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Old 12-18-2009, 05:10 PM
Rick2009 Rick2009 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
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lead tin yellow vs Gen Naples Yellow Light

Hello painters,

Just wondering if you use either or both of these and for what purposes. Both have been used for many years, and research that analyses paint chips from OM paintings show that they were used in underpainting as well as in mixes in later layers.

How do you use these colors ? Which do you prefer ? Do you use both interchangeably or keep to one ?

Or do you just prefer yellow ocher or other alternatives ?
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:12 PM
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gunzorro gunzorro is offline
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Re: lead tin yellow vs Gen Naples Yellow Light

I prefer Naples Yellow (light). I like Vasari best. I use it when I don't want a powerful yellow like cadmium, especially mixing into earth colors.

I like the Harding Naples Deep too.

And I also like the substitute Naples Yellow PBr24, especially Old Holland.

Finally, I like Doak's Lead Tin Yellow, but don't use it often -- it isn't as strong, lacks chroma, and isn't as opaque. But it is nice to have, just in case.
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:51 PM
Rick2009 Rick2009 is offline
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Posts: 74
Re: lead tin yellow vs Gen Naples Yellow Light

Thank you Jim for explaining your use of Naples Yellow Gen. and your preferences. (Also the info about OH's replication.)

At the Rijksmuseum ( wow, I think I spelled it properly ) Museum researchers at the Molart project ( molecular aspect of aging in art) worked with paint chips from Dutch master paintings. It was determined that generally, after an underpainting of lead white, carbon black and typically some red earth, lead white was then combined with lead tin yellow and depending on the object to be rendered...with one of various lakes or smalt or indigo. ( The true ultramarine was frequently reserved for the final layer and presumably was expensive and rare.) There were from 3 to 6 or 7 layers. It is amazing that they went about their craft with such design: somehow knowing that the final layer would give the appearance of, for instance, a lemon or flower.

It was noted that those artists whose palettes did not include the more expensive colors like Vermilion or Ultramarine ( Lapis Lazuli) used Lead Tin yellow extensively. Presumably it was easier to come by and less expensive.
btw...Lack of access to more expensive pigments did nothing to stop determined artists like Beukelaer:


When you consider works like this one, is it not amazing what can be done with a limited palette of earths ?

Naples yellow seems to be more the choice of painters today and the one from Vasari must be good if its being endorsed by David Leffel.

Last edited by Rick2009 : 12-19-2009 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:36 PM
pintor pintor is offline
Los Angeles
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Re: lead tin yellow vs Gen Naples Yellow Light

I have a tube of Michael Harding genuine naples yellow light. I still have 25% of the same tube that I bought in 2005, which tells you that I use it very little. When I use it, it´s a delight.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:41 AM
KennD KennD is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 222
Re: lead tin yellow vs Gen Naples Yellow Light

I use genuine Naples Yellow, espeically in my third layer of a ground. I came across a few tubes of Grumbacher lead-based Naples Yellow many years ago and bought them all. I still have 3 or 4 tubes left.

It is used mainly to add a bit of color to my ground when I need a warm tone, sometimes with a bit of Burnt Sienna, or Mars Black for a greenish tone. I also use it, with a drop or two of linseed oil, in an underpainting, depending on the color mood of the painting. Later, in the first layer or two of paint I will use Naples Yellow with maybe 3 or 4 drops of oil, keeping the Fat over Lean rule.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:22 PM
Rick2009 Rick2009 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 74
Re: lead tin yellow vs Gen Naples Yellow Light

pintor, thank you for weighing in

KennD, its very interesting how you use Gen NY, thank you.

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