Roger De Piles Flesh Tone Palette

SKU: NAP-810-1107
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The Rublev Colours Roger de Piles Flesh Tone Palette provides the authentic colors described in the palette of Jombert’s edition of Roger de Piles (pronounced "day peel") treatise on painting, Les Eleméns de la Peinture Pratique. In his 1684 palette of eight principle colors, Roger de Pies arranged them along the top edge, placing the lightest colors nearest the thumbhole on the wooden palette and arranging tints in rows below.

Read the complete translation of chapter four of Les Eleméns de la Peinture Pratique: .

In seventeenth century painting practice, pure colors were arranged in a predetermined order on the palette, usually at the top. Next, mixtures or tints of these colors were placed below in columns or rows. The palette was set for specific passages of the painting, such as flesh tones, clothing, drapery or other backgrounds. For the overall painting, Roger described the following limited palette of colors:

The flesh tone palette of eight principal colors from Roger de Piles' 17th century painting treatise, Les Eleméns de la Peinture Pratique

“In oil painting are usually used eight principal colors: almost all others are derived and are composed of a mixture of these. They are arranged in a range roughly this way. 1. White lead. 2. Yellow ocher. 3. Brown red. 4. Lake. 5. Stil de grain. 6. Green earth. 7. Umber. 8. Bone or ivory black. These are the names of the eight colors and the order in which they are almost always placed on the palette.”

In the Rublev Colours line of oil colors, these colors are: 1. Lead White; 2. Lemon Ocher; 3. Venetian Red; 4. Alizarin Crimson; 5. Italian Sienna (please note that is a fugitive lake pigment, so we substituted it with a lightfast earth pigment of similar hue and opacity); 6. Verona Green Earth; 7. Cyrus Umber Medium; and 8. Bone Black.

Next, he described various color mixtures or tints for painting flesh tones based on the following colors: 1. Lead white. 2. Yellow ocher. 3. Vermilion. 4. Lake. 5. Ultramarine (lapis lazuli or lazurite). 6. Bone black. 7. Stil de grain. He then describes the arrangement on the palette:

Roger de Piles described various color mixtures or tints for painting flesh tones based on the colors in the previous illustration.

“The eight principal colors occupy places at the top of the palette. The eight colors are, as we have already said, white lead, yellow ocher, brown red, lake, stil de grain, green earth, umber, bone black; you can add carbon black that for some uses is better than another. The shades to paint the flesh tones place below these principal colors and arrange in two rows: those for light values above and those for halftones and shadows below, always observing to put lighter colors nearest the thumbhole. Between these two rows, it is worthwhile putting a little yellow, because you will need it often, and it is more convenient to take it from this place with a brush while painting than to blend with hues from which it was prepared.”

To make the flesh tints described in figure 9 of the treatise, you will need to add the following colors in addition to the one in the set: and genuine natural Ultramarine () or synthetic .

Inlcuded in the Set

The Roger de Piles Flesh Tone Palette includes the colors used to make the flesh tints described in his painting treatise—one full-sized tube each of eight colors: Lead White; Lemon Ocher for yellow ocher; Venetian Red for brown red; Alizarin Crimson for lake; Italian Sienna for stil de grain; Cyprus Umber Medium and Bone Black.

Rublev Colors Artists’ Oils are based on single, natural mineral and historical pigments that give old masters-like painting effects in oil. This series features such historical colors as natural ultramarine (lapis lazuli), azurite and lead-tin yellow, among many others. The paint is handcrafted and packed in 50 ml tubes—giving you 33% more color than typical 37 ml tubes.

Colors included in the Rublev Colours Roger de Piles Flesh Tones Palette
Color Swatch Color Name Tube Size Price
Lead White (also known as flake white or Cremnitz white) is an opaque white that is smooth and brushes long in the direction of the brushstroke. The consistency straight out of the tube is creamy, slightly ropey yet retains its shape as you manipulate it while being soft yet sculptural. 50 ml $42.00
Lemon Ocher is a transparent yellow that is softly tinting, rich and subtle. It has a subtle, distinct lemon tone that is by no means acid. It works lightly and more transparently than other yellow ochers. In mixtures with red, it is robust without the acid undertones of bright yellows. Our yellow ocher is from quarries in Northern Italy. 50 ml $14.90
Venetian Red is a transparent deep red earth with pink undertones, medium grained with good tinting strength and brushes “long” in the direction of the brush stroke. Our Venetian red comes from quarries in Northern Italy. 50 ml $14.90
Alizarin Crimson is a transparent bright red with excellent tinting strength and fine grain that makes pink half tints. 50 ml $25.30
Italian Sienna is a semi- transparent yellow brown with good tinting strength, fine grained and, like most Rublev Colours Artists’ Oils, brushes “long” in the direction of the brush stroke. Our sienna is from quarries in Tuscany, Italy. 50 ml $14.90
Verona Green Earth is a transparent deep green with blue undertones, medium grained and low tinting strength. Our Verona green earth pigment is from basaltic tufa deposits in Brentonico near in Santa Cristina (Verona). 50 ml $14.90
Cyrus Umber Medium is a semi-transparent warm brown with good tinting strength, medium grained and, like most Rublev Colours Artists’ Oils, brushes “long” in the direction of the brush stroke. 50 ml $14.90
Bone Black is an opaque warm black with good tinting strength and fine grain. It is a high-grade bone black equivalent to what other artists’ oils manufacturers name as ‘ivory black.’ 50 ml $14.90
Total $156.70

Swatch Note: Colors swatches are shown in mass tone, straight from the tube, on the left, and mixed with an equal amount of white on the right. All pictures of color swatches in this web site are only approximations of the actual color of the oil paint. We taken every care to match the color in these pictures on calibrated color monitors to the actual color. However, because of the wide variance in color monitors the results you get may vary.

Note: We may substitute colors that are out of stock or unavailable at the time of your order with similar hues of equal or greater value.

Health and Safety

This set contains a color that has a chronic health warning:

DANGER! CONTAINS LEAD. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. Avoid ingestion and skin contact. Wear protective clothing and gloves to prevent contact with skin. Never use near children or pets. Conforms to ASTM D 4236.

Must be used exclusively as material for the purposes of arts, crafts or hobbies, not for use by children. Utiliser uniquement aux fins suivantes comme matériaux pour les besoins d'art, d'artisanat ou passe-temps, pas pour une utilisation par les enfants.

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A 25% handling charge is levied against all authorized returns except those due to our error. Unauthorized returns are subject to a 40% handling charge. Damages & defects must be reported to us within 14 days.
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