The Vallejo company was registered in New Jersey, U.S.A., in the year 1965 by Amadeo and Eugenie Vallejo. The aim was to manufacture water-based acrylic colours for artists; at that time only about 3 companies worldwide were beginning to use acrylic resins in the manufacture of artists`paints.
Production begin in 1969, near Barcelona, Spain, mainly because the location was ideal for acrylic paint manufacture and trade: all necessary raw materials were easily available, and Barcelona port was at hand for export and import. .
The company first manufactured paints for animated films (cartoons). In those days, the figures and motions of cartoons were drawn and painted on acetate sheets (which were then filmed, superimposed). Acetate is a difficult surface; oil and solvent based paints could not be used, and the first few water-based acrylics available then on the market were not suitable.
The first Vallejo product, ‚ ‘Film Color‘, was exceptional in that it was fluid, opaque, and very thixotropic, it had excellent covering power, extended without sign of brushstrokes, and stayed on the non porous surface of the acetate, where ordinary paints would flake off. The product was packaged in plastic bottles.
In 1970-72 word got around that someone was making acrylics near Barcelona, and although the liquid formula of Film Color was not quite what people were looking for, the quality of the resin and the pigments used was superior to any available, and local artist’ suppliers asked Vallejo for acrylics with a higher viscosity, filled in metal tubes similar to oil paints. This was the beginning of ‚Acrylic Artist Color‘. Actually the first colours were manufactured in a garage and filled by using a hand operated compressed- air filling machine.
Now the company is managed by the second generation of the Vallejo family. There is a special factor of dedication in a family company, and the know how acquired in 45 years of manufacturing water-based paints has provided a solid technical background and invaluable procedural experience. We can say without hesitation that we produce one of the best and most complete lines of acrylic colours and are constantly on the lookout for new raw materials, new developments in the chemical industry and constantly updating formulations in order to comply with present and future regulations.
Amadeo Vallejo had worked previously in the manufacture of water based inks and the family had close contact with the big US chemical companies; the information and aid provided by these companies were invaluable in starting up the process of formulation.
While Acrylicos Vallejo continue to investigate and create new water-based products, in their factory and formulations they spend a lot of time and effort complying with REACH and ASTM regulations, as well EN71 requirements, yet AV still find that some product lines seem to be able to find a market without these certifications. We hope that artists will be more concerned with quality and environmental protection aspects of the products used, and have them aware of the various certifications and symbols which should be present on the labels.