Dictionarium polygraphicum. The use and nature of dry colours.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol I.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
1. Blue bice is the most excellent blue next to ultramarine, which is too good to wash withal, and therefore I leave it out here, and put in blue bice, which will very well serve instead of it; and indeed, you may leave out both, and use smalt instead of them, but that it will not work as well as bice. Bice is too good to use upon all occasions, but when you intend to bestow some cost and pains upon a piece; otherwise you may use no other blue in your work than blue verditer, with which you may make a very good shift, without any other blue, I mean in any ordinary work.

2. Indigo is a dark blue which is used principally to shadow with upon your other blue; indigo and yellow berries mixt together make a dark green to shadow other greens in the darkest laces.

3. Blue verditer is a very bright pleasant blue, and the easiest to work with in water; it is somewhat inclining to a green, and being mix’d with yellow berries it makes a good green; this is most used.

4. Verdegreese is a good green, but subject to decay; when it is dry upon the paper, it will be of a lighter colour than it was when you lay’d it first on; therefore, to preserve it from that fault, put some sap-green amongst it to dissolve in it, and it will make it keep its colour. There is distill'd verdigrease to be bought at the colour-shops, that is a far better green than the other, but it is somewhat dearer, and the other will serve instead of it.

5. Verditer-green is a light green, seldom used in anything but in colouring landscapes, and those places that should shew afar off; and it is good for such a purpose, because it is somewhat inclining to a blue; but you may make shift to do any thing well enough without it; for a little blue verditer, mixed with copper green and a little white, make just such another green.

6. Sap Green is a dark, dirty green, and never used but to shadow other greens in the darkest places, or else to lay upon some dark ground behind a picture which requires to be coloured with a dark green; but you may make shift well enough with out this green, for indigo and yellow-berries make just such an other colour.

7. Copper Green is an excellent transparent green, of a shining nature, if it be thickened in the sun, or upon a gentle fire; and it is most used of any green in washing, especially in colouring of the grass, ground, or trees, for it is a most perfect grass green.

8. Vermilion is the perfectest scarlet colour; you need not grind it nor wash it; it is fine enough of it self, only temper it with your finger in a gallipot, or oyster-shell, with gum-water, and it will be ready for use; if you put a little yellow berries amongst it, it will make the brighter colour; this is principally used for garments.

9. Lake is an excellent crimson colour; with it you may shadow vermilion, or your yellow garments in the darkest places; with it you may make a sky colour, being mixed only with white; with it you may make a flesh colour, sometimes mixed together with white and a little red-lead; it is an excellent colour itself, to colour garments or the like.

Indian lake is the best lake, but too good to be used to wash prints with, unless you intend to bestow great curiosity upon your works; but the best sort of ordinary lake will serve well enough for ordinary uses, but that also will be somewhat more costly.
Therefore, instead thereof, you may use red ink thickened upon the fire, and it will serve very well for your purpose, and better than lake, unless it be very good.

Note, if you would make a light sky colour of your red ink, or if you would mix it amongst your flesh colour, you must not thicken it; you should rather chuse to shadow your vermilion with Spanish brown, than thick red ink, which will serve well for that purpose, but is not altogether so bright a colour and clean.

10. Red-lead is the nearest to an orange colour, and putting a little yellow berries into some of it, will make a perfect orange colour; but if you mean to make flesh colour of it, you must put no yellow, but only when you would make an orange colour. This colour is used in colouring of buildings, or high-ways in landscape, being mixed with a little white
Also it is the only bright colour to shadow yellow garments with, to make them shew like changeable taffety. It is good also to colour any light ground in a picture, taking only the thin water of it, and so for several other uses, as you shall see occasion for it.

11. Yellow berries are most used in washing of all other colours; they are bright and transparent, fit for all uses, and will be sufficient, without the use of any other yellow.

12. Saffron is a deep yellow, if you let it stand a pretty while; it is good principally to shadow yellow berries with instead of red-lead, and it is somewhat of a brighter shadow; but you may make shift well enough without this colour, for red-lead and yellow berries make just such another colour.

13. Masticote is a light yellow just like yellow berries and white, and therefore you may make shift well enough without it, only for saving you a labour to mix your yellow berries with white, when you have occasion for a light yellow, which you may sometimes make use of to colour a light ground in a picture, and then shadow it with the water of burnt umber or red-lead, that is the thinnest part of the colour.

14. Ceruss is the best white, if it be good and finely ground, or for want of it, white lead picked; either of these will serve well enough, for either of them being mingled with another colour make it lighter, and the more you put, the lighter they will be.

15. Spanish brown is a dirty brown colour, but of no great use to colour any garment with, unless it be an old man's gown; to shadow vermilion, or to lay upon any dark ground behind a picture, or to shadow yellow berries in the darkest places, when you want lake or thin red ink.

16. It is the best and brightest colour, when it is burnt in the fire till it be red hot; tho' if you would colour any hare, horse, dog, or the like, you must not burn it; but for other uses, it is best when it is burnt; for instance, to colour any wooden post, bodies of trees, or any thing else of wood, or any dark ground in a picture. It is not to be used about any garments, unless you would colour many old mens gowns or caps standing together, because they must not be all of one colour; therefore, for distinction and variety's sake, you may use umber unburnt for some of them.

17. Printer's black is most used, because it is easiest to be had, and serves very well in washing.

Note, You must not put any black amongst your colours to make them dark, for it will make them dirty; neither should you shadow any colour with black, unless it be Spanish brown, when you would colour an old man's gown that requires to be done of a sad colour; for whatsoever is shadowed with black, will look black, and not bright, fair and beautiful.

18. Ivory burnt, or for want of that, bone burnt is the blackest black, and is thus made; take ivory, or for want of it, some white bone, and put it into the fire till it be thoroughly burned; then take it out, and let it cool; slit it, take out the blackest of it in the middle, and grind it for your use.

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