Colorful Fridays–The Yellows

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“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—The Rosy Red Siblings

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“Red is obviously such a stimulating color, it has so many connotations.” P.J. Harvey

Quinacridone Red and its Quin siblings, Rose and Magenta, cannot call up an intriguing history. No ancient minerals or archaic farming practices discovered these beautiful bluish reds. No Old Masters can be credited with having discovered this gloriously rich red family. All the credit goes to a wonderful unknown modern-day scientist who mixed some organic chemicals up in a lab and came out with these lovely, fully transparent, lightfast, nontoxic reds. Many a twentieth century botanical artist would like to pay homage to this brilliant chemist.

The “quins” are the colors of romance. Though rather strong, they are still the reds of orchids and carnations. The “quins” are the pinks of rose petals. They are the sunlight through a stained glass window. All of this romantic pinky, lavender, rosy color surely must come from the ground up petals of wildflowers gathered at midnight on a full moon. Wrong! They come from a boring test tube in a sterile lab located in the windowless basement of a huge chemical compound. (Actually, we don’t know where they are made today, but the windowless basement sounded pretty good).

Layering transparent glazes with the “quins,” according to Chris Cozen on his blog, “tend not to turn muddy or grey.” The Daniel Smith website states Naples Yellow can be added to Quinacridone Red to create nice peachy shades. Williamsburg Oils says Quinacridone Red can be used to make the “cleanest pinks, flesh tones and violets.” And who would want muddy pinks?? Okay, sometimes a muddy pink is needed in a painting for delicate shadows. In that case, go with the Cadmiums.

Daniel Smith demonstrates a wash with Quinacridone Red:

Colorful Fridays–Sunset Yellow

It has the quality of appearing to recede into the picture’s distant plain (sic) (un)like other yellows that sit in front of the plain(sic).”– Pigments Through The Ages

ImageAll of the Naples colors are favorites of mine but especially Naples Yellow.  I just love it.   It squishes so nicely.  Naples Yellow mixes well with just about all the colors of a sunset, even purple.  Naples Yellow is one of those colors I will drive miles to get if running low.  Could there be anything worse than being forced to paint without Naples Yellow?

Apparently, Naples Yellow has been around for quite some time.  It has been found in ceramic glazes of pottery found in ancient Babylon from 1500 B.C.  Most of the Old Master’s worked with Naples Yellow.  The websites of Winsor Newton, Gamblin and Golden all state it was originally made from lead antimoniate but all three makers use various synthetic chemicals to simulate the original color today.  Winsor Newton’s website says” Its name probably comes from its presence as a natural deposit that could be found in the volcanic earth of Mount Vesuvius, a volcano on the bay of Naples.”

Naples Yellow is so popular it has its own Facebook page!  Who knew??  I guess lots of artists would drive miles to get Naples Yellow.