Why use ultramarine/lapis pigment?

Natural ultramarine is the painters dream; the natural ultramarine pigment with its crystalline structure and multiple surfaces reflects light like a finely faceted jewel thereby exhibiting ever changing display of rich vibrant blues. This creates a three dimensional, gem like effect which is not at all possible with a very small, round and homogenous shaped particles of the synthetic ultramarine pigment.

  1. Compare the reflection of light from the larger & heterogeneous shaped particles of natural Lapis pigment to the small same sized and shaped particles of synthetic ultramarine; the lapis pigment particles are far more transparent allowing more light to pass through them also allowing greater reflection of light. While synthetic pigment particles do not allow much light to pass through them absorbing most of it and reflecting little.
  2. The lapis pigment is a gemstone pigment therefore its particles act as finely faceted jewels reflecting light giving a crystalline glitter to the painting; synthetic ultramarine is a chemical pigment, its particles  are round and small they cannot reflect light like natural ultramarine.
  3. As lapis pigment allows more light to pass through it so the layer of paint underneath it receives more light and becomes more luminous; synthetic pigment do not allow much light to pass through therefore the paint layer underneath it is not illuminated.
  4. As shown in the diagram ,there is far greater and better transmission of color from the layer underneath lapis paint layer than that of synthetic paint layer; also the color reflected through lapis layer is brighter and more vibrant than the dull shade of color transmitted through synthetic pigment.

The natural ultramarine has a high stability to light and records have shown a painting 500 yrs old which has as pure and intense a blue color as freshly painted. It is suitable for every medium, equally excellent with oils, water and egg tempera. Ultramarine is well suited to make works of art more distinguished and alive with its gemstone energy.

Techniques in which it can be used in oil paintings:

  • With ultramarine pigment mixed in oil you can paint wet on wet (i.e. mix paint both on the palette and the canvas)
  • Layered (apply a layer of ultramarine paint once the previous has dried)
  • Glaze – ideally suited for glaze (you can work with very thin transparent layers)
  • Blending – it can be blended with any colour, giving smooth and velvety brush strokes. It imparts luminosity to every color it is blended with.

For  Water color technique

Lapis pigment is equally splendid for water colors, mixing it with a little gum Arabic ,it yields smooth brush strokes and can be mixed with any color.

For Egg Tempera technique  

Mix the pigment with little water(optional)and egg yolk and apply it for egg tempera painting,also a little linseed oil can be added to make egg oil emulsion paints ,good for impasto.
Whatever technique you choose to use, ultramarine pigment is the ideal choice.As its hue,chroma,or  value do not alter with time,it is resistant to changes in temperature and weather.

HOW TO MAKE ARTIST’S OIL PAINTS WITH LAPIS LAZULI PIGMENT.

OIL PAINTING AND ITS GLORIOUS HISTORY:

The earliest record of oil painting dates back to the 7th century cave paintings in Afghanistan .Then in the 15th century Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck innovated the technique of oil painting substituting the Egg tempera technique used in those days. With oil painting technique he made such marvelous realistic paintings that  his contemporaries were left awestruck. Oil painting was quickly taken up by the artists and is a very popular medium of painting to date.

 ARTIST’s OIL PAINT RECIPE:

Constituents:

  • Dry Lapis Lazuli   pigment.
  • Good quality refined Linseed oil
First Step

First Step  

  1. Pigment
  2. Refined Linseed oil
  3. A small muller
  4. A bowl
  5. A spatula or knife

Third Step  

Add few drops of linseed oil.

Fifth Step  

  • Mix well, oil and pigment, making it into a thick putty
  •  You can add more drops of oil if the pigment seems dry

Seventh Step  

  • Thoroughly mix the pigment, check the consistency
  • If it is thin you can add more pigment, if too thick you can add one or more drops of oil.
Second-Step

Second Step  

  • Take a spoonful of Lapis pigment in a clean bowl. You can use any non-absorbent surface for mixing.
  • De Mairo pigment is finely ground without any grit so it doesn’t need any more grinding, just a bit of thorough mixing with oil.

Fourth Step  

  • Take a knife or spatula, mix the pigment with oil.
  • Slowly incorporate all the dry powder into the oil.

Sixth Step  

  • For proper mixing use a small Muller
  •  Thoroughly mix the pigment with the binder oil
  •  Within one minute of mixing, the brilliant blue color of the pigment is displayed

Final Step  

  • Make a  paint-like consistency, now you can use it like any other tube color.
  • It can be used separately or with any other tube color.
  • It gives glow and luminosity to all the colors it is added to. Enjoy the vibrant, rich blue color of DeMairo lapis pigment in your painting.

De Mairo Natural Lapis Lazuli pigment

is ideal for painting with oil, water, tempera etc.

As Lapis Lazuli pigment is an inorganic pigment, it does not chemically react with other materials therefore it can be safely used with water oil and other chemically based products.

 

HOW  TO DO EGG TEMPERA  PAINTING  WITH  LAPIS LAZULI  PIGMENT?

Most  Tempera artists prefer to make their paints fresh and use them within 24 hours .Fresh tempera paints are far better than the tube paints available in the market as they don’t have any preservatives in them.

HISTORY  OF  EGG  TEMPERA

Tempera is a fast drying painting medium in which egg yolk is used as a binder.

This method of painting is marked by its durability.It was the most popular method of painting from  1st century to 16th century.

MAKING OF EGG TEMPERA PAINT WITH LAPIS PIGMENT

PREPARING THE  BINDER(egg)

Take a fresh egg. Separate the yolk without breaking it. Dry it on a paper towel moving it gently to and fro. Now break the egg   yolk discarding the yolk sac.

Take lapis lazuli pigment in equal proportion with egg yolk, mix the egg yolk with dry pigment with spatula after dispersing the pigment .Keep adding the yolk slowly mixing it with spatula simultaneously till it attains the paste like form of right consistency. You can put it in a small glass jar with lid to prevent speedy drying.

 

WATER COLOR PAINTING

Water  color is a kind of painting method in which a water-soluble binder like gum Arabic is used for the pigment.

The main beauty of water color painting is its transparency and luminosity as water is used instead of oil for painting.

It can be done on paper , wood , fabric, canvas etc

MAKING OF ARTIST’S WATERCOLOR PAINTS WITH LAPIS PIGMENT

  • PAINT RECIPE
  • CONSTITUENTS
  • Liquid Gum Arabic
  • Lapis dry pigment
  •  METHOD OF PREPARATION

Place the pigment on a non absorbent surface. Slowly add drop by drop gum Arabic in the pigment .Mix well till a paste of right consistency is attained. Check its consistency on paper.

Now it is ready to be used for painting you can apply it by thinning it with water if you like. Water color made with real lapis pigment ,yields smooth brush strokes and can be mixed with any other color .

Lapis pigment is transparent as it has a crystalline structure reflecting light like  a jewel so it is wonderful for water color painting.