A Colour A Day: Week 26. 14th-20th September
Jo Volley writes…
This weeks colours are 7 lake pigments manufactured by Ruth Siddall.
ON THE CHARACTER OF A RED CALLED LAC
A colour known as lac is red, and it is an artificial colour. And I have various receipts for it; but I advise you, for the sake of your works, to get the colour ready made for your money. But take care to recognise the good kind, because there are several types of it. Some lake is made from the shearings of cloth and it is very attractive to the eye. Beware of this type, for it always retains some fatness in it, because of the alum, and does not last at all, either with temperas or without temperas, and quickly loses its colour. Take care to avoid this; but get the lac which is made from gum, and it is dry, lean, granular, and looks almost black, and contains a sanguine colour. This kind cannot be other than good and perfect. Take this, and work it upon your slab; grind it with clear water. And it is good on panel; and it is also used on the wall with a tempera; but the air is its undoing. There are those who grind it with urine; but it becomes unpleasant, for it promptly goes bad.
Cennino Cennini, Il Libro dell’Arte
All pigments are bound in gum Arabic on W&N watercolour paper and read from left to right:
Iris green lake – ‘Lily green’
Logwood ‘chalk’ lake
Butterfly Pea Flower lake
Lac lake – Kerria lacca