Friday, September 08, 2006

The Pigment used in Blue Paint

I find it really interesting how the different paint colours are made.
Here are also some facts about how blue has been used throughout time.

Blue – The Calming Colour

Blue is the calming and soothing colour of intellect. It is regarded as the symbol of devotion to noble ideas. It is linked to spirituality, contemplation and trust.

The blue pigment in paints was originally made from crushed semi-precious stones and was very expensive. Poorer painters never included blue in their paintings. Blue was only included at the request of people who commissioned special artwork and who were willing to pay for it.

The Dutch merchants used this as a status symbol, owning a painting with expensive blues in it was truly a luxury item.

My favourite blue is Ultramarine Blue which is a warm brilliant deep blue. ‘Ultramarine’ comes from Medieval Latin for ‘beyond the sea’.

The pigment was originally obtained from the powdered semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. In 1824 an imitation of this pigment was made from powdered fired clay, sodium carbonate, sulphur and resin. This has nearly an identical chemical composition to the lapis lazuli.

Suddenly the most expensive artist colour became one of the least expensive and most widely available.

The Science Bit

The colour that an object appears is the result of the different light waves reflected by the object. An object absorbs some the light frequencies and reflects others. It is often said that our choice of colour will depend on our response to the various reflected light frequencies.

A Few Facts about Blue

Blue is the colour of the sky and the seas and it is often quoted as the most popular colour. Blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals.

It is a peaceful and tranquil colour for bedrooms. However it can also look cold and depressing – so it is important to get the balance right.

Blue can make a room appear larger.

Studies show that people are more productive in blue rooms.
Weightlifters were able to handle heavier weights in a blue gym.

Wearing blue to job interviews symbolizes loyalty – a good thing if you want the job! It is the colour of police uniforms. In ancient Rome public servants wore blue.

Blue was used a protection against witches who were said to dislike the colour. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore blue as a protection against evil.

Blue stands for love so brides carry something blue on their wedding day.

However blue is not an appetizing colour. Blue foods are rare in nature and food that is ‘off’ often appears to have a blue look to it. Faced with blue coloured food most people will lose their appetite! This might be handy to know when you're on a diet ;-)

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