COLOUR  

My Favourite Colour

Cerulean Blue

Every artist has a favourite colour – a shade they use all the time, and which features strongly in their work. Here Haidee-Jo Summers explains why she couldn’t be without Cerulean Blue

It’s difficult for most artists to choose one favourite colour, as we have so many! My own palette has expanded over the years. I used to pride myself on needing just the primaries: a warm and cool version of each primary colour, plus white, and mixing everything else from those. In recent years I’ve added other colours to my palette which make shortcuts, such as Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna.

But the one I’ve decided to champion has been on my palette for as long as I can remember: the faithful ‘sun is shining and all is right in the world’ Cerulean Blue. The word originated as ‘coeruleum’ and some manufacturers still spell it this way. It comes from the Latin words ‘caerleus’ meaning dark blue and ‘caelum’ meaning the sky or heaven. Introduced as a pigment in the 1860s, it was adopted by the impressionists and can be seen in Monet’s ‘La Gare Saint Lazare’.

Often described as sky blue, in its pure form it’s akin to endless summer and deep Mediterranean seas. I have fond memories of using Cerulean Blue in an exam piece aged 15. It was a large painting of a pathway through a garden on a glorious summer’s day, lots of flowers and foliage and dappled shade. I remember the Cerulean Blue sky peeping through the trees at the top of the painting and how good that colour made me feel.

‘Oyster sellers at Cancale’ The glowing turquoise of the sea owes thanks to Cerulean Blue and is enhanced by the strip of Magenta seen on the distant headland which is the sketched in under-painting left showing through in places. It’s also been used greyed down in the sky with a more violet blue, Ultramarine.

Whichever medium I am using – oils, acrylics, watercolour – it will be on my palette like an old friend. Despite its obvious uses for skies and water, I most often use Cerulean for mixing greens.

Added to Lemon Yellow it makes a fabulous clean bright green which can then be tempered by the addition of a tiny touch of Cadmium Red making it less vivid and more natural.

Mix it with different reds and varying amounts of white to make some beautiful greys.

Once you start getting the hang of colour mixes using Cerulean Blue you’ll realise it’s not just of use in your palette on a sunny day, but is a faithful friend the whole year round.

‘Towards Bohemia Promenade, Sutton on Sea’
Here Cerulean Blue is used extensively in the sky. There was a lot of movement in the sky that day with the wind briskly blowing the clouds. The Cerulean has been mixed with Ultramarine Blue, Crimson and White to vary the colour in the sky. It’s important to have variety when the sky is such a large proportion of the painting. Earth colours, like the Raw Sienna used in the sand, were also added into the Cerulean sky mix to make up the greys of the underside of clouds.  

Visit www.haideejo.com to enjoy more paintings by Haidee-Jo and to find out about her classes and painting holidays  


COLOUR

My Favourite Colour

Cerulean Blue

Every artist has a favourite colour – a shade they use all the time, and which features strongly in their work. Here Haidee-Jo Summers explains why she couldn’t be without Cerulean Blue  

It’s difficult for most artists to choose one favourite colour, as we have so many! My own palette has expanded over the years. I used to pride myself on needing just the primaries: a warm and cool version of each primary colour, plus white, and mixing everything else from those. In recent years I’ve added other colours to my palette which make shortcuts, such as Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna.

But the one I’ve decided to champion has been on my palette for as long as I can remember: the faithful ‘sun is shining and all is right in the world’ Cerulean Blue. The word originated as ‘coeruleum’ and some manufacturers still spell it this way. It comes from the Latin words ‘caerleus’ meaning dark blue and ‘caelum’ meaning the sky or heaven. Introduced as a pigment in the 1860s, it was adopted by the impressionists and can be seen in Monet’s ‘La Gare Saint Lazare’.

Often described as sky blue, in its pure form it’s akin to endless summer and deep Mediterranean seas. I have fond memories of using Cerulean Blue in an exam piece aged 15. It was a large painting of a pathway through a garden on a glorious summer’s day, lots of flowers and foliage and dappled shade. I remember the Cerulean Blue sky peeping through the trees at the top of the painting and how good that colour made me feel.

‘Oyster sellers at Cancale’ The glowing turquoise of the sea owes thanks to Cerulean Blue and is enhanced by the strip of Magenta seen on the distant headland which is the sketched in under-painting left showing through in places. It’s also been used greyed down in the sky with a more violet blue, Ultramarine.

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