Your Essential Autumn Palette
Our handmade watercolour paints, Earth Pigments, are the perfect natural colours for your Autumn palette. In this article I am sharing the stories and characteristics of three watercolour paints that we hand mull from earth pigments; Genuine Hematite, Italian Gold Ochre and Burnt Umber.
What Are Earth Pigments?
Made from clay and rock, earth pigments are naturally occurring colours. The minerals of iron and manganese oxide within the clay and rock determine their colour. Think of the red and yellow ochres used in prehistoric cave paintings and you’ll get an idea of how stable and lightfast these pigments are for painting.
On the paper, earth pigment paints have good tonal ranges of beautifully soft earthy hues that come alive with naturally occurring granulation. The small dots and flakes of colour known as granulation or flocculation appear when heavier pigment particles settle in the crevices and textures of the paper. If granulation is what you are after, then use a wash of earth pigment paint on wet textured (cold press) paper.
Handmade Watercolour Paints Earth Pigments
The ancient Greeks called Hematite “bloodstone” and looking at the pigment of this finely ground mineral I can see why. It is the deep dark red of blood. Once we hand mull it into paint, the colour becomes a reddish brown and speaks of the iron rich rocks from which it is made.
Paint with Hematite and you can depict the earthy reds of Devon soil, the litter of needles and cones under pine trees and the subtle red hues in autumn leaves.
Italian Gold Ochre
Italian Gold Ochre is a clay earth pigment quarried from northern Italy. As a result, this golden ochre appears to have been kissed by the Italian sun.
Painting with this warm earthy yellow you can capture the golden light of sunny autumn days and the glow of yellow leaves before they fade into brown.
There is no mistaking that Burnt Umber is a pigment from the earth. Made by roasting the clay soil of Raw Umber, it makes a warmer, richer and darker colour. The result is a pigment that is umami for the eyes.
Burnt Umber speaks of damp soils, wet barks, undergrowth and the dark under gills of mushrooms. Further diluting, and the tones become delicate tans to depict lighter, sandy soils, dry twigs and seed heads.
Find out how our artist quality handmade watercolour paints Earth Pigments are made.
Handmade Watercolour Paints Earth Pigments – Sources and further reading: