Nova Scotia Pigments

It has been 9 months since my brother, Aaron, and I spent the week collecting pigment/rock samples from old mines in Nova Scotia and the verdict is in as to which of these samples are usable. While I am excited about these colours, not all of them were what I expected (as you will read). Lastly, I am currently using these pigments for painting an icon of St. Mark the Ascetic.

Below you will find a picture and a brief writeup for each of these pigments:

Glencoe Green Earth

Colour: Green Earth
Expected Colour: Purple
Grinding Characteristics: Medium Hardness
Lightfast: Yes
Opacity: Good

Comments: While not the colour expected, a very exciting find given the difficulty I’ve read about in finding a good green earth in North America.

 

 

Londonderry Ochre

Colour: Gold Ochre
Expected Colour: Gold Ochre
Grinding Characteristics: Medium Hardness
Lightfast: Yes
Opacity: Excellent

Comments: This pigment was pretty much what I expected when we found the rocks. It is a nice colour to work with. I have more work to do with this pigment as it seems to go towards a Caput Mortuum colour when burned.

 

Londonderry Red Ochre

Colour: Red/Brown Ochre
Expected Colour: Red/Brown Ochre
Grinding Characteristics: Medium Hardness
Lightfast: Yes
Opacity: Excellent

Comments: Again, this pigment was what I expected both from the documentation and looking at the rocks.

 

 

Londonderry Purple

Colour: Purple
Expected Colour: Purple
Grinding Characteristics: Very Hard
Lightfast: Yes
Opacity: Excellent

Comments: The colour of this pigment is really wonderful going either purple, grey or brown depending on it’s neighbours. The unique characteristic however is its hardness and the sulfur smell it produces when it is ground.

 

Musquodoboit Harbour Pale Ochre

Colour: Pale Yellow Ochre
Expected Colour: Ochre
Grinding Characteristics: Soft
Lightfast: Yes
Opacity: Good

Comments: This one is a real treasure. Given the trouble it took to collect this rock I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t turn out so I wouldn’t have to ever consider returning … But, what a beautiful colour!

 

West Gore Green

Colour: Green
Expected Colour: Black
Grinding Characteristics: Medium Hardness
Lightfast: Yes
Opacity: Good

Comments: I should have seen this green coming when our samples of black Stibnite had so many yellow inclusions. It is a beautiful green nevertheless.

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