Monday, February 26, 2007

Cadmium Yellow - Pigment Information and Meanings of the Colour Yellow

The pigment in Cadmium Yellow is based upon cadmium sulphide which produces a golden yellow pigment.

The pigment was first discovered in 1818 and is still in use today.

How it was made

Cadmium sulphide was prepared with an acid solution of cadmium salt which was heated with hydrogen sulphide gas until a powder was formed. The hues range from a lemon yellow to a deep orange.

Permanence of this pigment is excellent. The deeper varieties of cadmium yellow and orange are the most permanent.

Not for murals!

However Cadmium Yellow does discolour with combined exposure to the light, water and carbon dioxide by forming cadmium carbonate. For that reason it can not be used in mural painting techniques.

Pigment exposed to the same amount of light used on canvas or panel will not change. Therefore cadmium pigments are classified as absolutely permanent with the exception that they are not suitable for the exterior applications and for mural painting techniques.

The pigment is used in both oil and watercolours.

Some Meanings of Yellow

Although considered an optimistic colour people lose their tempers more in yellow rooms and babies cry more often, not the best colour for a nursery then. ;-)

Yellow has good visibility and is used as a colour of warning. It is also used as a symbol of quarantine or for an area marked off because of some danger.

Spanish executioner once wore yellow – they sound quite dangerous!

In Egypt and Burma yellow is a sign of mourning.

Yellow enhances concentration and speeds up your metabolism.

Yellow is the colour of peace for holistic healers.

In ancient Rome yellow was the most popular wedding colour.

A yellow ribbon is a sign of support for soldiers.

In India it is a symbol for a farmer or merchant.

In the Middle Ages actors portraying the dead in a play wore yellow.

In 10th century France the doors of traitors and criminals were painted yellow.

If someone is considered a coward it is said that they have a yellow streak.

As with the other colours we have looked at there is a range of meanings and symbolism.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Top Tips for Acrylic Paints – Number 5

The fast drying of acrylic paints can mean that a lot of paint is wasted when it dries on your palette.

The way to avoid this is to use a Reservoir Palette. You can either buy or make up a reservoir palette. (Making your own palette is described in the Acrylic Painting Course.)

A reservoir palette has a damp reservoir topped with a paper palette for mixing the paints on. The reservoir keeps the paints damp and stops them from drying out during your painting session.

At the end of your painting session you cover the reservoir palette and the paints will stay wet. That means when you want to continue your painting you can still use the paints from the previous painting session that have been kept damp on the palette.

I find that the paints will keep well for a couple of weeks however I keep my palette in a cupboard in between uses. Don’t leave it out in the sunshine!

A reservoir palette is a good economy measure. Also any colours that you’ve mixed will still be useable when you go back to continue the painting.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Top Tips for Acrylic Painting – Number 4

The Type of Brushes to Buy

Previous painting tips have mentioned that acrylic paints dry very quickly. If the paint dries on your brush it will ruin the brush and you’ll need to throw the brush away.

The way to avoid this problem is to keep your brushes wet during the painting session. This can be done by storing the brushes in a shallow container. An old ice cube container is ideal as it allows the brushes to be stored on their sides, which stops the brush tips from getting damaged or bent.

Fill the container with enough water to cover the brush tips. Rinse your brush and then store it in this container until you need to use it again.

Choose Nylon Brushes

Buy good quality nylon brushes. Good quality brushes give a better result and are less likely to shred.

Nylon brushes can be stored (on their sides) in water, but other types of brushes would be damaged by this treatment. In particular, sable brushes would not put up with this kind of treatment.

At the end of a painting session you can spend a bit of time and thoroughly clean the brushes before storing them. However I usually just leave them in the container of water until the next painting session, and that works too.