Thursday, May 31, 2012
A Victorian bladder of paint before tubes were invented. Some artists preferred glass jars. The bladders would have been made from pig membrane and tied at the top with strong twine to exclude air. Artists had a wide choice of pigments that came from minerals, precious stones, rocks, vegetables, insects and plants. Some of the new colours he used came about by the advances of modern chemistry. He used: lead white, zinc white, ultramarine ash, vermilion, chromium oxide, zinc yellow, chrome yellow, cobalt blue, Prussian blue, burnt sienna, Naples yellow, madder lake, ivory black and bone black. Greens were mixed greens of chrome yellow and Prussian Blue, possibly from a tube of green paint.
Artists would have mixed their oil paint (a mixture of pigment and oil) with another liquid to make the pigment more fluid and transparent. This liquid is called the medium and a common one used was copal medium, a resin (a sticky substance produced by trees) dissolved in oil (see image) to make the paint more fluid.
Before the introduction of ready-made paint, artists had to mix paint themselves.