BLUE Art Supply Pigment Database Watercolor Acrylic Ink Pencil Color Chart Swatch

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Artist reference guide to Blue pigments in art supplies. Color chart swatch cards of common pigments in watercolor, acrylic paint, inks and pencils. Includes lightfast or fugitive information, index by pigment number code, brand, manufacturer color name, how the color appears in masstone (full strength) or diluted (with water). Each image displays opacity, lifting (erasing with a damp brush), and layering (glazing a second coat after the first has dried).

 

PB15 , PB15:1 , PB15:3 , PB15:4 , PB17 , PB27 , PB28 , PB29 , PB36 , PB60 , PB66 , PB60 , PB74

 

Grayscale swatch card information panel

 

PB15 Phthalocyanine Blue:
PB15 Prima Art Philosophy Confetti Blue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB15 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Phthalo Blue Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB15 Mixes:
PB15 PV23 PW6 Prima Art Philosophy Confetti Denim Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart  PG7 PB15 Prima Art Philosophy Confetti Teal Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart Daniel Smith Cascade Green Swatch Card Color Chart

 

 PB15 PBr7 Paul Rubens Tube Watercolor Christmas Green Swatch Card Color Chart PB60 PB15 PBk6 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Sea Blue Swatch Card Color Chart PBr7 PB15 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Christmas Green Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB15:1 Phthalocyanine Blue RS:

 

PB15:1  Mixes:
PB15:1 PBr7 PBk9 Schmincke Horadam Sepia Brown Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB15:3 Phthalocyanine Blue BGS:
PB15-3 Prima Art Philosophy Confetti Sky Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB15:3 Schmincke Aqua Drop Cyan Blue Watercolor Swatch Card

 

PB15:3  Mixes:
PB15:3 PY3 PG7 Shinhan Korean Color A Blue Green Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB15:4 Phthalocyanine Blue NCF:

PB15:4 Grumbacher Academy Thalo Blue Watercolor Swatch Card 

 

PB15:4  Mixes:
PB15:4 PB29 PBk6 Grumbacher Academy Payne's Gray Watercolor Swatch Card

 

PB17 Phthalocyanine Cyan:
PB17 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Blue Peacock Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB17  Mixes:

 

PB27 PRUSSIAN BLUE. Fugitive pigment often mislabeled as lightfast in watercolors. Unfortunately PB27 always fades in sun, but recovers in shade. Manufacturers who are aware of the issue may mark it as stable (LF I /BW8/max star lightfastness depending on the country) due to it's ability to regain color after being removed from light. In my opinion, paint should not need to be taken off the wall for a nap in a dark corner for it to be considered lightfast. I avoid this pigment if planning to sell a painting or display it in a gallery, as a buyer is likely to hang it in a well-lit room. It is stable in indoor artificial light or museum low-light conditions. Artwork made with Prussian Blue will fade from nearby window lighting, which can become noticeable in rooms with large windows or in locations closer to the equator.

 

"BUT Kim, --- brand of Prussian Blue is lightfast!" I'm sorry for the bad news, but it's chemically impossible for PB27 to be totally stable. It is produced by oxidation of ferrous ferrocyanide salts. Sun bleaches the FeIII (Iron) which requires time to re-oxidize away from light. Prussian has a reaction to UV light on a chemical level, which is only reversible over time in darkness. You don't have to take my word for it though, feel free to do your own testing. For a quick test just cut a swatch card in half and tape one side to the window facing outward (be sure it's not UV-blocking glass, and it's a direction that gets the most sunlight) for 1 month. Compare the two sides of your swatch immediately upon removal from the window. You can also do some "Prussian Lightfast?" research on Google search, Dick Blick has a pigment info tab for each tube of paint, and Handprint mentions that because this pigment can range anywhere from nearly stable to totally fugitive that you should always run lightfast tests for it. (I assure you, that I am not the only one to come to this conclusion.) Winsor and Newton is one of the only major manufacturers to politely include a note about this on their color charts:

winsor and newton prussian blue pb27 watercolor cotman and professional paint 

I advise caution about trusting company or ASTM lightfast ratings, for more than just Prussian Blue, because some testing methods offer limited information. They do not always correctly distinguish between masstone and diluted (some pigments have been proven to fade in lower % tints). They may test mixes with white paint, which is not the same as just diluting with water as in watercolor painting. It's also important to note that sometimes a larger company who supplies pigment powder to the paint manufacturer supplies them with a lightfast rating which the paint maker may not double check for accuracy.

 

Prussian blue lightfast test fade uv problem light recover shade daniel smith watercolor paint 

Each Prussian Blue watercolor I've tested faded with sunlight exposure within 1-3 months. In comparison, extremely fugitive paints (such as opera neon pink) fade at about the same rate, with some brands of Opera outlasting Prussian. Totally lightfast colors can stay in direct sunlight for several years without signs of fading. PB27 is an interesting and unique pigment though, if you put it in a shady drawer for a while the color will almost regain full strength. The only variance between brands is how MUCH it will recover AFTER fading. Prussian Blue takes time to become darker again in the shade. Some brands can make a nearly-full recovery in several weeks to months. The variance may be due to the differences in pigment source, how long the UV exposure lasted, and any protection from binder additives. It is likely that the original rating came from some one who collected results and let them sit in the shade before comparing them, or decided that since it was able to recover it was OK. To me this defies the definition of a "lightfast" rating.

PB27 Mission Gold Prussian Blue watercolor color chart swatch card lightfast test PB27 Daniel Smith Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card PB27 Holbein Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card

PB27 Paul Rubens Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card PB27 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card PB27 Sennelier Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card

PB27 Shinhan Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card PB27 Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card

PB27 Mixes:

PB27 daniel smith deep sap green watercolor swatch prussian blue lightfast test 

PB28 Cobalt Blue:

PB28 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Cobalt Blue Swatch Card Color Chart 

PB28  Mixes:

 

PB29 Ultramarine Blue: Also known as French Ultramarine, Lapis Lazuli (genuine or hue), Cobalt Blue (hue) or Permanent Blue. Non-hazardous (low to no toxicity in humans). Typically lightfast (LFI / BW8) but care must be taken to use acid-free paper, as sulfur-based pigments will discolor when exposed to acids. Ultramarine Blue is a replacement for the chemically identical Lapis Lazuli (a semi-precious stone). Daniel Smith still offers Lapis Lazuli genuine, the naturally occurring version of this pigment used in many famous paintings throughout history. It used to be reserved for the very wealthy, until chemist Jean Baptiste Guimet came up with a formula to make it synthetically in France during the 1820s. This took a surprising number of ingredients including sulfur, kaolin clay, silica, charcoal, sodium carbonate and sulfate. The ratio and heat used to create the material, and the exposure to oxygen, results in a variety of deep blue colors.

Variants: Ultramarine comes in multiple shades such as "deep" and "GS" (green shade) and when further exposed to heat and ammonium chloride (Salammoniac) it turns slightly violet. It is then renamed Ultramarine Violet PV15. Winsor and Newton have made a color called "Smalt" without the word hue. Smalt is incredibly misleading to those seeking historical pigments, as it is actually made from Ultramarine Violet PV15 and NOT genuine Smalt PB32. When you add hydrochloric acid, Ultramarine turns into a delicate pale pink called Ultramarine Pink PR259. Be aware that all Ultramarines are generally regarded as lightfast. However, "Ultramarine Green" PG24 which may be found as a raw material pigment powder, handmade watercolor or from the company "Kremer Pigment" is not lightfast.
PB29 Schmincke Horadam Ultramarine Finest Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB29 Shinhan Korean Color A Ultramarine Blue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB29 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor France Ultramarine Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB29 White Nights Watercolor Ultramarine Deep PB29 Ultramarine Blue White Nights Watercolor Color Chart Swatch Card PB29 Prima Tube Ultramarine Deep Swatch Card

 

PB29 Mixes: An incredibly useful color for mixing and often included in both beginner and professional watercolor sets. Ultramarine Blue can be mixed with PBr7 to create an ideal neutral gray. Another popular mix is with PV19, where it makes deep royal purples. Daniel Smith's mixes have reliable texture effects in wet washes, as the PB29 granulates and separates from the PV19.
PB29 PV19 Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolor Mineral Violet Swatch Card Color Chart PV19 PB29 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Royal Purple Swatch Card Color Chart PV19 PB29 Paul Rubens Tube Watercolor Royal Purple Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PO73 PB29 PG18 Paul Rubens Tube Watercolor Royal Purple Swatch Card Color Chart PB29 PG18 Paul Rubens Tube Watercolor Royal Purple Swatch Card Color Chart PB29 PB66 Shinhan Korean Color A Indigo Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PO73 PB29 PG18 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Moonlight Purple Swatch Card Color Chart PB15:4 PB29 PBk6 Grumbacher Academy Payne's Gray Watercolor Swatch Card

 

PB36 Cobalt Chromite:
PB36 Grumbacher Academy Magnesium Green Watercolor Swatch CardPB36 White Nights Watercolor Cobalt Chrome Turqoise

 

PB36 Mixes:

 

PB60 Indanthrone Blue:
PB60 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Indanthrene Blue Swatch Card Color Chart PB60 Schmincke Horadam Delft Blue Indanthrene Indanthrone Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB60 Mixes:
PB60 PB15 PBk6 Paul Rubens Hint of Glitter Pan Set Watercolor Sea Blue Swatch Card Color Chart 

 

PB66 Indigo:

 

PB66 Mixes:
PB29 PB66 Shinhan Korean Color A Indigo Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB74 Cobalt Zinc Silicate Blue:
PB74 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Cobalt Blue Deep Swatch Card Color Chart

 

PB74 Mixes:

 

Swatch card template available for download here, or get the rubber stamp here. Swatch cards were painted on Legion Black or Arches Cold Press 100% cotton watercolor paper. Paper and brushes are available at Jackson's or Amazon here:

 

 

 

OR

 

https://www.dickblick.com

 

Where to buy art supplies shown on this page:

 

The following affiliate links are to places I have purchased my art materials. When available I'll include multiple reputable stores so you can compare and decide where you'd like to shop. Dick Blick ("DB" links below) is a large art supply chain store here in the USA that ships worldwide. Jackson's ("Jack" links below) is a great UK based art supply store which also ships worldwide, but carries some harder to find European products with quick low cost shipping to the USA. Amazon USA ("Ama" links below) often offers unique brands, including small business and Chinese off brand watercolor sets, that can not be found anywhere else. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Alpha by brand:

 

Daniel Smith watercolors -- available on DB, Jack or Ama.

  

Interested in other ways to help this project? Visit me at Kimberly Crick Art on YouTube or Patreon. If you have supplies that you would like to donate, such as watercolor dot cards or samples from your company that you would like reviewed or displayed in this pigment directory, please email me at enchantedgallery@gmail.com or use the contact form with details. Thank you :)

 

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Lightfast Tests and Art Supply Reviews Pigment Database