Genesis® Artist Colors
Not Oil or Acrylic
Genesis® Artist Colors are a new paint chemistry, called “Heat Set Artist Oils.” Genesis is an artist quality fine-art paint that is ready to apply without repeated pre-mixing and will not dry until you are ready; then it dries very quickly.
Genesis® Artist Colors offer fine control in mixing, blending and application, and can be worked in many states without the addition of mediums. They are very similar to oil paints in feel, opacity and translucence. We encourage you to experiment with your style to achieve the desired effect.
Genesis® Artist Colors stay wet until heated, making them more convenient than oils or acrylics. The paint will not dry when left in the open on a non-porous surface. It is important to use a glass or other non-porous surface such as china, polished marble or porcelain for your palette.
Other paints have very different chemistries from Genesis® Artist Colors. Do not mix Genesis® Artist Colors with other oils or acrylics because the results are unpredictable.
Since Genesis® Artist Colors do not air dry, you do not have to clean your brushes even if you will not get back to painting for days, weeks or even months. When cleaning brushes for quick color changes, simply wipe off excess paint, swirl in rubbing alcohol, wipe and repeat. The alcohol quickly cleans and evaporates out of the cleaned brush. You may also clean brushes by using warm water and soap, such as Dawn® dishwashing detergent. Dry your brushes thoroughly after cleaning.
While Genesis® Artist Colors can be thinned or cleaned with solvents commonly used with oil paints such as paint thinner, turpenoid and mineral spirits, these solvents are not necessary. Most artists prefer rubbing alcohol or non-toxic Genesis Thinning Medium. Genesis® Art Colors are not water soluble.
Genesis® Artist Colors are certified nontoxic and conform to ASTM D-4236. They are certified in a program of toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no material in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans or to cause acute or chronic health problems.
Oil colors have been available to artists for five centuries. Recent decades brought the advent of acrylics and alkyds. Watercolors evolved from temporary weak paints to having longevity never before dreamed possible. The latest advancement is Genesis® Artist Colors Heat Set Artist Oils.
Developed and patented by professional artists, Genesis® Artist Colors offer the look and feel of traditional oils without the drying time restrictions, toxicity and odor. Genesis® Artist Colors contain a heat activated curing agent that allows for on-demand drying.
However, since they are a completely new medium, in spite of the similarities to regular oils, they also have special characteristics of which the artist can take advantage.
One of the characteristics of Genesis® Artist Colors is that they are thixotropic, therefore although they may be thick and like stiff paste in the jar, it only takes a little stirring or mixing with the spatula, for them to become soft and malleable. Application by spatula or brush is done very easily at this point, even when using the impasto, thick application technique. This painting technique can be used without having to add any thinning or other mediums.
Thin coats of Genesis® Artist Colors are also possible by using the paint straight from the jar. The advantage that Genesis® Artist Colors have when working in thin overlapping layers is that you can dry the painting between layers, thus application can go on smoothly without pulling off the pre-painted surface or intermixing with it. In case of regular oil, you would have to wait until the first layer is dry before continuing the painting, which would take time.
Because Genesis® Artist paint does not dry on its own, it tends to force you into cleaner work habits. One good method is to use paper towels to wipe the brush while working, then dispose of the dirty towel often. A rag is not practical to use with Genesis® Artist Colors because it will transfer the wet paints to your hands, clothes and eventually to things around you.
Transparent washes can be achieved by tinting the Thick Medium. Thick Medium gives you a good layer of paint and the transparency that you need.
If you like to paint with a thinner consistency, you can add a small amount of Thinning or Glazing Mediums. These mediums are very efficient so additions must be very small.
Artists have always added various mediums to enhance control of drying as well as the handling characteristics of their paint. With Genesis® Artist Colors, you will find less need to adjust. They have excellent body, offer fine control in mixing, blending and application, can be worked in many states without the addition of medium and have a thick, rich consistency. Try working Genesis® Artist Colors with your brush or palette knife. Notice how the paint becomes more buttery and smooth? Left alone for a time on a non-porous surface (such as glass), the paint will return to its original, thixotropic state–without having dried.
Genesis Thinning Medium or Genesis Glazing Medium are recommended. When adding Genesis Mediums to thin, use just a very little at a time on the palette–it’s very efficient! Adding a Genesis thinning or glazing medium permanently thins the paint.
Using Oil Solvents
Thinning with a small amount of an oil solvent will not permanently thin the paint, as the paint will return to its original state as the solvent evaporates off. This process should be tried by professionals only.
You don’t need to varnish a Genesis painting for protection. Do not use any oil varnish. If you must use a varnish, use an acrylic varnish that is compatible with Genesis® Artist Colors. Test the varnish that you choose before using it on a finished painting.
Genesis® Colors and Pigments
At the dark end of the spectrum, Genesis® Artist Colors are made with pure pigments. Generally, lighter values are more opaque to ensure their covering power. To obtain the light values, a specially blended white is added to a pure color.
Choosing a Substrate
Always ensure that the surface on which you are painting can withstand the drying temperature you will be using. Some painting techniques will require several layers be dried, and the substrate must withstand the number of heatings you will use.
Test heat stability over multiple drying sessions. Certain substrates that might release moisture when heated should be pre-dried as the moisture may result in bubbling and poor adhesion.
Choosing a Drying System
Genesis® Artist Colors are the only fine art paint that offer a true solution to the problem of drying your paint. Unlike other paints, you do not have to decide in advance when you will want the paint to dry. You can dry it whenever you are ready. You will want to decide how you are going to dry your painting before you begin.
In deciding how to dry your painting, consider 1) the sizes of your work; 2) the thickness of paint you are using; and 3) the substrate surfaces upon which you are painting.
Whatever heat source you choose, you must be able to heat the paint and substrate to at least 250ºF/121ºC and not exceed 280ºF/138ºC.
Heat guns such as the Genesis Drying Gun are ideal for drying small areas or only part of a painting.
If your painting is a size that will fit into your oven, this may be your best choice. If an oven is not convenient or you would rather dry your paintings where you are working, drying boxes or radiant heat sources are recommended.
After you have chosen a drying method, two considerations affect the complete curing of your painting: time and temperature. Experiment before starting a painting. You will quickly find the drying method best suited to the style and size of the painting you want to complete. Always ensure you are using a heating method that will get the painting to a temperature of at least 250ºF/121ºC but not exceed 280ºF/138ºC. Depending on the thickness of your paint and the nature of your substrate, you will want to dry your paint for 15 minutes for the first thickness up to 1/4 inch, and dry another 15 minutes for each additional 1/4 inch. The required temperature can be achieved by any method that heats the paint to 250ºF/121ºC-280ºF/138ºC and maintains the heat long enough for the thickness of the paint to be penetrated.
Drying Characteristics of Genesis® Artist Colors
With practice, you will very quickly get to know the characteristics of Genesis® Artist Colors and heat setting will become second nature.
Genesis® Artist Colors utilize a non-drying synthetic oily liquid, imbedded with a heat sensitive curing agent. Genesis® Artist Colors stay wet until heated enough to activate the curing agent. After the drying temperature is reached, Genesis® Artist Colors dry immediately. For thin layers this means very fast times–as little as two minutes. For thicker impastos, longer times are needed for the heat to thoroughly penetrate the paint.
Genesis® Artist Colors require adequate drying time and temperature to deliver the flexibility and resiliency necessary for the longevity of your work. Remember to dry the paint long enough for the heat to fully penetrate the depth you have applied. While it is possible to damage Genesis® Artist Colors by overheating, it is easy to prevent by keeping the heat source at least one inch away from the paint. The drying process is not reversible. After Genesis is dry, it should not be dissolved.
To dry fully, Genesis® Artist Colors the temperature must reach 250°F/121°C to 280°F/138°C for several minutes. Bringing the paint to this temperature without overheating is important. The Genesis Drying Gun has adjustable temperature settings appropriate for working with the paint. Keep the gun an inch or more away from the canvas to prevent scorching the paint or canvas. Genesis® Artist Colors dry better at the recommended temperature range applied for a longer time rather than through extreme heat brought to bear quickly. If you see smoke or fumes coming off the canvas or notice small bubbles forming in the paint, you are overheating. If you do happen to overheat the paint, ventilate your work area and use less heat either by lowering the gun temperature or by holding the drying gun further away from yo ur work.
With a little practice, you will also learn to dry an isolated area so that you can try a change in color or add a detail. With the underlying area now dry, new work can be wiped off and tried again until you are satisfied.
If you paint in thick layers or impastos, experiment drying different amounts of Genesis® Artist Colors and breaking them open once they have fully cooled. If they break open easily and have a dry, cracked texture, the paint did not dry long enough for the heat to penetrate or dried at too low a temperature. This is easily resolved by expanding the heating time, and in some cases, by increasing the temperature applied.
After you have heated Genesis® Artist Colors, allow a few minutes for cooling before applying the next layer. After a few minutes of cooling, the paint becomes firm yet still quite flexible.
About the Genesis Drying Gun
The Genesis Drying Gun was designed to be lightweight and comfortable to use, while delivering an appropriate heat range for drying Genesis® Artist Colors. It is not a hair dryer!
If you choose to use other “heat guns,” be careful not to overheat the paint. Most high-powered heat guns will destroy any paint if brought too close. Hair dryers, on the other hand, have too little heat to bring Genesis® Artist Colors to full drying temperature.
Read the Genesis Drying Gun instructions completely before using. Following the instructions and experimenting on trial samples acquaints you with how Genesis® Artist Colors dry. This helps you avoid damaging your work later.
For larger paintings, use the convenient “full-canvas’’ (24″ x 24″) Genesis Drying Box or dry smaller sections of work with the Drying Gun as you go.
Many artists find success drying their works for several minutes in a kitchen oven set between 250°F/121°C and 280°F/138°C. Set the painting on a cookie sheet to avoid getting paint on the inside of the oven.
For larger surfaces, explore drying with a radiant heater.
If you are working on surfaces that fit into a kitchen oven (approximately 16″ x 18″), you should buy an oven thermometer to check the accuracy of your oven. Test the oven by turning it on and finding how long it takes to get to the desired temperature. Notice whether the thermometer temperature matches the setting on the oven dial and adjust as necessary. Because oven temperatures vary, do not leave your painting unattended.
Preheat the oven to 265°F/129°C. Place your painting on a cookie sheet slightly larger than your frame. You may choose to place some small spacers between the cookie sheet and the painting to allow heat to circulate. Leave the painting in the oven for at least 10 to 15 minutes, and allow longer time for thicker works.
Remove your painting from the oven and allow it to cool fully before handling or overpainting. Never use the broiler to dry, as it is very likely to burn the paint and/or substrate.
The cold-start method brings the temperature up slowly.
Place the painting on a cookie sheet for easier handling. You might want to place spacers under it to allow heat to flow more freely to the back. Put the cookie sheet with the painting on it on the oven rack at about mid-height in the oven. Close the door and set the temperature to approximately 265°F/129°C.
Allow time for the oven to reach 265°F/129°C and leave the painting in for an additional period of at least 10 to 15 minutes (longer for thicker applications). Do not exceed 280°F/138°C.
Paint and dry at least three small paintings before attempting a large canvas using radiant heat. This familiarizes you with the visuals of drying and helps you gain an understanding of drying speed.
Radiant heaters are readily available in hardware stores and in many general and department stores. They are also available through the Internet and mail-order catalogs. Some radiant heaters have fans to help move the air. Fans might blow dust on to your painting and must be cleaned frequently.
Generally, the heaters have at least two settings. The lower one is generally about half the heat of the higher one. Experiment with the heater you choose. We have found several that work very well when placed between one and two feet away from the painted surface. Because radiant heat can overheat a painting, it is very important to attend to the heating process.
• Time has no bearing on your application. When you have completely blocked in your painting or large section, you can chose to dry this layer.
• With the radiant heater, make large slow passes over the area to be dried in either a vertical or horizontal motion. You’ll see the paint dry as you go.
• After the painting dries completely, you can continue to paint.
• Finish painting by using the heat gun to spot dry.
• For added confidence in the finished work, some artists use radiant heat as a final dry.
Drying with a Toaster Oven
For small paintings, a toaster oven is very efficient to use.
Place the painting in the oven and set the oven at 225ºF/107ºC. Heat for five to 15 minutes, canvas board and gesso board will dry evenly over the whole surface. If you are drying a stretched canvas, make sure the edges are dry. Because of the wooden frame, the edges may take longer to heat.
Always place the paintings on the wire rack to help heat circulation.
Drying boxes are excellent because air circulates inside the box and produces an ambient heat. Current models of drying boxes hold paintings as large as 24″x 24″.
Place the painting on stilts or put four pieces of wood on the corners. This helps circulate the heat underneath the painting. Set the heat and fan on high. Heat for 15 to 20 minutes. When drying a large painting, make sure the substrate will withstand the heat. Use good quality canvas board with a strong backing. Some canvas board withstands the heat, but tends to buckle or twist when a large piece is heated. Gesso hard board, made of a hard masonite support and stretched canvas, works very well. Because of the hot air circulation, stretched canvas will dry evenly even where the canvas covers the wooden frame.
Adhesive thermometers can be used to measure the temperature of your painting when you are drying with any source of heat. By sticking these on to the back of your canvas, you can be sure the proper temperature is achieved. More dense surfaces might require experimentation to find the best position of temperature indicators.
One source of non-reversible temperature indicators is: Paper Thermometer Company, P.O. Box 129, Greenfield, NH 03047.
These non-reusable strips change color to indicate the temperature reached. They can be used several times by taking the temperature to 250ºF/121ºC during the first heating, to260ºF/127ºC during the second heating, and so on. Some artists also cut the strips in half to use them twice. A useful range is the TL-8-250 that measures temperatures between 250ºF/121ºC and 320ºF/160ºC, or Set No. 4 that measures between 240ºF/116ºC and 280ºF/138ºC.
Store Genesis® Artist Colors away from heat sources. Do not store in the trunk of a car or in places where temperatures could reach 100°F/38°C or greater for a sustained period of time.
Palettes and Work Surfaces
Genesis® Artist Colors won’t dry when left in the open on a non-porous surface. Use a glass or other non-porous surface such as china, polished marble or porcelain for your palette. The recommended mixing surface is 1/4-inch glass. Some of the ingredients in Genesis® Artist Colors have an affinity for wax and plastic and will migrate into these or other porous surfaces such as wood, leaving the pigment dry and difficult to work. If this happens, remedy by adding Genesis Thinning Medium or Genesis Glazing Medium.
After mixing a color you like, you don’t need to keep air away to prevent drying, although you should protect it from dust as you would any wet paint. Use clean glass jars for this. Do not cover Genesis® Artist Colors with plastic wraps because some of the ingredients may migrate from the paint to the plastic if they touch.
Using Other Mediums with Genesis
Mixing Genesis® Artist Colors with solvents commonly used for oil paints is not recommended. However, if you use solvents, remember to protect yourself and follow the directions including the use of protective clothing such as gloves. Genesis® Artist Colors are not water soluble for mixing and thinning.
This is important, so we repeat: Genesis® Artist Colors are not intended to be mixed with other paints such as oils or acrylics or with water. Other mediums have a very different chemistry than Genesis® Artist Colors and results can be unpredictable.
Preparing a Surface Other Than Canvas
Try Genesis® Artist Colors on various surfaces! For best results, prepare the surface with acrylic gesso and roughen the primed surface with 200- to 300-grit sandpaper.
Use any surface that you would use for oil paint. However, make certain to prime with an acrylic gesso. A rabbit-skin glue sizing is not satisfactory.
Do not use any unprimed or porous surface.
Safe Handling Practices
• Avoid contact with eyes.
• Wash hands after use.
For further information or a Material Safety Data Sheet, please write to Genesis® Artist Colors International, 4717 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222 or call 800-374-1600.