Saturday, 28 May 2011

Places to buy Pochade Boxes in the UK

In my new guise of "about to start learning to paint in oils" (see Learning how to paint with oils in Provence),  this is a quick reminder for me of the places in the UK which sell Pochade Boxes online. 

Julian Large Paint Box
There's nowhere near as many places as there are in the USA. However these ones looked like they'd be worth investigating.
These all vary in size and design but all work principally to the same principal of providing a compact way of providing a way to paint plein air at the time as transporting paints, brushes and other relevant material.
    You can see a video of the very small Julian Pochade Box below

    Note also that Julian also sell in Julian - Accessories
    • a carrying case with adjustable dividers
    • the hard to find painting umbrella

    Wednesday, 25 May 2011

    Prismacolor announces new Scholar colored pencils

    Prismacolor have just sent me an email announcing they have introduced a new line of art media for aspiring artists with the brand name Scholar(TM)

    Three points which any aspiring artist needs to bear in mind

    1. It's good to have more economical supplies available for children and those who aspire to be artists.  That's the way a lot of artists start - with lots of drawing in colour when they are younger.
    2. Serious artists will appreciate that serious art requires professional quality supplies and they need to move beyond a student range.
    3. Student ranges and professional ranges also don't work in quite the same way as their composition differs (ie there's a reason for the price difference!).  This often means needing to relearn how you use your pencil as you graduate from student level to professional level pencils.  Many people are amazed at the difference
    new Scholar(TM) products

      The new Scholar(TM) range by Prismacolor comprises
      • Scholar Colored Pencils: The Scholar Colored Pencils contain harder cores designed for the developing art student and crafters, but they are still soft enough to learn blending.  The range also includes new erasable coloured pencils
      • Scholar Art Markers: Scholar Art Markers are easy to use, water-based ink markers ideal for idea development, rendering and mixed media. Available in both a brush and bullet tip.
      • Scholar Graphite Pencils: The Scholar Graphite Pencils feature a specified range of hardness for shading and detail line drawing for the aspiring artist.
      New Scholar accessories include
      Now - obviously - I haven't seen of these products.  Comments are based on known issues with existing pencils.

      My final point - I'm left wondering how much this new range might cannibalise existing use of Prismacolor pencils which has been declining of late as more people become aware of other quality options.

      Sunday, 15 May 2011

      Product Review: Daylight Professional Artists Lamp

      Daylight Company: Professional Artist Lamp
      Jana Bouc (Jana's Journal) has done an independent product review on her blog of the new Daylight Professional Artists Lamp made by The Daylight Company in the UK.

      I've used The Daylight Company's daylight bulbs for years (even to the point of favouring art stores which stock them!).  This particular lamp is one I had already highlighted on my Art Equipment - Resources for Artists website - purely on the basis of my experience of their product quality over the years.

      I was really interested to see what an American artist made of the lamp.  The important point is that Jana is a person who is most concerned about having good light
      I’d bought and returned many other “full spectrum” or “daylight bulb” lamps in the past that were total failures because the light was too weak, too blue, or both.
      It's very evident that Jana is very impressed!

      Hence I've created a summary review below based on:
      • the technical product specification and 
      • the review done by Jana Bouc
      • this is being updated as additional comments are received
      Do check out:

      Summary:  "The difference is amazing" - recommended by Jana Bouc
      Technical Details (as per website's technical specifications)
      • 360° head joint to direct the light exactly where you need it
      • Bright 18w Daylight™ tube (100w equiv.) reduces eye strain and glare 
      • Flexible arm and multi-position joint allow easy positioning
      • Supplied with two clamps
        • Easel clamp: Attaches to all floorstanding metal & wooden easels up to 5cm/2" thick
        • Table clamp: Attaches to all tables and work benches up to 5.5cm/2.25" thick
      • Height: 50cm (19½ inches)
      • Weight: 2.4kg (5½ lbs)
      • Arm length: 70cm (27½ inches)
      Who should buy this? 
      • artists producing studio paintings/drawings
      • artists working at a studio easel
      • artists working with a table easel
      Who should not buy this?  
      • plein air artists who do not work in the studio
      • light quality is amazing according to Jana and helped her create better colours in her paintings
      • fully adjustable - works well
      • can be used for painting and for photographing paintings
      Think Again?
      • availability of replacement light bulbs via some suppliers (see comment received)
      Manufacturer / Distributor:  The Daylight Company Ltd, 89-91 Scrubs Lane, London, NW10 6QU.
      Phone:  020 8964 1200  |  Fax  020 8964 1300  | email
      The Daylight Company was created in the early 90s and is now the market-leading brand of speciality lighting technology for the hobby industry across Europe.  It aims to become the No.1 brand for Craft Lighting.
      Suppliers:  Full price it retails at £109.99 / $159.99 (May 2011 prices) however it's possible to buy it for less.

      For those who love the technical aspects you can also refer to their FAQS section (click the links to go to the FAQ):

      All you always wanted to know about lux, lumens, spectrum, CRI, SAD...
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