Art Journal Art techniques


We can find in the store a very large color range. For me, the basic colors, basic color ingredients are the follow eight:

  • – Yellow: Cadmium yellow (warm yellow)
  • – Hansa yellow (lemon yellow)
  • – Red Cadminum red light (red hot)
  • – Cadmiun deep red (cold red)
  • – Ultramarine blue (sky blue)
  • – Turquoise blue (blue of the warm seas)
  • – Titanium white
  • – Carbon Black

With these colors you can create all possible tones of colors. I work mainly with acrylic paint because it dries quickly, and if the paint is of good quality, then this gives a powerful and intense color.

Normally I darken the color with ultramarine, not with black paint. With black mixing colors are tatty, grayer, with blue remain brighter. For painting my paintings I use Artist Lascaux. It is an expensive paint, but the quality is very good and clear. You can see the quality very good with the color white, it has more pigment and covers a lot better. For the sketches, I use: Amsterdam, Standard Series, Daler Rowney, System 3, Winsor & Newton, Galeria.

I have many pots of water to clean the brushes. Each brush I clean the water of its color. In this way, the brushes remain clean and the colors bright. My palettes are plastic plates. So I do not need to clean, it’s easy.


It is interesting to know the components of the paint, in order to understand it better. The paint we use has three components: pigment, binder and solvent. 1.- pigment: form of powder that gives the color. 2.- binder: liquid substance which makes it possible that the pigment adheres to a plate or canvas, makes that the paint is in liquid form. 3.- solvent. Has the function to dilute the paint or to resolve. Solvents are turpentine oil paints or water for other paints.

1.- Pigment.

We have natural or synthetic pigments.

a.- Natural pigments: Are made with organic materials such as – Carmine: Red pigment made from crushed woodlice. – Indian yellow: Originally from India. Warm urine of cows with mango leaves. Since 100 years is no longer made. – Natural Siene earth from the city of Siena, Italia. The earth was dried and then pulverized in order to create as the pigment. – Blue: The stone lapis lazuli – Black: Charcoal. Soot.

b.- Synthetic pigments: are produced in laboratories by chemical reactions. The chemical components are investigated to create a specific pigment, and how they react together to create a color.

2.- Binders

There are various types of binders such as milk, yogurt, or egg. Depending on the chosen binder, they form different types of paints.

A.- Watercolors. Solvent is water.

a.- Watercolour. Pigment + water + arabic gum made from the acacia plant.

b.- Placard paint. Pigment + chalk (to thicken the paint) + dextrina (binder), made from potatoes.

c.-Tempera. Pigment + egg yolk + water. The egg gives shine to the paint after drying.

d.- Acrylics. Pigment + resin + water. The synthetic resin is a chemical product, a type of elastic and strong plastic.

B.- Oil. Solvent turpentine.

Pigment + chalk + oil (made from linseed) + a drop component for fast drying + turpentine. The oil needs much drying time. If there are many and very thick layers used, it may take years until it is fully dried. More information:

How do you work, what are the basic ingredients of your color recipe?

Pictures and painting: Ángeles Nieto


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