I've just returned from Venice. I'm suitably inspired and I've got a whole new stash of amazing paints.
The real secret behind how I use colour.
“Wow, I love that colour”…is the most common thing I hear when standing next to my work at art fairs.
People love colour. And I like to use it in surprising ways. Some people shy away from putting turquoise on a cow’s fringe or blue on a hare’s nose but not me; I use extraordinary colours all the time.
So where does all this colour come from?
Well right now it comes from Venice!
There is a lovely little art shop, not far from the Academia bridge which sells raw pigments. These raw pigments can be used for watercolour, acrylic colour, and oil colour depending on what you suspend the pigment in. I mix mine with Michael Harding's linseed oil and create the most wonderful oil paint ever known.
There is a very useful colour, used by many landscape artists called Naples yellow. It's a creamy milky yellow and it mixes well with other colours. It makes a wonderful cloudy grey when you mix it with a purple. It doesn't go a horrible green when you get it near a blue, so it's incredibly useful for skies.
The Venetian version is, of course, Venetian yellow and it's like Naples yellow times 10!
It’s incredible. The luminescence is extraordinary. And I can't get it anywhere other than Venice. Even in these days of the Internet and shopping online I still can't seem to find the right colour unless I go to my little shop near the academia.
By far the cheapest and easiest way to get my paint home is to buy each pigment in little bags. This means it's not too heavy and I can stash it all in my suitcase. Airlines don't like oil paint. They don't like anything flammable on board. But raw pigments are allowed and once I get home I then store all of my pigments in little jam jars. The pigments are stored dry. I could mix them with linseed oil straightaway and create my own paint. You can even buy empty tubes to put your newly mixed paint in. But I prefer to keep my powder dry and then mix it as and when I need it. It's incredibly useful this way.
Regular readers of my blog will also know that I favour of ready-made paints as well. Michael Harding, or Holland, and good old Windsor & Newton all feature in my paint box. But nothing quite compares to making your own. Especially when the raw pigment comes from one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
You can see me paint during the Salisbury Art trail in the White hart hotel on the following days: 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th June. Come and get inspired!
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