Mars Yellow Paintings

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Click for larger size

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

This painting is loosely based on a Chinese landscape painting I saw in a book of mine called The Jade Studio. It’s a very good book, but I don’t have it with me right now so I can’t look up any information on this painting or the others except what I had already typed. I only used mars yellow that I made myself and titanium white from M Graham.

I finally decided to try making some oil paint a couple of weeks ago with the glass muller I had gotten from Natural Pigments. So far I’ve only used it for making watercolor because I thought the cleanup after using it for oil paint would be a bit of a hassle… and it kind of was. I think the result I got was worth it though. I used mars yellow (PY42) pigment from Blue Ridge and walnut oil from M Graham. The finished paint was very soft and kind of goopy and ropey, which I like.

The only problem was that I made way too much of it. I made alla prima painting after painting with nothing but mars yellow, and sometimes white, trying to use up as much as I could.

Click for larger size
Click for larger size

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

This is a copy of a painting from a series of paintings by Dai Xi (1801-1860). I think it’s leaf 8 of the first album from his “Double Album of Landscapes” if I’m understanding this book right, but I don’t have the title for this exact painting. I can’t seem to find this painting online to show what the original looks like. In my version I only used mars yellow. There’s no white paint or any other paint. In the lighter areas I thinned the paint a little (or a lot) using Gamblin’s Neo Megilp, which I recently got and wanted to try out, and the white areas are completely blank canvas. This was kind of an experiment because I don’t think I’ve left parts of a canvas blank before, but it can be done in watercolor so I tried it with oil paint.

Click for larger size
Click for larger size

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

Another copy of a painting that I don’t know the name of from that book. It was a winter scene with a lot of snow and grey skies. This one also has blank canvas for white and thinned paint in the lighter areas. The original had some buildings too but I left them out. I think this is the only one I didn’t paint in one sitting, but I also didn’t paint over anything either so it might as well have been painted all at once.

Mars Yellow 3

Oil on canvas, 5″x7″

This isn’t based on another other painting, but I wanted to experiment with it. I already had a small canvas that I had covered in several coats of white acrylic paint to smooth out the canvas texture. I was planning on making a completely different painting on this, but I wanted to try this paint to see what kinds of brushstroke textures I could get on the smooth surface. I think it worked out well, except that for some reason even though the paint wasn’t very thick it took a long time to dry. I would have posted all of these a week ago if this had been dry but even still it’s too sticky to set on my scanner. I took a photo instead, in early evening shade, which is why the colors look different.

7 thoughts on “Mars Yellow Paintings

    1. Thanks! Ah, I just looked at the prices for genuine sepia pigment (the ink comes from a sepia, a type of cuttlefish) and it’s way too high for me. $35 for only 10g. I guess these sepia effects here will have to be enough. ^_^

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