Art Spectrum 

Art Spectrum

Art Spectrum® manufacturers the finest artists’ colours including: oils, watercolours, gouache, pastels, inks, mediums, primers, including pads & visual diaries to supply the education market.

Founded in Melbourne by David Keys Snr, an artist and RMIT lecturer, Art Spectrum® has grown to be the leading Fine Art brand in Australia, manufacturing...

Art Spectrum® manufacturers the finest artists’ colours including: oils, watercolours, gouache, pastels, inks, mediums, primers, including pads & visual diaries to supply the education market.

Founded in Melbourne by David Keys Snr, an artist and RMIT lecturer, Art Spectrum® has grown to be the leading Fine Art brand in Australia, manufacturing Oil Colours, Watercolours, Gouache, Pastels, Inks, Primers, Mediums, Varnishes and Solvents. We are renowned for our unique Australian colours and our traditional European methods.

Art Spectrum® also has a comprehensive range of supporting products that complement any artists’ requirements which include the world’s first pastel surface paper Colourfix™, canvas and stretcher bars, papers and pads, brushes, painting and palette knives.

It originated as a co-op run by a group of local painters who sourced knowledge and machinery required to produce materials that would meet the needs of the local art community.

More

Subcategories

For Oil & Acrylic

Art Spectrum® Oil Paper Pad

This paper has a unique coating that does not allow the oil colour or mediums to penetrate the surface, giving the same effect as primed canvas.  Acid Free and Archival making it ideal for students and artist alike.

Art Spectrum® Acrylic Paper Pad

This 400gsm paper has been manufactured for Acrylic media being internal and external sized enabling the acrylic paint to sit on the surface.

Special felts have been used to give the paper a Medium/Cold Press texture.

Acid Free and Archival making it ideal for students and professional artist alike.

For Watercolor

PAPERS OF DISTINCTION

THE MAGNANI PAPER MILL HISTORY

Art Spectrum® has collaborated with the Magnani Paper Mill in Italy to develop a 100% cotton artists’ quality Watercolour Paper with an exceptional surface.

This Art Spectrum® paper is:

  • Acid Free which equates to it being above 7pH on the pH scale
  • Archival Quality being a Museum grade
  • Chlorine Free making it environmentally friendly
  • Contains zero Whitening Agents (OBA’s)
  • Made with traditional methods using Cylinder Moulds
  • Vegan friendly as the process of plant sizing is used internally and finished with a synthetic Tub Sizing
  • Contains zero Whitening Agents (OBA’s)
  • Sizes  A3 now available in single sheets
  • Surface options are: Hot Press, Cold Press and Rough

The mill was established by the Magnani family along the banks of the Pescia River, famous for its clear pure waters, an essential requirement for the production of fine hand-made papers.

In the 18th century the Magnani Mill began to export their papers to the world with most of Europe’s reigning families and State Mints acknowledging their quality and expertise to provide papers of distinction.

Napoleon Bonaparte chose the mill to produce a special watermarked paper for the announcement of his wedding with Maria Luisa D’ Austria, the original mould is still held at the mill today.

Magnani has a rich history of cooperating with artists such as Picasso, De Chirico, Guttuso, Annigoni, Maccari, Bueno, Guarnieri and Morandi who have had their own papers produced by the mill.

The heritage continues with Magnani producing papers for the modern-day artist.

For Pastel

Art Spectrum® Pastel Paper Pad

This Italian pastel paper has a dual surface with one side felt marked giving it an even layered tooth for all pastel, pencils and charcoal and the smooth for craft. Acid Free (including the Black) Chlorine free, 100% Cellulose and FSC certified making it ideal for the professional and hobbyist alike.

Mediums

Art Spectrum® Oil painting mediums are based on sound painting principles. Today’s advanced testing indicates that the use of turpentine alone as a dilutent for oil paints is to be avoided, as it is too easy to destroy the binder and benefits of carefully milled paint. Sound painting principles involve painting from ‘lean’ mixtures to ‘fat’ mixtures of paint – essential when paintings are completed over a period of time. This ‘fat over lean’ technique prevents cracking in the paint film whilst drying.

Painting with oil paint should be no more involved than working with a water-based paint. For instance, Art Spectrum mediums are used to thin oil paint just as water or binding mediums are used with acrylics. Wax or fillers are added to oil paints just as impasto mediums are added to acrylics. Pure soap and water are used for cleaning brushes with both types of paint.

The ‘lean to fat’ rule

When one layer of oil paint contains an equal amount of oil as the next layer, the top layer will dry while the bottom layer will be deprived of oxygen and remain wet. This will cause wrinkling and eventually cracking. To prevent this problem, use Artists’ Oil Painting Medium No. 1 first and then Artists’ Oil Painting Medium No. 2 for subsequent layers. This will give an even tension throughout the painting. This method is known as ‘lean to fat’.

Painting Medium No. 3 is viscous and ‘fatter’ for those who like a heavier medium. It should be used over the leaner mediums.

(NB: ‘Lean’ and ‘fat’ should not be confused with ‘thick’ and ‘thin’. A lean paint can be very stiff and go on thickly while a fat paint may have so much oil in it that it goes on thinly.)