This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 2 months ago by Erin Auble.

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  • #19650
     Erin Auble
    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    I’m developing a “Fun Facts about Scenic Painting” section for my class. Looking for some fun historical and cultural facts and anecdotes to share with my students for an online discussion board. I teach a intro level scenic painting class for non majors. Would love to stress the amazing innovative and creative approaches that we all do with painting that would hopefully tie into their majors and career choices.

    Thank you for any fun thoughts you would like to share.

    #19654
     Sophie Frances Block
    • Experience: 5-10 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Hi Erin! I love this idea! I’ve been doing a lot of research into pigment histories and the origins of different types of paint. One of the most fascinating stories I found was the history of Indian Yellow pigment: https://www.winsornewton.com/na/discover/articles-and-inspiration/spotlight-on-colour-indian-yellow-us

    #19738
     Erin Auble
    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Thank you Sophie! That is a wonderful article.

    #19754
     Cobaltgosa
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Hi Erin,

    In class we reference a book called The Craftsman’s Handbook, by Cennino d’Andrea Cennini. It has varying levels of in depth descriptions on how to “properly” do classical painter prep work and make certain pigments. It’s lovely and very…historic. In “the character of ultramarine blue, and how to make it,” one of the instructions is “and know that making it is an occupation for pretty girls rather than for men; for they are always home, and reliable, and they have more dainty hands. Just beware of old women.” Know that the whole book is not so eye-rollingly problematic, that quote comes after three pages of describing where to find, how to process, and when to use ultramarine blue. There are also instructions on how to make “perfect and slender coals for drawing”, “how you should make bristle brushes and in what manner”, how to paint all sorts of things on different materials. This is what our copy looks like. It may not be helpful for modern application but its a fascinating piece of history.

    #19804
     Erin Auble
    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Oh my goodness, that book sounds very interesting.

    #19806
     JMCharge
    • Experience: 5-10 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    I fell in love with this book, “The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair. Its a charming look into the origin stories of color, pigments, and fashion trends. The origin story of puce is my favorite.

    My scenic painting class has an assignment where they have to pull a random color from a hat, research the history of it, give a small presentation to the class, and then mix it using Rosco Scenic Paints.

    Fun fact about watercolors:

    The cake pans use to dry out rapidly and were a little unstable. William Reeves, A workman employed by a colorman in the late 18th century was doing experiments on his own time. One day he discovered that when he mixed honey with gum arabic and mixing the pigment into that, it made the cakes easy to mold into desired shapes AND prevented them from drying out. He and his brother formed their own company, Reeve & Son in 1766 which supplied the East India Trading company with the first watercolor paint boxes. The next wave of change wouldn’t occur until 1832 when 2 men, William Windsor (a chemist) and Henry Newton (a artist) collaborated adding glycerine into the mix. Making watercolor that could be used out of the tin.

    #19809
     Erin Auble
    • Experience: 15-20 years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

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    Thank you so much for both the book recommendation and the watercolor fun facts!

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