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View Full Version : cinnabar and terre verte rule


cobalt fingers
06-19-2002, 06:47 PM
For natural colors; meaning those found in nature ie (the woods and fields) i think these two colors will prove very helpful to many artists. I've seen art students have great problems wrestling with funky colors that look artifcial from the get go like permanent green. Viridian tends to be cool and transparant and has it's own traits to overcome.

I think trying these two (above) and leaving the others home will make for a happy day out of doors-or at least help.

nothing like happiness:clap:

Einion
06-22-2002, 04:50 AM
I think it's worth mentioning some properties of these two colours. Vermilion's hue varies from a bright orange-red to deeper, almost crimson shades, the scarlet end of the spectrum being more common today. It is very opaque and in masstone it can be similar to some lighter cadmium reds but Vermilion has a much cleaner undercolour, making for brighter tints with white which some prefer. On the negative side its lightfastness varies - it can turn black over time occasionally - and some sources indicate that it should not be used with lead colours because of possible interaction between them (even when used in proximity and not mixed). If one is worried about toxicity Vermilion is extremely poisonous, far more so than lead colours.

Terre Verte's hue varies quite a bit but a dull cool green is fairly typical. The genuine article is not easily found any longer but if it is indeed the real thing it will have poor covering power and be a very weak tinter to boot. Today it is usually a convenience mix, a synthetic iron oxide tinted with green is fairly typical, and will often share these two properties to some extent although to truly match filler would have to have been used. Something like it is easy to replicate with the average palette.

Einion

Scott Methvin
06-24-2002, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by Einion
Terre Verte's hue varies quite a bit but a dull cool green is fairly typical. The genuine article is not easily found any longer but if it is indeed the real thing it will have poor covering power and be a very weak tinter to boot. Today it is usually a convenience mix, a synthetic iron oxide tinted with green is fairly typical, and will often share these two properties to some extent although to truly match filler would have to have been used. Something like it is easy to replicate with the average palette.

Einion

Old Holland makes a pretty decent terre verde. I add a bit of pthalo blue and lead white and re-tube the version I use. This gives it a little more staining power and coverage. It has a peculiar quality over-all. When scrubbing it into canvas, it will make dirt "crumbs" that fall off the canvas. When dry, it has a gritty surface like fine sandpaper. Once you get used to these strange handling characteristics, you learn to appreciate that this pigment/color is an essential ingredient in making flesh. Both as an underpainting color (with true vermillion) and a final touch color that blends the highlights.

I wouldn't waste time using the propretary blends. The actual dirt pigment comes in many forms(kremer carries about 6 kinds) and it seems the bluer the better. Something about the mechanical property of being actual dirt, makes it work. Used to model forms, it seems to help create the illusion of mass. Something to do with how it reflects light, I guess.

I used to use a blend of yellow and pthalo and the real thing is far superior. Vemillion is also far superior to quinacridone in flesh.

Einion
06-24-2002, 10:30 PM
Obviously colour choice is dependent to a great extent on how you paint and using it for transparent underpainting in skintones works well, as many early tempera and oil panels show. Old Holland's colour should be correct since they list the genuine pigment as the sole colour (unlike their cyan which is mixed from five!) I prefer to use opaque paint almost always so obviously this would see little use on my palette but if I needed a colour of this kind I wouldn't try a yellow, except maybe Nickel Azo Yellow which might work, apart from its price. For a simple palette match I might use Raw Sienna (dirt cheap... hehe, couldn't resist) and Phthalo Green BS perhaps with a touch of Quinacridone Violet to shift the hue towards blue and reduce chroma. Raw Sienna with Phthalo Blue GS might be close to some examples, maybe with a touch of a transparent red to dull it down some. Either would still be plenty transparent but a great deal stronger and not gritty, which I personally hate. Mixed with Flake they would provide a better value range and I think would dry faster too, both for the siccative value of the iron and the lead and on balance its oil content might be lower too, important for underpainting colours.

I know you're a fan of Vermilion but you can paint fleshtones perfectly well without it of course, and I personally would feel a bit antsy using it with its patchy record; not important for my work, just wired that way. I would certainly agree that there aren't any quins that could take its place as they are far too transparent but since the palettes of many modern portraitists, Sanden for example, use Cadmium Red as the basis and their results look great to me I'll stick with it for the most part. I am having fun experimenting using an all-earth palette with tiny touches of Quinicridone Rose though, which is nearly traditional :)

Einion

Scott Methvin
06-25-2002, 02:52 AM
Originally posted by Einion
...and not gritty, which I personally hate.

Einion

I wouldn't use the gritty terre verde for anything but a dry underpainting for flesh. I HATE the way it grits and crumbs up, even mixed with lead white. I can't think of any other reason to use it.

I used to use quinacridone (and still do) for hot spots in flesh. I just found the vermillion was subtle enough and the perfect blending color. The opacity can be a hindrance when glazing. You have to really have a light touch to glaze with it well. Even going over it with the terre verde again in many cases.

The cads dry way too slow for me. I have used them exactly once, on a lady's scarf. Cad red light. I used up the rest of the tube on a US flag (5x7') I painted sept 12.

cobalt fingers
07-08-2002, 12:18 PM
just to be clear, I was thinking of the dull olive green color some companies call cinnabar. I've had no trouble with the brands of terre verte I've used.