Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Modern Pigments

There are two important categories of pigments, modern and mineral, aka organic and inorganic. Traditional pigments were made from finely crushed rocks, combined with a medium such as oil, acrylic medium, and in the case of both watercolor and gouache, gum arabic. The modern or organic pigments were developed in chemistry labs. The organic pigments tend to be brighter and more transparent than the traditional inorganic pigments, and they retain their color even when mixed with each other, white or black. The pigments used in these sketches are: Naphthol Red Light, Quinacridone Magenta, Hansa Yellow Light, Benzimidazalone Yellow Light, Azo Yellow Medium, Anthraquinone Blue, Phthalo Blue Green Shade, and Phthalo Green Blue Shade.

In the following sketches I used only modern pigments. I added a little of the main background color to each of the other 6 colors, to get them to harmonize. I did not use a lot of white, so these are very intense. I will do this kind of sketch with the other 4 pigments as well. In the red sketch, I used Hansa or Lemon Yellow, which is not very lightfast. In the other two sketches, I used Benzimidazalone Yellow, which is the recommended choice for a green-leaning yellow pigment that is lightfast.

Naphthol red mixed with the rest

Benzimidazalone yellow mixed with the other pigments

Anthraquinone blue mixed with the other pigments


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