The Bigger Picture is a new section in our newsletter that will provide 3rd party information that would benefit members – Artists helping artists! This section will include: personal news and announcements from members, event announcements within the community, and advertising and art information from art suppliers. Disclaimer: SWCA does not endorse the products and services listed, and does not vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in this section.
Former member Mohamed Hirji has taken a sad turn for the worse in his health and he is no longer able to enjoy doing his artwork as before. He has put together a list of art books and art supplies that he wishes to sell. Click here for a pdf list. If interested - please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org We hope and pray that Mohamed's health improves soon.
A Lesson from the Gilded Rabbit: COLOUR
Have you ever wondered why you can't get that specific shade of green you're looking for when you mix together yellow and blue? There is a whole range of yellows and blues to choose from and sometimes it can feel a bit daunting to pick the right ones you need for your painting.
There are two main types of colour: inorganic and organic. You may see organic colours referred to as “modern” or “synthetic”, and inorganic colours as “classic”, “mineral”, or “earth”. Knowing the specific attributes of these two types of colour will help you know which ones to use in your palette.
These are colours that are created from pigments from the earth as well as metals. Colours created from earth pigments are the oldest and made up the bulk of artists’ palettes from the Stone Age to the Classical period.
These colours include: Umbers, Siennas, Ochres, Naples Yellow, Cinnabar/Vermilion, Ultramarine (lapis), and Terre Verte. They are lower in hue and intensity.
The Industrial Revolution ushered in the invention of the blast furnace and opened up the artists’ palette with more colour options. A new range of pigments were created by fusing inorganic materials such as Cobalt, Cadmium, and Chromium together at extremely high temperatures. These colours are more vibrant and opaque than earth colours, and were a major influence of the Impressionist Era.
These colours include: Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Green, Cobalt Violet, Chromium Oxide Green, Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Violet, and Viridian. These colours are higher in hue and intensity, but tend to grey down when mixed.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the field of organic chemistry was born and with it brought even more advancements and opportunities for colour. Organic pigments are carbon based and created in high-tech labs.
These colours include: Anthraquinone Blue, Phthalocyanine Blue and Green, Benzimidazalone Yellow, Quinacridone Magenta, Red, Violet, and Gold, Indanthrone Blue, and Dioxazine Purple. These colours are high in mass tone, transparency, and offer the most vibrant options. When mixed with other colours they will retain their vibrancy unlike inorganic colours. A good trick for identifying organic colours - if it's a really difficult word to pronounce, it's probably an organic colour!
A really great way to experience the difference between organic and inorganic colours is to mix cadmium red and naphthol red with titanium white. Both reds look almost identical in appearance straight out of the tube, but once you mix them both with equal parts of titanium white their individual characteristics become very apparent. The cadmium red will look more dull, while the naphthol red remains vibrant. Knowing which colours in your paint box are organic or inorganic will help you achieve the tone you're looking for. Using Cadmiums, Cobalts, and Oxides will result in more natural colours that can be helpful with painting natural landscapes or doing portraits. If you're looking for colours with high vibrancy, like those brilliant pinks and reds found in flowers, grabbing the Quinacridones will help with achieving those punchy colours.
Below is a terrific example from the Gamblin website: