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Thomas Sully, 1783–1872

Color Guide, Based on Varley's List of Colors

Part Of:

Collective Title: Sketchbook: Lessons in Landscape Painting

between 1814 and 1838
Materials & Techniques:
Watercolor, with pen and brown ink on medium, moderately textured, beige laid paper
Sheet: 11 1/2 × 9 1/2 inches (29.2 × 24.1 cm)

Inscribed in pen and brown ink, entire sheet: "Purple Lake -- for Purples which are made with Indigo or Prusssian | Blue & Lake, which last should most generally [...?sed] for very | distant Hills & mountains & to shade those that are nearer | & principally useful in making gray, & neutral teints - It | is Less liable to fade than brighter Lake | Prussian Blue -- for clear skies, can be used alone for | the blue of an Evening sky, but mixed with some Lake | for noon day skies, [...] the Drapery. must be rarely used | for making green in painting [trees?] | Indigo - For twilight & Evening, skies. For gray & neutral | teints which it forms better than P. Blue. Is very | useful for green when mixed with Gamboge & Burnt | Senna. Not to be used for clear sky but | mixed with Lake & Gamboge, is useful for the | greys of clouds. | Gamboge used in grass & trees when mixed with | Indigo & Bt. Senna. For greys & neutral teints when | used with Lake & Blue - but never to be used | in the yellow teints of skies, yellow ochre being a | milder teint. An orange teint when mixed with Bt. Senna | Burnt Sienna for rich banks of earth in Evening | sunshine, or [...]ching lights in buildings &c. makes | greens of [...] depth & degrees of warmth when | mixed with Indigo & Gamboge & very useful in | being easily [...] into various Browns when | mixed in different proportions with purple grey. | Yellow ochre. For buildings of stone, or plaster: | [...]nfields, & yellow lights in the clouds near the | Horizon. mixed well with Venetian Red when [to be] | employed instead of Bt. Sienna - but never to be used | for greens of Trees or grass, being opaque & easily | wiped off. | Venetian Red. For the teints of red in the Horizon | makes a neutral with Blue & a little Lake | is excellent for its quality of washing smooth | & for mixing even with Indian ink without | laying [...] (is used instead of Indian ink which is | heavy, purple & - is now discarded) is good to mix | with yellow ochre for a general wash - useful | for tiles of houses &c. for light teint on mountains | when mixed with y. ochre | Warm grey - of Venetian Red & Indigo - a good | shadow for warm objects - for the colour of earth | & [...] (a good teint to put [...] the | [...] of Drawings)"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

Works of Splendor and Imagination - The Exhibition Watercolor 1770-1870 (Yale Center for British Art, 1981-09-16 - 1981-11-22) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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