Tyrian purple hasn’t been the artists’ choice of colour for centuries

Wednesday, 17 July, 2013

Artistic styles have come and gone throughout the ages, that we know. The same also applies to some of the colours, or pigments, used in paintings, though that may not be quite as apparent.

Some of these hues, such as Maya Blue, in use 400 to 1200 years ago, have proved difficult for contemporary artists to replicate, while Tyrian purple, that is formulated from the secretions of certain sea snails, is likewise, not a straightforward colour to conjure up.

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Supernova red, long the choice of paint colour for barns

Monday, 20 May, 2013

Why is red paint plentiful? Because it is relatively inexpensive to produce. So where do the main ingredients of red paint come from? If you somehow thought that nuclear fusion, and supernovas, had some part in the supply process, then you would be correct:

So it’s because of the details of nuclear fusion – the particular size at which nuclei stop producing energy – that iron is the most common element heavier than neon. And as we saw before, you have to be a d-block element to make a decent pigment, which means that iron is going to be, by far, the most plentiful pigment for any species which lives on a star that isn’t about to blow up. And it’s going to bond to oxygen, the most plentiful thing around in planetary crusts for it to bond to (only hydrogen and helium are more common, and they tend to evaporate), to form iron oxides: those rich, red ochres that we mix with oils to form a cheap, stable, red paint.

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In the ultraviolet, seeing the world through Claude Monet’s eyes

Friday, 20 April, 2012

Either a lot more information has come to light since I was at high school studying art history, or I simply wasn’t paying that much attention. I just read the other day that French impressionist painter Claude Monet, after cataract surgery at age 82 on his left eye, was able to see light in the ultraviolet:

Late in his life, Claude Monet developed cataracts. As his lenses degraded, they blocked parts of the visible spectrum, and the colors he perceived grew muddy. Monet’s cataracts left him struggling to paint; he complained to friends that he felt as if he saw everything in a fog. After years of failed treatments, he agreed at age 82 to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Light could now stream through the opening unimpeded. Monet could now see familiar colors again. And he could also see colors he had never seen before. Monet began to see – and to paint – in ultraviolet.

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This is how colour wheels used to roll in days of old

Tuesday, 3 April, 2012

Vintage colour wheel

A collection of older colour wheels and their sometimes less than circular predecessors.

Via Trendland Magazine.

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Vincent van Gogh in a new light, it is possible he was colour blind?

Thursday, 15 December, 2011

Is it possible that nineteenth century Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh was colour blind? Kazunori Asada found many of van Gogh’s paintings differed markedly in appearance after making certain adjustments to the colour vision levels that his works are usually viewed in.

There were prints of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings in the room. Under the filtered light, I found that these paintings looked different from the van Gogh which I had always seen. I love van Gogh’s paintings and have been fortunate to view a number of the originals in various art museums. This painter has a somewhat strange way to use color. Although the use of color is rich, lines of different colors run concurrently, or a point of different color suddenly appears. I’ve heard it conjectured that van Gogh had color vision deficiency.

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The 2011 Pantone colour wheel calendar by Derek Bowers

Monday, 10 January, 2011

Pantone calendar by Derek Bowers

Derek Bowerscolour wheel inspired 2011 calendar, designed for Pantone, which consists of 1440 images.

The main aim for me was to make this calendar relevant on a global scale. With the colour wheel being universally recognised, I used this and combined it with a mosaic made up of 1440 different images to create my main graphic. Sticking with the whole worldwide idea, I have included many visual references to a host of different countries within the mosaic, and highlighted many of the main religious and cultural holidays throughout the year.

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Next year the world turns a pinker shade of honeysuckle

Wednesday, 15 December, 2010

honeysuckle, pantone colour of the year

Honeysuckle, a reddish pink hue, has been named the Pantone colour of the year for 2011.

Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.

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Colour of the year for 2011? Your guess as good as mine I think

Wednesday, 3 November, 2010

Is it possible to predict what people’s favourite colours will be in a year’s time, or only what they are at present?

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No one wants to steal my pink Cadillac, the car yes, the pink, no

Wednesday, 4 August, 2010

Pink is the new black in terms of car theft prevention systems it seems, with one study showing that car thieves tend to give cars painted pink a very wide berth:

From 2004-2008, the most commonly colored vehicle stolen was black. This may be because black vehicles look more luxurious. Following close behind black were gray/silver automobiles. Of the 109 pink cars in the study, not one was stolen. A bright and uncommon color, like pink, may be as effective deterrent as an expensive security system.

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Canadian cities classified by the colours of Pantone palettes

Tuesday, 6 April, 2010

Todd Falkowsky has created a pantone colour based visual identity scheme for the cities he has visited in Canada.

Using computers to figure out the predominant colours from landmarks and landscapes from each Canadian capital city, he then built individual palettes to create a kind of chromatic identity for each city.

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