Plant originated colour pigments used in traditional arts
Soni Azmat, Dr. Shazia BI, Dr. Abid Hadi
Keeping in mind as one of the leading arts and paintings and their dependency upon colour for its impact, mood and depth, colour played a very important role. The effect of colour on the viewer visual senses is highly potent and even one tiny dab of brightly coloured pigment in an otherwise monochromatic picture can transform the work. Even the earliest exponents of prehistoric cave painting (30,000-12,000 BC) were experts in the use of primitive pigments, obtained from the plants. Traditional plant originated pigments used by prehistoric cave painters and artists from Ancient Antiquity, as well as colours which appeared in palettes of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Impressionist periods. Since the late-19th century, the majority of pigments employed by most painters are improved synthetic variants of traditional older colours. Malus (Apple) bark used for yellow colours, while Rubus berries for pink, Areca catechu for deep pink colour and many more plants are used in traditional arts. But nowadays, most natural colourants are obsolete. Modern artificial colours tend to be more lightfast, more permanent, more intense and considerably cheaper and safer to use. It's amazing how many of the older pigments (both natural and early synthetic variants) were highly toxic compounds containing lead, mercury, chrome and arsenic - even cyanide. The total 35 plant genus belonging to 36 species are listed in the table 1 which are used for obtaining colours from various parts.