Painting on Location
Oil Palette Colors

Raw Umber

4 of 5
Transparent to Opaque, 2013

Mussini Ultramarine Light, Translucent

Opposite colors

A fictional color in oil paints. WC only

Using the darkest calcined Yellow, which is calcined Raw Umber turned into Burnt Umber, it is mixed with it's opposite color French or Ultramarine Blue light or dark to get a dark Neutral Black.

Mussini isn't the only good brand of oil paint, Bellini, Blockx, Grumbacher, Natural Pigments, Old Holland, Rembrandt, Sennelier, Windsor Newton are among the best brands.

The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) has cataloged all the colors but they are using the wrong basic color wheel to do it, the red-yellow-blue just won't work (2014). Calling a primary color like Magenta a bluish red or blue-violet is wrong. Primary Cyan is not a green-blue, that's just old school thinking. In 1936 it was called "deep blue". Today it's called "cyan". Grouping all the earth colors into one color category limits the ASTM's work, you can't tell what the final color is. Oxides range from a white earth to yellow, orange, red, purple, brown and green-brown. In classifying colors it's not correct to call them all a Brown Pigment, PBr that comes from the earth. Classifying colors by their color is more logical.

Brown Raw Umber can be ordered through Natural Pigments as French, Italian or Cyprus, each color comes warm or cool and light to dark. The color depends on where it is mined and they are all different. Cyprus has the darkest and coolest raw umber and the best mastic. I like the Cyprus warm burnt umber.

The synthetic Mars colors range the same as earth and lead colors, starting with the yellow color which they made by combining ferrous sulphate and alum, as the yellow is heated, it will produce all other earth colors except green-brown. Lead works in the same spectrum and will calcinate to the same colors. Lead has recently (2009) been encapsulated in silicone so it will not react and change colors when mixed with other elements. Lead is more opaque than iron. Antimony lead is even more opaque.

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