Ochres have been in use since prehistory. These coloured clays, which contain iron oxide found in the earth, generally come from France and Italy. These natural pigments are perfectly lightfast and suitable for all techniques, especially for fresco (with the exception of brown ochre).
Natural, clay-base yellow. A warm, slightly transparent colour.
Calcified yellow ochre.
Rich, dark brown formulated from natural clays and synthetic pigments. Not recommended for fresco.
Transparent “azo” pigment and extenders. Very intense, transparent, reddish brown with high tinting strength. Suitable for all techniques, except fresco.
Iron oxide. Good covering brown, very lightfast and stable in mixtures. Recommended for all techniques including fresco.
Van Dyck Brown
Iron oxide. Purple brown. Very lightfast and stable in mixtures. Suitable for all techniques, including fresco..
Natural earths (Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Green Earth) All the siennas, umbers, and green earths are entirely natural and come from Italian soil. They are all natural iron oxides. The natural earth colours are completely lightfast and stable in mixtures. Colours referred to as “burnt” come from calcified native earth. Siennas and umbers require a great amount of oil in grinding. Since earths naturally have excellent drying properties, avoid adding drying agents. Earth pigments are suitable for all techniques, and are recommended for fresco.