Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pigment Properties

Now that I'm building pigment property sheets for my dry pigments, I question just how much of what I'm collecting that I really understand. Lately I've wondered about the differences between Organic and Inorganic and Synthetic and Natural.

Organic is of plant or animal origin--petrochemicals, roots, insects, berries. There are natural organics (rose madder, vine black, cochineal) and synthetic organics (quinacridones, phthalocyanines).

Inorganic are of mineral or metal origin--clays, rocks, metals. There are natural inorganics (ochres, umbers, lapis, malachite) and synthetic inorganics (cadmiums, cobalts, Mars's).

In general, organics often feel light, are difficult to disperse in water, and have a relatively small particle size.

In general, inorganics often feel heavy, are easy to disperse in water, and naturals have a relatively large particle size.

This all came about when I became again interested in the line of synthetic organics offered by Kremer. Although there is something about the organics that attracts me and I'll certainly keep experimenting with then, I'd like to fill out a palette of synthetic organics. I think they'll work nicely with egg tempera glazes.

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