View Full Version : Black

08-26-2002, 11:19 AM
Major Discovery for me this am. Every artist that I adore and hope to oneday paint as well as, uses black in their palette. I found out by looking at their workshop palette lists.

Mostly ivory black. Perhaps this is why Auster, Sovek and Kobayashi's work ( Hi Milt-;) ) is so dramatic and why it appeals so much to me.

Any thoughts on this?

Renee, adding ivory black to her palette.

08-26-2002, 05:02 PM
In oils Bone Black (the pigment used in Ivory Black these days) might not be the best choice for a black, depending on how you want to use it. It has a high oil content and tends to dry slowly as a result. Mars Black, although not as dark, might work better for general painting as it dries much faster.

If you paint in layers it would be worth having both a carbon black and Mars Black, the former for fat layers and the latter for underpainting and imprimatura (needless to say in acrylics you can ignore this). Lamp Black is another option for a carbon black, it tends to be stronger than Bone Black with a cooler tint than Bone Black, which often has a slight brownish hue.

As has been discussed before black is one of those colours so often maligned today but well worth learning to use because of its unique characteristics in mixes.


Keith Russell
08-28-2002, 11:23 AM

In black and white photography (even in colour photography) it is acceptable to have 'solid' blacks, where no shadow detail is visible.

In painting, though, one's darks are never supposed to get that dark; paints are capable of a greater range of value than most photographic papers, let alone that of the commercial printing inks used to reproduce photographs in magazines or other print media.

Does anyone know if the use of black (especially areas of 'solid' black with no visible shadow detail) in painting increased when painters became more aware of photography?


09-02-2002, 11:20 PM
keith,,,,,,,the use of black, solid or as a "toner" goes back centuries, if for no other reason than the limited number of colors available.

cobalt fingers
09-03-2002, 08:06 AM
The oil painting area has a thread in the hall of fame that talks about this at length