ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Using Black Paint as a Colour

Updated on March 1, 2020
Sharon Wadsworth-Smith profile image

Sharon Wadsworth-Smith lives on a lake in Nova Scotia, creating captivating acrylic paintings, rich with texture and loose brushwork.

Which painting was created using Ivory and which one using Mars Black ?

Well Loved and On The Line
Well Loved and On The Line | Source

I know, black is not a colour right?

I know, black is not a colour right? I remember the rules I learned when I was working in watercolour.

Rule 1. Never use black

Rule 2. Never, ever use black

Rule 3. Refer to rule 1 and 2

I am not going to say the rules are wrong. I know what it looks like when a new artist hoping to darken their colour adds a bit of black and totally flattens out the painting. I also know that it is important to learn how to use the other colours proficiently before you add black. But hey, I am working in acrylic now, and I found out that black and yellow make an awesome green! But which black do you use?

New rule. Not all black is the same.

Yes, you heard me right, they are actually entirely different colours and I am just now beginning to understand them, a wee bit. When I first started to add black to my palette, I chose the one that seemed to make sense, Ivory Black. The name itself is a contradiction as ivory is actually white in my mind, but hey, I did not have anything to do with the name. It created lovely blue infused darks and made a vibrant but real green mixed with yellow. I started to experiment with more subtly toned paintings rich with greys and added some light dustings of other colour to them with pleasantly interesting results.

Then it happened. I ran out of Ivory black and had to buy Mars black. It's just black I said to myself. Ooops wrong. It created warm dusky greys that reminded me of the sepia-toned photos in my mom's collection. It also lends itself to a more realistic warm green when mixed with yellow.

Look at the 2 paintings and guess which one is created using Ivory and which is Mars Black.

And now, another rule in watercolour is, never use white! Of course not, you have the white of the paper to gleam through right? But that is another blog for another day!

© 2020 Sharon Wadsworth-Smith


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)