Demonstration – Extracting Pigment from Rocks and Roots

Demonstration – Extracting Pigment from Rocks and Roots

Just a quick post to let you know that I’ll be doing a (potentially messy!) practical demonstration for the Fine Art Trade Guild on extracting pigment from rocks, roots and berries at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry in July – booking details are here if you fancy coming along. I’ve only got an hour, so there will be a limit as to what I can show, but I have some interesting rocks to break up (the lower one is...

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Drawing with Charcoal

Drawing with Charcoal

As far as traditional art materials are concerned, charcoal must be one of the oldest. Easily made from willow or vine stems, it makes a hugely expressive (if messy!) drawing medium.               I have recently enrolled on an e-course – my first experience of this type of online learning – run by the hugely talented Gillian Lee Smith. As I make a living producing pretty precise work, trying to...

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Verdigris pigment – an update

I thought I would just update you all about the state of my verdigris pigment production. Well, the good news is that it’s going well so far. This photo was taken the first time I had the copper out of its pot. This was about a week after starting, and I was amazed at how fast the verdigris had formed. I put the copper back, waited for a fortnight, repeated the whole process, and this is how much pigment I have now collected –...

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Extracting pigment from stone

Extracting pigment from stone

Having learnt the techniques of extracting pigments from natural sources, I thought I would see if I could find stone locally that might give me a new colour.             What stone did I use?   Just along the road from us there was, in the early part of the twentieth century, an ironstone quarry.   The quarry was big enough to possess its own rail system and a locomotive called Munition, which arrived on...

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Verdigris

Verdigris

Cennino Cennini, in his wonderful text Il Libro dell’Arte, describes verdigris as being ‘manufactured by alchemy, from copper and vinegar’. So I thought I would try my own bit of kitchen windowsill alchemy.             I didn’t know quite what to expect from this little experiment, but to my astonishment the verdigris started to appear almost immediately. I’ll leave it there until...

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The Flemish Technique

The Flemish Technique

The old masters, working in the fifteenth century, used a painting technique – the so called ‘Flemish Technique’ – which combined the advantages of both tempera and oil paint. Egg tempera dries fast but has a matt finish, making it suitable for underpaintings. Glazes of oil paint add smooth transitions of bright, glossy colours. Without more ado, and in the honourable tradition of copying from the masters, here is my...

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