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Traditional Paints
True Carmine
Carmine Hue
Persian Red
Dark Red
Orange Lake Hue
King's Yellow Hue
Sea Blue-Green
Yellow Ochre
Green Earth
Mars Yellow
Fawn Ochre
Burnt Sienna
Lamp Black
Burnt Umber
China Clay
Dark Brown
Mars Brown


The Paints

Most of the paints shown here are pure earth and lake pigments, as were used by marblers in earlier times. Some colors have been reformulated with modern pigments to imitate historic colors where the original pigments represent a health hazard (arsenic, lead, cadmium, cobalt, chrome). In other paints, substitution with modern pigments has been done because the pigments are not sufficiently lightfast (although we still use Indigo and Carmine because of their historical significance and having found that Indigo is reasonably lightfast and Carmine is no less lightfast than Alizarin Crimson). These reformulated paints are labeled as hues to differentiate them from the original pigments. In either case, paints have been matched as closely as possible to original color samples, while also realizing that there was wide variation in the color of a paint during those times due to method of preparation, source and quality of pigment.

All of these paints contain beeswax and the papers can be burnished easily (although not without some effort). Burnishing gives a nice sheen to the papers and adds depth to the colors.

The color samples shown here have all been taken from actual marbled samples. All the paints have been diluted to the same degree: 1:12, or 1/4 tsp in 1 Tb sp water, which makes a concentrated paint. The paints are available as a paste, in 20 ml containers. This will yield a minimum of about 250 ml (8 oz) of useable color. The color will vary depending upon the dilution, order of use, amount of gall and degree of compression by other colors. The range of variation, at least for some of the paints, can best be seen on the Papers page.