Art Pigments Paints All paints have three types of components: Pigments Media Diluents Pigments
Pigments consist of small particles of colored compounds. Are derived from finely ground naturally occurring minerals: rocks and
ores. Media Media serves to suspend the pigments and bind them to the surface
of the object painted. Examples are: beeswax, linseed oil, walnut oil, plaster, gum arabic and egg yolk. Diluents
Diluents such as water, turpentine, or mineral spirits allow the painter to thin the paint to the best consistency for the work. Gemstone Paints
The only two blue pigments available to the medieval artist (between the eighth and the sixteenth centuries) were the very expensive azurite and ultramarine. Azurite was Used for
Jewelry Ultramarine Ultramarine, from "across the sea", is the pigment from ground lapis lazuli, a semiprecious stone.
Lapis Lazuli Beautiful jewelry is made from lapis lazuli. Malachite
Malachite is also used for jewelry and pigment. Gemstone Makeup Egyptian women put ground malachite mixed with water on their eyelids (as
well as soot around their eyes). Cinnabar Cinnabar is mercury sulfide and
dangerous to inhale. It was used for pigment and jewelry. Vermilion Cinnabar Pigment Cinnabar pigment applied to sculpture and to paper.
Verdigris Copper acetate ranging in color from green to blue. Made by treating copper sheets with the vapors of vinegar, wine, or urine and scraping the resultant corroded crust.
Earth Colors Terre Verte In medieval painting, it is the light, cold green of celadonite, found chiefly in small
deposits in rock in the area of Verona, Italy. The chief deposits of glauconite, which yield the yellowish and olive sorts, are in Czechoslovakia. Burnt Sienna
Iron Oxide in clay Reddish Brown Umbers Burnt umber is a combination of iron oxide, oxide of manganese and clay, made by burning raw umber to drive off
the liquid content. Lead White Lead oxide Very opaque white Lead White
Roman women used ground lead powder to make their faces look white. Roman women wore a face cream made from tin oxide. Chinese White
Zinc oxide is derived from smoke fumes. It has very fine particles. It was first introduced in 1840. Vine Black
Carbon Blue Pigments Recipes for blue pigments were mentioned extensively in
medieval artists' manuals Recipes for Blue Old Latin manuscripts contain recipes for making
blue pigments from both copper and silver. This search for ways to create colors more cheaply is early chemistry. Egyptian Blue
It is one of the oldest man-made colors. Commonly found on wall paintings in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Rome. Calcium copper silicate Iron or Prussian Blue
The iron blues are the first of the artificial pigments with a known history and an established date of first preparation. The color was made by the Berlin colormaker Diesbach in or
around 1704. The material is so complex in composition and method of manufacture that there is practically no possibility that it was synthesized independently in other times or places. Prussian Blue Potassium Iron Ferrocyanide
Tyrian Purple Tyrian Purple Alexander the Great destroyed the city of Tyre by filling its prosperous harbors with silt and killing or
enslaving its inhabitants. Most Dyes Came from Organic Sources Mostly plants like indigo for
blue or madder root for red. But also a few animals like cochineal beetles for carmine. Hampden-Sydney's "garnet and grey" colors date back to the Civil War when the students dyed their civil war uniforms with pokeberries and butternut hickory husks.
Carmine A dyestuff precipitated on clay. Made from the ground female Coccus cacti, or cochineal, insect which lives on various cactus plants in Mexico and in Central and South America.
Pysanky Natural Dyes Types of Paints Encaustic
The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans often used beeswax as the medium for pigments. The encaustic method was in very common use until the 8th century A.D. and is still used by a few painters today. In this technique finely ground pigment is mixed in melted wax
and applied to the surface. Waxes are polymers composed predominantly of hydrocarbons. Fresco
In fresco painting, the medium and the surface are the same. An aqueous suspension of the pigment is applied directly to a wet plaster of calcium hydroxide and fine sand. The pigment is absorbed and is bound into the surface as the plaster dries. Egg Tempera
Until the 15th century, egg yolk was used as the most common binder and medium for paints. Egg tempera is prepared by mixing egg yolks with a slurry of artist's pigment in water. Enough water is added to provide the proper consistency for painting. Oil
By the 15th century, oil paints, using vegetable oils as the medium, replaced egg tempera as the most common paint. The oil most commonly used is
linseed oil which is obtained from the seed of the flax plant. The oil does not dry but rather is cross-linked where there are carboncarbon double bonds in the oil. Watercolor
In water paints, the pigments are usually very finely ground mineralbased transition metal compounds. The vehicle is an aqueous solution of gum arabic, a resin prepared from the sap of the African acacia tree. This resin is a translucent water-soluble polymer. The resulting paintings usually retain a
translucent quality; they appear bright in part because the whiteness of the paper is reflected through layers of the paints. Acrylic
These paints use an aqueous suspension of both the pigment and monomers of compounds such as methyl acrylate and vinyl acetate. The paint does not become plastic until the monomers combine. In a process similar to the "drying" of oil paints, these monomers are linked together by a chain reaction to form a polymer molecule that is insoluble in
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