Monday, December 18, 2006

The Pigment used for Making Emerald Green Paint

This article looks at how Emerald Green paint used to be made and how dangerous it was to be to be a painter!


Emerald Green

This shade of green is particularly light and bright, with a faint bluish tint. The name is derived from the typical appearance of the Emerald gemstone.

However it is chemically unstable and very poisonous.

The colour of Emerald Green pigment can range from a pale, but vivid, blue green when very finely ground, to a deeper true green when coarsely ground.

A Bit of History

Chemical name: Copper(II)-acetoarsenite

This copper aceto-arsenite pigment was first produced commercially in Germany in 1814.

A quote from the time tells how green paint was made –

"Verdigris (or acetic acid) was dissolved in vinegar and warmed. A watery solution of white arsenic was added to it so that a dirty green solution was formed. To correct the colour, fresh vinegar was added to dissolve the solid particles. The solution was then boiled and bright blue-green sediment was obtained. It was then separated from the liquid, washed and dried on low heat and ground in thirty percent linseed oil. "

The Choice of Famous Artists

Emerald Green was Cezanne's favourite pigment, and it dominates many of his paintings. In his watercolours, the thin washes of this colour have turned brown but thicker applications have remained bright green. Cezanne developed severe diabetes, which is a symptom of chronic arsenic poisoning.

This pigment was also a favoured by other artists of this era, such as Van Gogh. Monet's blindness and Van Gogh's neurological disorders are likely directly related to their use of Emerald Green, as well as lead pigments, mercury-based Vermilion, and solvents such as turpentine.

I bet they wished they only needed to nip out to the store to get some more paint ;-)

Some Green Facts and Meanings

Ireland is sometimes called the Emerald Isle because it rains frequently and the vegetation is a very lush green. Green is the national colour of Ireland.

Libya is the only nation to have a flag that is solid green.

Green means ‘go’.

Jealousy is said to be the ‘green-eyed monster’.

You can also be ‘green with envy’.

If you are ‘green about the gills’ you are looking sickly and pale.

Green is the healing colour, and the colour of nature.

Green is the easiest colour on the eye. So it is a popular decorating colour.

It is a calming and refreshing colour. People waiting to appear on TV wait in the ‘Green Room’. Hospitals often use green (uniforms and walls) to help patients to relax.

In the middle ages brides wore green to symbolise fertility.

In ancient Greece green symbolised victory.

Dark green is said to represent masculinity, conservatism and wealth.


I hope you have a lovely holiday season and that Santa is good to you!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Card Making - How to Paint Your Own Backing Papers - Part 2

Part One described how to use pre-stretched paper and acrylic paints to paint backing paper for card making. This article looks at ways to make your backing papers even more individual.

Use Acrylic Mediums

There are acrylic mediums that can be added to the acrylic paint to extend the range of effects you can achieve. The acrylic mediums can make the paint dry to a glossy or matt finish. Other mediums can give beautiful metallic effects or add textures like sand or small glass beads.

(The metallic mediums are especially effective on dark colours.)

There are a wide range of acrylic mediums that you can use. Be sure to check out the range I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Apply the Paint without a Brush

You could also try applying the paint with crumpled paper towel or thin plastic for a random textured finish.

You can paint your backing paper to co-ordinate with your other card making materials which will save you both -

* time spent looking for just the ‘right’ paper
* money as you can use the paints that you already have.

Rip instead of Cut

Another idea is instead of cutting the backing paper you could rip the background paper for a different look.

You’ll find that ripping towards yourself will give a different effect compared to when you rip away from yourself.

The size and shape of the exposed edge will be different. On dark coloured surfaces exposing the white ‘centre of the paper’ will give a white border that can be very pleasing.

This all adds to the variety of effects you can achieve. This is a great way to make your cards individual and special, so that they stand out from the crowd.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Card Making – How to Paint Your Own Backing Papers - Part 1

Recently there has been a huge interest in card making. Card making is a hobby that can cover a wide range of different crafting techniques.

The use of acrylic paints in card making will add another cost effective and interesting option to the materials you can use in the final card. If you already have a range of acrylic paints you’ll be able to use these paints to enhance your card making materials.

A popular style of card making uses layers of different papers to give the final card more interest and/or extra height.

Paint Your Own for a Perfect Match

You can paint your own backing paper to suit the other materials you wish to use in your card.

The simplest way is to apply a wash of colour or colours to some pre-stretched paper. Let the paper dry, remove the paper from the pad and cut it to the size you want to use for your background paper.

One effective method is to dampen the paper with a spray bottle of water and drip on the colours you wish to use – letting the colours spread and blend together. This can be subtle or dramatic depending on your choice of colours.

Use Salt for a Textured Effect

A variation on this method is to sprinkle on some salt after applying the colours. Leave the paper to dry, and then brush off the salt. The final result will have a lovely speckled, textured effect.