I worked about a 14 hour day today and I can barely focus my eyes. I guess I am burning the candle at both ends. I discovered tonight that I wrote a whole post on alizarin and spelled it with an i instead of an a throughout. I re-edited that. I work to eliminate typos, bu they just happen. Spell check doesn't know a lot of the art words. I guess it is inescapable that the blog is a little home-made. No editor and written in failing condition. Well lets see if I can spit out another.
Ultramarine is the color I use most after white, I keep trying to change that and I do cut down for a while, but it is still the case. Ultramarine is a modern synthetic substitute for the lapis lazuli blue that was used until the b1820's when it was superseded by the synthetic. Lapis was an important color in the days of illuminated manuscripts as it looked good with gold. It was however tremendously expensive. Many painters did without blue and "spoofed it with ivory black, until the synthetic became available.
Ultramarine is a light fast, clear and strong blue, that sometimes has a slight reddish cast. Poorer grades are either stringy or waxy, so it important to buy a good grade of this color. Again as I said last night, all of the major professional brands are fine.
Ultramarine blue is useful in painting shadows, skies and mixed with cool reds makes a fine violet. It pairs well with burnt sienna, it's near compliment and that is excellent for lay-ins as they can be varied in color temperature. More tomorrow when I am rested.