Derivan FAQ

Derivan FAQs

+ I bought Christmas Kindy Glitz 135ml colours last year and all the colours are ok except for the red has gone a bit gluggy, how can I fix it?

You will need to decant it onto a plate (you cant mix the water into the bottle as it wont mix thoughly) and add small amounts of water until you achieve the desired consistency

+ Is there ammonia in your paints?

There is a very small amount in each batch

1 oz (29ml) in a 44 Gallon (166L ) drum

It is used to aid in adjusting the PH of the paint

+ My paint is too thick how can I thin it out?

MM9

+ What is the difference between open medium and retarder? How long will my paint remain open?

Paint mixed with MM31 Open Medium will stay fresh on the palette for several hours, depending both on the weather conditions and the quantity of MM31 Open Medium used.

Paint mixed with retarder 3-5% will stay fresh on the palette for palette for several hours however if you use a higher amount of 15% you will find the paint may take weeks to cure - (it will still dry in a few hours but will not cure = it will remain water sensitive = it may blend when apply subsequent layers.

+ Why would you use open medium instead of retarder?

Open medium has the correct amount of retarder in it ready to use mixed with a binder you can use as much as you would like with out worrying about effecting the curing time and therefore effecting the water sensitivity of the dried paint film - Put simply this technique allows you to mix the drying retarder accurately with the paint at the beginning of the session - you will most likely need less medium all up. If you prefer to add the medium ad hoc as you paint - the open medium is the best choice. Other points to note are the MM1 Drying retarder will reduce the viscosity slightly of thicker paints like structure when added. Open medium will give a subtle "oil" like sheen to the finished paint film.

Yes you can thin MM27 with water to put it through a power sprayer. You will need to experiment with how much water to add as each machine is different. Start with 20% water as a starting point and add more if required.

+ Does Derivan do Mixing Whites?

Answer 1 mixing white is a white that is not as strong as the normal ubiquitous Titanium white - which is a very bright opaque white, long lasting and a very stable pigment - made all the stronger because it can be heavily loaded into a waterbed acrylic formula - thus giving good value for money - and a really bright opaque paint HOWEVER many people find the normal titanium white quite overpowering when wanting to achieve those subtle hues or highlights in a picture or maybe when trying to “wash out” the colour to represent distance in a landscape - the easiest way is to take the titanium white you are using at present and “reduce” its intensity with some medium (Structure/thick acrylic use a little Impasto medium or Gel medium - Flow formula or thinner paints use polymer matt varnish - 10% varnish should be plenty mixed in well with the paint) this is the easiest (because you already have the white!) safest (not mixing brands) and most economical way !

Answer 2 thank you for your email. First up the main differences between Titanium white and zinc white is that Titanium white is much more opaque, stronger and brighter than Zinc white - so straight up would look like the white one would choose - and of course this is actually the case a lot of the time. And I suspect why very few acrylic manufacturers have bothered withZinc white in the past.

However where zinc white is seen to come into its own is for far more subtle changes in tone, in theory this should be achievable with Titanium white - just add less……but in practice some people find it is harder to do. So in oils yes Zinc white has been around for ever and is still in use - Acrylics - I am only aware of a couple of manufacturers that make or have made a zinc white and apparently it is not very popular (according to retailers I have spoken to who sell it!) - maybe acrylics are easier to control? …I am not sure - but its use in acrylics is very limited - and in fact there was a European manufacturer for much the same reason made a “mixing white” (which was a titanium based white) - but much weaker - and apparently it didn't sell either! We have looked at adding Zinc white to our range, and have one formulated some years ago - but have not yet had enough call to do produce it - do you think there would be call for it? and to answer your question on what to do as an alternative - take titanium white and thin it with medium (Structure use MM4 Gel Medium, Flow use MM6 or MM7 Polymer varnish, Fluids use MM9 Acrylic painting medium) and reduce by 50%, also substitute colours such as Unbleached Titanium, Ghost Gum and Antique white are another way to lighten tones with a little more control. I hope this helps and would very much like your feedback on whether you think a zinc white would be worth adding to our range? thanks

+ I am currently priming a board for oil painting, do these background colors need to be sanded and have additional layers?

Normally you would apply 2 coats of background to give an even application - however if it is over an already primed surface you may be happy with one coat - also sanding is only required if you want a very smooth surface to work on (for instance airbrush artists will quite often sand between coats) however for oils most people like a little bit of “tooth” or roughness to paint on - so in short it is up to you to sand or not - purely a matter of your preference I hope this helps

+ Polymer gloss varnish should be diluted with water when used as a varnish. Could you please tell me the ideal proportion of water to varnish. I think I am diluting it too much, after a disaster through not diluting it enough!

thank you for your email, the amount of dilution can be from 1 part water to 9 parts varnish to equal parts of each…..this will be governed by your technique of varnishing and the temp and humidity - however to start I would suggest trying 1 part water to 9 parts varnish and see how you go, the aim is to apply very thin coats, but a few of them - so if you use the 1:9 ratio I would suggest 2 to 3 coats to get a good even sheen, making sure especially in humid weather you leave 24 hours between coats. I strongly advise you to have a read of this page on our website which will give you the full info on how the water based varnishes work and explain how to avoid the issues that can arise if applied incorrectly http://www.derivan.com.au/resources/varnishing.html I hope this helps

+ Which one of your products would you recommend to extend the archival life of canvas prints? Most printers claim a life of 75 years or so, but I'm looking for far greater extension, 100, 200, 300+ years just like an original oil painting would last.

Thank you for your email. We have a varnish MM33 UV conservation varnish which we developed just for your purpose. The MM33 varnish is a solvent based varnish which stops nearly 100% of light in the UV spectrum (which is one of he most destructive wavelengths) - of course this will not stop fading altogether - however it takes out the spectrum which is “no use” to us (as we cant see it) but is quite destructive and causes fading - while remaining compleltey clear. It can also be redissolved at any time in the future to be removed for conservation or any other reason you may wish to remove it. Obviously the main thing to be careful of is that the mineral turpentine (which is what the resin is dissolved in) does not effect your printed inks. I hope this helps

+ HI- can you tell me where I can get Matisse encaustic gesso, in Auckland New Zealand. Will the other gesso primer be ok for encaustic work?

Thanks for your email - the product you are after is MM36 High tooth Gesso - Last time I was in NZ (which was a few years ago now) the lovely guys at Takapuna art store had it however it would be worth ringing to check - it has a much higher tough (i.e. rougher) than any other gesso on the market so cant really be substituted (you can also mix it with the Matisse background colours to give a coloured encaustic ground) I hope this helps

+ I’m using Atelier acrylic paint but would like to try Matisse acrylic paint , can I mix the two brands? Would the structure paint work best with the atelier?

Thank you for your email - I am afraid I can give you no guarantees that the 2 brands are compatible - while we have done a little bit of testing with several other brands and our products - it is by no means exhaustive and even if it was the other brands could change their formulations any day of the week and all the testing would be obsolete. With that said I am unaware of any issues between the 2 products however I would exercise caution as the interactive obviously has an exaggerated amount of drying retarders in it and thus will have a substantially different drying rate to that of Matisse.

+ Hi, I was wondering if the MM12 Clear Sealer is ok to use on pvc plastics. I am customising a doll and want seal the plastic before painting, then I need a matt varnish. Can you recommend if one of your varnishes would be ok to use for this purpose.

have spoken to our chemist.

He has said

Theoretically you should be able to use MM12 Clear Sealer on the doll.

You might want to do a test patch first.

You will need to lightly sand the area first to help with adhesion.

For your finishing varnish you can use our MM6 Polymer Matt Varnish.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

+ Can block ink be used for Screen printing?

I am contacting various manufacturers about recommending their paints to do Pours, dirty pours, and resin/ mediums pours Can you give some assistance I have used your paints when taking Joe's classes from jerryrama in Raleigh nc Love your colors

+ I am painting a mural outside. What’s the best way to do it?

Thank you for your email. Yes indeed the Matisse range of colours it perfect for outside work - really the best you can buy, with a proven track history (if you are in Sydney you can view the 5x4 M panels painted by Wendy Sharp that hang above the pool in the cook and phillip building in the CBD of Sydney - possibly the worst place you could hang a painting as far as archival longevity is concerned - they have been there for more than a decade and still look like the first day they were painted!)

  • we would suggest the following
  • if new concrete a coat of MM12 clear sealer (should achieve 8-10SQM/LT)
  • 2 coats of MM27 low viscosity gesso (should achieve 10SQM/LT)
  • Mural work do be done in Matisse flow colours (all colours are lightfast) - do not add water but use MM9 Acrylic painting medium if thinning is required. - if you are after coverage in one coat you will need to choose only opaque colours - we have a large range of transparent colours as well that work well for glazing and achieving a real “glow” however it does not sound as though they will suit your purpose - you can find out which colours are opaque and which are transparent or semi transparent here: http://matisse.com.au/products/matisse-flow-formula/colours-sizes/ if you are not concerned so much about mixing colours and the brilliance of their results but are more into large areas of “block colour” then maybe using the Matisse background colours rather than the Flow might work better for you - http://matisse.com.au/products/matisse-background-colours/ please keep in mind they will definitely need to be varnished to give them longevity. - for costing purposes we suggest 6SQM/LT but this nearly always ends up with a lot left over - but allows for overpainting, changes in artwork over the application period.
  • MM7 polymer gloss varnish min 1 coat (reduce with 10% water) (should achieve 10-12SQM/LT)
  • MM14/15/29/33 Turps based varnish min 2 coats (should achieve 8-10SQM/LT) there is more info available here http://www.derivan.com.au/resources/techniques.html on surface preparation and on vanishing.

+ I have recently changed to matisse flow paints but still have artelier paints and mediums to use up are they compatable as I don’t wish to sell a painting and have it not last

thank you for your email. We would officially say that you will need to test it yourself - we do do some testing with our products and other brands - however this is by no means exhaustive - and even if it was there is always the chance that another brand will change formulas without our knowledge and any testing we did would be obsolete. I would advise caution when working with Atelier and any other brand if it is the atelier interactive - as it has a very slow drying time and is able to re-wet problems may occur when mixing with “normal” acrylics. With that said I am unaware of any issues mixing brands other than when a specific medium states that it is only to be used with certain products - i.e. our cracking medium can only be used with background colours or derivan students as a chemical reaction takes place to crack the paint - we are aware that some other paints work sometimes but we can only guarantee it to work with our products - I am sorry I cant be more specific than that.

+ On your bottles you suggest using an Ink Extender instead of water in some cases and this would suit my work but I haven't been able to buy this product. Do you still make it?

Thank you for your email. I am glad to hear you are enjoying our inks. Yes the extender is available just in our Matisse line it is effectively the binder used in the ink - or another way to think of it is clear ink. While there is not a big issue using water to reduce the strength down - if you add a lot of water - the binder becomes very weak and they may well end up water sensitive - which is most obvious if you then varnish the inks - you might move some of the colour - so using the extender or another binder with your water will avoid this - you can use many binders the ink extender is just one. You can also use Matisse MM9 Acrylic Painting medium -http://matisse.com.au/products/matisse-mediums/full-list-of-matisse-mediums/mm9-acrylic-painting-medium-mm2m09/?doing_wp_cron=1492476912.5651669502258300781250 Mixed with water 50:50 - it is a different binder but will work just as well to adhere the ink (it will remain milky in appearance till dry - that is the main difference between the ink extender and MM9 - however MM9 is more economical )

I am afraid as the manufacture we are not set up to sell online - nor are we able to dictate the price our products are sold at - so at the end of the day you will need to shop around to get the best price. One place you can buy the ink extender here http://www.artsuppliesaustralia.com.au/products/inks/matisse-ink And the MM9 here: http://www.artsuppliesaustralia.com.au/-products/mediums/mm9-matisse-acrylic-painting-medium

+ I have an enquiry about the archival quality of your fluro paint range. I am considering purchasing the larger containers which I think retail for around $35. How lightfast is the paint? Is it a tempera or a quality acrylic base?

Thank you for your email - Fluro colours - because of the way they actually work - this is also their degradation process - (the way the UV light works on an atomic level - energises the molecules and which then gives off wavelengths in our visible spectrum - so in effect there is more light coming out then we perceive is going in - however because of this the pigments physically break down very quickly) so there is no Fluro pigments on the market that will not fade - rather quickly (i.e. 6-12 months in direct sunlight) and any way that you stretch this time out - (by limiting the amount of UV light that gets to them) will also help to reduce their brilliance - there is more on this page http://www.derivan.com.au/derivan-products/fluorescent-products.html So in short I am afraid there is no real way - with the technology that is available today, to have a fluro pigment work well but last for many years. And yes they are in an acrylic paint format

+ I’ve Painted a mural outside and varnished it with Matisse turps based MATT varnish is this enough for lightfast protection or should I use the UV varnish instead. Does this come in Matt?

This answer comes in two parts.

  1. As long as you’ve painted the mural all with Matisse Acrylic paint you’ll have no troubles with light fastness. The Matisse range all have a very high light fast rating and should not fade in the sun. If you want to create a matt finish using the matt varnish is advisable, as it will protect it from the other elements ie; water and give you the matt look.
  2. However if you have use any other paint bands or used water to thin any of the acrylic down (it is advised to use MM9 instead of water) you’ll need to firstly varnish the work with Poly varnish gloss (WARNING: If you varnish with a Terps based varnish first, there might be a chance of the paint re-activating on application and create movement of the paint.) After the first coat of MM7 then apply the MM33 UV conservation varnish. If you are looking for the matt finish then put a coat of the MM15 as the final varnish.

+ What is the difference between acrylic paints and oil paints?

The fundamental difference is that acrylic paint is water based and oil paint is oil based. Acrylic paints also dry quickly and can be cleaned up with soap and water. Oil paints can take months to be completely dry and require a solvent such as mineral turpentine for cleaning up.

+ If acrylic paints are water based. Why do they dry to a solid, plastic-like finish?

Acrylics are water based and can be moved while still wet. However, once dry they form a hard, plastic skin that remains unaffected by water. ESsentailly, as the water evaporates, the paint remains behind.

+ If I mix different batches of paint the colours in never quite the same. Is there a way to ensure a close match?

Many artists mix colour by eye but the only way to ensure that the colour matched from batch to batch is to measuring cups and spoons and keep a record the ratios of paints used.

+ My acrylic paints are becoming ‘tacky’ on the palette as I work. What can I do?

Work quickly! What is happening is that the paint is slowly drying on the palette and the tacky consistency develops. Another option is to use a misting atomiser. Fill it with water and very lightly mist the paint on the palette to prevent it from drying out. Alternatively, use MM1 Drying Retarder to slow drying time.

+ I want a smoother finish. Can I just dilute my paint with water?

If a smoother finish is required, it is best to use a paint that has been formulated for that purpose. Matisse paints come in Structure and Flow and Fluid formulas. Flow and Fluid are the smoothest options. Structure is thicker and best for textured finishes.

While a small amount of water can de used to dilute paint, using to much will result in a streaky, patchy finish. It is best to use MM9 Acrylic Painting Medium. This will maintain the colour of the paint as it promotes a smoother consistency.

+ My acrylic paints look great until they dry. Then they look dull. What can I do to bring the vibrant colour back?

Many beginner shave this problem. The best way to restore colour vibrancy is to use a gloss varnish such as MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish. 2-3 coats are recommended.

+ Can I use acrylic for glazing?

Used on their own, acrylic paints do not work well as glazes. However, when used in conjunction with one of the Matisse varnishes such as MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish, thin glazes can be easily created. For thicker glazes, the use of MM4 Gel Medium (Gloss Finish) is recommended.

+ Why are some acrylics cheap and other expensive?

There are different ranges of paints aimed for different situations. The paints used by children need to be non-toxic and in large quantities. The colours are often basic and the texture thinner. Conversely, artists want a range of sophisticated colours that are lightfast and pigment dense. Artist’s paints are often defined by a series number, and the higher the number the higher the price.
There are some budget friendly artist lines that lie somewhere between childrens’ and artists paints. These often have a single price point but do cover the spectrum of artist’s colours.

+ Can I use house paint?

Yes, house paint can be used for art, but is it not without limitations. If you have to cover a very large surface it can be an economic solution. However, the archival qualities of house paint are less than that of a good quality artist paint and you will have to weigh up if that is important to you. House paint also has a universally thin, spreadable consistency, which makes it a poor choice for artworks that require texture.

+ Can I use oil and acrylic paints together on the one artwork?

Yes, as long as you following one simple rule: Oil paints must always be used over dried acrylic paints. Acrylic paints should NOT be used over oil paints. This is due to the both the different drying times and textures of these two paint types. The acrylic will most likely peel and crack off over time.

+ Are those stretched canvases you see in art stores ready to paint on?

Generally yes. If you are not sure and it doesn’t say so on the label then look at the front of the canvas – it should be white and lightly textured because it has been pre-sprayed with gesso. Compare this to the back of the canvas which will be beige and soft – like raw material that has not been coated with gesso.

+ What is the difference between gesso and ordinary house paint primer?

Most house paint primers do not have sufficient tooth to be used by artists. They also have questionable archival qualities that can have negative implications for an artwork over time. A standard artist quality gesso is a more reliable choice.

+ How many coats of gesso do I need?

We recommend a minimum of three coats of gesso

+ I want a smooth finish for my canvas and that means sanding gesso between costs. What sandpaper do I use?

A fine to medium grade sandpaper is recommended, depending upon your technique and the finish you want. Be sure to apply your gesso with a soft bristled brush to minimise the tooth at the priming stage.

+ The gesso I’m using is very thick and hard to use. How do I thin it out?

Many gessoes are thick and designed to be diluted with water. The exact ratio of water to gesso will vary between brands. As a general guide, add enough water to the gesso to a spreading consistency that you prefer. Avoid making the gesso too watery as it will be unable to completely seal the canvas.

+ I’ve seen black coloured gesso. Why would an artist use that?

Black gessoes are best for artist who are working in dark and muted paint colours, particularly oils as they be translucent. For example, if an artist was creating a dark, moody landscape it would be easier for them to start with a black gesso rather than start with a white version and then paint it black. White gessoes also reflect more colour and result in an overall lighter painting.

+ I have some old acrylic paints in jars and tubes. However, the caps are very difficult to open. What can I do?

Try holding the caps under got water for a minute or so. Use a cloth to unscrew the cap ad clean the dried paint from the container thread before replacing.

+ I use acrylic paints with screw caps and find that paint builds up on the thread and it becomes difficult to seal. How can I avoid this?

One solution is to use Matisse or Derivan paints that have a convenient flip top tube. The cap is also clear so you can see what the colour is at a glance. However, if you continue to use screw caps it is best to wipe the top clean after each use and remove any dried paint before screwing the cap back on.

+ I have a hair in my painting! What can I do?

There are two ways to approach this. The first is prevention. Some tips on this are as follows:

  • More expensive brushes tend to shed less hair.
  • Wash your brushes thoroughly in warm water and lightly pull at the bristles to remove any loose hairs.
  • Do not wash your brushes in very hot water or leave them soaking for long periods of time. This can degrade the glue that hold the hairs into the ferrule of the brush and result in shedding hairs

If you are facing the problem of a hair in wet paint:

  • Pluck the hair out with tweezers if part of it protrudes from the paint.
  • If the hair is lying in the paint. Wrap a piece of cloth around your finger and lightly dab the hair to remove it from the surface.

If the pant has dried when you spot an offending hair:

  • Wet the area around the hair with a cotton bud and then try and remove the hair with tweezers. This may leave a small indentation in the paint. Try and smooth this by rubbing with the back of a spoon or coat with some paint of the same colour

If all these options fail then remember that most paintings are not viewed up close and that flaws such as embedded brush hairs are only really noticed by the artist. If you don’t point them out most people wont even notice.

+ If I’m painting in acrylics are natural or synthetic brushes the best choice?

The best choice for the artist dabbling in acrylics is synthetic hairs that are neither too firm nor too flimsy. The chemical composition of acrylic paints can adversely effect natural hairs, causing them to deteriorate. Despite this, brush preferences really do come down to the individual artist and what they are trying to achieve. Start with synthetic and try a natural hair and see what woks best for you.

+ I’m a beginner. What brushes do I need?

We would recommend two brushes to start with. The first would be a firm bristled flat brush and a round tipped brush. These two choices will give the beginner room to experiment without too much investment. Generally speaking, flat brushes are good for bold brushstrokes and covering larger areas with paint. The size of the brushes will depend upon how large you want your painting to be and the techniques you want to employ. Also try to visit an art store to get a feel for the sort of brushes you like rather than just buying them online. How the brush feels in your hand is important.

+ What advice would you give a beginner when it comes to painting?

Start! Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. A blank canvas can be intimidating and one way to overcome this is to coat it with a couple of layers of paint of your favourite colour. It makes a canvas seem less daunting this way and makes you connect canvas, paint and brush and hopefully get your painting journey underway!

+ Can I mix different brands of acrylic paint?

Yes, however mixing colours within the same range is preferable as the colours will have been formulated in a similar manner and will be more compatible. The best way is to mix the paint and see if there is any unwanted change in consistency. For example, if it becomes lumpy or separates then it would be best to choose other paints to blend.

+ Can I use water to thin my acrylic paint?

Yes, but only in certain ratios. Never add over 50% water as it dulls the colours and affects the adhesion qualities of the paint. If you want to thin paint and maintain the colour and integrity we suggest the use of a painting medium.

+ How do I clean a paintbrush?

The first thing to do is remove the excess paint with a cloth or paper towel. Squeeze out as much as possible and wipe the handle and ferrule clean. Then swish the brush around in water. Then go to a sink and hold the brush under running water and squeeze any remaining paint out from the bristles. It is now time to clean the bristles with soap. The best choice is a speciality brush soap that will not be too harsh on the bristles. Massage this into the brush and clean the handle and ferrule as well. Finish by rinsing with cold water. Repeat this process until the brush is clean. Reform the brush hairs with your fingers and allow to dry horizontally away from direct sunlight.

+ Do I have to use a specialty brush soap?

While it isn’t a must to use a specialty brush and hand cleaner, it is preferable because standard soaps and other common cleaning products such as dishwashing liquid can be too harsh on delicate brush hairs. If you are unsure, a mild shampoo is a reliable choice as it has been designed for use on hair.

Bear in mind that the bristles on any brush will become stained with paint colours. This is perfectly normal and does not mean the brush is damaged. As long as it is cleaned correctly there should be no transference of the stain to paint in future use.

+ I have a brush caked with dried acrylic paint. Is there anything I can do to rescue it?

Yes. Derivan Matisse MM35 Brush Restorer to the rescue! Soaking paint caked brushes in the product overnight can remove dried paint and give your ruined brush a new lease of life.

+ Why varnish a painting?

Some paintings are protected under glass and in frames. Most are not. Varnish creates a protective layer against grime, dust and the environment, which extends the longevity of the painting. It also makes it easier to clean. Varnishes come in matte, satin and gloss varnish options give the entire surface of the artwork a uniform sheen. Varnish also brings out the vibrancy of the colours so they look as good as they did when first applied.

+ I’ve seen solvent based and water based varnishes. What is the difference between the two?

Essentially, water based varnishes are permanent and solvent based varnishes are removable. Why would an artist want a removable varnish? Over time, even varnishes themselves can become dirty and discoloured. A removable varnish can be removed and reapplied if need. Permanent water based varnishes are just that, so be sure that is the option you prefer as once applied and dried, there really is no turning back so best to test first to ensure the finish is exactly what you are after.

+ Matt or gloss varnish? Which is the better choice?

First off, both a matte and a gloss varnish will protect your painting. However, gloss varnish will highlight any texture, deepen colours and make the overall surface more reflective. Matt paint will not alter the colour much and is not reflective, so textures are less pronounced. As such, it may better a better choice if the artwork is going to be lit by spotlights as any reflection will be minimised.

+ Why use a spray varnish?

Spray varnishes may seem easy to apply, but

+ Does your Derivan artist ink contain any shellac?

No, none of our products contain shellac or alcohol. They are all water based products.

+ How long should I let my painting cure before varnishing?

Although acrylics dry quickly, you should wait at least a week before varnishing to ensure that the acrylics have dried all the way through. Even if it’s dry to the the touch, acrylics are often still wet underneath. If you varnish before the painting has fully dried the varnish can end up cloudy due to trapped moisture.

+ Glossy vs. Matte vs. Satin - Which varnish should I choose?

Artists generally choose varnishes for the sheen they provide and how they impact the colours of an artwork. When your painting has dried and cured, you may find that the different colours are varying levels of matte to glossy, often due to the different properties of individual pigments. Varnish can even this out, offering one unifying sheen. Your varnish selection will also impact the colours. Gloss varnish is highly reflective and gives the brightest, deepest colours. The opposite is true of matte and satin varnishes, which reduces glare and can mute the colours, softening the look of a piece.

+ How long does varnish take to dry?

ACRYLICS When building up multiple layers of varnish on an acrylic painting, let the painting cure for 3 – 6 hours in between coats. Most modern synthetic varnishes will be completely dry after only a few weeks. While it may feel dry to the touch within 24hrs or so, a several – week time frame allows all the layers a chance to adequately cure. Tip: Speed up the varnishing process by planning to do a few pieces on the same day. This way they will all dry within a similar time period. OILS Traditional dammar varnish and synthetic varnish can 24-48 hrs depending on the thickness of the painting. Cold temperatures and high humidity can slow the drying time by several hours.

+ Can you varnish Air Dried Clay? Which varnish would be best.

Yes. All of the varnish we offer is able to varnish air-dried clay. As long as the Clay is Bone Dry. (Given at least a couple of weeks to dry) You can also use the Terps baced varnishes for out door items.

+ I purchased 18 500ML colors of Matisse FLOW a long time ago. All of them, except the Venetian Red, are still of excellent consistency. What do you recommend I use to make it creamy once more?

Thank you for your email. We would suggest the tiniest amount of water and mixing - to resurrect it, it will be more about the actual stirring of the paint - i.e. if you put it under enough “sheer” (strong mixing) and add the smallest amount of water (like 1-5%) it should go back into a workable format. What has probably happened is over time some of the water has evaporated out plus when the paint is left for an extended period the water can swell some pigments (in fact all pigments behave in very different ways) - time and heat will have varied effects on the “wet” colours. So it might take quite an effort to stir it at first - however it should get moving - if you don’t mind get your “mix master” dirty you could try it in that - BUT at a very low speed - more like mixing dough rather than whipping cream - I can also understand if you are not that keen to use your kitchen appliances! So maybe split it up into manageable amounts - say 100ml or so and then give that a go - you should be able to revive it - but as I say it will take some effort I hope this helps

+ What is Mm2 impasto medium and what does it do?

Here is the information about MM2 Impasto Medium "The word impasto refers to the application of a thick paint that leaves visible brush or palette knife marks. This medium is a full-bodied texture paste. It may be thought of as a heavy-bodied paint, free of pigmentation, however, it is not a clear gel and nor does it dry, on a microscopic level, as the Matisse colours dry. (See the section on water-based varnishes and how they dry for more detailed information). The MM2 Impasto Medium dries with a very open matrix. This has the major benefit of allowing all the water to evaporate while losing less volume on

drying than other Gels or acrylic colours. Therefore mixtures of this medium and Matisse colours may be applied much more thickly in a single application than paint alone, without the fear of shrinking or cracking. Care should be taken when creating thick applications, taking into account conditions and drying time required. MM2 Impasto Medium is most valuable for creating highly textured surfaces, brush stroke and impasto painting techniques, particularly when heavy built-up areas of colour are required. MM2 Impasto Medium dries to a low subdued sheen, which is similar to the sheen on a dried paint film of Matisse colours and it is equally water-resistant. MM2 Impasto Medium allows for free intermixing with the Matisse colours in any proportion. There is very little visual colour loss when up to equal volumes of a Matisse colour and MM2 Impasto Medium are intermixed. The presence of MM2 Impasto Medium on the canvas does not increase or lower the gloss rate of the finished painting, nor does it cause any light reflection distortion. Despite MM2 Impasto Medium not being fully transparent when dry, it does not appear to alter the richness of Matisse colours in any substantial way. Although MM2 Impasto Medium can be used with Matisse Flow Formula colours, the Matisse Structure Formula colours are full-bodied acrylics and therefore complement the thick MM2 Impasto Medium. The MM2 Impasto Medium lends itself suitably for use as a light modelling compound. It can be applied by knife or brush in heavy amounts directly onto the primed substrate and, when dry, fully over-painted with Matisse colours. Do not use MM2 Impasto Medium as a transparent glue or size where its slightly milky opacity could cause some cloudiness. For this same reason, MM2 Impasto Medium should not be used for glazing effects. Subtle and delicate glaze colourations are best produced by intermixing MM8 Spreader and MM4 Gel Medium with water in various proportions to produce totally transparent glazes. Glazing with MM2 Impasto Medium will cover and distort the work with a slight opaque effect.”

+ I’m traveling with tubes of your paint. Do you have some documentation to say our paints are non-flammable?

thank you for your inquiry, over the years we have sort clarification from various airlines on what is allowable etc and in fact a few years ago we had one person spend over a week contacting as many airlines as she was able to and in short we have never been able to come up with a steadfast answer! However - the paints them selves are water based acrylic colours and present no flammability hazard - in check through luggage there should be no problem (some airlines are concerned that if they squash your bags - the paint may go all over your luggage and potentially someone else's - so to avoid this make sure you pack them well and in plastic bags is a good idea! you can find the SDS here incase it is requested and this is a good way to prove they are not flammable : http://www.derivan.com.au/assets/downloads/SDS/Matisse-Professional-Acrylic-No-Cadmium-Colours-SDS.pdf http://www.derivan.com.au/assets/downloads/SDS/Matisse-Professional-Acrylic-Cadmium-Colours-SDS.pdf So from a safety standpoint (other than spillage) there should be no problem - I would suggest though if asked you refer to them as "water-based colours" - rather than paints - as this is a more accurate description of them plus many officials heat the word "paint” and instantly think the worst and just default to safety first and treat them as being solvent based (as solvent based paint can be a concern) but as I said our paints are not solvent based -(with that said - to be 100% correct - I will mention the 250ml and 500ml turps based varnishes MM14, MM15, MM29, MM33 ARE solvent based - while you did not mention these I thought I would - these are solvent based and will not be allowed on an airplane except through specific air freight companies that are aware of the contents)

+ Mixing Matte & Gloss Terps based varnish to get satin. What’s the best way to do this?

MM15 Final Matt varnish has a matting agent which when stays still will naturally separate from the binding medium. When this happens the varnish needs to be stirred gently. If the binding medium and matting agent is extremely separated, heat the varnish within a metal tin in a water bath. Making sure not to heat on an open flame. Proceed with caution as the fumes are toxic and need to be heated in a well ventilated area as well as a face mask.

+ Why does varnish take longer to dissolve in a plastic container than a metal container?

Metal is a heat conductor and will intensify the heat as plastic will not.

+ Hi there. I don't see an expiry date on my products and I'm wondering if you can tell me how long they last after they've been opened. I have the face and body neon set.

Thank you for your email, by and large there is no real shelf life of the products - as long as they are kept in a cool place (i.e. under 30C) and the lid is on tightly to keep the air out they will last for many years (we have had people who have brought back half full jars that while a bit thick were still usable - after 30 years) however leaving the lid off even for an hour each time you use them or letting them get warm (i.e. over about 35C) will limit their life to only a few years or less in extreme cases. I hope this helps

+ I am designing a one day workshop, and I’d like to be able to seal the printing blocks by lunch time and be able to use them to print with about an hour later, or even less. Can you recommend any sealer/varnish that would suit that purpose??

You could use the turps based varnish (if they are happy to use a solvent based varnish) and it will easily be dry in 24 hours But of course they could use MM7 if using it with kids or where solvents are a problem and as long as it was only a few thin coats - would be dry in 24 hours - main thing is not to leave paint/ink on the block for extended periods or it will tend to stain the block

+ My enquiry is regarding Matisse M37 self-levelling medium. Can I dilute this product successfully with water? And if so, at what ratio? Can it be diluted with something other than water? It has a few small air bubbles, popping these seems to leave a very small hole, the medium does not fill/self-level into the small holes.

Self levelling medium is quite thick. -You can add a small amount of water about 5% but no more. As this products consistency is a syrupy -bubbles do happen.

Here are some tips

When tinting the medium stir gently and fold the colour in to the mix. Its a good idea to leave the mix to sit over night before use.

If you still have rogue bubbles after poring you can use Rubbing Alcohol in a spray bottle and this will remove the bubbles. For this removal technique to be most effective it is best to spray the bubbles ASAP.

+ Is your acrylic varnish non-toxic and could be applied to children toys

Thank you for your email - pretty well all of our paints are safe on kids toys - however to be ultra safe steer clear of the Cadmium colours - these have Cad or Cadmium in the name - however they also have quite obvious warnings on the labels as well. My suggestion would be Matisse Background colours for wooden toys - they have a built in sealer and cover well with one or 2 coats, there are bright primary colours or soft muted tones. It is always advisable to apply a finish varnish over the top such as MM7 polymer gloss varnish - as far as toxicity of any of these paints goes once dry they are very similar in chemistry to a plastic bag - so while “eating plastics” is not healthy they are inert and really should not present any problems - (i.e. there are no freely available heavy metals or that sort of thing) the MSDS can be found here for the Background colours: http://www.derivan.com.au/assets/downloads/SDS/Matisse-Background-Colours-SDS.pdf and here for the varnish: http://www.derivan.com.au/assets/downloads/SDS/MM7-Polymer-Gloss-Varnish-SDS.pdf

+ Could you please advise whether Matisse MM31 on a canvas will assist in keeping an acrylic painting flexible to allow postage of the canvas as a cylinder.

Thank you for your email. Matisse Medium MM31 Open Medium - slows the drying time of the paint but also possesses binding capacity - so certainly the binder will certainly assist in keeping the artwork flexible more so than say adding water or just straight drying retarder. However please be mindful that the open medium slows the drying time - and thus the curing time. Before rolling a canvas up it must be completely dried AND cured to avoid marking/deforming the film surface.

+ I am wanting to mix up some custom washes using acrylic ink and/or paint. My plan is to use them on 3D objects rather than a 2D surface. I want to have the wash "pull" into the recesses of the sculpt, depositing pigment there, rather than a glazing or filter effect over the entire surface. Which of your mediums would you suggest I use and in what proportions? I have had a brief look through your technical guide & can see that "surface tension breaker" could be important - what else would you suggest? I am hoping for a reasonably matt finish but this is not essential as a matt coat can be applied to the sculpt afterwards.

actually we have the perfect medium for you - water based antiquing medium - originally made to put variegated glazes (i.e. exactly what you want to do) over painted objects - it sounds like it will do exactly what you want to do - originally made to make things look old - by using a burnt or raw umber to simulate time worn collection of grime - it can be used with any colour and I think will work exactly as you have described - you can find out more about it here: http://matisse.com.au/products/matisse-mediums/full-list-of-matisse-mediums/mm20-water-based-patina-antiquing-medium-mm2m20/

+ with face paints, how long do they last once they are open?

As far as the face paints go - as long as they are kept in a cool place they should last at least 3 or 4 years unopened (and as long as the lid it put on well and they are not contaminated they will last a long time after being opened as well)

+ is it possible to use the Matisse turps based matt varnish in an air brush? If so, to what degrees do I dilute it with turps?

I just spoke to our chemist. He said it will depend on how fine the nozzle is on your airbrush you might find the matting agent will clog your nozzle.

+ what is the difference between glazing medium and gel medium

In answer to your question - the difference between glazing medium and Gel Medium

Glazing medium has a thin viscosity (like milk) and Gel Medium is a thicker viscosity (more like an impasto medium but it dries clear).

You can use both for glazing techniques but you will get different results.

I hope this helps, if you need any more information don’t hesitate to contact me.

+ am an established artist working in acrylic. I am working on exhibition pieces that are painted on Hardiflex sheet. The works are quite large and very detailed. I have chosen Hardiflex as the paintings are made to go outside.

In courtyards, gardens etc. Hardiflex is perfect for this as it is stable in all weather. I have been working on pieces for a couple of years to see how they cope with the weather, so far so good. However I have used an outdoor varnish and although it is good I need something that I have confidence in will stand the test of time. I have read about your two varnish finish and was wondering if you think this is the way to go. I have about 25 large works to varnish so would need bulk supply. I am looking for a satin finish as matt doesn’t quite cut it and gloss for outdoor would not be suitable.

Good to see your email.

You are correct the 2 part varnish system is the best way to protect your works from the weather.

To give you an example of how well this system works Wendy Sharpe used this varnishing techniques with our Matisse varnishes 20 years ago at the Cook and Phillip pool in Sydney's CBD

Other than IN the pool there is probably not a worse place you can imagine to put a painting!!!

http://www.wendysharpe.com/project-kellerman.html

These works are still standing up to the test of time 20 years later.

To give you an idea of coverage for this project 1L will cover approx 8 square M

I would suggest you use the MM7 Polymer Gloss varnish as your isolation coat and MM29 Satin Turps Varnish as your final coat.

I hope this helps. If you need any more information please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your email. Probably the most neutral black is Ivory black

  • Carbon black has a very slight blue tinge to it (in comparison) and mars black is somewhat warmer. You can alter the sheen levels easily - using MM4 Gel Medium with Matisse structure or MM7 polymer Gloss varnish with Matisse flow (purely differences in viscosity) you can adjust the sheen levels up. If you wish to matt a colour down using the MM5 Matt medium is the way to go - this will not alter the colour but will make the finish very matt. Officially we would say no you should not mix brands - simply because we don't know what is in other manufacturers products and they don't know what is in ours. And even though we do do testing with our products and other brands, there is nothing to stop another manufacturer changing their formulations and obviously they don't inform us. So officially - no you should not mix brands - However with that said i know there a many artists who do - and have not experienced any problems - Further, in theory there is not much reason to suspect there should be a problem
  • with the exception of "non standard" paints or mediums - i.e. the sort of mediums that require particular "treatment" applications. or technique - for instance our cracking medium should only be used with our background paints or Students paints.

+ Can you please tell me is your Pthalo Blue - blue shade or red shade

and your Pthalo Green - blue shade or yellow shade

Hi thanks for your email. Our Phthalo Blue is “green shade” - PB15.3 however we are just in the process of making the less popular (but still in demand!) red shade. The Phthalo green is a a true Phthalocyanine Green (ie PG 7) - and is blue shade as such - the yellow shade that many refer to is actually Cyaninie green PG36 (we call it Emerald Green PG36)

+ I have an “outdoor” fibreglass pelican that I want to repaint. It’s badly weathered and faded now as you will see in the picture below. I am

after some advice about how to repaint it and what products you would recommend.

Well I guess the first thing is to give it a good wash to get any grime and dirt/dust off it. Hopefully this will also remove any flaking bits of previous coating and fibreglass. I think if you were to use Matisse acrylics to paint starting with a primer coat of MM7 polymer gloss varnish (or you could use MM10 gesso if you want a white base), then use the Matisse Flow (or you can use Matisse structure however I assume you dont want to much paint catching in smaller areas of detail and “filling them up” thus flow will give a flatter finish) Then finish off with MM7 polymer gloss - and then if it is to go outside - a couple of final coats of MM15 final finish turps based varnish. This should give pretty well the best finish. Otherwise taking it to a car refinisher to spray might be another idea? Depends on the finish you are trying to achieve I guess.

+ Wondering if Matisse paints are suitable for painting metal paper clips. Should they be sealed, if so, what would you recommend?

ok so the Matisse acrylics will adhere to pretty well anything metal included - not sure how they will go with such a small surface area though! The main preparation would be to try and “rough up” the surface a little so there is some physical “tooth” for the paint to adhere too. Then a thin coat of MM7 polymer gloss varnish to give good adhesion would be best practice, then apply the colours (don't use any water as this will reduce the adhesion) then apply a thin coat or 2 more of the polymer gloss varnish to finish off. The coating will take a few weeks after drying to reach its strongest state. (Ie completely cured) I hope this helps

+ How to best ship rolled canvas paintings?

I spoke to our chemist and his advice was first up make sure the painting is dried and cured to avoid marking and deforming the film surface.

You mentioned you are using mm9 so I am thinking your don’t lay down paint thickly - I would leave your work to dry for a full 48 hours before packing.

I also spoke to our resident artist and she has suggested that you don’t roll the canvas to tight and to pack your work in Glassine paper.

Eckerseys can supply this see link below..

https://www.eckersleys.com.au/products/glassine-paper

+ Do you have any suggestions of products we could use to paint with that don’t re-open when a water-based varnish is applied.

I think I can see your problem, as long as you don’t put more than 20% water with acrylic paint, once dried the paint will not move it will be water fast and will not bleed when applying a brush on varnish.

Water colour paint is not water fast so once dried it can be reactivated with water, hence the smudging.

If you want to get water colour effects (very thin consistency ) with acrylic paint, I suggest you mix the acrylic paint with MM9 acrylic painting medium (Mixed 50% water 50% MM)

I hope this makes sense. Please call me if I have confused you. :)

+ What reducers and retarders to use for using acrylic artist paints with an airbrush?

Here is the formula

MM9 is Acrylic Painting Medium MM1 is Retarder MM5 is Matt Medium MM3 is Surface Tension Breaker

AIRBRUSH MEDIUM FORMULATION FOR 250 ML

MM9 45ml............18%...................... MM1 20ml............ 8% 22% BINDER MM5 10ml............ 4%...................... MM3 10ml............ 4% WATER 165ml............66% ..................................................... 250ml 100%

+ Can I use Matisse Fabric Fixative on Silk?

Yes, Best to use it along with Matisse Acrylic Ink or Matisse Fluids as when the fixative and paint dry on the silk they have more of a chance to keep the consistency of the silk and not become hardened on the fiber. Be sure the heat set the silk once dried, follow the industry standard guidelines for how to properly iron it, as things like excessive heat and pressure on the fabric can damage the material.

+ What’s the difference between acrylic ink and acrylic paint?

Artist quality acrylic ink is the long name for really thin acrylic paint. The viscosity of acrylic ink renders the inks more transparent vs paint will tend to be more opaque. 1. Highly Pigmented 2. Thinner binder

+ I work in a school and I am wondering about whether it is safe to put derivan paints down the sink

Dear Emma and Rhiannon thank you very much for your email. It is great to hear that you are using our product in your classroom and yes I am sure we have some info for your project.

In short I can tell you that the Derivan Students paint is indeed non -toxic and is quite safe to put down the drain if your drain leads to a sewer treatment plant or septic system- if you wish to recycle the water some schools have a “2 tub system” where they wash the brushes out in one tub to get the main amount of paint off and then clean them off in a second tub - these tubs (they can be dedicated sinks, buckets etc) are then left to settle and a lot of the heavier material will settle out over time (days) then the water is “skimmed” off the top and poured on to the garden (best practice is to only use it on flowers, grass etc not on edible plants like tomatoes etc) Obviously the above is assuming “normal” usage - i.e. if you were to somehow put 1000’s of litres of paint down the drain there may be effects of blockage etc as the paints have binder or in other words a “glue component” which might block the drains - this is going over the top though - but I want to cover all bases!

The paints do not contain any heavy metals or other hazardous chemicals that might be harmful to the environment - you can locate the MSDS here http://www.derivan.com.au/assets/msds/Derivan-Student-MSDS.pdf - this deals with safe handling and handling in bulk. more info can be found herehttp://www.derivan.com.au/derivan/sustainability.html on why we have chosen particular packaging and our sustainability programs more specifically there is further information here on the eco pack which is now predominantly what we supply the Derivan students paint in http://www.derivan.com.au/derivan/eco-pack.html I hope this is of some help to you. If you have other questions please feel free to email me

+ Can I use turps based varnish on a wooden chopping board?

The turps based varnish is not suitable to use on a chopping board. This varnish to be used as a final varnish coat on artworks.

It wont stand up to the wear and tear of a functional chopping board.

+ I have a 3 X 4 M painting how much varnish will I need?

So coverage Matisse Paint 6-8 M squared Turps Based Varnish 12M Squared Polymer Varnishes with 10% water 12 M squared

+ Which three of your acrylic colours would match the printer inks Cyan Blue, Magenta Pink and Yellow?

To get close to the 4 colours used in a printer you can use the following: Matisse Structure, Floe or fluids Black - Carbon black Magenta - Magenta quin violet (however you will need to mix a little white in with this) Yellow - Yellow Mid Azo Cyan - this is a bit tricker - it is a blend of ultramarine blue (ultra blue) and Phthalocyanine Blue (Phthalo blue) and a little white This will give relatively opaque colours - however the CMYK inks are transparent - so therefore when they are layered their combined colours give the rest of the spectrum (or so the theory goes!) - therefore if this is the effect you are after rather than adding white - you need to reduce the strength and opacity of the colours using a “reduction medium” clear - ie Matisse medium MM7 polymer gloss varnish or a thicker version - being Matisse Medium MM4 Gel medium - (there are matt version of these as well if you are after a matt finish) you will need to experiment to work out the ratios to give you what you are after. I hope this helps

+ I have a lot of items decorated with Derivan Fabric art markers. I have read the instructions about heat setting. Is it possible to use the tumble dryer? If so how long.

You can use the tumble dryer dry to heat set the paint and pens on clothing. We recommend you put the clothing into the dryer set to high for about an hour and a half. Tumble dry only the items you have coloured with your fabric markers in the same load to avoid staining other clothing.

+ I have a customer wanting to Lino Print on to Perspex. I was wanting to know if she sealed the Perspex with Matisse Clear Sealer if the Derivan Block ink would stick to it. If not, are there any other products that you could recommend that may work?

Just spoke to our chemist

It should work. The block ink has enough binder in it to be permanent.

It will just be working out how to get it to adhere

Raj the chemist said. Clear Sealer should help. (make sure it has cured for a good week before printing)

The other option is using sand paper to create a key for it to adhere.

Hope this helps,

+ Can I use the matt medium on my graphite pencil drawings, to remove the pencil sheen?

You could try the Matisse Poly Matt varnish. You will need to apply it carefully as graphite pencil is not waterfast.

Justin Baird