Picturecraft of Holt has maintained a concentrated approach to ensure artists and painters at all levels of ability can obtain fine art supplies to meet their specific needs. Assistance can be called upon from knowledgeable members of staff to guide and advise on the complexities of painting and provide an insight into the supporting accessories and equipment associated with all painting mediums. The emphasis on quality and longevity has heavily influenced the ranges of material being stocked by Picturecraft of Holt where established manufacturers can provide guarantees for their products with stable, archival research.
The uncompromised quality of Winsor & Newton’s professional, traditional oil paints are formulated using the finest pigments and recognised by artists all over the world. Their excellent tinting strength and coverage has involved decades of research and the scientific manufacturing processes ensures every colour is flawlessly created with guaranteed lightfastness and permanence.
The first commercially viable water-based acrylic paints were invented in Ohio in 1955. Today, Liquitex remains at the forefront in leading acrylic technology and is renown for producing paints of advanced colour clarity, brilliance and longevity. Liquitex Heavy-Body Acrylic is held in stock alongside Daler-Rowney’s Cryla Artists’ colours which are made in England and were the first to be launched in Europe. The viscosity and excellent adhesion of Daler-Rowney’s System3 acrylic paint has made them incredibly popular for students and are ideal for high textured impasto painting techniques.
Differing art surfaces can dramatically change a piece of artwork but primed canvas is still recognised as the traditional ground for oil painting, whether stretched over a frame or mounted to a board. The introduction of water-based acrylic paints provides open-ended possibilities to use differing surfaces, but watercolours are deserving of premium paper... where the name of Arches has been producing fine art papers for artists since 1492. Specifically designed textured boards provide the 'tooth' necessary to grip pastel and sheets of surfaced papers are available in an extensive range of tones and colours.
Mediums are additives which can alter or enhance the characteristics of the colour. They can be used to adjust the drying rate, improve flow, provide texture or increase gloss. The use of mediums, solvents, additives, diluents and varnishes needs to be used in moderation and advice and guidance is freely available to assist with techniques, applications and special effects.
A comprehensive range of art accessories together with all those difficult to find studio accompaniments has involved years of careful research by Picturecraft of Holt. Whether it's a specific style of palette knife or a solid brass professional pencil sharpener, Picturecraft of Holt takes its relationship with the artist very seriously and has built its reputation on customer care and service. Accessories encompass numerous items that are used to integrate and support all the painting processes as well as providing striking one-off studio pieces to stimulate the imagination.
The needs of professional and amateur artists have been very carefully considered. The decades of development by Winsor & Newton to provide the finest watercolour offering, widest choice of pigment and highest possible permanence was the deciding factor to become Picturecraft of Holt’s leading representation. The impressive 'honey-based' range of Sennelier watercolours provides a most fitting and very popular alternative to extend the choice further with subtle tones, shades and differing colours. The nectar is used not only as a preservative but as an additive giving incomparable brilliance and smoothness to the paint.
It took over 3 years, around the end of the 19th Century, for Sennelier to formulate their extra soft pastels and it now represents one of the worlds largest chromatic pastel ranges. High quality pure pigment is finely ground with a perfect balance of natural binder without using compression in its manufacturing process, where pastels are left to dry naturally in the open space. In 1949, Pablo Picasso inspired Sennelier to develop their artist quality oil pastels where intense colours could be applied directly onto a wide variety of surfaces. The creation of soft and creamy oil pastels were made using a combination of non-aggressive oils and waxes with the intensity and vibrancy of conventional oil colours and are recognised and used worldwide.
Charcoal and pure graphite products for drawing and sketching in monochrome are integrated with ranges and sets of water-soluble, soft pastel and coloured pencils offering versatility to work in colour with wet and dry techniques. Calligraphy, writing and drawing nibs and specialist accessories associated with Chinese painting and calligraphy are held in stock. Fine line drawing pens for detailed or technical illustration include the extremely popular Staedtler pigment liner pens which benefit from being lightfast, permanent and waterproof on paper.
Artists' quality inks are used for illustration, painting and calligraphy. Pigment based inks offer excellent lightfastness and permanence whereas dye based inks give more brilliant colours but with reduced levels of lightfastness. Non-shellac based inks can be used with great effect and are similar to working with watercolour, whereas inks containing shellac are generally waterproof. The FW Acrylic based ink produced by Daler-Rowney can be used straight out of the dropper or diluted to achieve subtle tones. The FW Pearlescent inks provide enhancement opportunities to introduce shimmer-and-shine effects as found in the exquisite original paintings of butterflies by Graham Wildridge.
Choosing the correct surface, weight, texture and quality of any paper can be a bewildering task. The availability of papers can come in differing formats including individual sheets, glued blocks or gummed and spiral pads. In general terms, fine toothed papers can provide a versatile surface for pencil, charcoal, graphite, pastel and blending pencils. Smooth surface papers are perhaps best suited for pen and ink fine lines. Watercolour papers are available in cold pressed, hot pressed and rough surfaces with weights ranging from 90lb (200gsm) to 300lb (640gsm). The professional grades of Arches Watercolour Paper is considered to be one of the finest in quality and has been manufactured in the same French mill since 1492.
Kolinsky Sable remains the most popular choice for watercolour brushes due to its ability to point, spring back into shape and its excellent colour carrying capacity. Winsor & Newton's Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes are recognised as the finest, the first being made for Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1866. Hog Hair is the traditional brush for oil painting, but in recent years the introduction of acrylic paints has see the rapid development of brushes made in synthetic materials which are available in styles and sizes to suit all painting mediums.
Artists’ Material Enquiry Artists’ Materials Enquiry