04 October 2005

MINERAL AND ORGANIC PIGMENTS

(From Golden acrylics web site)
Forget color theory for a moment and let's focus on the reality of pigments.
A few simple facts:

When Mineral pigments are mixed together, they create a "muddy" or low chroma mixture.

When Organic pigments are mixed together, they maintain their brightness and yield clean, high chroma mixtures.

Let's mix some examples.

Mix a Cadmium Red Medium and Cobalt Blue (inorganics) to create violet. Now use Quinacridone Red and Phthalo Blue (organics) to make another violet. One is not "better" than the other is, but one is certainly of a higher chroma (brighter).

Take a look at the different versions of the Matisse painting below. One is painted with a limited palette of organics and the other inorganics. One is not a better palette than the other, but by understanding the "rules" of pigment mixing, you have solved many color mixing dilemmas and maybe even hours of mixing muddy color.



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