Thursday, August 10, 2017

De Wint's Colors

"Peter De Wint’s (1784-1849) usual palette had the following twelve colours : vermilion, Indian red, Prussian or cyanine blue, brown madder, pink madder, sepia, gamboge, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, purple lake, brown pink, and indigo.

"To these, for occasional use, he added four others in half-cakes: orange ochre, Vandyke brown, olive green cobalt, and emerald green.

"All these pigments were in hard cakes, but they were kept soft with water when in use. De Wint designed his own box, as he disliked to mix his washes on the enamelled leaves with which the trade boxes were fitted. He preferred bright metal leaves with a silver-like surface.

"He employed two brushes, both large and round, but one was old and worn, while the other was new and came to a fine point."
Excerpted from: "Masters of English Landscape Painting: J. S. Cotman. David Cox, Peter De Wint" by Charles Holme, available from Google Books and and in book form from Amazon.
More about De Wint's life and technical process on


Linda Navroth said...

A very interesting mix of colors, which explains the unique look of his paintings. Greens were relegated to supplements. And this raised my eyebrows immediately: "He preferred bright metal leaves with a silver-like surface." Good lord! He just have painted under an umbrella often then!

Glenn Tait said...

Do you see any advantages of using a silver-like surface for mixing?

One thing that comes to mind is if it was more of a brushed metal surface it would be similar to using a middle grey palette. If it's as shiny as the text seems to indicate, it would reflect some of the colours/lighting of the environment he would be working In to some degree.