Color Etymologist: The Language of Color: The meanings of our present-day words for various colors - from the everyday red, green or blue, to the less frequently heard scarlet, cerulean or vermilion - have their roots in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit or Old German. This page, created with watercolor washes, shows the actual color of these words and traces their derivations.
Spectrum: Newton's "Crucial Experiment," shown at the top of this page, was instrumental in showing how light consists of component colors, which we now call the "spectrum." The spectrum analysis of various sources, including the sun, nitric peroxide and rubidium. This page was printed twice, once for the fine lines and once for the black bars. It was then painted in washes of water colors.
Illumination: A facsimile of an illuminated border by Pseudo-Jacquemart de Hesdin, from Petites Heures, c. 1385-90. The mediaeval book illuminator's color palette consisted of a limited number of colours, including azurite, orpiment, minium and lapis lazuli. For this image, we prepared these traditional colors by grinding the pigments and adding gum arabic as a binder.
Bauer Shade Card: A facsimile of a color guide created by 18th-century botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer. Bauer travelled to both the Mediterranean and Australia in search of botanical specimens. Because of the difficulties of painting in the field, he devised a "shade card" to keep track of the colors of the plants he drew. Each color area on a sketch was numbered with the appropriate color on the card. Our facsimile is based on that found in Madrid's Archivo del Real Jardin Botánico and has been painted with watercolors. Bauer's original was probably painted with gouache.