Why You Can Have Too Many Paint Colours

Many learners are quite surprised when I tell them that you can get by with just three paint colours.  These paints, the primary colours are red, blue and yellow and in theory you can mix any colour from them.  Is it true? Can you have too many paint colours?

The Importance of Colour Mixing 

When you are learning to paint it is important to learn how colours are created. You can only really gain a knowledge of colours by mixing them and for this you need to just work with the primaries.  I recommend that all beginners work with primary colours and mix all the colours themselves.

It is important to learn how to mix colours
It is important to learn how to mix colours

Continue reading “Why You Can Have Too Many Paint Colours”

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Ultramarine Blue or French Ultramarine Blue?

I got asked just this week by a learner what was the difference between Ultramarine Blue paint and French Ultramarine Blue?

The short answers is not a great deal.  In the early 19th century the cost of ultramarine made from lapis lazuli was much higher than any of the other pigments, so much so that some artists did not use much blue in their work if any. 

French Ultramarine Blue
French Ultramarine Blue

Two French chemists discovered some blue residue in a soda furnace one day and wondered if this could be developed into a blue paint to replace the costly ultramarine pigment.  After lots of development work an alternative was developed which was cheaper and soon came into production.  In order to differentiate it from the lapis lazuli it was called ‘French’ Ultramarine.

Continue reading “Ultramarine Blue or French Ultramarine Blue?”