The ‘Pure Greys’ - a deceptively simple sequence of twelve steps between white and black.
Papers and Paints are frequently asked to make up colours in between each of these shades - it is possible to make up 18 such mini-steps - making a total of 210 possibilities.
This sort of exercise can be undertaken with most of our colours.

The ‘Pure Greys’ - a deceptively simple sequence of twelve steps between white and black.

Papers and Paints are frequently asked to make up colours in between each of these shades - it is possible to make up 18 such mini-steps - making a total of 210 possibilities.

This sort of exercise can be undertaken with most of our colours.

The ‘Great Hall Colours’ are taken from the very sophisticated scheme applied by one of our leading interior decorators in the entrance hall of a major country house. Although by no means ‘authentic’ the decoration was of such subtlety that it worked marvellously. I was asked to measure the colours with a view to repainting in the same manner. Sadly this never happened. However Papers and Paints now sell the colours for others to use.
These RGB squares don’t even begin to do the colours justice, but such are the limitations of looking at colour on a monitor.

The ‘Great Hall Colours’ are taken from the very sophisticated scheme applied by one of our leading interior decorators in the entrance hall of a major country house. Although by no means ‘authentic’ the decoration was of such subtlety that it worked marvellously. I was asked to measure the colours with a view to repainting in the same manner. Sadly this never happened. However Papers and Paints now sell the colours for others to use.

These RGB squares don’t even begin to do the colours justice, but such are the limitations of looking at colour on a monitor.

The 1980s was a decade in which so much happened in the world of decoration.  I remember bringing out the first range of Historical Colours to come on to the British paint market, which caused quite a ripple that is still with us. When not answering questions on 18th century drawing rooms we were giving advice on ‘ragging’, ‘dragging’ and the use of scumble glaze to clients.

However, towards the end of that time there was a small, but very determined, group of people asking for much brighter, almost Caribbean-inspired colours.  We still produce them - none of our colours are discontinued. If you need a bit of cheering-up they may be just the ticket.

Papers and Paints are the people to come to for colour.

Colour plays a part in all aspects of life. A knowledge of those that were used to camouflage wartime buildings has proved immensely valuable on several of my projects.
Here is a post on the way that a range was developed and employed in the United Kingdom during 1939-1945. We occasionally get asked for these at Papers and Paints – admittedly one of the more esoteric areas of interest.

Colour plays a part in all aspects of life. A knowledge of those that were used to camouflage wartime buildings has proved immensely valuable on several of my projects.

Here is a post on the way that a range was developed and employed in the United Kingdom during 1939-1945. We occasionally get asked for these at Papers and Paints – admittedly one of the more esoteric areas of interest.

"I want a good French château shutter blue" was a request that we received many times before I thought of putting it to the test.

Visits to different parts of France; copious photographs; the odd surreptitious flake of paint taken in the interests of the ‘common good’ and the enlistment of friends to broaden the research gave me the answer.  There isn’t just the one blue that French people paint the shutters of their Châteaux!

The result of this little exercise has given Papers and Paints a unique range of very subtle colours from different regions - notably La Vendée; Le pays de la Loire; Les Pyrénées-Atlantiques;  Languedoc and Le Poitou.

French Grey - an account of this 18th century colour.

French Grey - an account of this 18th century colour.

My red trousers have washed out to the colour of the “Eyes of the Largest Flesh-Fly”.
How do I know this? Because I have referred to my copy of Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours.
What colour are yours?

My red trousers have washed out to the colour of the “Eyes of the Largest Flesh-Fly”.

How do I know this? Because I have referred to my copy of Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours.

What colour are yours?

Of the Herald, House and Coach-Painter

The chief Secret lies in grinding, mixing and compounding the Colours; as to the laying them on, it requires no Art, but an even Hand to carry the Brush up and down according to the Grain of the Wood. This Branch is now at a very low Ebb, on accounts of the Methods practised by some Colour-Shops; who have set up Horse-Mills to grind the Colours, and sell them to Noblemen & Gentlemen ready mixed at a low price, and by the Help of a few printed Directions, a house may be painted by any common Labourer at one Third of the Expense it would have cost before the Mystery was made public.

When it was the Taste to paint Houses with Landskip Figures, and in Imitation of variegated Woods and Stone, then it was necessary to serve an Apprenticeship to the Business..but since the Mode has altered, and houses are only daubed with dead Colours, any Labourer may execute it as well as the most eminent Painter.

There are a vast number of hands that follow this branch, as it may be learnt in a month, as well as in seven years: plaisterers, whitewashers, and everybody that can handle a brush now set up for house-painters…The Numbers…that pretend to this branch have overstocked it: There is not bread for one-third of them; and at all times in the City of London and Suburbs, they are idle at least four or five Months in the year. Their work begins in April or May, and continues till the return of the company to town in winter, when many of them are out of business. When they are employed they have in the longest days, half a crown, and some good hands three shillings, and in the shortest, two shillings a day, which considering the time they are idle, is but a poor and precarious bread…The journeymen of this branch are the dirtiest, laziest, and most debauched set of fellows in and about London.

Robert Campbell.   The London Tradesman. 1747. pp.103/104

Order: NEUROPTERA.- Little need here be said, except as to colour. In the Ephemeridae the sexes often differ slightly in their obscure tints; but it is not probable that the males are thus rendered attractive to the females. The Libellulidae, or dragon-flies, are ornamented with splendid green, blue, yellow, and vermilion metallic tints; and the sexes often differ.

Thus, as Prof. Westwood remarks, the males of some of the Agrionidae, “are of a rich blue with black wings, whilst the females are fine green with colourless wings.” But in Agrion ramburii these colours are exactly reversed in the two sexes. In the extensive N. American genus of Hetaerina, the males alone have a beautiful carmine spot at the base of each wing. In Anax junius the basal part of the abdomen in the male is a vivid ultramarine blue, and in the female grass-green.

In all the cases hitherto given the male is more strongly or brighter coloured than the female, and differs from the young of both sexes. But as with some few birds it is the female which is brighter coloured than the male, so with the rhesus monkey (Macacus rhesus), the female has a large surface of naked skin round the tail, of a brilliant carmine red, which, as I was assured by the keepers in the Zoological Gardens, periodically becomes even yet more vivid, and her face also is pale red.

Mr. Trimen has given me a description of a S. African moth (Gynanisa isis), allied to our emperor moth, in which a magnificent ocellus occupies nearly the whole surface of each hinder wing; it consists of a black centre, including a semi-transparent crescent-shaped mark, surrounded by successive, ochre-yellow, black, ochre-yellow, pink, white, pink, brown, and whitish zones.

Having made these preliminary remarks on the admiration felt by savages for various ornaments, and for deformities most unsightly in our eyes, let us see how far the men are attracted by the appearance of their women, and what are their ideas of beauty. I have heard it maintained that savages are quite indifferent about the beauty of their women, valuing them solely as slaves; it may therefore be well to observe that this conclusion does not at all agree with the care which the women take in ornamenting themselves, or with their vanity. Burchell gives an amusing account of a bush-woman who used as much grease, red ochre, and shining powder “as would have ruined any but a very rich husband.” She displayed also “much vanity and too evident a consciousness of her superiority

Charles Darwin.  Descent of Man.
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