A set of three in a tin with a sliding lid. This is a tribute to the whole urbansketchers’ family. Some of you know some don’t but Daina and Agnese met because of the existence of this amazing community. This is a set of three of the most loved pigments of many urbansketchers – ultramarine and burnt sienna. These two pigments are the ones that are enough to paint anything in the city, and a mix of them we call Asphalt.
My name is French Ultramarine. I am one of the first human made pigments (although Maya tribe made their own pigments centuries before). The reason why I was born was the price of my father and grandfather Lapis Lazuli – ground stone. First I was discovered in late 18th Century by Goethe who observed the blue deposits on the walls of lime kilns that were used in decoration, but he didn’t make a fuss about it. Early in 19th century French Society of Industrial development announced a prize for inventing substitute to expensive stone Ultramarine. So, I was made by heating, in a closed-fire clay furnace, as a finely ground mixture of China clay, soda ash, coal or wood, charcoal, silica and sulfur. I was maintained at red heat for one hour, then allowed to cool, then washed to remove excess sodium sulfate, dried and ground. And the dispute of me as a natural or non-natural pigment is ever going. If you take raw natural ingredients and make a delicious dinner – would you say it is not natural? Just because you as a human being have cooked and mixed them? I am confusing your minds, dear conscious humans.
I am Burnt Sienna. No one knows exactly when I was first made. What is certain is, that it happened in Italy and my reputation was well established by the Renaissance. I am Raw Sienna and have followed it wherever she goes. I am slowly and carefully roasted in kilns. But a not high temperature is necessary for me to be born. It is enough with 200 degrees C and a bit more. That’s why Renaissance artists burned their own Siennas at their studios. So I am an art as much as a science.
Mixes nicely with other natural and human-made pigments. For best performance add a few drops of water some minutes before starting to work with it. It will reactivate the pigment and will be more fluid.
All our watercolors are handmade from pigment or pigment mixes, binders, and essential oils as conservative. Binder is made by ourselves from gum arabic, natural honey, and water. Our watercolors have a flowery scent, with lemongrass as the top note and sandalwood in the base note.