NOTE: Originally published on April 20, 2012, I updated this post with new swatch photos and also a video demo. Enjoy!
Disclosure: sample provided for review. Some links below are affiliate links
With all of glazes, shimmer sprays, paints and inks out there, don’t you ever just want to have everything match? Guess what- when you own Primary Elements Artist Pigments by ColourArte, you can. (Please note- these used to be by Luminarte, but it seems that the company has been through some changes since my original review.)
With these handy powdered pigments, you can make….well…. just about anything!
Here’s how they are described:
Primary Elements Artist-Pigments are created by hand blending bright clean high quality pigments with our proprietary blend of mica’s (sic) and other minerals.
This is product is unique in the industry it is our color technology that makes this possible.
Luminarte Artist-Pigments TM, mixes with ease in gum binders, any acrylic medium, water-based polyurethane acrylic glaze or gel mediums.
At first blush, Primary Elements look like many other powdered pigments on the market. Some of the colors are iridescent (like Dragonfly Wing) while others are just a straight-up metallic pigment. I did notice that some of the colors- like Snapdragon- seemed to have a slightly coarser particle. Take a look:
The toughest thing about testing a product like this is knowing exactly where to start…. and when to finish. I could play with and test out a product like this for DAYS. So I decided to start with some simple swatching.
First up- I made a glaze mixing some of the Majestic Blue Primary Elements into a collage/ artist medium to make a glaze. I used a little scoop of pigment on the end of a Q-tip and just mixed it up. Since the Matte Medium is translucent, you get a vibrant, creamy glaze that pops on dark surfaces.
Glaze swatches on the top, stamping bottom row.
The bottom row shows how the same pigment looks when you stamp with a water-mark style pad and then dust the powders over the top using a fluffy brush. I LOVE how the color pops on the black!
Side note: this website says pigment does NOT have a built-in binder, so you MUST use them in conjunction with a product that will help them stick. Otherwise, they will rub off over time. To make a simple watercolor paint with them, simply add powdered Gum Arabic and water to the pigments.
UPDATED: while there isn’t a binder to adhere the shimmer, I find that the color itself seems to be dye based and it will stain the surface.
Check these samples of pigment dye powders applied to cardstock as paint, left to dry, and then washed off in a tub of water in the video:
I have to make a side note here and share that so far, my favorite way to use Primary Elements is by mixing them with Artist medium (Mod Podge would would well, too) and making a translucent glaze. Here are two colors I mixed up. Notice that the Coral Berry color looks PINK in the pot, but turns a coral-orange when you mix it with medium:
Here are a few more swatches of the paints, glazes and texture gel:
I could have played all day with my glaze, paint, texture gel, and stamp pads….but I had to press on!
I also tried some Primary Elements with Puffy Putty air-dry clay:
While I didn’t have the chance to get out my polymer clay, my hunch is that you can do the same thing to those clays as well- that is, mix IN the color to tint the clay or dust it on top to add surface color.
UPDATE: My ACTUAL favorite method is using the watercolor method- just sprinkling the pigments on a dry sheet of watercolor paper, then activating with water. I LOVE this!
You can use it on watercolor paper or heavy cardstock…but watercolor paper is best.
And it plays so beautifully with other watercolor mediums like Distress Stains, like I did here in my journal.
So…. are you seeing the value here that I’m seeing? You can have white or translucent clay, stamp pads, paint, or gel mediums and all you have to do is add a dusting of pigment and POOF- you have colored media! And you can choose how deep/intense your colors are by how much you add. And of course, color mixing is also an option.
Now, I wasn’t able to take a picture, but I have to tell you that at the end of this playdate/review, my hands were BLUE from the Primary Elements. I figured it would wash right off- after all, there isn’t a binder to make it stick. Except that it DID….and stained my hands something serious. I was unprepared for the sheer intensity of these pigments- a little goes a long way, my friends!
So, on that note, let’s talk cost. They are sold as follows:
- 10 gram jar singles for $4.25 USD
- 10 gram jars, 3-pack: $13.00 USD (but some sets are less expensive on Amazon.com)
- “Big Mama” Singles for $8.99 USD
All in all, you certainly get your money’s worth from this little pot of dazzling color! They are rich, intense, and add an incredible “pop” of color, especially on dark surfaces.
I pulled together this altered tag, using the Primary Elements mixed in paint, medium, used and used with a Versamark Pad:
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go back to playing! Would YOU like to play with Primary Elements Artist Pigments? How? Leave me a comment and give me some additional ideas!
Disclosure: sample provided for review.
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