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WHITE, MICA AND METALLIC Art Supply Pigment Database Watercolor Acrylic Ink Pencil Color Chart Swatch
Artist reference guide to White, Mica and Metallic 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).
Due to the opaque nature of white/mica pigments, many swatch cards on this page are done on 100% cotton BLACK watercolor paper. Links to materials shown at the bottom of this page.
PW4 Zinc Oxide White:
PW6 Titanium White: The most opaque, lightfast, non-yellowing, stable white pigment. Not to be confused with the more transparent China White or Mixing White commonly found in older pan sets.
PW4 AND PW6 are often used as a filler, a cheap replacement for a chalk like substance in student grade paints. The quality, purity and opacity of PW6 varies greatly. When used in professional grade paints they are typically more opaque, and used to create lighter pastel colors and add opacity similar to gouache. Over the past couple years more reputable brands have started making pastel convenience colors, such as Daniel Smith's Lavender and Wisteria.
One of my favorite examples of this is the 2019 White Nights pastel colors. PW6 is used in each of these 6 colors, and this brand has such a nice pigment load that they can be used similarly to gouache on black paper. See the effect of PW6 in this video review:
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:
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.
Arches 100% cotton cold press 140# watercolor paper is one of the most durable surfaces for technical pen, scrubbing and lifting. It's surface sizing (coating) and texture is a good middle ground compared to the extremes of different brands. Due to these traits, and it being around for long enough to be the most commonly recommended paper for professionals, all of my swatches are done on this paper for consistency. Only white (and mica paints that do not show up on white) use the Legion Black paper instead. I buy my arches paper at Blick, and if you are in the USA this is likely the most affordable place to buy it:https://shrsl.com/2765w
Alpha by brand shopping directory:
Daniel Smith watercolors -- available onDB,JackorAma.
Interested in other ways to help this project? Visit me at Kimberly Crick Art on YouTubeor Patreon. If you have supplies that you would like to donate (such as watercolor dot cards or samples from your company or personal collection that you would like reviewed or displayed in this pigment directory) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form with details. Thank you :)