brush and smoothen the paste
  • Add the required amount of water and start painting

If you want the colours to be wash proof to an extent, use Camel Crylin Medium in place of water

Q64:
What are the usages of the Colored Drawing Ink?

A:

Camel Coloured Drawing Ink is a wonderful and vibrant medium. Designed to colour maps and charts, these dye based (except black and white shades which are pigment based) transparent colours have a fluid consistency, are absolutely transparent (except black and white) and are water proof due to added resins. They are used extensively for cartography, marbling and painting on paper. Good for masking and application with brush, this medium is very popular with designers as well. Used on glossy paper, Camel Coloured Drawing Inks produce a unique 3 dimensional effects.

Q65:
What is the applications of Camel Fount Drawing Ink No. 100?

A:

Formulated with carbon for absolute blackness, opacity and density of line, Camel Fount Drawing Ink No. 100 has been specially formulated for use in a fountain pen. This Jet Black, water proof ink can be used in a broad-tip fountain pen and is ideal for architects, designers, calligraphers and anyone who loves to write with solid jet black writing. Anything which needs reproduction should be and could be executed with Camel Fount Drawing Ink.

Caution: Always clean the nib assembly with running water before refilling every time.

Q66:
What is the applications of Transparent Photo colours?

A:

Originally designed to colour the black and white photographs, transparencies and cinema slides, Camel Transparent Photo Colours are used as transparent water colours on paper, where brilliance and density are valued more than light fastness. It is majorly used by commercial artists and design students.

Q67:
Who uses Special drawing Ink No. 99 and what for?

A:

The Camel Special Drawing Ink No. 99 is a very popular name among draftsman and textile designers. Made from high quality carbon and resins, this dense black ink is excellent for line-work. Camel Ink No. 99 can be used with a crow quill, nib, bow pen etc. It has very good opacity, permanency, rub-resistance and adhesion, doesn’t reflect light and is water proof too.

Q68:
Why there is sedimentation in Camel Colored Drawing Ink?

A:

What an observation. Congratulations. Please note that though Camel Coloured Drawing ink is a dye based product, some shades are made with pigments. Pigments by nature don’t dissolve in any medium and have to be mixed. They start to settle quickly once left still. Shaking the bottle is only effective if it has been still for a short while, but if it has been lying still for long, the pigments won’t be dislodged from the bottom by mere shaking and would need a greater stimulus. Stirring the ink with a brush or handle might do the trick and the ink would soon be ready to use.

Q69:
What is the difference between water colors and poster colors if both are pigment based?

A:

Very intelligent observation indeed. Both these products are made from pigments and hence should have good opacity. The transparency required for water colours is acquired by adding special transparent extenders in the water colour formulation. In this way, we can achieve with good permanency and transparency in water colours. Most people find it difficult to notice the difference as they are similar in both look and application. If water colours are used a little thicker, they would look like poster colours and if poster colours are used very thin, a decent transparency could be achieved.

Q70:
What is the honey like substance floating on the top of Camel Premium Poster Colors?

A:

Good discovery. The yellow honey like substance on the top of colours in poster colour bottle is the medium, i.e. a mixture of vehicle (water) and binder (gum). Poster colours being pigment based tend to sediment when the bottle is left undisturbed. When this happens, the medium surfaces. This is a natural physical action and there is nothing unusual about it. Since the liquid contains the vehicle and binder, which are very important for the desired performance of Poster Colours, we would advise you to mix it thoroughly in the colours before use. It may surface again, but don’t bother with it and simply mix well before using. It will enhance the smoothness and adhesion of colours and improve its performance. Though many people may suggest it, don’t ever discard it.

Q71:
Why is there no White shade in large (20ml) sets of Artist’s Water colour tubes?

A:

That’s a good question so let’s start at the beginning. Water colour is a transparent painting medium, and there is no transparent white. Though there is an opaque white in the range of water colours, it is not used often as the use of white makes that section of the painting opaque. Since it isn’t considered proper, nor is it appreciated, artists prefer to use the white of the paper itself by leaving it blank or by reducing the tone of any shade. Hence, the white shade is not added to the 20ml sets as it is meant to be a professional set, unlike the other smaller sets, which are for students, who still prefer using white until they master the art of using water colours without white.

Q72:
What is the difference between Photo Colors and Camel Colored Drawing Inks?

A:

Both are primarily fluid and transparent dye based colours (except the Black and White shades of Coloured Drawing Ink) but the resin used in the ink differentiates the two. Coloured Drawing Ink is water proof and designed for colouring maps and charts whereas Transparent Photo colours were formulated to colour Black and White photographs, transparencies and slides. Presently, both are extensively used by designers for various paper based applications as the resin in the ink doesn’t flow freely. It is also used for marbling on papers.

Q74:
Which of the Camel Colour are suitable for body painting?

A:

Face or body painting is exciting but it isn’t very popular in India as a hobby, except during events and cricket matches, and hence neither Kokuyo Camlin nor any other manufacturer have introduced specialized colours for face or body painting, though some imported products are available. However out of our range many products like Poster Colours, Fabrica Colours, Fabrica Cone Liners, Fabrica Glitters and Artists’ Acrylic colours could be used for body/face painting. The Poster colours are matt, bright, and easy to use and wash off, however they crack with skin movement and contraction. All others are flexible and glossy and also last longer since they’re acrylic based, but they do need more effort in removal though they are not permanent on human skin. You can use any of these depending upon the need, i.e. Fabrica Cone Liners and Glitters are ideal for Mehendi, tattoo and Bindi art on skin. Have fun.

Q75:
What is the difference between water based and solvent based glass colours?

A:

Both these products are very beautiful and exciting, but the different bases used give them different properties and therefore makes them suitable for separate audiences. Camel Solvent Based Glass Colours dries faster and the film formed on the surface is very tough, glossy and thin. It has a high rub resistance and is water proof and permanent on the surface once dried, but the solvent used in manufacturing them is volatile and evaporates at room temperature and hence may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, mouth and throat during the application and might also be nauseating. It is not advisable for minors and hence recommended for professional or adult hobbyists who can take proper precautions while using. The Camel Water Based Glass Colours on the contrary dries slowly. In addition, the film is thick, matt and not very tough. It also absorbs water even after drying and comes off the surface if immersed in water for a long time. The big advantage is that it is absolutely safe in all respects and hence ideal for children and beginners. Both have their own target audience clearly demarcated

Q76:
Why do we need to wash and iron the cloth before painting with Fabrica range of colours?

A:

People generally select new fabrics or garments to paint on. These come with starch or any other type of chemical sizing coating each fibre with a shiny slippery film that gives the cloth body as well as surface and shine. If the cloth is painted without removing the sizing, the paint might dry on the film of sizing and may wash-off after the first wash itself taking all your labour down the drain, literally. Similarly while painting on old garment, it is necessary to remove all dirt and grime before painting for better fixation. Hence, we recommend a thorough wash to the cloth before painting, not as a mere ritual but with an intention to remove the sizing. A soak in hot water with mild detergent followed by light rubbing is best. However, it is important to check and make sure that the cloth is free of all kinds of sizing and is absolutely supple and soft. Iron it to remove wrinkles and any non-water soluble chemical sizing before commencement of painting. This process will facilitate proper adhesion of Fabrica on the garments and furnishing giving them a long and beautiful life.

Q77:
Why the cloth should be ironed after 24-72 hours of painting?

A:

Fabrica colours as well as Fabric Cone Liners and Glitters are the mediums used for painting on cloth, all are acrylic colours, which by nature is water soluble till wet but turns water proof once fully dried. Though the colours seems to be dried soon after complete surface drying of acrylic may take 24 to 72 hours depending upon the quality of cloth, thickness of application and off course the weather. However, there might be some colour deep within the weave of the fabric which might still have some moisture trapped after the colour on the surface dries. This surface colour forms a plastic film, hindering the flow of air, which dries the colours. Hence by ironing with a hot iron we can ensure that the last molecule of the moisture has dried out of the fabric and the colours are absolutely fixed. This will ensure the longevity of the garment or furnishing you’ve lovingly painted, bringing a smile to your lips for years to come. Lovely isn’t it?

Q78:
I want to paint with Fabrica on an earthen plate. How should I go about it?

A:

What a beautiful idea. Fabrica would work very well on terracotta and look great. However you need to take certain precaution while doing so.  First, select the plate or any other terracotta article you wish to paint and smoothen it with very fine sand paper. The second step is to further finish the surface and control its absorption power by applying a primer. If you want to mask the natural look and want to paint the whole thing in colour of your choice, you should use couple of coats of Camel Gesso. In case you want to retain the natural beauty of terracotta and wish to enhance it with painting, you should use Camel Fabrica Medium No. 1. Though the medium looks milky white, on drying it will become absolutely transparent, enhancing natural beauty of earthenware and at the same time controlling the absorption of colours.

You can start painting in the medium and shades of your choice and even use embellishments, if you find them suitable for work. Let it dry completely and it is ready to flaunt. If needed, you can use a hair dryer or room heater to accelerate drying. Give a shot to the protection, shine and life of the masterpiece with coat of Camel Spray Varnish, or a fixative, though you can also use the same Medium No. 1 also with brush for the same. It is your creative masterpiece; flaunt it with pride and a smile.

Q79:
Why water droplets are forming in the frame of well dried glass painting?

A:

It seems to us that the glass colours you used were water based. These take a longer time to dry and we suspect that you may have had the painting framed before it was 100% dry. Water based glass colours may seem dry to the touch quickly but the absolute drying takes very long time. We presume the framer has not left any place for the trapped moisture to release and hence it is condensing in the frame itself. Please open the frame, let the painting dry 100% and get it framed again. This time make sure that there are some ventilating holes in the frame to release the moisture, in case of need.

Q80:
What is the difference between old glass murals and new glass painting?

A:

Good discovery. The old glass paintings were executed with opaque oil paints. This method, called reverse painting, requires special skills. To execute a reverse painting, the artist needed to work in a reverse order and paint the features first and finish with the back ground. Since the opaque colours were used, this process fetched interesting results. These paintings look different as both the material and method used is different compared to today’s glass painting, which is closer to stained glass works. To execute a reverse painting today you can choose from options like, Camel Artists’ and Students’ Oil Colours, Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours, Camel Fabrica Colours, and Camel Solvent and Water Based Glass Colours (after adding opaque white shade to every shade). There are several glass sizes available too.

Q81:
How my old faded skirt could be made attractive again?

A:

Others may find it frivolous, but it is important for you and that’s what matters. Though fading is a natural process that’s bound to take place, we can help you in reviving it in a unique manner. Use our Fabrica Cone Liners in a shade that matches the print on your skirt and draw on the outlines of the design. Cover all important lines with Fabrica Cone Liners and allow the skirt to dry in shade for close to 72 hours. Once drying is over iron the skirt from the reverse side to ensure 100% drying and adhesion of the Fabrica Cone Liners. Now what are you waiting for, flaunt your rejuvenated favourite skirt and enjoy the adulations and envious glances.

Q82:
How to get exciting linear texture on Acrylic painting?

A:

That’s a nice idea. We can recommend the use of our product Camel Fabrica Cone Liners, which is a thick acrylic based colour packed in a plastic squeezable bottle with a find nozzle. Since it comes in a range of shades, including regular, metallic, pearls (iridescent) and glitters and are acrylic based, could be safely used to add textures and dimension to acrylic paintings. However being formulated for fabric, there might be issue with the range and matching of shades. In such cases we would recommend the use of Artists’ Acrylic colours in the empty bottles of cone liners. Enjoy the wonderful world of colours.

Q83:
Why in some glass paintings the liner is not visible yet the colors remain neatly parted?

A:

Glass paintings are usually executed with liners of various colours to mimic the brass wire frame of stained glass paintings, keeping all the shades neatly separate from each other. In order to give our patrons a wide choice, we have introduced Camel Glass Liner in various shades like Gold, Bronze, Black and a very unique Transparent, which help you create barrier between shades and give a neat glass painting look, while no line would be visible. This will help you in achieving the look referred by you.

H. MEDIUMS
Q84:
I am a regular user of Camel Poster Colour. What is the honey like liquid settled on the top, when you buy a new bottle? I am confused on what to do with it? Please guide.

A:

Poster colours are made with pigments, water and other ingredients like vehicle, binder (Gum Arabic), plasticizer and preservative etc. When the colour remains static in the bottle of jar for long, the colour becomes thick like curd and the medium separates and surfaces. This is a natural happening and doesn’t have any connection to the quality or performance of the product. Since the separated liquid is medium, it contains very important ingredients and we recommend that it be mixed with the colour before use. This will add brilliance and life to colour and keep them fresh for long.

Q85:
How Texture White is superior to POP for creating pre-painting textures?

A:

There are three issues with the pre-painting texture created with POP or similar materials. First, the surface is not suitable for painting, second it’s adhesion to the canvas might pose a problem and third, its lifespan is shorter than that of the painting. As a result, the finish of the painting gets affected and the life of the painting is compromised as the surface texture may chip-off the canvas and disintegrate. When you use Camel Texture White, being chemically similar to the canvas priming material, it becomes a part of canvas itself on drying and behaves in similar fashion. So the finish remains similar across, the longevity is maintained and adhesion doesn’t create a problem.

Q86:
What is the difference between Texture White and Gesso?

A:

Texture White and Gesso both are chemically from the same family, but there is a difference in consistency and the purpose both. Gesso has a runny consistency and is designed to coat various surfaces, seal the pores and making them suitable for Oil/Acrylic painting. Whereas Texture White is a thick paste and used to create 3 dimensional textures or reliefs on the surface of canvas before painting. Though both are pre painting mediums, Gesso is used to prime the surface, be it a canvas, wood, board, metal or anything else and prepare them for painting. Texture White is always used on a primed surface to create relief. We are sure this will help you in understanding both and empower you to use the one you need in the particular condition.

Q87:
Is it fine to use linseed oil bought from hardware store while painting with oil colors?

A:

Linseed Oil is the most important oil painting medium, since it is vehicle and binder both rolled into one. Naturally linseed oil has two impurities, soluble waxes and fatty acids. The linseed oil available at hardware stores is treated to remove the soluble waxes, but not the fatty acids. The fatty acids give a strong coloration to linseed oil and might cause acid damage to the paint film later. Hence, it is advisable to use alkali refined Camel Purified Linseed Oil for the best results from the Camel Artists Oil Colours.

Q88:
Is there a faster drying medium than Purified Linseed Oil?

A:

Purified Linseed Oil is the best and most popular oil painting medium; however it is slow drying in nature. Some artists do shorten the time by adding Turpentine while painting. It does accelerate the drying process but also rob the painting of its lustre and life. The painting will look dry and chalky and will also be prone to cracks.

The best solution to reduce the drying time of an oil painting without compromising the look and life is to use Camel Artists’ Drying Oil as a medium in place of Purified Linseed Oil. Since Camel Artists’ Drying Oil is made by treating the Purified Linseed Oil with synthetic dryers, it is absolutely safe for the painting. However Camel Artists’ Drying Oil has a yellowish tint and hence care should be taken while using it with whites and other lighter hues.

Q89:
I have heard about damage due to fatty acids present in the linseed oil. Can you tell me what do you mean by this and what harm it does?

A:

Let’s understand it as follows:

  • Linseed oil, like any other oil has two impurities, soluble waxes and fatty acids.
  • The soluble waxes are easily isolated through process of double-boiling
  • However fatty acids could only be removed by a complex process of alkali refining, which is not very common
  • Therefore the cheap linseed oils comes with fatty acids present in it
  • Using Linseed oil that isn’t alkali refined will cause some shades like Ultramarine Blue, which are otherwise absolutely permanent, to fade with the touch of even a very weak acid

We therefore recommend that only Acid Free Linseed Oil like the Camel Purified Linseed Oil should be used

Q90:
I have seen artists using Turpentine liberally as a medium while using oil colours. Is it OK?

A:

No it is not a good practice. Turpentine, being a solvent, is an excellent breaker of bond between molecules of pigments in oil colours. Distilled Turpentine is colour-less and a volatile liquid with strong odour. The role of a solvent is to clean the brushes, tools and hands while using oil colours, and also used to increase the flow of the oil colours, however excessive use may cause loss of lustre and flexibility of the dried paint film and lead to cracks. Turpentine as a medium should be used in moderation and with full responsibility and understanding of the results thereof.

Q91:
What care should I take while using Turpentine?

A:

Yes, Turpentine is a volatile liquid that evaporates at the room temperature. You should take note of the following facts about it and take due care

  • Distilled Turpentine evaporates and thickens in the bottle in presence of light and air, which increases when the level of turpentine reduces with usage. Use of such thickened turpentine might create sticky patches on the painting. Care to prevent this is as follows: 
    • Turpentine should always be stored in a FULL Glass/PET bottle in a cool and dark place.
    • Keep transferring turpentine to smaller bottles or be a little creative and use pebbles or marbles to maintain the level.

  • Excessive use of Distilled Turpentine may make the paint film dry, matt, chalky and prone to cracks, especially with earth and other weaker shades. Do control your urge to dry the painting faster and restrain the use of Turpentine while painting.
  • Use in moderation, with proper understanding of its impact on different pigments, as nothing can reverse the harm.
  • Turpentine may cause respiratory issues, if used in a closed environment for an extended period. Ingestion through inhalation, oral consumption or skin absorption may also harm all vital organs. It is better to keep your studio well ventilated and of course, restrain use.
  • Being a solvent, turpentine removes the natural moisture from the skin, when the artist handles it. If this happens too often, the skin stops producing moisturizer and becomes dry, perched and crack-prone.  This condition is called Dermatitis and is very difficult to cure, hence please avoid over exposure to Turpentine.
  • Since the oil painter will have to handle turpentine, even if one doesn’t like it, it is better to learn how we can do it without harming the skin. You can purchase a good barrier cream at your local pharmacy and apply thoroughly on the exposed areas of body. Once done, you can handle any solvent without worrying about its penetration in your skin. This will assure you 100% safety of your skin and of no use.

 

Q92:
How can we use the not-so-thick shades of Camel Artists’ Oil colors with knife?

A:

Camel Artist oil colours are thick enough in general and can be used very well with knife, however there are some shades, which by nature are low vehicle absorbing, and hence “shrink” in the tube after packing and become thin in consistency. Since this is the nature of the particular pigments, not much can be done about it; however we have a specific medium to address this issue. You can mix these shades with Camligel, which is a thick gel medium, on palette with knife. Camligel would help you get the required consistency of the colours, without reducing the tone. Camligel could also help you manage high vehicle absorbing shades, i.e. those which become dry and chalky without medium, expensive shades which are too costly to be used thick and slow drying shades, which may take eternity to dry without medium. And the best thing about Camligel is that it doesn’t change the tone of the shade being mixed.

Q93:
How much turpentine should be added to oil colors?

A:

Difficult question in fact. According to classical text and practices, turpentine is a solvent for oil colours and advised for cleaning brushes and other tools as well as for thinning of the colours. However artists have been using turpentine for thinning the oil colours and for deriving flowing/cracking effects. We have seen it being used for accelerating the drying of the painting too. Please note that if used in excessively, Turpentine would reduce the gloss and bond of the oil colours. The extent would depend upon the shade used as well as the amount of Turpentine added. This is very risky to answer your question as there is no sure shot answer to it. You should, in our opinion, control using turpentine as a medium as far as possible, and if you must, please use in moderation, use only with the shades which are strong enough and with full awareness of risk involved. There are some more issues with Turpentine, for which please refer the answer to question number 35 and 36.

Q94:
What are the applications and benefits of Camligel?

A:

Camligel is a thixotropic oil painting medium for oil painting. It is a wonderful medium which is handy for artists in many situations, like

  • Some shades have a low vehicle absorption level and hence are very thin in the tube. If you add oils they become even more transparent and thin. By mixing with Camligel, these shades will gain body look more solid.
  • Some shades, especially Flake White, have high vehicle absorption and turn chalky even after adding Linseed oil. This impacts the look and life of other colours too. Flake white is also known to absorb oils from other shades around and make them dry as well. This makes part of the painting very MATT leaving the remaining portion looking Glossy. By using Camligel such shades would also attain a gloss and shine.
  • Shades, from SR-4, i.e. cadmium and cobalt range are very expensive and it pains to apply them thick with knife. By adding Camligel, the volume of such shades could be increase without reducing the tone of the colours.
  • Some shades are slow drying and may take very long in drying, especially when applied thick. Camligel would ensure better and uniform drying in such cases
Q95:
How fast drying Acrylic colors could be used for portrait painting etc.?

A:

Of course there is. Acrylic Colours are popular for being rapid drying but this very quality is a big impediment for painters like you. For your kind of work, wet-in-wet blending is very important and to facilitate it, colours must remain wet for long on canvas. However we have a way out in form of a special medium called Camel Acrylic Retarder. As the name suggests, Camel Acrylic Retarder, retards the drying speed of acrylic colours giving the artists more time to work making wet-in-wet blending possible. We are sure by using the Camel Acrylic Retarder in the manner suggested, you can overcome the issue and enjoy portrait painting with this new age medium.

Q96:
What should be used in place of water to add brilliance to acrylic colors?

A:

As mentioned above Acrylic colours are water soluble but water is not the medium. By using water as a medium we end-up making the colours dull and chalky. This can also aggravate the fungus problem in the jars as well as paintings. We recommend the use of Camel Acrylic Gloss Medium or Camel Acrylic Matt Medium. As the names suggest CAGM would impart gloss to the painting and if you don’t appreciate that you can opt for CAMM instead. CAMM will bring about a silky matt finish to the painting. Both these mediums could also be used as varnishes after the painting is complete for getting a uniform finish and protection from elements too.

Q97:
How to get sober matt finish while painting with Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colors?

A:

We appreciate what you mean. We realized this and have hence included a medium imparting sober matt effect to acrylic paintings, called Acrylic Matt Medium. Why don’t you experiment with it? We are certain you would like it.

Q98:
How to ensure uniform drying of Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colors while using thick?

A:

We considered this and hence we created a specific medium to address such issues. It’s called the Camel Acrylic Gel Medium. Used along with Camel Artists’ Acrylic Colours, the Camel Acrylic Gel Medium ensures uniform drying and better finish. We are sure you would like the results.

Q99:
When and how should the oil panting be varnished?

A:

Varnishing an oil painting is very important as it provides a protective coat to the painting that acts as a barrier against pollution and elements and at the same time gives it a uniform finish. But when and how are big and very important questions. First things first:

  • The painting should be varnished only after it has completely dried.
  • It may need six months or more for an oil painting to dry fully. Acrylic too may take a couple of months for 100% drying.
  • The time taken for the painting to dry 100% may depend upon the quality of canvas, thickness of colours applied, mediums used and the atmosphere
  • Even after the suggested drying period, carry out the following test on oil paintings to establish that the painting is fully dry and ready for varnishing;
    • Soak a white cotton cloth in turpentine and dab it lightly all over the painting
    • If you find trace of any colour on the cloth, it means the paintings needs some more time to dry
    • If not, run it all over the painting to remove dirt and dust from the surface and prepare the painting for varnishing

  • Select a sunny day for varnishing
  • Expose the painting to the sun from both sides to remove any residual moisture
  • Apply varnish with dry brush or spray in easy swipes from reasonable distance
  • Repeat if you feel it’s needed or are not satisfied with the finish
  • Moisture at any point in varnishing may make the painting foggy
Q100:
Which is a preferred varnish for oil paintings? Can I use spray varnish?

A:

Varnishing is very important and must be applied on all paintings as it is the first coat of protection for the painting. Both, Camel Picture Varnish and Camel Spray Varnish are good, it choice is yours. If you want to apply the varnish with a brush, Camel Picture Varnish is the way to go. However, if you want a modern and no-nonsense solution, pick the can of Camel Spray Varnish. One added advantage of the Camel Spray Varnish is that it could be used on the acrylic paintings as well. Spray varnish is better as the application is easier and more uniform. Picture varnish is used with brush, which might leave brush mark, patches and drip marks and may be a few hairs embedded in the dried varnish. Please note that the life of varnish is approximately 20 years after which it starts darkening and needs to be removed and revarnished.

Q101:
Should varnish or fixative be used to preserve a charcoal drawing on canvas?

A:

Good question. We would recommend Camel Fixative Spray as charcoal, being a dry medium drawing, would need the protection of a fixative. The surface used doesn’t matter as we only need to consider the medium for this decision. Hope you would find it helpful.

Q102:
What is the meaning ofremovable varnish?

A:

Very good observation. Yes the varnishes are generally removable, but it doesn’t mean that you or any artist may remove it at will. Please note that in order to restore any painting, the varnish needs to be removed first. Hence both Camel Picture Varnish and Camel Spray Varnish are made removable to facilitate the restoration work of varnished paintings, if and when the need arise. It has no relevance to an artist, apart from a reassurance that if and when there would be a need to restore their works, the varnish would not become an issue. The restorer will be able to remove the varnish with standard procedure and work on the restoration.

Q103:
What is the difference between Fixative and Varnish Spray?

A:

Both are protective mediums; the Camel Varnish Spray is for paintings whereas the Camel Fixative Spray is for drawings. Camel Spray is always used on the oil and acrylic paintings and is removable, if and when it is required. On the other hand a fixative could be used on all dry mediums like Charcoal, Drawing pencils, graphite, pastels, crayons, pencils etc. and is not removable. A fixative could be applied on fresh drawings as well as unfinished drawings also and could be worked upon again, whereas Varnish could be applied on painting only when they are 100% dried.

Q104:
What is the process of applying a Fixative?

A:

Fixative should be applied from a distance of almost one foot in uniform and straight swipes with equal pressure on the nozzle. It is advisable to test the pressure and spread of the fixative spray before applying on the drawing. Please apply an additional coat after the first one dries if you feel it’s needed. It is worth to know that the fixative could be applied immediately after finishing the drawing and also on unfinished drawings. Since it is possible to draw upon the fixative film, you will be able to protect the unfinished drawings and complete them later. Hope it will help you get the best out of Camel Fixative Spray.

Q105:
Should we varnish the Acrylic painting too? What should be used for it?

A:

Acrylic paintings also need to be varnished like oil paintings and for the same reasons, i.e. protection from pollutants, elements and frictions as well as to give them uniform finish. Here too complete drying is a must, but for this you wouldn’t need 6 months as acrylic colours dry faster than oil colours. After a month or two, depending upon the weather and thickness of paint applied, you can apply varnish. Camel Spray Varnish is an ideal product for varnishing acrylic paintings. However you could try the Camel Acrylic Gloss and Matt Mediums for varnishing as well.

I. TOOLS
Q106:
What is the difference between long handle and short handle brushes?

A:

The difference is in the application and style of usage. Short handle brushes are used while working on paintings where the surface is laid flat, parallel to the ground, whereas long handle brushes are used when the substrate is placed standing at an angle convenient to and facing the artist. To put it simply, artists generally use short handle brushes for water soluble colours except acrylic on canvas, and long handle ones for oil and acrylic on canvas. The reasoning behind this is that while working on canvas they want to stand at a viewing distance (app. 1 meter) while painting so that they can see it the way it will be seen by the viewers and paint accordingly. Long handle brushes helps the artists paint it from the audience’s point of view.

Q107:
What is the difference between White Bristle and Synthetic Hair brushes?

A:

As the name suggests White Bristle brushes are made of white, hard, natural or synthetic bristles whereas Synthetic brushes are made of soft synthetic hairs. The application of both brushes also differs. Bristles, being hard, don’t hold liquid at all and hence are used only to paint with thick colours, almost in paste consistency, especially the oil and acrylic colours. Whereas Synthetic hairs, though don’t hold water too well, can hold liquid colours and can be used to paint with any fluid colours, including oils and acrylic. Hence, we can summarize that White bristle brushes can only be used to paint with thick oil or acrylic colours, but synthetic hairs could be used to paint with almost all the colours. What’s more, Camel Synthetic Hair brushes could even withstand solvents like turpentine and hence are also suitable for oil painting, provided the artists want to use thin glazes or washes.

Q108:
What is the application of wash brushes?

A:

As the name suggests, wash brushes are for applying broad washes of colours. The artists can use wash brushes to cover large areas or surface with colours and develop the back ground. Wash brush could also be used to give washes to applied paint and create special effects. This brush comes with a flat short handle to facilitate the special grip.

Q109:
How to select a good brush? What are the quality parameters of brushes?

A:

A real tough one. Brushes are made of three main components, i.e. hair/bristles, ferrule and handle, so let’s study the qualities in the same perspective.

  • Handle: smooth, well-polished, well-balanced
  • Ferrule: strong enough to hold hairs, properly attached to handle and able to withstand the force applied by the artist while painting
  • Hairs: good point or blade, excellent spring-back or elasticity, good bonding, good colour holding capacity and minimal capillary action
  • Bristles: strength, good bonding, minimal capillary action
Q110:
How to use blending stomps and why?

A:

Blending stomps for drawing are like brushes to painting. They are used by artists to draw, spread, blend and manoeuvre the drawing material, especially those without any internal binding. For artists drawing with charcoal, charcoal pencils, drawing pencils, soft pencils etc., blending Stomps provide a much needed manoeuvring tool to be able to translate their creative ideas on paper or canvas. Camel Blending Stomps come in a set of six stomps of different diameters with both the end sharpened ready for use. It is also possible to reshape the soiled and blunt stomps for reuse. A very important tool for those who love drawing.