To Blue To Which The Attribute Of Coolness Peculiarly Belongs It Is


discordant when standing alone with yellow or with red, unresolved by

their proper contrasts or harmonizing colours, purple and green. As an

archeus or ruling colour, orange is one of the most agreeable keys in

toning a picture, from the richness and warmth of its effects. If it

predominate therein, for the colouring to be true, the violet and purple

should be more or less red, the red more or less scarlet, the yellow

ore or less intense and orange, and the orange itself be intense and

vivid. Further, the greens must lose some of their blue and consequently

become yellower, the light blues be more or less light grey, and the

deep indigo more or less marrone.

Although the secondary colours are capable of being obtained by

admixture of the primaries in an infinitude of hues, tints, and shades;

yet simple original pigments of whatever class--whether secondary,

tertiary, or semi-neutral--are, it has been said before, often superior

to those compounded, both in a chemical and artistic sense. Hence a

thoroughly good original orange is only of less value and importance

than a thoroughly good original yellow, a green than a blue, or a

purple than a red. To produce pure and permanent compound hues requires

practice and knowledge, and we too often see in the works of painters

combinations neither pleasing nor stable. Colours are associated with

each other which do not mix kindly, and compounds formed of which one or

both constituents are fugitive. As a consequence, mixed tints are

frequently wanting in clearness, and, where they do not disappear

altogether, resolve themselves into some primary colour; orange becoming

red by a fading of the yellow, green yellow by a fading of the blue, and

purple blue by a fading of the red. Again, with regard to compound

tints, there is the danger of one colour reacting upon and injuring

another, as in the case of greens obtained from chrome yellow and

Prussian blue, where the former ultimately destroys the latter. Of

course a mixture of two permanent pigments which do not react on each

other will remain permanent; the green, for instance, furnished by

aureolin and native ultramarine lasting as long as the ground itself. To

produce, however, the effects desired, the artist does not always stop

to consider the fitness and stability of his colours in compounding,

even if he possess the needed acquaintance with their physical and

chemical properties. At all times, therefore, but especially when such

knowledge is slight, good orange, &c., pigments are of more or less

value, as by their use the employment of inferior mixtures is to a great

extent avoided. In mingling primary with primary, if one colour does not

compound well with the other, or is fugacious, the result is failure;

but a secondary is not so easily affected by admixture: a green, for

example, is seldom quite ruined by the injudicious addition of blue or

yellow; and even if either of the latter be fugitive, the green will

remain a green if originally durable. Thus the secondaries, if they are

not already of the colour required, may be brightened or subdued,

deepened or paled, with comparative impunity. The artist who, from long

years of experience, knows exactly the properties and capabilities of

the colours he employs, may in a measure dispense with secondary

pigments, and obtain from the primaries mixed tints at once stable,

beautiful, and pure; but even he must sometimes resort to them, as when

a green like emerald or viridian is required, which no mixture of blue

and yellow will afford. The primaries, by reason of their not being able

to be composed of other colours, occupy the first place on the palette,

and are of the first importance; but the secondaries are far too useful

to be disregarded, and have a value of their own, which both veteran and

tyro have cause to acknowledge.

The list of original orange pigments was once so deficient, that in some

old treatises on the subject of colours, they are not even mentioned.

This may have arisen, not merely from their paucity, but from the

unsettled signification of the term orange, as well as from improperly

calling these pigments reds, yellows, &c. In these days, however, orange

pigments are sufficiently numerous to merit a chapter to themselves;

they indeed comprise some of the best colours on the palette.