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Thursday, March 23, 2006

All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites. --W. H. Auden

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Blogger Karl Zipser said...

Colors (pigments) of today are different from those used by artists in the past. Using azurite and natural ultramarine I am able to get interesting color effect that I find hard to achieve using tube colors.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

Thanks for your comment and the link to information on the historical colors you use. Do you make your own paint from these natural pigments?

10:55 AM  
Blogger Karl Zipser said...

I make my own paints from my own pigments. There are different types of paints to make of course -- water colors, egg tempera, oil paint, fresco. With each painting medium, the pigments have a different appearance. Making paints from different pigments helps one to understand different aspects of the pigments. In tube colors, there are additives that are there to make each color have similar handling properties. This is convenient, but it gives the false impression that all pigments are more or less the same (except for the color, of course).

I first started making paints from found objects -- a bit of brick, sea shells, charcoal from the fire-place. These are not necessarily the choice materials for every medium, but it is possible to do nice work with them. The main thing is that it gives a feeling of intimacy with the materials. I find that important.

(excuse me if I send this twice!)

5:48 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

I can understand how making your own paints might contribute to a great sense of accomplishment, no less than the intimacy with the materials you speak of. However, once tube colors became available, most of the great artists of the past stopped making their own paints. For me it's hard enough to find time to paint, let along to make the paints I work with. As to all paints having similar consistency, I find that true with student grades of paints, but with most of the better artists' colors, the consistency of the paint depends on the pigment in the mixture.

12:06 PM  

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