Holbein Acrylic Ink Review Color Chart Pigment Ingredients and Lightfast Test
Holbein Acrylic Inks are extremely high quality. Each bottle (available in 30ml or 100ml to purchase at Blick USA here) contains a rich saturated color with astoundingly high pigment load for such a smooth liquid paint. The pigments are finely ground (small particle size) suspended in a waterproof acrylic polymer binder. They can be used with a paint brush, dip or technical pens.
They are made in Japan by Holbein, who also makes other types of acrylic paints which vary in viscosity. Their "fluid acrylic" is slightly thicker than the "acrylic ink" and they also offer heavy body acrylics in tubes. This company also makes beautiful watercolor and gouache paints. These acrylic inks can be used as waterproof drawing inks to use under watercolor paintings. While they do flow well from a dip pen, you may find that watering them down slightly may improve flow, as they are not as fluid as airbrush paints like Schmincke's Aero color. These are roughly as thick as whole milk or heavy cream, unlike the watery state of some airbrush paints and dye inks.
Holbein's Acrylic Inks are for the most part lightfast, with the standard exception of "neon" colors which they call "Luminous Opera" and "Luminous Lemon" which include dye additives for unnaturally bright effects and UV black light glow capability. There are a couple marginally lightfast colors, such as PG8 Sap Green, PY1 Hansa Yellow and PR9 Napthol Red, which may fade over time if used diluted. Only 2 of the 50 are fugitive (not suitable for long term wall art with nearby window lighting), 3 are borderline (will experience slight fading over time, particularly when watered down), with the remaining 45 of 50 colors are lightfast.
Some rare pigments of note: PG8 Nitroso Green, often called Hooker's or Sap Green, is a beautiful deep forest green that has no rival in single pigment paints. PBk31 Shadow Green, often called Perylene Green in other brands, is a natural black mineral that dilutes to a deep neutral green. These green colors can be replicated using PG7 Phthalo Green and PBk7 Lamp Black for multi-pigment mixture replacements.
They offer other harder to find pigments, otherwise only found in a handful of the dozens of top professional brands in the world, such as PBr25 Imidazolone Brown (helpful smooth textured, transparent warm brown - the opposite of the granular opaque PBr7 Burnt Umber) and PB16 Phthalo Turquoise (a lovely alternative to Phthalo Blue PB15 as a primary mixing blue).
Hand painted swatch cards:
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If you'd like to see how each color compares to the same pigment from another brand, check out the pigment database here.