Frog Visit


A visit to my garden by a frog is the inspiration for Color Week 37. My frog was brownish and appears to be a pacific tree frog. [reference USFW]

Seeing the Frog reminded me of my Wedgewood reproduction Queen’s ware ‘Frog’ service plate.

And as luck would have it I listened to a V&A online talk about Josiah Wedgwood [linked below] where the commission of the Frog service by Catherine II of Russia / Catherine the Great is discussed.

Online Talk: Josiah Wedgewood

Watch starting at 40 minutes for a brief description of the “Frog” service

V & A

What color is it? We are here because we are curious about color- the color of my frog visitor and the color of Catherine’s frog service – which are very similar. Here is a chart of browns…

Daniel Smith chart
  • The V&A refers to the plate as ‘painted in monochrome brown’
  • Christies auction house refers to the color of an ‘original’ plate as ‘painted in sepia tones (‘delicate black’) ‘
  • Here is Daniel Smith SEPIA the best watercolor match on my palette

Sepia watercolors, Queen’s ware plate and no frogs

Sepia is an old color. In the 18th century sepia was used in shellack to enhance colors in paintings. In the 14th century it was used in Grisaille style painting. We know sepia as a way of toning photographs and is often used to make works appear vintage, there may even be a sepia filter on your photo editing app. Sepia is named for the ink derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish Sepia. [ reference ]

Sepia is an excellent color to have on the palette. but sepia is not a good mixer, best used alone

One response to “Frog Visit”

  1. I had not thought of sepia as delicate black.  I related sepia tone solely to photographs and the tone looked more a yellowish brown. Thanks for the continued color lessons.

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