While working as artist in residence at Craig & Rose, Catriona Taylor spent some time in the laboratory with the technical team, learning how colour consistency is achieved.

In the lab the paint chemists test every batch of colour made, so that whichever batch the customer receives, Saxe Blue is always Saxe Blue.

The colours are tested on black and white rectangular pieces of card, called paint charts. Made from naturally bright white paper, these charts contain no optical brighteners that could affect instrumental colour measurements.

An exact thickness of paint is applied and as many as 100 colours per day may be evaluated and tested in this way. 

Each batch must meet exacting standards to ensure colour consistency and opacity. 

Catriona has recorded the process in her watercolour, which shows a selection of paint charts mid test – freshly painted and set on a drying rack to await examination by the technical team.

Her watercolour illustrates the fleeting nature of the tests with the cards temporarily stored on the shelf, before being rigorously measured and tested and then being filed away later as a permanent record of the days work.

As well as the watercolour sketches. Catriona also produced three multimedia montages (including sketch, distressed photographs, pigment sticks and text) set in resin that will hang in the reception area at Craig & Rose for years to come.


Read previous Artist in Residence blog posts:

Artist in Residence focuses on the Forth Bridge

Artist in Residence brings Craig & Rose history to life in watercolour