Day 351~366

Popped up to Penshaw’s Monument this evening, as I’d read they have a new cost efficient LED lighting system for it.  It used to be lit up with static yellow lamps, but now the colours move around the monument, tried to get them all in but even on a long exposure I missed getting the green in!


Day 243 & 244



The addition of colourants to foods is thought to have occurred in Egyptian cities as early as 1500 BC, when candy makers added natural extracts and wine to improve the products’ appearance. During the Middle Ages, the economy in the European countries was based on agriculture, and the peasants were accustomed to producing their own food locally or trading within the village communities. Under feudalism, aesthetic aspects were not considered, at least not by the vast majority of the generally very poor population. This situation changed with urbanization at the beginning of the Modern Age, when trade emerged—especially the import of precious spices and colours.
With the onset of the industrial revolution, people became dependent on foods produced by others. These new urban dwellers demanded food at low cost. Analytical chemistry was still primitive and regulations few. The adulteration of foods flourished. Heavy metal and other inorganic element-containing compounds turned out to be cheap and suitable to “restore” the colour of watered-down milk and other foodstuffs, some more lurid examples being: Red lead and vermillion were routinely used to colour cheese and confectionery.
Copper arsenite was used to recolour used tea leaves for resale. It also caused two deaths when used to colour a dessert in 1860.
Many colour additives had never been tested for toxicity or other adverse effects. Historical records show that injuries, even deaths, resulted from tainted colorants. In 1851, about 200 people were poisoned in England, 17 of them fatally, directly as a result of eating adulterated lozenges.In 1856, mauveine, the first synthetic colour, was developed by Sir William Henry Perkin and by the turn of the century, unmonitored color additives had spread through Europe and the United States in all sorts of popular foods, including ketchup, mustard, jellies, and wine.

Luckily, today both chemical and natural colourants are tested for safety. European Union (EU) legislation requires most additives used in foods to be labelled clearly in the list of ingredients, with their function, followed by either their name or E number. An E number means that it has passed safety tests and has been approved for use here and in the rest of the EU.

Of course that won’t apply now so we can all be poisoned 🙂


Today I decided to play with the food colours I got,instead of doing research and stuff, it wasn’t as easy! I had a glass tank of water, an eye dropper, and my camera set on the burst mode, but getting the focus, exposure and aperture right was a right clart on, and I didn’t quite make it, but these are the best of a bad bunch. Also different colours have different viscosities and densities, the blue was hopeless, just splatted into a fuzzy cloud, whereas the green was just blobs on a string. The 2 top left were supposed to be red but look orange, but I think they were the best ones, anyway, it was fun to do.


and this is how it was done



Day 242~366

Colour blindness, also known as colour vision deficiency, is the decreased ability to see colour or differences in colour. Colour blindness can make some educational activities difficult. Buying fruit, picking clothing, and reading traffic lights can also be more challenging. Problems, however, are generally minor and most people adapt. People with total colour blindness may also have decreased visual acuity.

The most common cause of colour blindness is due to a fault in the development of one or more of the three sets of colour sensing cones in the eye. Males are more likely to be colour blind than females as the genes responsible for the most common forms of colour blindness are on the X chromosome. As females have two X chromosomes, a defect in one is typically compensated for by the other, while males only have one X chromosome. Colour blindness can also result from physical or chemical damage to the eye, optic nerve, or parts of the brain. Red-green colour blindness is the most common form, followed by blue-yellow colour blindness and total colour blindness. Red-green colour blindness affects up to 8% of males and 0.5% of females of Northern European descent. The ability to see colour also decreases in old age. Being colour blind may make people ineligible for certain jobs in certain countries. This may include pilot, train driver, and armed forces. The effect of colour blindness on artistic ability; however, is controversial. The ability to draw appears to be unchanged and a number of famous artists are believed to have been color blind.


Day 241~366

A colouring book is a type of book containing line art to which a reader may add colour using crayons, coloured pencils, marker pens, paint or other artistic media. Traditional colouring books and colouring pages are printed on paper or card. Some colouring books have perforated edges so their pages can be removed from the books and used as individual sheets. Others may include a story line and so are intended to be left intact.

Paint books and colouring books emerged in the United States as part of the “democratization of art” process, inspired by a series of lectures by British artist Joshua Reynolds, and the works of Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his student Friedrich Fröbel. Many educators concluded that all, regardless of background, students stood to benefit from art education as a means of enhancing their conceptual understanding of the tangible, developing their cognitive abilities, and improving skills that would be useful in finding a profession, as well as for the children’s spiritual edification.The McLoughlin Brothers are credited as the inventors of the colouring book, when, in the 1880s, they produced The Little Folks’ Painting Book, in collaboration with Kate Greenaway. They continued to publish colouring books until the 1920s, when the McLoughlin Brothers became part of the Milton Bradley Company.

(info from Wiki)

Had the grandkids over today, and as they were colouring in, I thought yay! there’s my topic for today!

Cal & Matty
Cal & Matty
Liddy, Cal & Livvy
Liddy, Cal & Livvy
Liddy eating the crayon box, Livvy and Cal colouring in.
Liddy eating the crayon box, Livvy and Cal colouring in.

Day 240~366

In fruit & veg different colours are caused by varying plant pigments that add nutritive value; each colour family has specific health benefits. The deeper the colouring, the more effective the nutrient.

Red colouring comes from the plant pigments, either lycopene or anthocyanins. Lycopene, which colours, among others, tomatoes and watermelon, is most touted for its cancer-fighting properties — especially prostate cancer in men. Anthocyanins provide antioxidants, which protect cells and also guard against heart damage, and are particularly effective against colon cancer. They are found in many red berries.

Orange- and yellow-toned fruits and veggies — encompassing most citrus fruits, many varieties of squash, peaches, carrots, and corn, among others — are coloured by the plant pigments carotenoids. Orange-toned fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A and is particularly helpful in maintaining visual health and healthy mucous membranes. Yellow-toned examples, including most citrus fruits, contain less vitamin A but more vitamin C — another antioxidant — and the B vitamin folate.

Green fruits and veggies are coloured by chlorophyll, the same pigment that colours most inedible leaves. Dark greens like spinach, green peppers and cucumbers, contain lutein, which is important for vision health. Leafier greens tend to contain folate; more yellow-toned green veggies also contain the carotenoids present in yellow vegetables. Green veggies also contain the cancer-fighting phytochemicals sulforaphane and insoles.

(info from Leaf.TV)



Day 239~366

Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried oil paint film. Oil paints have been used in Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration, but were not widely adopted as an artistic medium until the early 15th century.
The paint tube was invented in 1841 by portrait painter John Goffe Rand, superseding pig bladders and glass syringes as the primary tool of paint transport. Artists, or their assistants, previously ground each pigment by hand, carefully mixing the binding oil in the proper proportions. Paints could now be produced in bulk and sold in tin tubes with a cap. The cap could be screwed back on and the paints preserved for future use, providing flexibility and efficiency to painting outdoors. The manufactured paints had a balanced consistency that the artist could thin with oil, turpentine, or other mediums.
Paint in tubes also changed the way some artists approached painting. The artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, “Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” For the Impressionists, tubed paints offered an easily accessible variety of colors for their plein air palettes, motivating them to make spontaneous colour choices. With greater quantities of preserved paint, they were able to apply paint more thickly.

The colour of oil paint derives from small particles of coloured pigments mixed with the carrier. Some of the earliest known pigments are charcoal (black), iron oxide (rust red), and gypsum (white).
Common pigment types include mineral salts such as white oxides: zinc, titanium, and the red to yellow cadmium pigments. Another class consists of earth types, e.g. sienna or umber. Still another group of pigments comes from living organisms, such as madder root.
Many of the historical pigments were dangerous, and many pigments still in popular use today are highly toxic. Some of the most poisonous pigments, such as Paris green (copper(II) acetoarsenite) and orpiment (arsenic sulfide), have fallen from use.
Many pigments still in use are toxic to some degree. Commonly used reds and yellows are produced using cadmium, and vermilion red uses natural or synthetic mercuric sulfide or cinnabar. Flake white and Cremnitz white are made with basic lead carbonate. Some intense blue colours, including cobalt blue and cerulean blue, are made with cobalt compounds. Some varieties of cobalt violet are made with cobalt arsenate.       (info from wiki)

Don’t lick the brush Ted 🙂


Day 238~366

The first layer of the earth’s crust, consists of about 10 miles of rock and loose materials. Underneath the continents, the crust is almost three times as thick as it is under the oceans. The ingredients used to make the Earth’s crust are complex.
The basic ingredients are known as elements. There are 90 known elements that exist in the Earth’s crust. These elements combine with one another in a number of natural ways, creating molecules known as minerals. There are around 3,700 known minerals found in the Earth’s crust, with dozens of new minerals being discovered each and every year.
Colour is the most eye-catching feature of many minerals. Some minerals will always have a similar colour, such as Gold, whereas some minerals, such as Quartz and Calcite, come in all colours. The presence and intensity of certain elements will determine a specific mineral’s colour.

Tumbled stones (also known as “polished stones” or “baroque gems” or “polished rocks”) are small pieces of rocks and minerals that have been rounded, smoothed, and polished in a rock tumbler. They are beautiful, colourful, brightly polished specimens of natural materials.

I’m not sure what all of mine are, it’s a long time since I collected them, but there is a large amethyst crystal, 2 x banded amethysts, snowflake obsidian, 2 x rose quartz, tigers eye, and 3 onyx eggs.


Day 237~366

The process of glass blowing is long , hot, and arduous and would take far too long to write about here, but I can heartily recommend visiting a glass blowing factory and seeing it in action if you ever get the chance.
Glass colouring and colour marking may be obtained by the addition of colouring ions,by precipitation of nanometer sized colloides (so-called striking glasses such as “gold ruby”or red “selenium ruby”), by colored inclusions (as in milk glass and smoked glass), by light scattering (as in phase separated glass), 5) by dichroic coatings (see dichroic glass), or 6) by colored coatings.

I went to The Alum glass blowing workshop at The Needles in the Isle of Wight, and was amazed at watching the whole process.

Sulphur is used with Iron (Fe) and Carbon (C) to produce amber glass, the colour of which can vary from very light straw to a deep reddish-brown or even black. Under the strongly reducing conditions created by the carbon, iron polysulphides are formed and these give the required depth of colour. Which is what was used in my little glass cat that I bought there.


Day 236~366

Iridescence (also known as goniochromism) is the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Examples of iridescence include soap bubbles, butterfly wings and sea shells, as well as certain minerals. It is often created by structural coloration (microstructures that interfere with light).
The word iridescence is derived in part from the Greek word ἶρις îris (gen. ἴριδος íridos), meaning rainbow, and is combined with the Latin suffix -escent, meaning “having a tendency toward.” Iris in turn derives from the goddess Iris of Greek mythology, who is the personification of the rainbow and acted as a messenger of the gods. Goniochromism is derived from the Greek words gonia, meaning “angle”, and chroma, meaning “colour”.

Nacre also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.