Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Prussian Blue and his Amazing Friends


This photo is a palette of colors that would satisfy most painters from strict black and white tonalist to wild colorist. The best part of this palette is that it's only three pigments! I know there are plenty of three color palette out there with mostly three comparatively weak colors and they cause a supposed color harmony. I believe that a color harmony should be found and related from what's viewed in nature not be bound by what pigments are used. Just sayin.

To me this is the limited palette that is usable and you can breath with, Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Red/Rose and Prussian Blue. Incase your wondering these in the photo are all RGH oils. I don't use them as much as I used to cause there prices went up.

Incase your wondering why I'm posting this info. In my classes which I'm hoping to get going again (now that summer has ended and locals have a little time to themselves ) these are the colors I recommend if people are buying for the first time or just want to stop carrying twelve too thirty tubes. Now I don't use just these three colors alone but I do usually use them as the base for my palette which I add a couple pthalos, ,an orange for convenience and yellow ochre and burnt sienna for the same reason. I think if you try these three you will see what I'm talking about and if you just add a color or two of your liking you would be all set in most all cases.

14 comments:

Maggie Ruley said...

I love prussian, blue makes a good turqouise, which we need in florida.

Mick Carney said...

Nice one Dan. This is a great array of colours. While I'm here I'd better give it a go. An absolute pleasure to meet up at last. Looking forward to the next few days, hope the weather perks up a bit.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Cool palette. Wouldn't have thought of it.

Dan Corey said...

Thanks for checking in Maggie. I also use pthalo on the my palette but the usability of Prussian makes it a better choice for me.

Hey Mick! Yeah I had a great time! You will have a blast mixing them, they really work well together. I first tried this combo years ago in on of Colins Workshops he recommended indigo at the time and that was really close to prussian. I had Prussian, so I stuck with it.

Hi MCJ, I think Prussian got a bad rap when the Gruppe books said it blackened or darkened paintings (hope that was the book that was saying it??) if I'm wrong someone please chime in and correct me. Either way that is just not the case and I think it had to do with Gruppes use of Zinc White and the fact that oil paint thins and becomes more translucent over time.

David Lussier said...

Dan, It's pretty well documented that Thalo Blue replaced Prussian Blue because of permanence issues. I believe that Prussian is said to be very stable at a high concentration of pigment with little white added but the more white you do add, the less stable it becomes. I think when Gruppe gave it a bad rap, it was based on this and his experience in seeing what happened to the color in paintings of other painters who had used Prussian Blue. The pigment turns black over time. His own use of Zinc white doesn't really come into play here since he didn't use Prussian Blue to begin with. That's my take on it anyway.

Dan Corey said...

Hey David, Thanks for chiming in! I was really just speculating that Gruppe tried it or maybe a teacher of his had. I don't want to be one of those crazy alizarin crimson fans that swears its permanent but as far as I have found online Prussian blue is permanent.

Here is a statement by a reputable color supplier. "Prussian blue verditer is stable in weak acids, but is decomposed by weak alkalis, so it is suitable for oil, encaustic (non-emulsified type), egg tempera and watercolor, but not fresco and casein."

I am sure that the best info may not be online but im wondering what started these stories of it blackening..?. I'm sure something caused it but I can't find anything. (yet) :))

Chris Gillis said...

Thanks Dan - I'm going to try this one out + my cad orange which I can't seem to shake (makes the best greys). Just picked up the two tubes I was missing.

Dan Corey said...

Hey Chris, yeah cad orange is probably my favorite convenience color besides yellow ochre. Ochre is like a hot gray in my book. Let me know what you think of the palette after you drive it around the block a few times. Your work has been getting stronger and stronger everytime I see it!

Chris Gillis said...

Thanks Dan - will do!

Anonymous said...

I once would use the three color palette, same as yours with the exception that I used Alizarin Crimson and I think it let me down. Quinacridone Red/Rose: I looked this up on their online catalogue. I would like to have a go at this combination and would just like to know if you mean the item in their catalogue called just Quinacridone Red?

Dan Corey said...

Hi anonymous, I'm guessing by catalog you mean RGH's catalog?? Either way quinacridone red is not as cool as Alizirin Crimson looks like cadmium red deep in its mass tone. If you want the best quinacridone red I have found, try Williamsburg. One tube will last a while so its worth the price. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan, I will try Williamsburg Quinacridone Red.

Anonymous said...

brilliant!!! thank you for posting - this is so inspiring. i loved prussian but didnt realize how much :)

Dan Corey said...

Hi anonymous, I'm so glad you found inspiration! Your welcome.