Colorful Fridays–The Yellows

swamp sen close up

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” Pablo Picasso

Colorful Fridays has reached a turning point where the majority of single colors have been covered.  Colorful Fridays will begin color mixes after recapping the colors we have covered.  Here are the yellows:

Healthy Love Inspiring Yellow

Misunderstood Mispronounced Exploding Yellow

Red-less Monkey Yellow

Disgustingly Beautiful Yellow

Sunset Yellow

  • Cadmium Yellow is covered under the reds
  • If I have missed a yellow you would like to see, let me know
  • Everyone probably has a favorite yellow.  Mine are Naples and Indian Yellow

Colorful Fridays–Everything’s Coming Up Orchids

mauve orchid1

“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great love, joy and health.” Leatrice Eiseman executive director, Pantone Color Institute

Frantically searching through paint boxes, “Radiant Orchid” is nowhere to be found. No “Radiant Orchid” in the watercolor box or the oil box. Can’t find it in the pastels either. Horror of horrors! What if the 2014 Color of the Year can’t be added to new paintings? Pantone has declared “Radiant Orchid” the 2014 Color of the Year. Nothing easy this year compared to last year’s Emerald. Anybody can find some Emerald and squeeze it right out of the tube. Not “Radiant Orchid!” No tube comes with that label. How can an artist paint something to go with all the “Radiant Orchid” furniture, walls, and other interior design features of 2014? The only option is to mix it.

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 7.45.22 PMLeatrice Eiseman of Pantone describes “Radiant Orchid” as fuchsia, purple and pink undertones. That could be any number of color combinations available in the average artist’s paint supplies. The quinacradones, magentas, and cobalts possibly added to ultramarine or alizarin crimson. And don’t forget the mauves. The only way to find “Radiant Orchid” is to start mixing. The problem is in knowing when the exact match for “Radiant Orchid” has been achieved. Which orchids are the radiant ones?

But, have no fear! Pantone also states, “An invitation to innovation, “Radiant Orchid” encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.” While mixing the various reds and blues to come up with a personal version of “Radiant Orchid” that “expanded creativity” will be available to draw on. What more could an artist ask? So get those paint tubes out and start mixing. Or risk being undervalued in today’s society!

No telling what will happen with all that expanded creativity. A completely original version of “Radiant Orchid” may be revealed. The new mix can become, as Pantone says, “a dazzling attention-getter” possibly hurling the artist into the glare of a radiant spotlight. Soon everything will be coming up orchids. Isn’t that “everything’s coming up roses?” Not this year, it isn’t. This year, it’s coming up orchids, at least the radiant ones.

For more on the Color of the Year 2014 click on the link to Pantone:

http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/pantone.aspx?pg=21128&ca=10

Colorful Fridays–Red-less Monkey Yellow

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“Happiness is Gamboge, ennui is grey…” Jonathan Meades (The Times of London by Wordsmith.org)

The most beautiful warm glowing yellows in paintings are often the result of the liberal use of the orangey yellow Gamboge.  So warm and glowing is this color that it is said to be used to dye the robes of certain Buddhist monks giving the robes a rich saffron color. Gamboge is the color of the ripe wheat fields in Flemish artist, Pieter Bruegel, The Elder”s 16th Century painting of peasants at the harvest.  Gamboge is the sun on a bright afternoon in late September.

Gamboge was originally derived from the resin of the Garcinia tree growing in Cambodia, Thailand and other Asian countries of the region.  The resin is collected in bamboo shoots until dried when the bamboo is then cut away. The resin of the Garcinia tree is considered a controlled poison in some countries due to the cathartic (according to Britannica,”drastic catharic”) properties of the fruit. However it is frequently found in small amounts in some herbal products used for weight loss and other physical issues.  It is relatively harmless in small amounts.Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 9.34.50 AM

Modern Gamboge paint is no longer made with the resin of the Garcinia tree.  Original Gamboge has a very poor lightfastness.  Daniel Smith’s New Gamboge claims an excellent light fastness, “more staining than Yellow Ochre and equal in tinting ability to Raw Sienna.”  New Gamboge lacks the fugitive properties of the original. Beautiful, glowing warm yellows can be “poured” over any paintings with no worries of fading.

RadioLab.org has a podcast titled “The Perfect Yellow” that tells the story of the origins of Gamboge along with some other interesting tales of the use of this versatile yellow. RadioLabs website discusses the use of Gamboge and other colors in experiments for teaching monkeys to recognize red.  One wonders why on earth we would want to teach monkeys to see red?  It’s bad enough when people see red.  Just image being overrun by rampaging monkeys seeing red!  And what if the monkeys start eating the Gamboge resin?  What a mess we will be in then!  Perhaps it is better to keep the Gamboge for paintings and leave the monkeys to their red-less vision.

Gamboge is the yellow of warmth and happiness in many paintings.  Its addition will add a beautiful golden glowing tint to many colors.  Today’s Gamboge is free from the potentially harmful side effects of the past.  Though today’s mixes lack the poisonous resin of the Garcinia tree, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it and please keep it away from all monkeys.  Otherwise you will be able to experience the “happiness of Gamboge” in any painting.

Some quotes from others about Gamboge:

Mcspiky says, “I would describe this colour as a form of mustard with little bit more zest and vibrancy to it (trying not to be pretentious here).”

http://mcspiky.blogspot.com/2012/08/gamboge.html

 Ferrebeekeeper says, “Here is a gorgeous warm color for Thanksgiving week.”

http://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/gamboge/

You can order your own Gamboge pigment for mixing at:

Kremer Pigmente

Cornelissen.com

 For more on Pieter Bruegel, The Elder: