- Chemical Description: Titanium dioxide, Phthalocyanine blue & amorphous carbon
- Pigment Numbers: PW6 PB15.3 PBk9
- Lightfastness Rating: ASTM I
- Pigment Opacity: Opaque
- Paint Opacity: Opaque
- Series 2
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Australian Blue Gum is one of the special Australian colors that Matisse makes. The colors in the Australian landscape are distinctive and the landscape painter benefits from having colors in tubes that work well with the colors seen in nature. Australian Blue Gum does an excellent job in that regard but it is a color with a few surprises up its sleeve and it suits a wide range of artists needs, especially for contemporary artists, illustrators, graphic artists, and those who simply like to experiment with color.
Australian Blue Gum is a delightful pale greenish blue color that is a blend of white, Phthalo Blue, and a touch of black. It has a subdued and very gentle quality about the color that is very calming. It is a mistake to think that this color exactly matches the color of the leaves of blue gum trees, although it is similar, but by being slightly more blue than the leaves actually are gives the color the flexibility to depict gum trees in all kinds of light and weather, and also allows the color to be useful for skies and seascapes and more imaginative works.
When used for depicting the various colors in eucalyptus leaves Australian Blue Gum is a great starting point. Depending on the time of day and weather the colors will change but a good rule of thumb is to mix either Yellow Oxide, Chromium Green Oxide, or Transparent Umber with the Australian Blue Gum. It is amazing how natural these mixed colors look. Australian Blue Gum can also be valuable when painting weathered wood. Mixed with Raw Umber or a little Ash Pink it makes the sort of blueish and brownish grays that exposed wood will often go.
Sky and sea can benefit from using Australian Blue Gum. A hot summer day is probably best made with Cobalt Blue and Australian Sky Blue, but weather and seasons change and sometimes the cooler and slightly more gray character of Australian Blue Gum mixed with Cobalt Blue is perfect for a cooler more wintery sky. Another source of very variable blues and greens is water. Australian Blue
Australian Blue Gum is a unique color which becomes apparent when used for making greens of all sorts. When mixed with Nickel Titanate Yellow it makes the sort of light apple green color that interior walls were often painted in the mid 20th century and is found in retro clothing. A darker green fashion color is produced in a mixture of Australian Blue Gum with Southern Ocean Blue. Mixed with Naples Yellow Light it makes a very light pastel green. These sorts of colors are perfect for modern graphic work and no other color mixes them so easily. Contemporary artists will also enjoy more lateral thoughts about color. Australian Blue Gum makes gorgeous light blues when mixed with Iridescent White or soft blue-grays when mixed with Metallic Silver.
Australian Blue Gum is indeed a great starting point for making the colors in blue gum trees, but the color earns its place in the Matisse range because it can so so much more and is a helpful color for a wide range of artists to have in their paintbox.