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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Verdigris Effect

So what is Verdigris 

Verdigris is a natural patina that makes copper turn into a greenish or turquoise colour, with a slightly dusty matt effect. It happens when copper is exposed to the elements – as you can see from many cupolas and weathervanes that are old.  Also old vintage jewellery can have this green colour tinge to it, however this is not a good thing.... as it is actually deteriorating the metals.

The name verdigris comes from the Middle English vertegrez , from the Old French verte grez, an alteration of vert-de-Grèce ("green of  Greece"). The modern French spelling of this word is vert-de-gris. Since it was used as a pigment in paintings and other art objects (as green color), it was required by artists in Greece.
It was originally made by hanging copper plates over hot vinegar in a sealed pot until a green crust formed on the copper.

Another method of obtaining verdigris pigment, used in the Middle Ages, was to attach copper strips to a wooden block with acetic acid, then bury the sealed block in dung. Hmmm lovely!!

Anyway there are a number of ways to achieve a verdigris effect – the easiest is to just buy a verdigris effect kit or a patina kit.  These usually consist of a bronze or copper paint and an oxidiser – usually acetic acid based. We have the  Ranger Perfect Pearls Kit Aged Patina Kit in the store here,

However I came across another simple easy way of getting a similar affect on the chipboard I was using.  At the time I was working on mini album and I used the Tim Holtz  Distress Ink Peacock Feathers on my chipboard piece, I realised it was quite dark and didn't quite blend in with the colours I was using...Hmmmm so how to soften the tone of the green?  I thought I would try the white of my oil pastels crayons and it worked.   Just lightly blending over the green it softened quite nicely and gave me what I call the Verdigris Effect.

You can find the Ranger Ink Pad Peacock Feathers in the store here  and you can pick up oil pastel crayons almost anywhere.