The formulation of each color is modified individually to compensate for the inherent differences in the working characteristics of pigments. The result is an even consistency across the entire palette of colors.
Color Swatch created using heavy application/medium application/50% tint and was applied on acrylic primed canvas (7 oz) material.
Cadmium Yellow is brilliant, dense, and opaque, with good tinting strength and very high hiding power. It is the artist’s principal bright yellow and is available in light, medium, and dark shades. The deeper shades appear deep orange and have the greatest tinting strength. It is slow-drying in oil form and is used in both oil and watercolor form. It cannot be mixed with copper-based pigments. A clean Cadmium Orange is created when Cadmium Yellow is mixed with Cadmium Red. Hues vary by brand. Cadmium pigments have been partially replaced by azo pigments, which are similar in lightfastness to the cadmium colors, cheaper, and non-toxic.
Cadmium Yellow is usually available in a pure grade, or in a cadmium-barium mix. This mix has the same permanence with a lower tinting strength.
Cadmium Yellow is lightfast and permanent in most forms, but like most cadmium colors, it will fade in fresco or mural painting. The deeper shades are the most permanent. The pale varieties have been known to fade with exposure to sunlight.
Cadmium Yellow is a known human carcinogen. It can be hazardous if chronically inhaled or ingested.
Cadmiums get their names from the Latin word cadmia meaning zinc ore calamine, and the Greek word kadmeia, meaning Cadmean earth, first found near Thebes, the city founded by the Phoenician prince Cadmus. Metallic cadmium was discovered in 1817 by Friedrich Strohmeyer. Oil colors were first made from Cadmium Yellow pigments in 1819, replacing toxic Chrome (lead) Yellows. However, their production was delayed until 1840 due to the scarcity of cadmium metals. Landscape painters, such as Claude Monet, preferred Cadmium Yellow to the less expensive Chrome Yellow because of its higher chroma and greater purity of color.
Aurora Yellow, Cadmium Primrose Yellow, Cadmium Zinc Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Primrose Yellow. Deep Cadmium Yellow is sometimes called Orient Yellow.
Cr2O3 • 2 H2O or Cr2(OH3)
Viridian is the standard green and is stable, powerful, and cold with an emerald green undertone. It has a transparent hue, good tinting strength, a dark masstone that can be almost black at full strength, and a slow drying time in oil form. Viridian is commonly replaced by the darker, more saturated, and staining Phthalo Greens, but its properties make it a necessary part of the palette of an experienced landscape painter.
Viridian has excellent permanence, except in high-temperature work, and is highly valued as a glazing color.
Viridian is slightly toxic.
Viridian’s name comes from the Latin viridis, meaning green. The process for manufacturing Viridian, or Transparent Oxide of Chromium, was patented by Guignet in Paris in 1859. However, it had actually been discovered by Pannetier and Binet in 1838. Viridian replaced Verdigris, which was reactive and unstable, and Emerald Green, which was a poisonous copper aceto-arsenite used as a rat poison in the sewers of Paris.
Emerald Chromium Oxide, Emeraude Green, French Veronese Green, Guignet’s Green, Pannetier's Green, Permanent Green, Smaragd Green, Transparent Oxide of Chromium, Vert Emeraude. Casali's Green and Mittler's Green are varieties of Viridian. Viridian has historically been sold under the name Emerald Green, but they are currently considered to be and are marketed as two different pigments.
Titanium White is the most brilliant of the white pigments. It is considered an all purpose oil color useful in all techniques and the best all around white. Its masstone is neither warm nor cool, placing it somewhere between Lead White and Zinc White. It is less prone to cracking and yellowing than Lead White, but it still yellows easily. Titanium White dries slowly in oil form, more slowly than Lead White but more quickly than Zinc White. It is opaque in oil and acrylic forms and semi-opaque in watercolor form. This pigment has good chemical stability, and its tinting strength is superior to both Lead White and Zinc White.
Titanium White has excellent permanence and lightfastness.
Titanium dioxide is highly stable and is regarded as completely non-toxic. Animal studies give no indiciation that it is absorbed biologically, even after long periods of exposure. The primary safety concern is with inhalation of fine pigment dust particles. Titanium White, if inhaled in large amounts over the course of several years, may cause a benign pneumoconiosis that is visible on x-rays. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) considers fine titanium dioxide particles, if inhaled, to be a human carcinogen. The primary concern for artists is to avoid exposure to fine particulate dust from raw pigments.
Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, however mineral deposits that are economical to mine are less common. Titanium dioxide was first discovered in 1821, although it could not be mass produced until 1919. Widespread use of the pigment began in the 1940s. Since that time, it has become the most commonly used white pigment. The name comes from the Latin word Titan, the name for the elder brother of Kronos and ancestor of the Titans, and from the Greek word tito, meaning day or sun.
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