When I painted with acrylics (above)
I was in love with the textural qualities of
Golden Acrylics: ground hematite, sand, metallics. I mixed and pushed them to create textural patterns on both huge canvases and small paper sketches. It was natural, therefore, when I saw Daniel Smith’s Genuine Hematite 3 years ago, a favorite mineral, I bought the tube before I had a grasp on watercolors at all!
It lead me to the entire palette of “Primateks” — ground minerals suspended in a watercolor medium — and I bought
all but the sparkley minerals!
I was hooked. They have their own tin palette,
though I kept adding and recently outgrew this tin.
I bought several before I had a full palette of normal watercolors.
The first ones were Lapis, Serpentine, Yavapei… I had to have more…
I had no idea that this was new to many watercolorists.
Granular, textural, pushing and mixing, I played.
I use them to make bold gestures of texture, but also create juicy mixes with transparent watercolor pigments that allow them to simply add to the beauty of a simple sketch.
When I get a new Primatek I mix it with every other color in my main palette.
I am amazed at the unusual mixtures I find!
Using Primateks in the various ways I play with them is a matter of picking up a LOT of Primatek pigment with water and moving it, or a little Primatek pigment, making a wash with another color, and pushing it around. Pushing it around quickly is something that one has to get used to, along with allowing it to do its thing, especially with a few pigments, such as Serpentine, Green Apatite, Diopside, and the Hematites.
I love knowing the stones from which the pigments are ground.
(Images below from Wikipedia.)
Always, along with my chosen travel palette, I have a small tin of the pigments above:
Amazonite, Lapis, Diopside Green, Green Apatite, Yavapei, Piemonite, and Hematite.
Their color and/or qualities make them invaluable for my Oregon palette.
Below are the colors I own (other than Mayan) which I consider “primateks.”
Not all the colors listed are Daniel Smith Primateks…
I use the name Primatek loosely, as a family, grainy ground pigments,
so there are paints made by Greenleaf & Blueberry Watercolors
(Cote D’Azur or Caput Mortem, Shungite and Magnetite, below).
Sadly, I love the color of Genuine Garnet, but the smell is obnoxious,
and has given me a massive headaches! I returned three tubes before I gave up.
DS Graphite is not considered by DS to be a Primatek, but I think it a lovely grainy color.
I included MGraham’s Nickel Quinacridone Gold as well… but I am on the fence.
Two of mine sparkle — I’m not fond of them — Kyanite and Fuchsite —
though I’ve heard some add them to water scenes. I sometimes use them for car colors.
I also own some metallic colors, but am not including them here.
Frankly, it is why I don’t own all the Primateks — I stay away from sparkling paints!
I don’t use them right now…
I am discounting the Mayan line here, because I am not fond of them and while many think they are Primatek, I’m not sure — so another post on the Mayan colors I own.
©D. Katie Powell.
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