Dioxine Purple Ultramarine Blue Cobalt Blue Thalo Cyan Blue Turquoise transparent Green Opaque Thalo Green
Burnt Umber Real Color Wheel in Pigments CenterW Permanent Green Light
Burnt Sienna Top Space
Venetian Red Yellow Green Opaque CENTER
Yellow Oxide bottom SPACE
Naples Yellow Light Green Gold Transparent Bottom
Magenta Rembrandt Rose Cadmium Red Medium Cadmium Orange Indian Yellow Gold transparent Cadmium Yellow Medium Cadmium Yellow Pale

Glue, Wax Paint, Cera Colla, Mastic, Casein Paint, Fresco, Egg, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint.


Real Color Wheel
Biography.  4 Videos of Location Painting.
Household Cylopedia, 1881, colors of paints & inks.
ARTISTS, dated history, pigments, color theory, techniques.
LOCATION, all media, human proportions, perspective, modern techniques.
COLOR, B.C. to A/D pigments, RCW, crystal chart, elements, minerals, ores, rainbows, prisms.
HISTORY, comparative advances in art, European and Asian Cultures, 8000 B.C. to 1912.
MEDIA, grounds, oil, acrylic, water color, wax, cera colla, casein, fresco.
Coloring Book, pattern outlines, aerial perspective palette.







--- ALUM 15
--- AMMONIA 15
--- BORAX 15

--- (5)

--- AMMONIA AND WAX, cera colla 26
--- CAS

--- STICK-LAC 31
--- LACQUER 32


1 MILLION B/C PLEISTOCENE PERIOD: "The Great Ice Age", is still continuing today. Pine trees developed and weapons and tools were polished. There were one hundred twenty five thousand people on earth at this time, according to the Geochronometric Lab at Yale University. 

100,000 B/C MESOLITHIC PERIOD: Cro-Magnon Man until 10,000 B/C. 

50,000 B/C Jinmium, Australia. Monoliths engraved with petrogliphs of dots, like found on Maui, and a kangaroo. 

40,000 B/C Egypt and France were mining flint. 

30,000 B/C Paleolithic Culture: Thirty six billion people lived in Europe and Africa in the course of the Old Stone Age. 

20,000 B/C OLD STONE AGE: The earliest artwork in Europe was located in the caves of Western Africa and Europe. 

16,000 B/C The first paint medium was animal fat, the first support was the rock and mud of secluded caves. Their painting tools included their fingers, scribing sticks, blending and painting brushes, and the first airbrush, a hollow reed to blow paint on the wall.

AURIGNACIAN ART: In a cave in Northern Spain the outline of an elephant was found, it had no included details. The most important caves were found in the Franco-Canterbrian and Spanish Levantine area. Small carving were always found deep in the floors of these caves. Paintings were done with mineral oxides, ocher's of red, brown and yellow, plus charred bone black. 

Altamira, Font-de-Gaume and Lascaux represent the greatest achievements of Paleolithic Art, done by Cro-Magnon Man. Tree sap was the next medium used, boiling the sap without pressure made distilled turpentine, boiling the pine nuts made oil. A native tree of Africa made an alcohol based paint and a native tree of France made a turpentine based paint. The alcohol based paint of Morocco was harder, used a nearby shrub as a thinner, and came first. 

10,000 B/C HOLOCENE PERIOD: Paleolithic man, Mesolithic man, are farmers and house builders. 

8000 B/C NEOLITHIC PERIOD: Man was raising stock, working metal, and made clay pottery.


8000 B/C SOUTH CENTRAL AFRICA: Includes the head of the Nile River. 

8000 B/C CHINA: Had domestic dogs, goats and pigs. 

7000 B/C AEGEAN and CRETE: The tides of the Mediterranean Sea circled the island of Crete. 


6000 B/C TURKEY: [Catal Huyuk Culture] 

6000 B/C ANATOLIA: Was an ancient Pre-Creek culture. 

5000 B/C EGYPT: The Upper Nile had pottery, bas-relief murals on plaster and water based paint. 

4000 B/C MINOAN: Was a culture just starting on Crete. 

4000 B/C INDUS RIVER: Tribes were gathering. 

4000 B/C TIGRIS EUPHRATES RIVERS: Mesopotamia, cultures were forming 

in the Fertile Crescent. 

3000 B/C RUSSIA: 

3000 B/C ETRURIA: Their highest art period, 500 B/C. 



1000 B/C MYCENAEN AGE: Knossos, Crete rules the world. 

600 B/C ETRURIA: Their highest art period, 500 B/C. 

500 B/C ROME:


4000 B/C: Boiled tree-sap, called pitch, was distilled into turpentine as a paint thinner for the resin paints, also, alcohol was fermented as a drink and as a thinner for the alcohol based paints, from another tree-sap. The third type of tree-sap made a water based paint, all three were known and used around the Mediterranean Sea area. 

Clay was distinguished from mud and pottery was fired, the firing divisions according to heat intensity are; 

DRY = leather hard. 

EARTHEN WARE = heated red hot. 

STONE WARE = heated over 18000, frit glaze was heated 15000 to 25000 in Egypt. 

PORCELAIN = heated 30000, China was first to do this. 

Egypt's first Kingdom was happening, their mastaba shaped tombs were positioned as a compass, like the later pyramids the entrance faced north. 

They had watercolors, lime paint, and made plaster by heating limestone or gypsum; adding alum made a hard cement. 

3000 B/C, The Third and Forth Dynasties had their Capitol in Memphis, they had developed to the "high-art" stage, and were pouring perfectly lifelike gold sculptures. 

2700 B/C, The Pyramids of Gizeh were limestone, cut with metal saws. The base to height ratio is eleven to seven, it took ten thousand men working twenty years to make. It was finished with a covering of polished limestone that the Romans removed for their own buildings. I can't find the proof, but I think the top quarter was sheathed in gold leaf. Copper, at that time was more valuable then gold, and they had all the gold. 

The "Pharaoh Khafra", in the Temple of the Sphinx was carved in diorite, it was life-size and carved with perfect realism in "high-art" style. 

2500 B/C "The Seated Scribe" [2l"high] was carved in limestone and painted, by a slightly lesser artist. There was trouble in the air and the Semitic Assyrians were rising in power. 

Resins continued to be developed based on turpentine and alcohol, sandarac (sandracca) resin, pine seed oil, castor oil and oil of spike were developed in Morocco, Africa. Lead is mined here also, to make the first protective seaworthy paint. Heating galena, the lead ore, leaves behind the sulfur-lead pigment white lead, which can be heated higher into yellow, orange, red and brown lead colors, they all dry fast, red lead the fastest. 

Mastic resins from pine trees in Spain and France made distilled turpentine and pitch resin paints. These were used as a brown transparent drawing medium. The pigments of the time were the native iron oxides deposited in clay, and the lead colors. Egypt and China had larger selections. It's hard to tell who had the first vermilion, France or China, probably China, since they were more into mining ores. 

Stick-lac was cultivated in India from the lacquer-secreting insects, depositing their lacquer on trees. Their nests were made of wax, which was also used for their textiles. Colored alcohol based tree saps and plants were also cultivated for use on cotton, hemp, linen, felt and wool products. 

Egg and casein mediums, from domestic farm animals were used in the Baltic Sea area, where linseed oil would later be first used as a painting medium. 

1800 B/C- Minoa was a Pre-Greek Aegean Sea culture, that followed Egyptian art, and they advanced architecture. Homer said there were ninety cities on Crete. The Temple of Cnossus was three or four stories high, had drainage piping and flush toilets. 

1500 B/C- The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt founded the city of Ammonium two hundred miles east of Memphis. Here was the world's only supply of ammonia, from the remains of a long extinct mollusk. A shrine was made there to their god Ammon. Ammonia made wax and oil water soluble, wax soap paints were developed, it dried insoluble to water, this paint was called Cera Cola. The Egyptians loved paint, it must have been a colorful empire. 

1400 B/C- Babylonia had trees and not many rocks, their art decorated the mud and clay brick structures with tile. One found tile that I know of was colored Naples yellow. 

1300 B/C- Hypostyle Hall, the Temple of Amen Ra in Karnac, Egypt was completely decorated with wax-based paint, as was everything Egyptian. There were gold stars on the blue ceiling, it was simple and massive, devout in their grand style with beautiful columns. 

1257 B/C- The Temple of Rameses II at Abu Simbel, Egypt, [119'x65] was also massive, stiff, and meant to impress. Their period of "high-art" had clearly passed. 

1100 B/C- The Greeks were entering the Peloponnesus and started the First Dark Age, this period would last until 500 B/C, ending with Doric architecture. The Doric Tribe was one of the three that invaded Greece. Homer is alive and writing. 

800 B/C A Sumerian Palace of Sargon, in Khorsabad, had a ziggurate temple on top, the glazed tile facade went from white at the base, to black, scarlet, blue, orange, silver with gold at the top. It could be seen for twenty miles in any direction. THESE MESOPOTAMIA BUILDERS INVENTED THE TRUE DOME; vaulted chambers were covered with great tapestries, this was their art with no paintings. They furthered the arts of astronomy and writing, they invented cuneiform, a wedge-shaped alphabet that is the basis of all Western writing. 

700 B/C The Etruscans are using turpentine, mastic, egg, wax soap, wax encaustic, and sandarac (sandracca) as their painting mediums. 

400 B/C Theophrastus described refining clay pigments by settling them in water. 

200 B/C Roman sculpture had achieved the high-art standards. 


ROCK AND MUD: Walls were the first supports, paintings still exist today after twenty thousand years of protection deep inside ancient caves. 

PAPYRUS: Papyrus is soaked, pressed and dried strips of pith, it's a member of the sedge family. Papyrus was once abundant in Egypt and used by the Greeks and Romans as paper. 

PAPER: Paper is made of wood, cotton and linen, linen is best, but cotton will do. Cotton paper is called rag 100%. The paper is glued throughout with an animal size, this is called vat sizing, and it is to be preferred. The papers I've found best are; a new paper called Twinrocker, Whatman, Strathmore, Lanaquarelle, Fabriano, Winsor & Newton, D'Arches and Waterford. They are all pH neutral, vat and surface sized. 

WOOD: Wood is a classic support, today a good grade of plywood or masonite will do. Use 1/8 in. mahogany or birch for pictures up to 22 x 30 in. and 1/4 in. for pictures up to 3 x 4 ft., larger panels should be braced from the rear. 

FLAX LINEN: Linen makes the best and strongest canvas, today we have no hemp canvas. It used to be the strongest and best. 

COTTON: Canvas can be used as a support, up to 3 x 4 ft. 

SAILCLOTH: Cotton sailcloth makes an excellent canvas. 

HANDKERCHIEF OR AEROPLANE LINEN: This linen is good for small work and can be glued to wood for larger works


ANIMAL: The best animal glue is rabbit skin glue, don't boil it. Casein is good if you use a stiff support, casein is skim-milk curd that dissolves in ammonia. 

ACRYLIC: Gel is a good adhesive medium for grounds for acrylic painting. 

VEGETABLE RYE: Paste is an adhesive, add ten percent alum [by weight] to glue to make it insoluble in water for tempera or, better still, add one percent of formaldehyde which is an anti-fungicide also. Whole egg will improve a ground by isolating it from the paint.


CHALK- Chalk is calcium carbonate, marble dust or neutralized plaster of Paris. Make it by adding water, drying it, adding more water and drying it again and again until it's neutral to the tongue. A small quantity of skim milk is good in chalk grounds. 

GYPSUM- Hydrated calcium sulfate, is light spar. It is dense and can be applied with a wide putty knife, that's the best way to apply a ground. Heated gypsum makes plaster of Paris. 

KAOLIN CLAY- Kaolin is decomposed feldspar, it retains moisture too long, chalk is better. 

BARYTA WHITE- This is a heavy spar with very little coloring power, usually it's a pigment additive. 

TESTING THE GROUND- A good ground will not crackle when pressed form behind, oil should not change its color, and the ground should have an even sheen to it. 

BODY COLOR FOR GROUNDS- Lead, titanium and zinc white are best, lead white was used up until the Flemish painters of the 1600's. Apply the mixture to a dry, lightly stretched canvas or support with out soaking through it. This will tight shrink it, pre-sizing will save time and money, spatula applying is always the best way to go.


GLAZING THE GROUND- This method is called imprimatura, it reduces the absorbing quality of the ground. The Renaissance used this method as the middle tones of the picture, using the colors red, yellow and green earth, green earth was especially good because it was so transparent. 

SOLID COLOR GROUND- Bolus grounds were toned red, brown or gray, like Rubins, Van dyck and Rembrandt used. Egg tempera, lead or zinc white, was the first color down on the colored ground, it was like laying out a painting on a blackboard with chalk. Glazes colored the painting and egg tempera white highlights were put in last. Mastic resin was the final varnish.


ISOLATING MEDIUMS- Mediums that won't mix or disturb the current painting medium, like dammar and turpentine over tempera or egg over oil or shellac and alcohol/lac over either. Theophilus Presbyter, in the 12th century, recommended cherry gum as a medium and at the same time as an intermediate layer for oil glazes. Collectively, fruit tree gums were called "cerasin".


WATER Thins; gum, glue, paste, egg, casein, lime, acrylics, wax-soap and water varnish. 

TURPENTINE Thins; oil, alkali oil, resin, balsam and wax, don't use petroleum thinner or paraffin wax for painting. Oil of turpentine absorbs oxygen while drying, mineral spirts only evaporate, and petroleum won't dissolve dammar. Dammar is our friend, it doesn't turn yellow, we need it. We don't need petroleum in our paint, don't be fooled into using it. 

ALCOHOL Thins; shellac, stick-lac and sandarac (sandracca), "the spirit of wine" paints. There are two types, de natured grain [ethyl], and wood [methyl], methyl is the more powerful solvent. 

SPIKE Thins spirit paints, spike is a ancient Mediterranean scrub plant found around Morocco, today it's called the Lavender Plant, "Lavendula Spica". 

SPIKE NARD Thins spirit paints, spike-nerd or Oil of Cajuput, is the ancient East Indian "Nardostachys" plant. 

CASTOR OIL Dissolves spirit paints and makes them flexible, it is nondrying in its mass state. Castor oil comes from the seeds of the "ricinus communes" plant. 

AMMONIA Thins; wax-soap, casein and water-varnish. Ammonia water was called the "spirits of hartshorn".


EGG Egg's emulsion balance can be changed by mixing it with either more water or oil. 

CASEIN Casein will emulsify with balsams, mastics or any water-based paint or emulsion, oil will emulsify with casein but turns yellow in time.


GUM Gum will emulsify with balsam, mastic, wax-soap and oil. 

PASTE Paste will emulsify with balsam, mastic, wax-soap and oil. 

GLUE Animal glues emulsify with balsam, mastic, wax-soap, and very well with oil. 

WAX-SOAP Wax-soap emulsifies all of the above, the Byzantines added gum and Reynolds liked to add Venetian turpentine. I think it's great by itself. I did a test on glass with a palette knife, the paint was 3/8" thick and dried insoluble to water in one week. Try that with oil paint, The only problem I saw was it could be scratched with my finger nail, wax is pliable, balsam or resin make it harder. I added poppy oil to a batch in a humid area, (Nahiku, Maui) and it stayed wet for two weeks, gum didn't do any better. 

There is a medium I couldn't find any reference to, and it seems a natural, An Indian artist would have used it in their paintings, because they had all the raw materials, the cultivated stick-lac insect with the wax nest, and an alkali, borax from Tibet. The two will mix together and form a water based emulsion, as adding ammonia and shellac will make a water varnish.


Synthetic paints were born in 1900, Germany made the first acrylic paints and we got them in 1930. Plexiglas is solid acrylic. Water based acrylics are made by polymerizing the acrylic monomer by emulsification. These are great paints that dry insoluble to water, however, smooth blends are easier made with thin washes over dried paint. Mistakes are corrected by over painting with white, twice, to get back to pure white, before repainting. This must be done because the new acrylic colors are not very opaque and show under colors. Pencil lines will also show through, it's better to draw with a non-waxy chalk and brush off the residue with a feather duster. Then, paint in the outlines with a light ultramarine blue, or yellow where appropriate. Remember, the outline belongs to the object behind. Contrast of color and value separate the objects, not there outlines. 

Alkyd resins are polyhydric alcohol with polybasic acid. These alkyd modified resins dry faster then natural oils, turpentine based "Liquin" is an alkyd resin. They mix well with normal oil paints and speed drying.


These catalyst agents cause a chemical change within, by its addition to a different substance.


Alum is a double sulfate of aluminum and potassium. It's used to temper dried paints and grounds, making them insoluble to water, but not impervious. It will act as a mordant to set dyes and harden plaster like cement, Brown beeswax can be whitened by boiling it in alum water.


Ammonia is a suffocating gas, compounding nitrogen and hydrogen, it is soluble in water. Ammonia is an alkaloid compound that transforms shellac and wax, making them water-soluble. When the gas escapes the dried ammonia they again become insoluble, as in "cera colla" painting [see, Wax Mediums].


Borax, like alum, is an alkali, in ancient day's it was called "tin-cal", a Chinese word. Borax is found in landlocked lakes in Tibet and in the Dead Sea, where it was gathered and used in India as a textile mordant and in Egypt as a flux ingredient to make frit, an isolated copper pigment in glass. It was also used to make a water varnish from stick-lac, the alcohol based tree sap pigments could also be made water soluble in a borax solution. (more under, "LAKE MINERALS")


Formaldehyde is a gas, usually sold in a 40 percent solution of water, called formalin, It hardens proteins and stops mold and fungus; it's also used as a preservative,


Gums are hygroscopic, they will always absorb water unless it's tempered with alum or a 4% solution of formalin; formalin is a 37% solution of formaldehyde, available at your drugstore, sometimes :)

Gums will emulsify with oil, balsams and resins. They are more painterly then egg emulsions alone. Here's a good recipe for a gum emulsion; 5 parts gum, 1 part stand oil or sun thickened linseed oil, 1 part dammar resin and 1 part glycerin. The glycerin will improve the brush quality and act as the preservative. 

ARABIC Gum acacia - the best is from Africa. 

SENEGAL French, it's the hardest gum and best for water colors. 

KORDOFAN An ancient gum from Sudan. 

CHERRY One of the many fruit tree gums, almond, fig, peach, apricot, plum, they are all similar and mix well with egg and casein. 

TRAGACANTH Comes from the astragalus scrub in Asia-Minor, it's used as the binder for pastels. 

SARCOLLA An ancient gum made from the astragalus sarcolla plant of Iran, it's similar to gum arabic and best for gum tempera.


Vegetable glues are starch pastes, rice starch makes the best glues, Others are; potato starch, wheat starch and rye starch, They all can be emulsified with oil, balsams and resin. 

Vegetable glues give very bright gouache-like tones and have no effect on pigments. Starches set free by the addition of an alkali like ammonia become insoluble in water when dry. 

Vasari and Plenderleith talk of bookbinders' boiled paste.


Glues are used either hot or cold, hide glues are protein, chandrin, which is the adhesive, and glutin, which is the gelatin. Hide glues are used hot, most modern glues are used cold. Glue paintings should be sprayed with a 4 percent solution of formalin to harden it or given a glaze with mastic varnish. 

GELATIN: Gelatin is an edible glue, made from the delicate animal tissues. It contains more glutin, preferably it's used with egg, gum or wax soap. 

PARCHMENT: Cooked lamb and goatskin was the medium used for miniature paintings. 

COLOGNE: Animal leather glues emulsify with fatty oils, add it to egg or wax-soap, it works better then gums, Cologne glue with kaolin clay cover best. 

RABBIT: Rabbit skin glue is the best gesso glue. 

BONE: Bone glue is inferior to hide glue. 

FISH: Used cold, hide glue is more durable. 

GLYCERIN: Has oily properties, is water or alcohol soluble, and will absorb moisture from the air.


Egg yolk contains albumen [water], egg oil [nondrying] and lecithin [emulsifier]. Egg yolk itself is a painting medium, it bleaches white in sunlight. Mix egg and dry pigment, 1:1. Egg, unvarnished looks like gouache, it's a flat finish. Egg and egg emulsions dry hard, elastic and more resistant then oil color mediums by themselves. Oil of cloves, one drop per egg, will preserve a sealed wet egg, kept cool for one year. The icon, painted on wood was the next medium after fresco. Byzantium, after a ninth-century council had confirmed the defeat of the Iconoclasts, so it was safe to paint in the less durable egg. This style spread over Northern Europe and stayed in Russia for eight centuries. 

Egg without the addition of oil is called distemper, this was a preferred style from Giotto (1266-1337) to Botticelli (1444-1510), The addition of alum to the egg made it waterproof. Giotto also added cherry gum to make it more fluid, it acts as a preservative as it was slightly alkaline. The support was wood or linen primed with gypsum or chalk. The ground had to be kept very clean because the thin medium shows through colors. A poor ground could be improved by a coat of egg and lime white before painting. Sandarac (sandracca) was a good hard, final varnish. Today, dammar will do the job. 

Egg white is used mostly, it's called "glair medium" and was used like ink on illuminated manuscripts in the 5th century, and as a size for gold leaf. Egg white and alum make a good bodied paint medium, capable of making very opaque strokes.


TEMPERA'S ARE EMULSIONS, water and oil plus the stabilizer, The first tempera's were made about 1000 A/D, first with mastic, then linseed oil. The ratio's went like this; one part egg, one part mastic or oil, OR, two parts egg, one part oil, one part mastic. More egg made it water based, more oil made it oil based. Later sun thickened oils or stand oil was used. Most liked to use Strasbourg turpentine [balsam], today we have to use Venetian turpentine because no one imports Strasbourg to the U.S. except http://www.kremer-pigmente.de/


Van Eyck [1390-1441] became very skilled at this technique, painting in water based egg tempera, then glazing with oil and balsam, going back to tempera for details and glazing again, Giovanni Bellini [1430-1516], in his life time went from egg tempera to pure oil.


LIME is the oxide of calcium [CaO], calcinated limestone or quicklime. Limestone and gypsum both heat to make plaster of Paris. 

Egypt made the first cement, they fired their plentiful limestone and added clean sand. This natural limestone is calcium carbonate. Burning gives off carbonic acid gas or carbon dioxide, leaving caustic lime. Add water and you make slaked lime or calcium hydroxide. This is the mural material, add silica sand or crushed marble or, as the later Italians did, add some volcanic ash. ( A good grade of volcanic ash came from Pozzuoli, it was light, fine and had rough edges). Slaking gives off heat and water, the top layer again absorbs carbonic acid gas from the air and forms a film of carbonate lime, on the top of a lime and water solution called calcium hydrate. 

Now, this paste calcium hydrate is neutral, or no longer caustic. Limestone that contains clay slakes very slowly. The best lime has been burnt over wood, coal would give off sulfuric acid and make gypsum, that would damage pigments. Lime plus hydraulic clay set too quickly for murals, but would work for dried secco paintings. The best lime has set for two to twenty years, after removing the top layer of crust, the calcium hydrate can be mixed with different proportions of water to form "milk of lime" and "lime wash". Clear "lime water" is made from settled milk of lime and is an excellent medium to paint on dry, set plaster or cement. Thin lime paste mixes with skim milk, casein, glue, [one percent hide glue slows drying time, 200 percent], also resin varnish and egg. They are all used in secco painting and in stucco luster, the imitation marble. The "Athos Book" [Greek-Byzantine], said to add fibrous materials as oakum, chopped rope, calves hair and straw to prevent cracking. Clay causes cracks in mortar, sand is best, granite powder should be used in the final coat or powdered limestone. 

Cement is hydraulic lime, Portland Cement contains 75 percent caustic lime and 25 percent clay, the addition of sand makes concrete. 

GYPSUM is sulphate of lime or hydrated calcium sulphate or light spar, heated, slightly burnt (calcined) gypsum is plaster of Paris. Alabaster is a granular gypsum, and kaolin clay is decomposed light spar. Heated gypsum forms a sulfur dioxide gas and sulfuric acid. 

MORTAR is sand and lime mixed 3:1, the last layer uses a finer sand and more lime, marble meal is best. A good "secco" ceiling fresco will measure from 1/4" to 1/2" thick, let the final coat set for a day. Then, scrub off the skin of carbonate of lime and apply some lime-wash, paint onto the wet or dry lime-wash with paints ground in skim-milk casein or lime milk. Very fat lime plaster with too much lime, cracks easily. This secco paint may include lime-water, casein, glue or egg. Casein will increase the weather resistance, but will make the paint sticky while it's being applied. 

The total thickness of a wall fresco should be about 1 1/2" thick. Pompiian walls were 3" thick, and could be painted on for up to two weeks wet, joins went unseen if they were necessary. Here is Doerner's advice on preparing a surface for fresco.

Max Doerner, Materials of the Artist, 1933. The current price is $12.80, get it.

Buy Doerner's book, $12.80
On a thoroughly wet wall, apply the roughcast, make it with 3 parts clean dry sand, mixed with one part lime. Through this on about 1/2" thick, the equalizing coat is applied when the roughcast no longer indents with finger pressure. This second coat can be slightly drier then the first, in about the same thickness, still using coarse sand. Apply all coats from the bottom up. The third coat is made with 2 parts finer sand and 1 part lime, this coating is thinner, perhaps 3/8" thick. A last coat is made of 1 part fine sand or marble meal and 1 part lime. Wet and brush the third coat with lime-wash before applying the painting layer 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Work this coat to perfection, two hours per square yard isn't too long. 

Vitruvius described the plaster used by the ancient Pompeians. Six coats were applied, wet on wet, the last coat was given a mirror polish with a smooth roller, They all totaled to 3" thick, skim milk was added to the pigments for additional gloss. 

Color's must be lime-proof, the best white is dried pit lime, wet and dried several times until it tastes neutral, or use litmus paper. This was the "bianco sangiovanni" of Cennini. Naturally this white has no binding power of its own and needs to be applied with egg or casein. Organic madder root could then be mixed in and used because the white was neutral. Yellow's were; Amberg ocher, a bright yellow that's long gone, yellow ocher, Naples yellow and native orpiment. The brown's were carefully washed iron-in-clay pigments, umber's and sienna's both raw and burnt. Red and orange's were realgar, an arsenic pigment like orpiment, magenta was madder root, painted secco with egg or casein, like the blue, lapis lazuli. It's not lapis lazuli couldn't handle the lye, but because it was such an expensive pigment, who could afford the sinking in properties of fresco, 

Other blues were azurite, and light and dark frit. Cobalt native made a rose color, and burning the oxide moved the hue to blue. Green's were copper green frit, malachite and amazonite. Black's were made of carbon or iron oxide, they were applied very early on, and took many coats with the addition of an agent like egg, it could easily be painted over, like any color could. The more coats, the more intense the color. One need not be afraid to run over outlines with local color, they can be easily modeled over as the support absorbs color. Highlights are added last as shadows are deepened. 

Only paint until the plaster begins to set, the thicker the mortar the longer the working time. Paint from light to dark to light, lights are made from thick lime putty. A lime-water damp sponge will blend large areas. 

If you get lime in your eyes, wash it out with sugar and skim milk. fresco should not be reworked for at least a month, apply the secco with wax-ammonia soap or casein and stipple in the additions. Dolomitic limestone sets slowly but dries hard, shortly after the fresco has set, use a glass roller to bring up a high gloss. DON'T TRY TO DO A FRESCO WITH COMMERCIAL CEMENT BECAUSE IT CONTAINS UNBURNT GYPSUM AND CLAY.


Turpentine is the best thinner for oil paints, I don't agree with Mayer's Handbook saying that petroleum distilled paint thinner works for fine artwork. Doerner explained in his 1934 book, The Materials of the Artist, how there unnatural with paints that absorb oxygen while drying, being refined from a nondrying petroleum oil, they only evaporate, without absorbing oxygen. Petroleum thinners are good only for cleaning brushes of the trade, not the expensive brushes we use as artists. Petroleum thinner will not dissolve the valuable dammar varnish either, as turpentine does so well. 

The essential oil of turpentine, is a volatile plant oil, steam distilled without pressure. Today's turpentine is very pure, there is no reason to buy double rectified artist's turpentine in the small bottles, they all dry without residue. French turpentine from the maritime pine is best. 

The ancient oleoresin, is turpentine in its solid state, tar, pitch or fused colophony, the residue from turpentine is rosin. 

Siccatives are metal salts soluble in oil. They speed the absorption of oxygen by the fatty oils, a two percent addition to paints is all that can safely be used. The addition of dammar is a much safer practice, but that leaves you with two days drying time instead of one. Siccatives have been used for as long as mastic paints have been around, in the B/C era. The first pigments, iron ore limonite, contained manganese seccatives. Green contained a copper resinate, sugar of lead was an early drier, it's called lead acetate. Today we use a cobalt oxide and limonite mix, to me the deep color purple is objectionable, and I would rather have the clear sugar of lead or the white calcinated stannum oxide, like the Egyptians. Even white lead oxide could be heated and sponificated clear in oil. There were mediums called malbutter and megilp, made of heated oil, wax and lead in the past that worked very well, They added a buttery character to the paint and were very popular. 


For the past two hundred years or more, dedicated and informed artists of the western world have recognized the superior oil painting achievements of the European "old masters" of the 15th through 17th centuries. Since Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), painters have lamented the loss of the secrets that made possible the virtuoso brush work, luminous glazes, controlled drying, and permanence of works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Titian, and so many other masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. 

The marvelous creations of these masters depended not only on talent and rigorous training, but also on a tradition of highly developed craft techniques which were passed from master to apprentice over many generations. Chief among these studio secrets were the oils and mediums mixed with their colors. From ancient times Linseed oil had been rejected as a painting medium because it dried slowly, darkened, and cracked. (Mastic and wax didn't. dj) The much acclaimed oil painting discovered by Jan Van Eyck (1382-1441), and the vastly improved mediums of his successors, were far more sophisticated substances. These superb mediums are available to us because of Jacques Maroger (1884-1962). (pronounced Mar-o-zhay). He kept the medium alive. 

In 1907 Maroger began studies with Louls Anquetin (1861-1942). Called the French 'Michelangelo' by his Impressionist compatriots, Anquetin sought the painting power of the old masters through a remarkable mastery of drawing, but his skills were stymied by the then current oil painting materials. (The wars degraded art and supplies. dj)

By 1920 Maroger had turned the search toward the painting materials themselves. His growing expertise led him to a post as professor and Technical Director of Restoration at the Louve. He was elected president of the Society of Restorers of France, and Knight of the Legion of Honor for his researches. In 1948 his discoveries were published in The Secret Formulas and Techniques of the Old Masters. and he continued to enlarge his discoveries until his death. 

"Stephen Kaldor's involvement with Maroger's teaching began at age nine as a drawing student of Anne Didusch Schuler, Maroger's first assistant and a master painter in her own right. As pupil of Maroger from 1950 until 1962 I participated in many trials of his reconstructed old master mediums and materials. My notes and experience with Maroger are the basis of the mediums I have been making for myself and my students since the early fifties I guarantee that they are authentic and made of top quality ingredients." Stephen Kaldor 

BLACK OIL is made of purified raw linseed oil cooked with lead. It may be used as a medium, a diluent in the palette cup, to grind colors from dry pigments, and it is the basis of other mediums. 

MASTIC VARNISH is made of pure gum spirits of turpentine and mastic resin tears. It can be added to Black Oil for an instant Flemish type medium. Diluted slightly with turpentine, it may be used as a final picture varnish, after the oil painting has completely dried, but it will yellow. 
Others 1999,

ITALIAN FORMULA MEDIUM combines black oil with beeswax for a transparent paste which dries to a soft semigloss luster and give an opulent body to impastos. 

FLEMISH FORMULA MEDIUM combines black oil with mastic tears, pure gum spirits of turpentine, and beeswax for a transparent gel medium. 

Colors have more intensely and a rich gloss finish. 

E'TUDE FORMULA MEDIUM is a sketching or student medium which is made like the Italian Formula but of less refined oil and is slightly faster drying. 

All of the formulas have similarly agreeable handling qualities and may be Intermixed wet, but alternate layering is not recommended. 


I. The GROUND, or surface to be painted, whether the traditional white lead in linseed oil, acrylic gesso, or some other, should be permanent, nonabsorbent, and have sufficient "tooth", I.E. not slippery. A glaze of Maroger Medium and color over a white ground makes a toned surface that is very compatible for painting when dry. 

2 Oil COLORS are ideally made of dry pigments freshly ground in Black Oil If TUBE OIL COLORS are used, it is recommended that one part medium be added to each four parts of color. The exception is LEAD (FLAKE) WHITE which may be ground in raw linseed oil. 

3 GLAZES are mostly medium tinted with a small amount of transparent color. Some medium should be available on the palette, or in the cup, to add to colors for the feel and relative transparency the artist desires 

4. A meager COAT OF MEDIUM, not too slippery, should be swiped on the area to be painted, unless a dry scumble is desired.  

MAROGER listed how to make mediums of his past. This is Elliot Iver's (Painting on Location ListServe mate) recipe that he likes for Black Oil.

BLACK OIL is made of purified raw linseed oil cooked with red lead and adding mastic. Cold pressed raw Linseed Oil - 96.5g Mastic - 30g Pbo - 4g This comes out to visually about 1/2 cup oil, a handful of crystals, and about a 1/4 tsp of PbO. If you can make pancakes, you have the skill to make this medium. At this point, you might want to tell your family that you are NOT making food, just so they don't run over and ingest any of this stuff. Now, mix the oil and the PbO together. It will look exactly like orange juice (hence the warning). Now, using a Corning ware or some other such porcelain container and a cooking thermometer reserved for this purpose, slowly heat the mixture until it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit NOT CENTIGRADE. I don't care what it says in the 1976 issue of Artist' Magazine. If it gets too hot, just remove until it goes back down to 250. Whatever you do, do not let it boil.

At about 250 degrees, the transformation should start taking place, turning the mixture from orange to the color of black coffee. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon - NOT A METAL ONE. This is crucial. After the coffee color is reached, let it cook for one hour to make sure the change is complete. The PbO does not go into the air, there are no poisonous fumes, so don't worry about that. At this point I like to let the temperature down a bit, before I slowly add the mastic, stirring it in. There is a variation that skips the mastic and goes for 10g of beeswax, but I have never bothered to try it as I want the brilliance the mastic gives - besides you can always make a paste of wax and resin and add it later (I recommend adding some carnauba wax, it is harder than ordinary beeswax). Okay. Now that everything is cooked, you have Black Oil. Just forget about this for now, you are not there yet, I don't know why anyone would want to paint with this as it is. Now fill your Jelly jar SLIGHTLY LESS THEN HALF FULL with the turpentine. This is very crucial - if it is exactly half, the transformation will not take place. Then fill the rest with your stuff, seal tightly, and put it in the 'fridge overnight. Tell yourself what an alchemical magician you are (I'm only half kidding) as it will transform into the Jelly. And here you are. Thanks Elliot.

When using this, just a little maybe about a third added to your tube paint should do the trick - if it is slick, you are adding too much. Not only will your paint look incredible, you will be able to blend like you've never done before, add beautiful thin layers, put in detail that will stay, not drip or run, and any layer you make will dry within 24 hrs! I also recommend using Titanium or Zinc white with this as well, Flake doesn't work well with it at all - it already has the lead)

Litharge Pbo

Maroger uses the term litharge for oxide of lead.

The painters lead yellow pigment is also called litharge. That would be white lead roasted to yellow. Yellow PbO is an orthorhombic crystal. The natural mineral litharge is red lead PbO, tetragonal crystal system. Produce red lead is tetroxide Pb3 O4 the same as the natural mineral minium.

Red in lead is the heated litharge transformation ingredient made from the heating process of white lead. The yellow and red lead are lower in tinting strength then the white lead without litharge. Sponifacation turns the white lead transparent in oil and even more so the yellow orange and red. Black oil adds no color of it's own to pigments. The heat making of this medium with white lead without litharge didn't add enough tinting strength white to the medium to cause me to not use it. I understand black oil has even better handling qualities.

Adding heat to lead white forms litharge early on the heat process. Litharge has a early temperature of yellow. Maroger's medium uses the the lead color orange, that's after the lead heat transformation called red lead and cooking this litharge and lead makes it a transparent brown gel called black oil..

Lead heated in a fire will cause white lead oxide to form. Acid gas does a better job making more white oxides. Roast the white to make the colors from yellow to orange, red and brown. Lead white carbonate heats to yellow, orange, red (lead tetroxide, Pbsub3 Osub4, called minium and/or orange lead. It has low tinting strength and good body). Orange is higher in litharge oxide which is more transparent.

Artists Pigments, Feller, pg 118. When heated strongly red lead decomposes to form litharge. When heated gently it turns to reddish brown then purple. That would be cuput mortum.

My color wheel uses the same line of darkening as this lead oxide crystal The colors yellow to orange and red use the same brown as there hue darker color.

Theophilus Presbyter, the monk of Paderborn, [1200 A/D] wrote on oils and pigments, he knew back then that cold pressed linseed oil was good, He said the best linseed oil was from the Baltic Sea area, and freezing oil and snow together for a week was a great purifier, then sun dry the oil in a. container 1/2" high, covered, for long enough for the oil to become thick. Cennini called this the best of all oils.
Today, 3-1-15, http://whc-oils.com/refined-linseed-oil.html
Linseed oil is a yellowish drying oil derived from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum, Linaceae). It is obtained by pressing, followed by an optional stage of solvent extraction. Cold-pressed oil obtained without solvent extraction is marketed as flaxseed oil. It is suitable for human consumption, though not recommended for cooking and is used as a nutritional supplement which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid, and relatively low in omega-6 fatty acids, allowing it to be used to lower the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 oils in the diet, which may have health benefits.

Stand oil is linseed oil boiled with carbonic acid, it dries very slowly, doesn't yellow, and is very sticky to paint with. Turpentine must be constantly be added to keep it flowing, linseed oil will keep it from being sticky, it was known of and used early in the 15th century. It can't be used alone with a drier, because it separates the paint and it looks like a sponge print. 

Nut oil was recommended by Heraclius and Theophilus, Leonardo liked it because it didn't yellow as much as linseed oil, Durer and Van Eyck used it in the 1400's. It was used all through the high renaissance in Italy, the greatest artists that ever lived used it and preferred it over all others. Get it at http://www.kremer-pigmente.de/. It should be lighter than most linseed oils. Nut oil is pressed from the seeds of ripe but not brown walnuts. It was also recommended by Vasari, Borghini, Lornazzo, Armenini, Bisagno, Volpato, etc., as late as De Mayerne and even later. No doubt nut oil was more popular then, than now. Storage was the problem then, not so today. 

Poppy oil is a slow drying oil that seldom yellows, it will stay wet for ten days and wrinkles less then linseed oil. Poppy oil is pressed from the seeds of the white poppy, its major use is in the processing of tube oil color's. 

Castor oil has its place with lacs and spirit paints, adding 5% to shellac will make it pliable and remove the brittle quality. 

Lavender oil comes from the flowers of the lavender plant, spike oil, from the whole plant. Lavender oil is preferred, both dissolve mastic, sandarac (sandracca), and shellac and were used since ancient times. 

Oil of cloves is the slowest drying oil of all, how about a month and a half. Portrait painters find it useful, the slow one's. 

Copaiva balsam oil and resin redissolve the lower layers and really slide the paint around.  

Venice turpentine is a superior turpentine, it's from the larch tree. Strasbourg turpentine is similar and comes from the white fir, we could make this fine medium here in the United States, they do in Canada. They're not really a thin turpentine, but a thicker and undistilled balsam. They're non-yellowing and have an enamel-like effect on the painting. Rubins used it 2:1 in oil, Van Dyck used it 1:1 as an intermediate varnish with egg and oils. Reynolds used it with ammonia and wax. I like it as a painting medium with cold pressed linseed oil and dammar resin, 3:2:1. It paints and glazes beautifully. 
Venice turpentine will make a good cooked polymerized black glaze for cast iron cookware.

Dammar, Chios or Lavantine, some Copals (Brazilian, Manila, Borneo), Shellac, and the ancient oleoresin are soft resins, dammar (dammar) makes the best natural picture varnish for wax and mastic painting, it's the hardest. Resin and balsams keep oils from wrinkling and forming a skin. Any resin or balsam added to oil paints permit painting layers in rapid succession, before the lower coat is dry. Oil paint without resin or balsam must be completely dry before a second coat is applied, or it may chip off. Because the lower level will continue to shrink at a different rate. Linseed oil by itself is a poor binder. 

Hard resins are succinite amber, hard copals. Don't use them as a varnish, they are too hard to remove, they also crack and yellow. 

The best Copal resin I have liked is made by Garrett. Ron Garrett, ron@garrettcopal.com

Amber resin is very hard fossil resin, it can cause cracks over some soft paints and darkens in time. 

Acrylic resin can be made hard or soft, the artist gets the soft, the furniture industry makes a hard varnish that is water soluble. I've been using polyurethane on my acrylics as a final finish for sixteen years with perfect results, there as clear as the day I put them on.


There are two kinds of wax, those from the animal itself are called tallow's, we don't use them in the art's. The second type is from the insect's nest, this is very valuable to us and has been used in turpentine based paints, water based paints and by itself since ancient times. Ancient Greece had a mountain 3370' high that was famous for honey and beeswax, it was called Hymettus. Etrusca used wax and mastic paints in 500 B/C, the Minoan's in 700 B/C and the Egyptians even earlier. It was their easel and wall media beside buon and secco fresco, they mixed ammonia with it or turpentine, or turpentine and mastic. 

Old brown wax can be whitened by just leaving thin strips in the sun, or by melting and cooling it in alum water. The second nest wax comes from the Indian lac producing insect, the laccifer lacca. It's softer and not as useful in painting, but very good in batik tapestry, they did a lot of dying in India. 

The third nest wax is from a Chinese insect and it melts 

hotter then beeswax, so it's a good substitute. This insect is cultivated on two different trees with human assistance. Clever people these Chinese. 

Wax dissolves in turpentine, mastic, balsam and oils, but not water or alcohol. It's non-yellowing and forms an emulsion in lyes. The Greeks and Romans stored their pigments in small covered containers and called them "waxes", pigments in wax and mastic. Add a little turpentine with your brush and paint away! These ancients were pretty clever also. 

They painted with pure melted encaustic wax and pigment too, this was probably the wax Pliny talked about, the punic or eleodoric wax. Three times melted and cured in salt water, when this wax was applied on stone for decoration, it was called "ganosis". Traces of this wax are found on Egyptian sculptures and tombs as far back as 2500 B/C. 

The early Greeks, before the "Dark Ages", around 500 B/C, were fond of decorating their statues and the friezes of buildings, and probably a lot more places that were not so protected from twenty five hundred years of weather. Traces of wax were found on the Trojan Column in Rome.


Ammonia, NH3, is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, a water soluble gas. 

Ammoniac, a salt and gum found in the Qattara Depression 200 miles East of Memphis, Egypt. Ammoniac is the remains of a long extinct insect that lived in the area. 

Ammonium, is the Egyptian city founded about 500 B/C, as a shrine to their god Ammon. Ammonium is also NH4, a radical that plays the part of a metal in the compound formed when ammonia reacts with acids, ammonium salts are alkali. 

Ammonium hydroxide, basic NH4OH is a weak alkali. 

Carbonate, a salt of carbonic acid, as calcium carbonate or ammonium carbonate, made by mixing the ammonium alkali with carbonic acid. H2C03 is formed when carbon dioxide dissolves in water. 

Ammonium carbonate or ammonium hydroxide [common ammonia water], can be mixed with white beeswax 1:2 and boiled until the effervescence stops, stir the mix until it's cool. This will be a water soluble wax soap emulsion that will mix with casein, gum, glue, egg, gelatin, turpentine, resin, balsam, shellac or oil. The volatile ammonia alkali dissipates and the soap dries insoluble to water, like it was before you started. Put a cap on the container and it will store for a very long time. Grind your store bought dry pigments into it as you need them. 

Giotto added a little cherry gum to the mix and the Byzantine's added a little "milk of fig". This is the ancient "cera colla' paint of the Dark Ages, except for the shellac, that was tested right here on Maui, and it worked fine. 

I attribute the discovery of cera colla to Egypt and their god Ammon not to Byzantium. 

Potassium carbonate or caustic lye soda, is obtained in the impure form from wood ashes, potash [+IUM], are all the same alkali. It will emulsify wax, but will remain soluble in water, or hygroscopic.


There are two types of casein tempera paints, both very strong glues, casein with lime is so strong that if it's not diluted very thin with 5 parts water, it could pull an old thin coat of plaster off a lower coat. Casein sets quickly, mat, and transparent, all of the pigment is exposed, making a very luminous surface. Use only pigments that can stand up to lye, vegetable dyes will bleach out. Casein should be prepared fresh daily, in small quantities instead of depending on preservatives which effect there painting qualities. Lime combines with casein to make a weatherproof mural paint. 

Start with fresh skim milk curd and add four times as much slaked lime to make a paste. This is the glue the wood workers use on furniture. This is also the casein lime medium, mix the pigments in some thin paste to paint with. Casein medium will emulsify egg, mastic, balsam and wax soap. Oil will emulsify also but will quickly turn yellow, stand oil is better suited. 

Casein powder is available in two types, pure dried curd, which is insoluble in water but is soluble in ammonia and mono ammonium caseinate, which will dissolve in water. If it chunks up because it's old, add some ammonia. It doesn't take much ammonia water to dissolve either fresh curd or the powdered pure curd, soak the pure powdered curd for a few hours before adding the ammonia, 1/5 its volume over moderate heat will cause the effervescent reaction. When the reaction resides the casein will be in a colloidal state, stir it until it's cool. Casein is still strong when it's water thin. 

Thin a shellac size to apply an intermediate sealing coat to a casein painting or it will soak up an oil glaze like a blotter. 

Casein and lead mix well together, combining this white with an oil white makes a fast drying white for water or oil, whichever has the higher concentration. Copper colors turn blue in ammonia.


Sandarac (sandracca) is a coniferous resin from the Alerce Tree of Morocco, it was probably the first permanent paint, it's a hard resin. "Sandracca" as it was called in ancient times, was the term used for paint itself. It's soluble in alcohol and oil of spike, and can be made fluid with castor oil. Sandracca was used as the intermediate and final varnish over tempera paintings at the time of Giotto, and as a medium by itself. Because it was harder, it was actually a superior paint than the softer mastic's or oil's, but the people liked all the combinations possible with a turpentine based paint better. Sandracca does not mix or adhere to oil, so it lost the final battle in the paint wars during the Dark Ages. It did have some early victories though, a major one was back before 1000 B/C. The Phoenician's painted their ships of commerce with sandracca (sandarac), castor oil and red lead, all available on the other side of the Pillars of Hercules, or Strait of Gibraltar. Just across from their city-state of Gades, in Iberia, or Farther Spain, as it was later called. 

Phoenicia at that time was the third largest land holding state in the Mediterranean. It was really part of the second largest, the Assyrian Empire, that included Egypt and the whole Tigris-Euphrates Valley down to the Persian gulf. This was a nation of sea travelers that covered the known world. They brought tin down from England because Egypt was mined out, indigo from India was a world seller. China showed England what could be done with porcelain, and how black a textile dye could be. 

Eric The Red not only had red hair, he had a red boat to boot. 

Castor oil was another great battle won by sandracca (sandarac). Here's the story as Homer told it back in 1000 B/C. The mighty Zeus had taken the shape of a swan and had a blue egg with his daughter Leda, a very beautiful goddess. Out of this blue egg were born Pollux and Helen, the most beautiful goddess in the world, she had a mighty fighter for a brother. Leda had another egg with another man, King Tyndereus, and had another set of twins, Castor and Clytemnestra, who were both mortals. Well Castor and Pollux had great times together fighting this war and that, till they both got killed one day. Zeus allowed Pollux to share his immortal being with his brother, spending half their time on Olympus and half the time in Hade's realm. Now there are two bright stars in the heavens to remind us that Sandracca (sandarac) was once "King of Paint".


Stick-lac, shellac or lac as it is sometimes called, is another alcohol based paint that got shot out of the saddle. It was India's favorite son. Gathered with care from the branches of a tree that housed their lacquer secreting insect, the Laccifer Lacca. 

They traded their wool and dyes in Tibet for borax and mixed it with water and stick-lac to make what we call today, water varnish. Yesterday I mixed it with ammonia and made a water paint that dried insoluble to water. 

India had some great lacquer colors also, ruby red "dragon's blood" was the sap of a tree from Singapore, dammar varnish comes from there also. Dammar means "torch" in Malaysian. Another sap, alcohol based paint was "Gamboge" from Thailand and "Karmes".


Japan has a lacquer tree called the Rhus Verniciflua, it was used to produced the famous Chinese "Ning-Po Lacquered Boxes" that the French loved so well, they traded their lavender perfumes and called the boxes "cloisonne".


Indian Stick-lac could also be made from the secretion of the "coccus laccae" insect that lives in the bark of the Ficus tree, it's often called shellac, it can be made water soluble by adding an alkali, than its called water-shellac. 

Red shellac is from East India, the red is the dye, removed by boiling in water. White shellac is made by adding potash lye or borax, as a red pigment the dye is precipitated on a clay base. It will work on dry lime, not wet, and in all other mediums. 

The mordant, fixes the coloring matter, alum is the most common. Tin oxides lighten the color toward yellow, as on the English Army coats of the 16th century. Cochineal and tin made vermilion, alum would have made a more crimson color. Iron is a mordant used for dark brown and black, zinc works for yellow.


YELLOW, Imperial yellow is from the flowers of the "sophora japonica", it contains flavonal quercetin, similar to the famous Indian Yellow, both had staying power and were a golden-yellow color when used full strength. 

Yellow wood sap from the sumac tree, "rhus cotinus" works, flavone also occurs in vines of weld, from Northern India. Four other sources of transparent yellow are; safflower and saffron, the root of the "curcuma tinclora" and the husks of pomegranate with carbonate of zinc. 

ORANGE, henna "lawsona alba". 

RED, Cochineal, ground female "coccus cacti" insect, originally from Central America, imported to Morocco. Soluble in ammonia. The coloring matter is carminic acid, an anthraquinone derivative. Today nobody makes this hue, or Indian Yellow Transparent. 

Karmes Scarlet is the oldest Magenta color, made from an insect found on the oak tree, it secrets an alcohol based lac and is found all over Europe. 

Madder root from the "rubia tinctoria" red to brown found from Anatolia to Persia. India and China use the "rubia cordifolia", which is a cooler magenta color. India exported madder, indigo, weld and Indian Yellow. 

Brazilwood, named the country, it's clear in wood and boiling it makes a magenta dye. To change the dye to red, you use a tin mordant, Brazilwood dye comes from the local "caesalpinia" tree. Logwood, from the "haematoxylon" tree makes hematin, boiled, it turns violet to blue-black. 

BLUE, Grown in India, the "Indiagofera tinctoria" thrives in the tropical climate, the active ingredient is found in the leaves, an indol derivative is fermented from a sugar, this precipitation is insoluble in water. Alkalis dissolve it and form the sodium salt indigo white, which oxidizes into many shades of blue. Aniline blue has the same chemical composition and replaced it in 1870. This blue was the most important color in Chinese rugs.


Jute is the cheapest and most used vegetable fiber. Hemp is next. 

Flax linen was an Egyptian crop, so it was not used much in carpets. 

Cotton was grown in Egypt, India and China. Wool and fur were Tibetan, the best from Kansu. 

Silk started in China about 2640 B/C, then Japan and India. Silk has an affinity toward metallic salts as mordants, tin phosphate and tin silicate are the most common. Black silk uses an iron mordant. 


1.    Antimony = Naples Yellow 
2.    Cadmium = Yellow, Orange, Red 
3.    Chrome Green = Green 
       Chrome + Alumina = Transparent Corumdum Red 
       Chrome + Cobalt = Blue/Green 
       Chrome + Tin = Pink (light Magenta) 
       Chrome + Tin + Silica = Red 
       Chrome + Tin + Calcium = Red, Magenta, Violet 
       Chrome = Tin +Tin + Cobalt = Ultramarine Blue, Purple, Violet 
4.    Chromium = Green Opaque 
       Chromium + Iron + Manganese = Black 
       Chromium Trivalent = Green 
       Chromium Hexavalent = Yellow 
5.    Cobalt = Azure Blue 
       Cobalt = Uranium = Green 
       Cobalt + Zinc = Ultramarine Blue 
       Cobalt + Chromium + Manganese = Black 
6.    Copper = Green, Turquoise, Red, Ruby Red Violet 
       Copper Oxide = Green 
       Copper Oxide + Zinc = Brilliant Green 
7.    Ferric Oxide Lead Silicate = Yellow 
       Iron = Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown, Black, Cyan, Ultramarine Blue 
       Iron Oxide = Opaque Red 
8.    Gold = Magenta 
9.    Lead = Yellow 
       Lead + Chromate = Red 
       Litharge = Red Minium (Roman) 
10.   Divalent Manganese = Yellow to Brown 
       Manganese = Brown, Red, Magenta, Violet, Purple 
11.   Magnetite = Black 
12.   Molybdenum = Smokey Gray to Blue 
13.   Nickle = Gray, Blue, Purple, Green , Yellow, Brown 
       Nickle Oxide = Slate Blue Gray 
14.   Potassium Oxide = Yellow Green 
15.   Platinum = Silver 
16.   Silver = Dull Silver 
       Silver Chloride = Yellow Side Silver 
17.   Selenium + Cadmium + Sulphur = Red 
       Selenium + Cadmium = Orange 

       Selenium + Sulphur = Yellow 
18.   Salt fires Glossie 
19.   Tin = White 
       Tin + Chrome = Crimson 
       Tin + Vanadium = Yellow 
20.   Titanium = Opaques 
21.   Uranium = Red, Black 
22.   Vanadium = Emerald Green, Yellow Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown 
23.    Zirconia = Pink, Magenta 
       Zirconium + Vanadium = Cyan, Turquoise 
24.   Clay = Glossie Red Oxide (Terra Sigillata, Roman) 
25.   Clay = Black (Terra Nigra, Roman) 

colour cat

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