Understanding Pigments

Contents

Identifying Pigments
The Color Index Name
Single Pigments or Pre-Mixed Blends
Pigment Types (Inorganic or Organic)
Akua Pigment Identification Chart
Replacements for the More Hazardous Pigments
Mixing Your Own Color Blends & Hues
Natural Pigments Compared with Selected Akua Inks (printable 3-page PDF)


 

Identifying Pigments

Manufacturers are free to give their art supply colors whatever name they deem appropriate. Different manufacturers give different names to the same color, even if the same pigments are used. Therefore, names may vary from one brand to another. Akua tries to use the pigments technical name for Akua Inks. For instance, the names Hansa Yellow, Phthalo Blue and Quinacridone Red refer to the specific pigment used in that ink. Some pigments may have several technical names. In that case, we try to select the most popular name.
Colors such as Olive Green, Turquoise Blue and Paynes Gray usually contain a mixture of several pigments. When trying to identify pigments used in ink or paint, research the color index name, not the name given by the manufacturer.

The Color Index Name

The Color Index is a list of identification numbers and names given to individual pigments used in all art materials. It is published by the Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (USA).This information identifies the actual pigment used in a particular ink or paint. It also indicates whether it is made from a single pigment or a mixture of pigments. The color index names for all pigments used in Akua inks can be found on Akua ink containers and our User Guide.

Examples:
Ultramarine Blue PB: 29 (single pigment)
PB: 29 – The first letter Identifies whether a pigment or a dye is used. Here the P indicates that a pigment is used.
PB: 29 – The second letter identifies the pigment code. Here, the pigment code stands for blue.
PB: 29 – The number indicates the specific pigment number.

Van Dyke Brown PR101, PR112, PBk7 (mixture of three pigments)

When analyzing Akua’s Van Dyke Brown color index name you can see that the color is made with three pigments.


Single Pigments or Pre-Mixed Blends

If a product is referred to as a single pigment, it means that it was made with the use of just one pigment. When mixing your own colors, a single-pigment color will mix truer and more predictably. For brightest, most intense results it is best to start by mixing with single pigments.

When the manufacture premixes and packages two or more pigments for the users convenience it is referred to as a pre-mixed blend. If you mix your own ink, there is little advantage to purchasing pre-mixed inks.

All Akua Inks with the exception of two colors are made with single pigments.
A single-pigment color will mix truer and more predictably than pre-mixed colors. For example, to create bright green it is advised that you start with a pure yellow and pure blue. A yellow ink that is pre-mixed with some red, combined with a blue ink that is pre-mixed with some purple will yield a brownish green. The unexpected hints of complementary colors in the pre-mixed inks will cause the resulting green to be muddy.

If the printmaker knows beforehand whether their ink is a single pigment or a pre- mixed blend they will experience fewer surprises while creating desired colors. To avoid wasting ink and time check the color index names before purchasing and mixing.

Pigment Types (Inorganic or Organic)

Inorganic pigments are based on one or several kind of metal. They can be mined naturally or pure versions can be synthesized. Both natural and synthetic inorganic pigments have good lightfast qualities. These types of pigments are generally identified by the predominant type of metal present in the pigment, such as iron, titanium, zinc, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, nickel, manganese, etc.
Natural Inorganic: (mined, washed and then ground into dust)
Most earth color pigments are derived from clay with iron content. Sometimes they are burnt to change the color. Examples: Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna
Synthetic Inorganic: (made by chemical interaction or heating)
Examples: Cadmium, Cobalt, Titanium White, and Ultramarine Blue
Organic pigments tend to contain carbon atoms and generally do not contain metal. This type of pigment is derived from vegetable or animal, or can be artificially composed. Natural organic pigments are fugitive (they fade over time). Advances in technology have allowed artificial pigments to be produced synthetically with lightfast qualities.
Natural Organic: (vegetable or animal matter)
Akua inks are not made with this type of pigment because they are fugitive (they fade over time). Examples: Carmine (from the cochineal beetle) and Rose Madder (from a root)
Synthetic Organic: (bright colors produced by chemical reactions)
Most of Akua colors are made with synthetic organic pigments because they have good light fast qualities. Examples: Hansa Yellow, Diarylide Yellow, Pyrrole Orange and the Quinacridones.
Organometallic are synthetic mixtures of organic and inorganic compounds. Examples: Phthalo Blues and Phthalo Greens. They have good light fast qualities.

Price List / Purchase Online

Akua Pigment Identification Chart

lemonyellow.jpg Lemon Yellow

Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PY3
Pigment Type: Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

hansayellow.jpgHansa Yellow

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PY74
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

diarylideyellow.jpgDiarylide Yellow

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PY83
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

dinitroorange_001.jpgPyrrolle Orange

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PO73
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

scarletred_000.jpgScarlet Red

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PR112
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

crimsonred_000.jpgCrimson Red

Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PR5
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

 

quinacridonered.jpgQuinacridone Red
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PV19
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment
quinacridoneviolet_000.jpgQuinacridone Violet

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PV19
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment
Carbazole Violet

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PV23
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Intaglio
ultramarineblue.jpgUltramarine Blue

Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PB29
Pigment Type:Synthetic Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

phthaloblue.jpgPhthalo Blue

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PB15
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

phthalobluegreen_000.jpgPhthalo Blue Green
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PB15:3
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

phthalogreenyellow.jpgPhthalo Green Yellow
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PG36
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

phthalogreenblue_000.jpgPhthalo Green Blue
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PG7
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

yellowochre.jpgYellow Ochre
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PY42
Pigment Type:Synthetic Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

burntsienna_001.jpgBurnt Sienna
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PBr7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio
redoxide_000.jpgRed Oxide
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PR101
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

burntumber_000.jpgBurnt Umber
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PBr7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio
Van Dyke Brown
Mixed Color
Color Index Name:PR101, PR112, PBk7
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic, Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Intaglio
rawumber_001.jpgRaw Umber
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PBr7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio
jetblack.jpgJet Black
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PBk7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

jetblack.jpgCarbon Black
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PBk7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

lamp_black.jpgLamp Black
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PBk7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment
lamp_black.jpgLamp Blue Black
Mixed Color
Color Index Name:PBk7 PB15:4
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic, Organometallic
available in Akua Intaglio
titwhiteint.jpgTitanium White

Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PW6
Pigment Type:Synthetic Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

titwhiteint.jpgOpaque White
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PW6
Pigment Type:Synthetic Inorganic
available in  Akua Intaglio

 

Replacements for the More Hazardous Pigments

Akua selects the safest pigments possible. Akua inks do not contain the more hazardous pigments which are known to contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, nickel and cobalt. Safer alternatives can be made by mixing certain colors.

The word “Hue” beside a color name indicates that a different pigment or mixture of pigments is used instead of the traditional pigment. For example, for Cadmium Red the word “hue” informs the user that it is not the genuine Cadmium Red pigment but it is almost identical in color. There are several reasons why hues are made. The original pigment may be no longer available, or it has become too expensive, or it was not light-fast or permanent, or a safer alternative has been discovered.

Mixing Your Own Color Blends & Hues

The mixtures below are offered as a handy guide to help you get started. Begin by adding the darkest color into the lightest color. It may take only a little of a dark color to change a light color, but it takes significantly more of a light color to change a dark one. For example, always add blue to white to darken it, rather than trying to lighten the blue by adding white.

Naples Yellow light Hue (replacement for genuine)
Genuine pigment contains lead
Titanium White
Yellow Oxide
Diarylide Yellow

Naples
Yellow deep Hue (replacement for genuine)
Genuine pigment contains lead

Titanium White
Hansa Yellow
Red Oxide
Yellow Ochre

Permanent Yellow

Lemon Yellow
Diarylide Yellow
Titanium White

Cadmium Red Hue
(replacement for genuine)
Genuine pigment contains Cadmium
Scarlet Red

Crimson Red

Red Ochre
Red Oxide
Yellow Ochre
Carbon Black

Yellow Green

Phthalo Green (yellow shade)
Titanium White
Lemon Yellow

Sap Green
hue (replacement for genuine)
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Yellow Ochre

Spring Green
Lemon Yellow
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)

Olive Green

Yellow Ochre
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)

Green Earth

Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Red Oxide

Leaf Green

Lemon Yellow
Phthalo Green (yellow shade)
Titanium White
Permanent Green Light
Lemon Yellow
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)

Permanent Green Medium

Hansa Yellow
Phthalo Blue

Permanent Green Deep
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Titanium White
Ultramarine Blue
Lemon Yellow

Hooker’s Green

Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Burnt Umber

Green Lake Deep
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Red Oxide
Black

Emerald Green

Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Lemon Yellow

or
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Phthalo Green (yellow shade)
Titanium White

Turquoise Blue
White
Phthalo Blue
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)

Viridian
Lake
Phthalo Green (Blue shade)
Phthalo Blue (Green Shade)

Cerulean Blue Hue(replacement for genuine)
Genuine pigment contains Cobalt and Chromium
Phthalo Blue
White

Cobalt Blue Hue
(replacement for genuine)
Genuine pigment contains Cobalt and Aluminum
Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue
Titanium White

Orient Blue
Phthalo Blue
Carbazole Violet
Prussian Blue
Hue (replacement for genuine)
Phthalo Blue
Carbazole Violet
Black

Indigo

Phthalo Blue
Quinacridone Violet
Black
or

Phthalo Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Carbon Black

Raw Sienna

Yellow Ochre
Red Oxide

Sepia

Carbon Black
Red Oxide

Raw Sepia
Ultramarine Blue
Carbon Black
Raw Umber

Paynes Gray

Red Oxide
Ultramarine Blue
Carbon Black

Davy’s Gray

Ultramarine Blue
Carbon Black
Yellow Ochre
Phthalo Blue Green
Neutral Tint
Phthalo Blue
Carbon Black
Quinacridone Violet