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Mineral Colours are 19th century colours made from metals, mostly opaque colours with high pigment load and low oil absorption. When added to white, grey down and alter their hue and shift in value and intensity. They are the colours of the old masters and the impressionist artists and they are mostly derived from nature and natural sources.
Modern Colours are 20th century colours which are more semi-transparent, with carbon based pigments that are ‘organic’. This is the palette used by the contemporary or modern artist. When added to white they do not lose their pigmented colour but lighten. They are the colours of contemporary or modern artists and are mostly derived from man-made sources.
Metallic Colours are made of tiny flakes of real metal floating in a clear binder. It’s the light reflecting from all those bits of metal that create the “metal finish.” But although the microscopic flakes are real metal, they don’t line up evenly, so they bounce light around rather than reflecting it directly back at us like a mirror. This is why metallic painted surfaces always have that soft, flat look. The finer the metal flakes and the clearer the binder, the more reflective the surface will be.
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