Dirk Schmitt is a German artist from Cologne and a painter in the contemporary realism style. Dirk uses Schmincke Mussini oil colours, a range of beautiful oil paints based on recipes from the old masters using resin. We asked him which colours were the most indispensable to his painting practice. He found it difficult to choose between the 108 unique and brilliant colours as he uses a large spectrum of Mussini in his oil paintings. But, he does have some favourite colours, due to their special characteristics and colour effects, that he always returns to. Dirk Schmitt tell us which colours in the Mussini range he appreciates most.
Mussini finest artists’ resin-oil colours
- Natural Bohemian Green Earth
- Verona Green Earth
- Brown Pink
- Brownish Grey 1
- Alizarin Madder Lake
Dirk Schmitt explains what makes these colours so special:
Natural Bohemian Green Earth
“I love to use this brownish green very thin for toning the canvas. It influences the colour impression of the colours applied later. It is also a good colour for making sketches before painting. And, finally, this semi-transparent colour is perfect for underpaintings in portraits. Why? The applied flesh tints seem less intense, as they were softened due to the complementary contrast of these colours, and the skin colours seem more natural.”
Verona Green Earth
“This cool, earth green tone doesn’t exist anymore in its original form. Fortunately, the Mussini colour is a nearly perfect replacement. Verona Green Earth is the classic colour for landscape painting. The tone is ideal for middle grounds in landscapes and at the same perfect for mixing warmer and cooler green shades: mixed with Attish Light Ochre or Indian Yellow I it will achieve warm tones, mixed with transparent blues, the colour becomes more cool. For transparent shadows in landscapes it can be tinted perfectly with Vandyke Brown or a Neutral Black. The hue and the high transparency make this colour essential in my palette.”
“This colour has an incredible colour diversity even straight from the tube. Applied in an opaque way it is a strong, warm and dark brown (like Burnt Umber), in transparent layers it changes to a nearly yellowish tone, similar to a Yellow Ochre. This makes this colour perfect for underpainting colour gradients into dark tones (from red to dark brown up to black) as well as for gradients into light (warm colours as Raw Sienna or Ochre shades.”
Atrament and Brownish Grey 1
“This semi-transparent, relative cool, greenish grey is an essential colour for landscape painting. It perfectly suits the dark parts and shadow areas. Atrament has a second special characteristic: when mixing it with Mussini Brownish Grey 1 (an opaque, warm, light grey) Atrament becomes not only more opaque but also more light. This makes it perfect for grisaille-painting which is a composition of a painting using only grey colour shades (tonal art work) from a dark glazing application to light and opaque painting. The grisaille painting has a very long painting historical tradition and was practised in medieval panel painting. After a grisaille has been finished, it can be overpainted and coloured with several thin and glazing colours.”
Alizarin Madder Lake
“This Mussini colour, synthetically produced since the late 19th century (because the natural version is not lightfast), is the only one which corresponds to the former original dark red tone. It stands out due to its incredible brilliance and intensity and has perfect glazing properties. In pure application it shines like a luscious dark red, mixed with Indian Yellow you are going to get marvellous warm, transparent orange shades. When mixing it with Phthalo Green (both colours form a nearly perfect complementary contrast), you will get an achromatic neutral black, which is ideal for tinting other colours.”
See more of Dirk Schmitt’s painting on his website.
Click on the underlined link to go to the Schmincke Mussini oil colours on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website. Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.
Interesting. So far as the glazing technique is concerned
(and this question has come up on the Painters Online f
orum too) what white would you suggest for the
underpainting (if any) given that lead whites are now so hard
We will soon be getting in the Schmincke Flake White Hue that has similar stickiness and opacity to real flake white.
It will be a couple of weeks.
If you try it please let us know what you think.
I am amazed with your art techniques.
Especially the way you paint choose
the background. Simply beautiful work.