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Alphabe Thursday B is for Brown

November 28, 2013

My little brown pot is not so brown it is Burnt Umber

Coat Hanger Doll's House

2013-11-28 08.08.07

Remembering again my paintbox as a child; I don’t think I used the brown too often.  We lived by the sea and the sun shone every day. Didn’t it? There was need for shade or gloom. Nonetheless, the names Burnt Sienna and Umber sounded so beautiful and foreign; but I had not understood why until quite recently.  Brown did not come to the artist’s pallette until the late Renaissance; until then artists such as Cennino were lightening and darkening the tone of their works with white and black. Then the Baroque period came ‘the era of deep shadows, dramatic black, counterpoint to fulvous highlights.’ So between the golden glow and the heavy gloom came the new yellows, ochre and brown pigments

Brown really was the least lovely of all pigments; because it came from the ground albeit in a wide range of shades.

The ochres or iron ores have been…

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