Notebook, 1993-



When painters complain that a pigment does not "dissolve" in the vehicle, they mean in effect that it does not wet readily. As mentioned before, pigments should never dissolve. When mixed with water or aqueous media, some colors will not absorb moisture but will stay dry, even to the extent of adhering to the surface of water drops. Madder is renowned for this characteristic. This may happen even in oil media. Wetting the pigment with denatured alcohol will soon help to overcome this troublesome effect of surface tension. Water-soluble wetting agents are Agepon [Agfa], tergitol NPX [Union Carbide] or Lissapol NDB [ICI]. Some commercial dishwashing liquids made from sulfonated fatty alcohols may also be used. [p. 63]

[Wehlte, Kurt. The Materials and Techniques of Painting. Translated by Ursus Dix. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 1975.]



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