Theres' so much lore about pigments and color. For example in the French village perché (perched village) of Roussillon, there's good story. A man and his wife lived on top of a big cliff. He was fiercely jealous of his beautiful wife, imagining she preferred other men...
Finally in a fit of rage he threw her over the cliff. Her blood ran down and stained the grey rocks a rich deep red ochre. Et voilà we have wonderful pigments coming from Roussillon... It's a place all artists should visit.
I've always loved earth colors. Sienna evokes dreams of Tuscany and was originally mined near the town of Siena, therefore it's name. A natural earth color, it was one of the first pigments used and found in many cave paintings.
Earth colors are always warm colors. Nice to remember. And they go well with all cool colors, the blues and the greens. So be kind to the earth for giving us such lovely colors.
The old way to make burnt sienna is to take raw sienna rocks, stack them in a big brick oven-like room. Then they are heated/roasted to remove water from the clay till they calcify and change into a red-brown colour.
It's true I "turned up my nose" at my mother's exotic fruits. But when she let me play with her old paint box - that was a different story. Eventually I came to own that shiny black enamel box. It was my best friend.
While I was researching watercolor recipes, I made the pilgrimage to Winsor & Newton in Harrow, near London. The front door opens into The Colourmen's Shop, a wonderful facsimilie of a 19th century art supply shop. Glass case upon case of pigment jars, old Victorian paint boxes, brushes and all the painting paraphrenalia artists love = 7th heaven.
You can pay a call at W& N's Colourmen Shop by clicking on ABOUT US, then HISTORY, and then VIRTUAL MUSEUM. Have fun !