This color contains the following pigments:
iron(III)-oxide, partly hydrated
Brown Ochre provides artists with earthtones from cream to brown and is a dull, dark variety of Yellow Ochre. Its transparency varies widely from opaque shades to more transparent ones, which are valued for their use as glazes. It has good hiding power, produces a quick drying paint, and can be safely mixed with other pigments. The highest quality Brown Ochre comes from Cyprus, where it is yellow in its raw form and is roasted to get the deeper brown-red varieties that result when water is removed. (See Yellow Ochre, PY42/43.)
Brown Ochre has excellent permanence.
Brown Ochre is non-toxic.
Ochre comes from the Greek word ochros, meaning pale yellow. It has been used since prehistoric times, and evidence of its use has been found in some of the earliest known cave paintings in Lascaux, France. It has also been called Goethite, after the German philosopher and mineralogist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).
iron oxides with manganese silicates or dioxide
Fe2O3,MnO2 or Fe2O3+MnO2+nH2O+Si+Al2O3
Burnt Umber is a more intense reddish brown pigment that results from heating the clay pigment Raw Umber. It has medium to excellent tinting strength and high opacity, and it is quick drying in oil form. Burnt Umber is somewhat more transparent than Raw Umber. It has excellent color properties and can create a variety of subtle, clear tints when mixed with white. It can tend towards chalkiness in dark mixes in oil form, but overall it mixes well with other colors. To create a black color in oil form, mix Burnt Umber with Phthalo Blue or Ultramarine. To achieve a similar color in watercolor form, mix it with Ultramarine or Payne's Gray.
Burnt Umber has good permanence.
Burnt Umber itself is considered non-toxic. If contaminated by manganese compounds, it may be highly toxic if inhaled and moderately toxic if ingested.
This pigment gets its name from the Latin word umbra, meaning shadow or shade. Its full name is listed as terra di ombra, meaning earth of shadow/shade, due to its original extraction from the area of Umbria, Italy. It has been used as a pigment since prehistoric times. Currently, the finest umber comes from Cyprus.