It set me thinking about colours, and the colours to be found in nature and I recalled a very small item from a 1930's book, about how paint and dye colours were made. I am assuming that they are made differently now - or maybe not.
- Lamp black is condensed smoke, but ivory black is made from burnt tusks.
- Sepia is obtained from the cuttle fish.
- Tyrian purple, an old, rich colour used for dying the imperial togas of ancient Rome - is made from shell fish.
- Vermillion is salt of mercury.
- Rose Madder comes from the roots of a tropical plant.
- Crimson lake from the crushed body of a cheery little fellow known as the cochineal insect.
- Yellow ochre is made from earth.
- Chrome yellow from the metal chromium.
- Gamboge from Indian cattle fed on mangroves.
- Ultramarine is obtained by crushing lapis lazuli.
I was going to do some painting today - I have a couple of pieces of work on the go, which should have been completed ages ago.
Maybe tomorrow I'll pick up my tubes of paint with those familiar names, perhaps I'll splosh them around, maybe not. Either way, at least I'll know a tiny bit more about their origins.