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Or More Correctly Semi-neutral Tint Is A Compound Shadow Colour Of

a cool character. It is permanent, except that on exposure the gray is
apt to become grey, a change which may be prevented by a slight addition
of ultramarine ash. So protected, it becomes serviceable in landscape
for the extreme distance, which, it may be laid down as a general
principle, should be painted rather cold than otherwise. Blue being the
principal compound of atmosphere, it is of the utmost importance to
obtain this in the first instance, particularly as, from its being only
of a blue tint, not blue colour, it is so immediately altered and acted
upon by subsequent washes; whereas, the blue tone once lost, it will be
found very difficult to be recovered. Wherever a picture is wanting in
air effect, the cause will, upon examination, be seen to rest entirely
upon the absence of pure grays, bordering upon a bluish tone, not
tending, be it observed, to brown or purple. A bluish gray, then, of
rather a cold tone, such as the neutral tint, is recommended as the
prevailing hue with which to begin the extreme distances; and, as a
rule, it is better to pass with this over as much of the landscape as
possible, and thus lay the foundation for a general atmosphere.


resembles the preceding in being a compound colour and liable to assume
a grey cast by time, but differs from it in having more lilac in its
hue, and being therefore of a warmer tone. Giving by itself a clear
violet shadow, it may be rendered more neutral by a small portion of
burnt Sienna, an admixture which, whether the gray or Sienna
predominates, affords useful tints. Compounded with light red or Vandyke
brown, the gray is good for shipping and sails, or the stems and
branches of trees; while with gamboge or aureolin it is suited to glossy
leaves in high light, also to very cold tones in foregrounds, herbage,
&c. Yellow ochre, light red, and Payne's gray form a mixture for banks
and roads; the ochre, gray, and sepia, a most beautiful tint for stones;
and brown madder and the gray, a fine shade for the black head and feet
of cattle. Alone, the gray is serviceable for slate; and compounded with
light red, for bricks or tiles in shadow.


is obtained from the stone after the richer and more intense blue has
been extracted. Although not equal in beauty, and inferior in strength
of colour to ultramarine, it is a valuable bye-product varying in shade
from light to dark, and in hue from pale azure to cold blue. With a grey
cast, it affords delicate and extremely tender tints, not so positive as
ultramarine, but which, as water-colours, wash much better. It furnishes
grays softer, purer, and more suited to the pearly tints of flesh,
skies, distances, foliage, shadows of drapery, &c. than those composed
of other blues, with white and black, which the old masters were wont to
employ. Ultramarine, however, produces the same effects when broken with
black and white, and is thus sometimes carried throughout the colouring
of a picture. The ash, compounded with lamp black, gives a soft cold
gray for dark louring clouds, or for twilight away from the sun's
influence. Alone it is adapted to very remote hills or mountains, and
with orient yellow or aureolin to distant foliage.

* * * * *

The native phosphate of iron, which has been already described in the
tenth chapter under its name of Blue Ochre, might have been classed
among the grays, being similar in colour to the deeper hues of
ultramarine ashes. Powdered slate, slate clays, and several native
earths, likewise rank with grays; but some of the earths we have tried
are not durable, being apt to become brown by the oxidation of the iron
they contain. It may be proper here to mention those other pigments,
known as tints, which, being the result of the experience of accredited
masters in their peculiar modes of practice, serve to facilitate the
progress of their amateur pupils, while they are more or less eligible

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