UNIQUE COLOR: GREEN EARTH
Notes on the R&F Paint Making Process
A little over twenty six years ago (February 24, 1993 to be precise), paint maker Richard Frumess created a small test batch (just 32 oz.) of what he then referred to as “Terre Verte,” now known in the R&F color line as Green Earth. According to Richard’s account, he was looking for a Green Earth that leaned grey. Early hand mixed versions included Raw Sienna, Viridian, and Bone Black, but for the first milled, production batch he would increase the total number of pigments to five – including Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Chromium Oxide Green, Viridian, and Mars Yellow Light.
Needless to say, this batch fell short of his standards, but not for the reasons you might think. While it is difficult to make a single color out of five pigments (side note: many R&F colors contain up to five pigments), it wasn’t the complexity of the mix that vexed him, but the consistency of the finished paint. It was far too opaque – not at all reminiscent of traditional Terre Verte.
Richard went back to the drawing board and began to mix and mix…and mix (see image above). Finally it hit him. Terre Verte is not a ‘strong’ color and there was his solution. Sometime it’s not what you put in, but what you take out. With this newfound insight he would reformulate by reducing not only the number of pigments present, but the quantity of each pigment. It worked.
Today R&F’s Green Earth contains just three pigments: Stil de Grain, Viridian, and Ultramarine Blue, and is available in both encaustic and Pigment Stick color lines.
We hope you enjoy. Keep Painting.