Great American Art Works' has discovered new materials, techniques, and equipment they use to create uniquely excellent pastels. These handmade soft pastels are richly pigmented, and have superb brilliance of tone.
Color Swatch created using heavy to light application and was applied on 100 lb (163 gsm) drawing paper material.
Calcium carbonate, the mineral constituent of chalk, is a low tinting strength, inexpensive white pigment that is often used is a buffer and filler. Because of its low tinting strength, it is overwhelmed by other colors. It is used in gesso and other coatings to give the surface more tooth, a desirable characteristic for some painting techniques.
Calcium carbonate is lightfast. Like all carbonates, it reacts with strong acids
Calcium carbonate is completely non-toxic, and is used in many food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products. However, excessive consumption is not recommended.
Naturally occuring chalk deposits have been mined since prehistoric times. Rocks and minerals that contain calcium carbonate include aragonite, calcite, vaterite, chalk, limestone. marble, and travertine. Calcium carbonate is the principle component of lime, used in many agricultural and industrial applications.
An off-white pigment with complex reflective effects, mica is often used with transparent pigments to create mixed pigments with interference and pearlescent effects.
Mica is permanent and lightfast.
Although it is completely non-toxic and not bioreactive, fine particles may be irritating. This is of concern primarily for those exposed occupationally to dry mica powder. Breathing mica particles may cause lung fibrosis and pneumoconiosis.
Mica has been used as a pigment since prehistoric times.
Titanium White is the most brilliant of the white pigments. It is considered an all purpose oil color useful in all techniques and the best all around white. Its masstone is neither warm nor cool, placing it somewhere between Lead White and Zinc White. It is less prone to cracking and yellowing than Lead White, but it still yellows easily. Titanium White dries slowly in oil form, more slowly than Lead White but more quickly than Zinc White. It is opaque in oil and acrylic forms and semi-opaque in watercolor form. This pigment has good chemical stability, and its tinting strength is superior to both Lead White and Zinc White.
Titanium White has excellent permanence and lightfastness.
Titanium dioxide is highly stable and is regarded as completely non-toxic. Animal studies give no indiciation that it is absorbed biologically, even after long periods of exposure. The primary safety concern is with inhalation of fine pigment dust particles. Titanium White, if inhaled in large amounts over the course of several years, may cause a benign pneumoconiosis that is visible on x-rays. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) considers fine titanium dioxide particles, if inhaled, to be a human carcinogen. The primary concern for artists is to avoid exposure to fine particulate dust from raw pigments.
Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, however mineral deposits that are economical to mine are less common. Titanium dioxide was first discovered in 1821, although it could not be mass produced until 1919. Widespread use of the pigment began in the 1940s. Since that time, it has become the most commonly used white pigment. The name comes from the Latin word Titan, the name for the elder brother of Kronos and ancestor of the Titans, and from the Greek word tito, meaning day or sun.
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