- Chemical Description: Quinacridone, Arylide yellow, Titanium dioxide
- Pigment Numbers: PV19 PY74 PW6
- Lightfastness Rating: ASTM I
- Pigment Opacity : Semi-Transparent
- Paint Opacity: Opaque
- Series 2
Australian Salmon Gum is a mixed color that is typical of certain species of trees in the Australian bush. The Salmon Gum is one of them and gets its name from the salmony colors of the trunk. Many traditional artists colors were developed in the Old World and with good reason are well adapted to painting the European landscape. We do not use ochre in skin colors because we have ochre available – ochre is available because painting skin colors requires a pigment like that.
Cadmium Orange exists not because a chemist thought it would be a good idea but because there was a demand for that kind of color and so chemists spent time developing it. A similar demand situation has existed for the painter of the Australian landscape. Unlike the rich greens of Europe and North America, the Australian landscape is dominated by eucalyptus species of trees with grayish leaves and trunks that shed their bark revealing white and salmon colors that are distinctive and very different to anywhere else. In the center of the continent there are deserts that are this salmon color and in the Gulf Country to the north of Queensland there are pains covered in long grass that are tinged with salmon in the summer.
Responding to artists wanting to know why this color can’t simply be harvested from the landscape and put in a tube, Matisse developed this mixture and artists tested it until they were happy that it was just right. It is a very light orange with a pastel softness, opaque and well suited to the needs of the landscape painter. It is interesting to note, however, that artists are creative and imaginative, and since its release this color has proved popular for many techniques far removed from the landscape. It is the sort of color that the Fauves might have used because it has a boldness to it but on the other hand it has a softness to it that would have easily found a home in one of Picasso’s Rose Period paintings.
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