Shiva Casein

I have painted with casein alone or by combining it with other media for the last thirty years. I love the creamy, sensuous flow of this paint and its velvety visual quality when used translucent and opaque. It has always been one of my favorites of the water media. Casein is a quick-drying, aqueous medium which uses a milk-based binding agent, one of the most durable mediums known to man. Nine-thousand-year-old casein cave paintings have been discovered in Asia , and later, it was used by Byzantine, Roman and Renaissance artists including the Old Masters.

In 1933 casein pigments in tubes were developed by Ramon Shiva, who relied on the expertise of the artists who used them to help perfect his high-quality paints. Today, Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. manufactures Shiva’s casein colors and is dedicated to bringing back the original quality and formulation of the pigments. Known for their versatility and array of capabilities, casein paints can be used to create a variety of effects from the rich opaques of oil to thin watercolor washes. Casein paints may be applied to almost any rigid, non-oily surface such as canvas panel, illustration board, Clayboard®, plaster, metal, wood, masonite, canvas, heavy watercolor paper, or linen mounted on masonite. And they can be reworked or layered repeatedly and be used for under-painting.

Because casein has an exceptional integrity of color and always dries to a perfect matte finish, it is unsurpassed for art reproduction. The velvety matte finish can also be buffed to a satin sheen or varnished to produce a resemblance to oils. Over time, casein pigments become resistant to moisture and as history has proven, the medium has a durability and permanence that has easily stood the test of time.

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