Colorful Fridays-Sunset Yellow

It has the quality of appearing to recede into the picture’s distant plain (sic) (un)like other yellows that sit in front of the plain(sic).”– Pigments Through The Ages

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All of the Naples colors are favorites of mine but especially Naples Yellow.  I just love it.   It squishes so nicely.  Naples Yellow mixes well with just about all the colors of a sunset, even purple.  Naples Yellow is one of those colors I will drive miles to get if running low.  Could there be anything worse than being forced to paint without Naples Yellow?

Besides sunsets, Naples Yellow has become my go-to lightening color for painting twigs in the bird paintings. Burnt sienna and Payne’s Gray make up the main colors for twigs but Naples yellow adds just enough lightening to create the highlights of bits of sunlight filtering through the trees. Without Naples Yellow my twigs would be more like flat plains than miniature logs. Just as I would drive for miles for the sunsets, I would for the twigs too. Crazy artist thing!

Apparently, Naples Yellow has been around for quite some time.  It has been found in ceramic glazes of pottery found in ancient Babylon from 1500 B.C.  Most of the Old Master’s worked with Naples Yellow.  The websites of Winsor NewtonGamblinand Goldenall state it was originally made from lead antimoniate but all three makers use various synthetic chemicals to simulate the original color today.  Winsor Newton’s website says” Its name probably comes from its presence as a natural deposit that could be found in the volcanic earth of Mount Vesuvius, a volcano on the bay of Naples.”

Naples Yellow is so popular it has its own Facebook page!  Who knew??  I guess lots of artists would drive miles to get Naples Yellow.

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