Artist Paint & Pigment Color Charts
Artist Supply & Manufacturer's Color Charts with Color Index Pigment Names
Manufacturer Paint and Pigment Color Charts and Pigment Technical Specifications
I assembled these links to color charts because i refer to them when ever I'm about to buy a new paint and it's nice to have them all in one spot. The only really useful charts are the ones that include the color index international pigment names. The color index names and numbers are maintained by the AATCC, SDC, and the ASTM. In the brands that have the color index names on a separate sheet, I have just included a link to the technical specifications with color index names, as that is the main purpose of this page.
Many manufacturer's colors are convenience mixtures or have misleading color names, and these specifications help to sort them out. It is essential to know what colors are mixtures and which ones are single pigments and made with light fast pigments. I feel single pigments paints are necessary to get clean mixes when mixing your own paint. Some companies mix as many as 5-7 colors to get a "hue" substitute to the real color, if you attempt to further mix with a pre-mix like that, you'll end up with mud. I can't see any reason a company needs to use 7 colors to get a Naples Yellow Hue. I have also seen mixes with fugitive or marginal light fast pigments included in the paint formula, but with the manufacturer claiming high light fastness simply because one of the pigments in the mix is light fast.
Using convenience mixes in artist paints and painting directly from the tube, especially alla prima and expressionism techniques, is great, but it is still useful to know what pigments are in the mixtures. Convenience color mixes may also give brighter, purer mixes than one can make in the studio, because manufacturer can make a extremely intimate mix using equipment usually unavailable to the artist.
Knowing the specific pigments in a artists paint and the chemical makeup is also helpful for those who have concerns about toxic ingredients, health and allergies. Some pigments may effect other pigments in your paintings too, especially if you are fond of using historic pigments such as Lead White, Chrome Yellow or Orpiment.
Color Index Names are the only sure way to know exactly what pigments make up the paint, but some paint manufacturer's do not list their pigment content on the tube or even a separate sheet. Although some companies may have a legitimate concern about guarding trade secrets, they also might be just hiding inferior or toxic ingredients. One should be wary of any paints that that do not conform to the voluntary ASTM specs and list the color index pigment names. Generally artist paints that do not indicate color index names are, with a few exceptions, low grade paints.
Art Spectrum: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
I could not find any PDF files.
Art Spectrum Artists' Oil Colours Pigment List (HTML covers all their Pro Oils)
Professional Quality Oil Colour Chart (HTML) | Australian Landscape Colours Color Chart (HTML)
Art Spectrum Soft Pastels Pigment List (PDF) | Pastel the color chart (HTML)
Art Spectrum Artists’ Watercolours Pigment List (HTML) | Watercolor Color Chart (HTML)
Artists’ Gouache Pigment List (HTML) | Gouache Color Chart (HTML)
MSDS Sheets can be found here
Extra-fine Artists' Oils (PDF) (Website) | Aquarelles Watercolor (PDF) (Website)
Pastels (PDF) (Website) | Pigments (takes you to web site)
Blueridge: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
I could not find any PDF files.
Oil Paints I Reds I Yellow-Orange I Blue-Greens-Voilets I Browns-Earths
Black-Whites I Dry Pigments
C.A.S AlkydPro: C.I. names are available at their website and in the PDF.
| C.A.S. AlkydPro (website) | Classic by Triangle Coatings: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available, click on color swatch. The technical data sheet and color chart has the CI names also.
Classic Artist Oil Colors | Yellow, Orange, Red | Violet, Blue, Green
Earth Tones | Black, White, Neutral
Technical Data sheet (PDF) | Color Chart (PDF) | MSDS (PDF)
MSDS appears to only be for the Carbon Black?
Charvin: Charvin's web site has CI numbers and color charts.
Charvin Extra-Fine Oil Colours - Extra Fine Oils (older catalog) | Charvin Super-Fine Oils
CHARVIN Extra-Fine Acrylics
Extra-fine Gouaches | Charvin Pigments
Chroma Inc. :
Archival Oils (PDF) | Archival A4 Acrylic Paints (PDF) | Atelier Interactive (PDF)
Absolute Matte (PDF) | Jo Sonja Acrylics (PDF) | Background & Iridescent (PDF)
MSDS Sheets (Web) |
Daniel Smith: Most of the CI names are listed next to the color name. You can also request their free catalog where they have all the CI pigments names for their paints listed. Could not find any PDFs.
Acrylics | Dry Pigments | Oil Colors | Watercolors
Watercolor MSDS Sheet | Oils MSDS Sheet | Acrylic MSDS Sheet
(Each MSDS sheet covers all colors in their media class.)
Pigment list (PDF) (all products on one list)
Artists Oil Colors Color Chart | Georgian Oil Colours Color Chart | Graduate Oil Colours Chart
Cryla Artists' Acrylic Chart | System 3 Acrylic Chart | Graduate Acrylic Chart
Artists' Watercolour Chart | Aquafine Watercolour Chart
Egg Temera Chart | Designers' Gouache Chart
MSDS Sheets Here
Da Vinci: The web site has C.I. names Their catalog has CI names for all their colors.
Professional Oils Pigment Info (PDF) - MSDS
Heavy Body Acrylics (Web) - Fluid Acrylics (Web) - MSDS
Fast Dry Alkyd Oils (Web) | Professional Leonardo Oil with Alkyd (old PDF)
Professional Watercolor (Ecel file xls) - Professional Watercolor (PDF) - MSDS
Professional Gouache (Ecel xls) | Professional Gouache (PDF)
Scuola Semi-Professional Oils (PDF Old, Discontinued)
Scuola Semi-Professional Acrylic (PDF, Old, discontinued)
Scuola Semi-Professional Watercolor (PDF Old, discontinued
Dick-Blick: Paint and Pigment Data along with MSDS sheets can be found on all of their products, and many other brands they sell
Blick Artists' Acrylic | Blick Artists’ Oil Color | Blick Student Grade Oils
Artists Watercolor | Blick Liquid Watercolors
Dick Blick's Downloadable Catalog also has pigment info for their own brand
No CI numbers available. Does not conform to
ASTM specification D 4302-05.
Earth Pigments: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available by clicking on the pigment details button below the images.
Pigments by Color | MSDS Sheets
Gamblin: C.I. names are available online and in PDF.
Artist Grade Oil Colors (Web, MSDS) - Artist Grade Oil Colors (PDF)
Oranges - Yellows - Greens - Blues - Violets - Earth
Blacks & Greys - Whites -Radiants - Metals
FastMatte Aylkd (Web) | Gamblin Conservation Colors (Web)
Golden Artist Colors: These take you to their website click on the swatches to get more info.
All pigment infor can be found on one page here
Heavy Body Acrylics | Fluid Acrylics | Open Acrylics | Conservation: MSA Colors, PVA Colors|
Custom: High Load, Paste |
Updated color charts at the website where CI names are available
Apparently, Grumbacher no longer provides color index names.
Old charts for Pre-Tested Oils Color Chart, Spec Sheet | Max | Academy Oil | Academy Acrylic | Academy Watercolor
Guerra Paint & Pigment These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
Dry Pigments | Dispersions
Artists Oil Paint (PDF) | Yuichi Artists Paint (PDF) | Pigments (PDF)
Pop Ecolse Oil Paint (PDF) | Duo Water Soluble Oil Paint (PDF)
Artists Watercolor Tubes (PDF) | Artists Watercolor Pans (PDF) | Artists Gouache (PDF)
Artists Acrylic (PDF) | Drawing Ink (PDF) | PanPastels Artist Pastels (PDF)
Below is an old PDF with CI names for their entire line, but is from 2002, so it may not match current product line. For historic research only.
Hobien Technical Specifications (PDF)
Jack Richeson & Co., Inc.: Most of the PDF files do not have color index names, except the Richeson Oils.
Their full catalog here has color index names for Richeson Oils and Steven Quiller Watercolors
Richeson Artist Oils Shiva series Color Chart with CI (PDF) | Richeson Casein Color Chart no CI (PDF)
Quiller Acrylics Color Chart no CI (PDF) | Quiller Watercolor Color Chart no CI (PDF)
St. Petersburg Yarka Color Chart no CI (PDF)
St. Petersburg Yarka Color Chart with CI, but old, for historical reference only (JPG)
Shiva PaintStik Color Chart no CI names (PDF)
Unison Soft Pastels Color Chart no CI (PDF) | Richeson Pastels Color Chart no CI (PDF) |
Daniel Greene ?Cant find anything
Tri-Art: Online info has CI names.
High Viscosity Acrylic | Liquid Acrylic Inks | Airbrush | MSDS
Full Catalog with Color Charts but no CI (PDF)
Jaurena Art: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
Mir Oil Colours | Mir Water-colours | Mir Acrylic Colours
Kama Pigments: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
Dry Pigments | Kama’s Professional Artist Oil Colors (PDF) | | Aqua-dispersions
Download Kama Pigments Full Catalog (PDF has CI Names for their own products)
Kremer Pigmente Europe Kremer Pigments USA site: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
KREMER-made and historic Pigments - Pigments of Modern Age
Earth Pigments - Iron Oxide Pigments
Pearlescent Pigments & Glitter - Mother of Pearl & Glimmer - Metal Powders
Daylight Fluorescent Pigments - Phosphorescent Pigments
XSL-Pigments - Iwa-Enogu® - Glass Pigments - Iwa-Enogu® Mineral Pigments
Dyes & Vegetable Color Paints
Fillers & Building Materials - Solvents, Chemicals & Additives
Lascaux Artist Acrylics | Studio Acrylics | Lascaux Aquacryl
Lascaux Gouache | Lascaux Resonance Gouache
Lefranc & Bourgeois:
LEFRANC Artists Oil (PDF) | Fine Oil Colors (PDF) | FINE Acrylic Colours (PDF)
FLASHE vinylic (PDF) | Fine Acrylic (PDF)
Fine Gouache (PDF)
Heavy Body Acrylics (PDF) | Soft Body Acrylics (PDF) | Super Heavy Body (PDF)
Acrylic Inks (PDF) | BASICS (PDF) | BASICS MAT (PDF)
Professional Spray Paint (PDF) | Paint Markers (PDF)
MSDS Sheets here
Lukas: The only new color charts with CI names I could find are in German and take a while to down load, but they have the color index names. The old PDF files may not show their current line, for historical reference only.
1862 Oil (new PDF) English(PDF) (2007 PDF) | Studio Oil (new PDF) (2007 PDF)
Berlin WS Oil (new PDF) (English PDF) (2007 PDF) | Terzia (2007 PDF)
Aquarell 1862 (new PDF) (English PDF) (2007 PDF) | Aquarell Studio (new PDF) (2007 PDF)
Cryl Pastos Acrylics (new PDF) (2007 PDF) | Cryl Studio Acrylics (new PDF) (2007 PDF) |
Gouache (2007 PDF)
Maimeri: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available by clicking on the color swatches.
Maimeri Puro Oil Colors | Rinascimento Oil colors | Artisti Oil Colors
Classico Oil Colors | Italian Natural Earth Oil Colors
Mediterraneo Oil Colors | Maimeri Olio | Olio HD
Brera acrylic | Maimeri Acrilico
Polycolor - Polycolor 3D - Polycolor Reflect - Polycolor pastel - Polycolor body - Polyfluid
Maimeri Blu Watercolor- Venezia Watercolor - Gouache colours
Restauro varnish colours - Pigments
p.1 - All Mattsse Artist Acrylics Color Chart (PDF)
p.2 - All Matisse Artist Acrylics Pigments names & technical specs (PDF)
M. Graham: The web will take you to their web site where C.I. names are available. CI names are also on the PDF.
M. Graham Oil Paints (Web) | M. Graham Oil Paints Color Chart (PDF) | MSDS
Watercolor (Web) | Watercolor Color Chart (PDF) | MSDS
Acrylic (Web) | Acrylic Color Chart (PDF) | MSDS
Gouache (Web) | Gouache (PDF) | MSDS
Martin F. Weber Co.:
I have made a list of the Bob Ross Colors, I could not find any pigment info on the Bob Ross site or Weber's, so I compiled this myself from Bob Ross colors I own.
Permalba® Oil Colors chart only, no CI names | wOil® Water Mixable Oil Paints has CI names
Prima Acrylic has CI names | Prima-Flo Acrylic has CI names | Prima Oils has CI info
Mijello™ Mission Gold Watercolors (JPG) | MSDS
Bob Ross Oil Colors | Bob Ross Soft Landscape Oil Colors | Bob Ross Soft Oil Floral Colors
Michael Harding Color Chart (web) | Handmade Oil Paints (PDF)
Paint Tech Specs (PDF)
Natural Pigments: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available by clicking on the color swatches. They provide other interesting details and historical information too.
Rublev Colours Artists' Oils | Oil Color Pigments |
Rublev Colours Artist Watercolors | Watercolor Pigments |
Old Holland: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available.
Classic Oil Colours Color Chart Oil drying Times with CI Info
New Masters Classic Acrylic** | Classic Watercolour**
Classic Pigments | Ancient Pigments**
PDF color charts can be downloaded here but have no CI or pigment Information
** No pigment color index names
Huile d'Art super fine oil (PDF) | Fragonard extra fine Oil Paints (PDF) | Studio Fine XL Oils (PDF)
Extra fine acrylic (PDF) | Studio Acrylic (PDF)
Fragonard Aquarelle extra fine watercolour discontinued? | Fine Watercolours (PDF)**
T7 extra fine Gouache (PDF) | Studio Gouache (PDF)** | Pigments (PDF) |
** No pigment color index names
R&F Handmade Paints: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available by clicking on the color patches. Both the pigments sticks and Encaustic paints are on one chart.
Pigment Sticks and Encaustic Paints Pigment Stick MSDS Encaustic MSDS
RGH Artists' Oil Paints:
RGH Oil Paints | Pigments Color Swatches
Technical Specs, including CI info (same for for paints or pigments)
Rembrandt Oil Paint (PDF) | Van Gogh Oil Paints (PDF) | Amsterdam Oil Paints (PDF)***
Cobra Water Soluble Oils (PDF) | H2O Water Soluble Oils*** | Artcreation Oils (PDF)
Rembrandt Acrylic Paint (PDF) | Van Gogh Acrylic Paint (PDF)
Amsterdam Expert Acrylic Paints (PDF) | Amsterdam Std. Acrylic Paints (PDF)
ArtCreation Acrylics (PDF)
Rembrandt Water Colors (PDF) | Van Gogh Watercolors (PDF)
Gouache extra fine (PDF) | Rembrandt Soft Pastels(PDF)
Van Gogh Oil Pastels (PDF)
Mussini Oil Colors Finest Artist Resin Oil Color (PDF)
Norma® Professional Finest Oil Colors (PDF)
AKADEMIE® Fine artists Oil Color (PDF)
PRIMAcry and PRIMAcry Fluid Finest Artist Acrylic Colors (PDF)
AKADEMIE® Acryl color (PDF) | AKADEMIE® Heavy Body Acryl color (PDF)
College® acrylics (PDF)
HORADAM ® AQUARELL (PDF) | AKADEMIE® Aquarell (PDF)
HORADAM® GOUACHE (PDF) | HKS® Designers' Gouache (PDF) | AKADEMIE® Gouache (PDF)
aqua LINOPRINT Colours | Series 17 finest extrasoft pastels Pastels (PDF)
Aero Color Airbrush Colors (PDF) MSDS | Dry Pigments (PDF) MSDS Sheets for pigments
Oil-Color MSDS Sheets | Acrylic MSDS Sheets
Water-Color MSDS Sheets | Gouche MSDS Sheets | Pastel MSDS Sheets
Sennelier Finest Artist Oil Colors (PDF) | Etude Oil Colors (PDF)
Oil Sticks (PDF) | Pure Pigments (PDF)
L'Aquarelle Artists' Watercolors (PDF) | Extra Fine Gouache (PDF)
Egg Tempera Artists' Quality (PDF)
Extra Fine Acrylics (PDF) could only find in French
Soft Pastels** (PDF) | Oil Pastels (PDF) | Schira Porcelain Paint Powders** (PDF)
** Color chart only, no Color Index or pigment information
Shinhan Art: Their 2014 catalog has C.I. info on all their artist grade products.
Artists Oil Color (PDF) | Premium Water Color (PDF) | Artist' Acrylic Color (PDF)
Artists Oil Color MSDS | Premium Water Color MSDS | Artist' Acrylic Color MSDS
Sinopia: This line goes to there web site where color index names can be found, but not all have Ci names indicated.
Utrecht: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available by
clicking on the color link. CI names are also available in the PDFMSDS Sheets Here
Professional Oil Paint (Web) MSDS (PDF with CI names)
Acrylic Paints (Web) MSDS (PDF with CI names) | Watercolor (Web) MSDS (PDF with CI names)
Pigments (Web) MSDS(PDF with CI names)
Tempera | Gouache
All MSDS Sheets
Vasari: Vasari is now listing color index numbers on their website, click on the details button under the color swatches.
Artist Oil Colors Yellow & Orange Cadmiums Red & Violet Cobalts Blue Green Earth Colors
Mars & Antiquity Grays Black & White
Here is a link to an old 2005 price list that included Pigment names, it may or may not indicate the pigments in the current product line. The prices in this document are no longer valid.
Williamsburg: These links take you to their web site where C.I. names are available. Hover over the swatches and wait a couple seconds to get Color Index names and other pigment info.
Oil Paints | Dry Pigments | List or all the pigments in their line without color swatches | MSDS
Windsor & Newton: These will take you to the web site where color index names and other pigment information is available. The technical specifications are on a sperate page on composition and light fastness. Tech. Spec. Color Chart
Artist Oil Colours Tech Specs Color Chart MSDS
Winton Oil ColoursTech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Artist's Oil Bar Tech. Spec. Color Chart Color Chart (PDF)** MSDS
Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colors Tech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Griffin AlkydTech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Artists' Acrylic Colour Tech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Galeria Acrylic Colour Tech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Artists' Water ColourTech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Cotman Water ColourTech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Designers' Gouache Tech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
Artists' Soft PastelsTech. Spec. Color Chart MSDS
All MSDS Sheets
Page Top ^
|PAINT AND PIGMENT REFERANCE TABLE KEY: Page Top^
|Jump to : Supplier\Manufacturer Codes | Binder/Medium Codes
Color Index Generic Name: Key Top ^ Page Top^
This is the C.I. Generic Name (abbreviated) given by the ASTM and Colour Index International (CII) for that pigment. The first 2 or 3 letters describe the general pigment color and the number is the individual pigment identifier. N/A (not applicable) means that pigment has not been given a color index name or number.
|Natural Dye and Solvent Pigments
These are naturally occurring organic pigments and dyes. With a few exceptions, most are plant or animal extracts or dyes that need to be fixed to a substrate to become pigments (i.e. Madder Lake). A few are organic natural earths such as Cassel earth (Van Dyke Brown). They are designated with C.I. Generic name of which consists of the usage class "Natural" and basic hue, followed by the CI serial number (i.e. Natural Brown 8). Natural pigment CI generic names are often abbreviated with the usage class N + the hue abbreviation + the serial number. (i.e. NBr 8)
Pigments can be organic or Inorganic. Most modern pigments are given this usage designation by the Color Index. They can be completely synthetic, naturally occurring minerals, or lakes based on the synthetic derivatives of natural dyes. Pigments are designated with C.I. Generic name which consists of the usage class "Pigment" and the basic hue followed by the CI serial number (i.e. Pigment Red 106, Cadmium Red). The pigment CI generic names are often abbreviated with the usage class P + the hue abbreviation + the serial number. (i.e. PR83 for Pigment Red 83)
NY = Natural Yellow;
NO = Natural Orange;
NR = Natural Red;
NV = Natural Violet;
NB = Natural Blue;
NG = Natural Green;
NBr = Natural Brown;
NBk = Natural Black;
NW = Natural White;
PY = Pigment Yellow;
PO = Pigment Orange;
PR = Pigment Red;
PV = Pigment Violet;
PB = Pigment Blue;
PG = Pigment Green;
PBr = Pigment Brown;
PBk = Pigment Black;
PW = Pigment White;
PM = Pigment Metal
The CI (Color Index) Common Pigment Name: Key Top ^ Page Top^
In this database the common name is the name given in the Color Index (third edition, 1997) by the Color Index International published by the Society of Dyers and Colourists and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, and are also used by the ASTM International, American Society for Testing and Materials.
When the Colour Index (3rd edition) has not specified a name, I have used the name that the first manufacturer, inventor or original patent holder has given that pigment. In the case of ancient pigments, historic pigments, minerals or other odd pigments, I have used the most commonly used traditional historic, mineral or chemical name as determined by my research.
Common, Historic and Marketing Names: Key Top ^ Page Top^
These are the various names that have been used for that pigment whether or not it is the correct usage. This is NOT an endorsement of any particular name, but merely a collection of names that are in common usage or have been used in the past according to historic pigment books & references, paint sales literature, and pigment manufacturers references. They have been collected (in order of importance) from
1.) Paint manufacturers, pigment manufacturers and/or other pigment supplier literature;
2.) Various web sites in particular AMIEN.org, Dick Blick Artist Supply, Handprint.com, Kremer Pigments, Natural Pigments, Kama Pigments, Sinopia Pigments, PCImag.com and along with internet forums on art and painting, web sites of paint manufacturers, paint suppliers, chemical manufactures and pigment manufacturers;.
3.) The Color Index, Third edition (published by the Colour Index International, 1997);
4.) Historical books on pigments, oil painting, watercolor painting and other art forms (see Free Art e-Books);
5.) Artist manuals and handbooks (see the bottom of the Pigment Database's main page for a complete list of reference works);
6.) Various dictionaries and encyclopedias (both historic and contemporary).
When a manufacturer has has used a common historical name for a pigment that is not the accepted traditional historic pigment name and has not clearly indicated it to be a hue or substitute, I have indicated it with the "(hue)"* in parenthesis. For example calling\naming a paint made with Phthalocyanine Blue as "Azure", "Smalt" or "Cobalt Blue".
*In order to stay within ASTM specification D 4302-05, manufactures are encouraged to use the word "hue" when the paint or pigment marketing name is not the real name of a paint or a pigment. Substitute and tone could be also considered acceptable means of indicating a hue substitute for the actual color. However, the ASTM specifications are usually voluntary and there is little means to enforce them. Also because of language differences, changes in the paint or pigments common identification because of contemporary usage (often perpetrated by manufacturer's incorrect color marketing names), and last but not least - the sheer multitude of historically used paint names for any given paint\pigment, it's nearly impossible to prove or say a manufacturer of art materials is being purposely deceptive.
C.I. Constitution Number or Colour Index Constitution Number (chemical composition): Key Top ^ Page Top^
These are the chemical constitution numbers given that pigment by the Color Index International published by the Society of Dyers and Colourists and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, and are also used by the ASTM International, American Society for Testing and Materials. Each of the numbers in the "Colour Index Constitution Number" has a specific chemical or compositional meaning; for more information
see the Colour Index Number Chart or go to the Color Index International and ASTM, American Society for Testing and Materials web sites (these links open in a new window)..
Chemical Composition: Key Top ^ Page Top^
These are the basic chemical names, or mineral names along with chemical composition. I have also included CAS numbers, when I can fine them. Sometimes multiple names are given because chemical names can be stated in different ways and can also give an indication of the manufacture method. Very often a pigment can be a group of related compounds rather than one specific chemical. I have not included detailed chemical descriptions or analyses, but only basic information that should help you to find further information. I have included references designated with "(Ref)" where further information can be attained.
Adulterants, extenders and other additives may be added to artistic paints to improve the paint rheology, transparency, and\or drying time. Often inert pigments, extenders and fillers are added to the color pigments in student grade paints or to modify paint pigments with overly strong tinting strength, i.e. the Phthalocyanine Blues and Greens. These extra ingredients are rarely listed of the label.
Color Description: Key Top ^ Page Top^
This is a general attempt to explain the hue in plain English. The perception of color is as individual as the the people viewing it and any such description can not be completely accurate, but merely give a general idea of the what color looks like to the average person. Many pigments have a range of shades and hues. This range in hues can be due to many things such as different manufacturing processes, exact chemical composition and crystal shape. In most cases, i have not used any of the attempted means of standardizing color descriptions for this (such as the Munsell system), but where the pigment is included in the Color Index International Pigments and Solvent Dyes (The Society of Dyers and Colourists, third edition 1997), I have used that description, when there is no color hue description in the Color Index, I have used other reference sources in particularly manufacturer or supplier literature.
† = Effects of long term light exposure are given when known, this may allow an artist to anticipate color changes and possibly use them as an advantage.
These effects are all relative to the pigments inherent light fastness and may take decades or even centuries in museum conditions to be visible.
Fades = Becomes more Transparent
Lightens = Loses chroma but maintains
relative transparency or opaque character;
Whitens = Becomes lighter towards white and more opaque;
Darkens = Becomes darker but retains hue;
Dulls = Loses chroma towards neutral but maintains the relative tone;
Blackens = Turns very dark or black losing chroma;
Hue shift = Changes hue towards a different color
Opacity - Transparency: Key Top ^ Page Top^
This designation is only a general reference to the most common encountered opacity or transparency inherit to the pigment. In paints, the transparency of a pigment can change due to what is used as the painting medium or binder (i.e., oil color, watercolor, encaustic, acrylic, etc.). There are many pigments that are opaque in watercolor but transparent or semi-transparent in oil paints. The transparency of a paint or pigment can often be manipulated by the manufacturing process for a particular purpose. The addition of inert pigments or other modifiers can also change the perceived transparency of a paint formulation or pigment.
When available, i have used the Color index's designation or manufacturers literature to arrive at this figure. When the Color Index description is unavailable i have arrived at a general figure by manufacturer literature or personal experience. A general designation such as given will not always be the case in any particular formulation.
1 = Opaque,
2 = Semi-Opaque,
3 = Semi-Transparent,
4 = Transparent
Light Fastness Rating: Key Top ^ Page Top^
The light fastness rating can only be a general guide, when available, i have used the ASTM rating or manufacturers literature to arrive at this figure. The ASTM has not rated all pigments, and I believe will no longer be rating pigments. For that reason the rating in this database will not always be the ASTM rating but a rating culled from other sources, most importantly manufactures literature. The ASTM ratings have a 5 increment scale and the blue-wool scale is 8, in this database lightfastness ratings have been condensed or averaged to a less specific 4 designations. Very often, pigments in tints are less light fast and this should be taken into account when determining if a pigment or paint will meet your needs. I can can not cover every possible paint, binder, or pigment formulation in this chart as it would take too much time and space. In particular the quality of the actual pigment manufacture has much influence on a pigments fastness to light, heat and other chemicals. Additives, binder, and many other factors all have a influence on light fastness or fastness to other environmental influences. Whether a paint is watercolor, oil color, tempera, etc. has an effect on light fastness. Varnishes and other treatments to the painting surface or support can have an influence too. The only way to be sure, is to make your own tests on the paint or pigment you have. Reference the following: (ASTM D4303 - 10,
Standard Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists' Materials, or ASTM D01.57, the Subcommittee on Artists' Materials doc here, opens new window); or this (AMIEN.org Thread - opens new window). Blue Wool Scale will be given when known, but be aware that these may be from tests on a single formulation, and may not be the same for all brands or binders.
I = Excellent,
II = Good,
III = Poor (may last many years in museum conditions, but should be used with caution for permanent works of art)
IV = Fugitive/Very Poor
BWS = Blue wool scale
7-8 = Excellent,
6 = Very Good,
4-5 = Fair (Impermanent),
2-3 Poor (fugitive),
1 = Very Poor (fugitive)*
*When known, blue wool scale ratings will be given for tints in the following format: Full;1/2 tint/;1/4 tint (i.e. Cadmium Red would be 8;8;8 with excellent light fastness in all tints). Note: these may from tests on a single formulation or pigment brand, and may not be valid for other brands or binders.
Oil Absorption: is given in g/100g or grams of oil per 100 grams of pigment Key Top ^ Page Top^
or as H, M, L (see below)
The oil absorption figure has been arrived at from the pigment manufacturer's literature or artist reference sources (see the bottom of the Pigment Database's main page for a complete list of reference works). The higher the oil absorption, generally, the longer it will take to dry when used in oil painting. The addition of driers, siccatives, retardants and other additives can effect the drying time of any specific formulation, or they can be added by the artist to speed up or slow down the drying of oil paints. In some literature the oil absorption rate is given as ml/100g, although not technically the same as g/100g, for the purposes of this database they are close enough.
Depending on the specifications i have available I may also use the following designations:
H = High; - These pigments absorb a lot of oil.
M = Medium; - Average drying or cure rate
L = Low; - Usually very fast driers
Toxicity: Key Top ^ Page Top^
Under this heading will be a general designation of a possible hazard. It is assumed intelligent people will use at least ordinary care when handling all paints or pigments. The designation has been arrived at from, in most cases, the manufacturer's literature, art books and art reference works (see the bottom of the Pigment Database's main page for a complete list of reference works), MSDS sheets, the EPA manual: Environmental Health & Safety in the Arts: A Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans (full PDF here), The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI), The Health and the Arts Program - Great Lakes Centers at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (UIC SPH), The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works has a collection of articles on art safety, The Consumer Product Safety Commission's Art and Craft Safety Guide (PDF, 250 KB) and Art Materials Business Guidance
All paints and especially dry pigments can be hazardous if carelessly handled, but, if handled properly with common sense all but the most dangerous pigments can be used safely. Very few pigments used in the arts are edible, and even so called "Food Colors" are not meant to be used in large quantities and may have unknown side effects or allergic reactions.
WARNING: Always use a dust mask when working with any dry pigments. Work in a separate area of your studio away from children, pets or other living things. Do not smoke, eat or drink around any art materials. Dispose of all waste materials in an environmentally safe way.
A = Low hazard, but do not handle carelessly;
B = Possible hazard if carelessly handled, ingested in large amounts or over long periods of time;
C = Hazardous, use appropriate precautions for handling toxic substances;
D = Extremely Toxic, only attempt working with these pigments (especially the dry form) in laboratory like conditions with proper safety equipment (see "Prudent practices in the laboratory: handling and disposal of chemicals" at google books opens new window); or the PDF - Booklet Safe Handling of Colour Pigments Copyright © 1995: BCMA, EPSOM, ETAD, VdMI - link from VdMI
The Side Notes Column: Key Top ^ Page Top^
These are typically interesting things I have read, or information collected on a pigment that may be worth further study. Please remember that they are NOT statements of absolute fact. Many pigment qualities are rumors, old wife's tales and misconceptions repeated over and over until they accepted as fact without any scientific proof. References (Ref) may be provided for further info.
(hue) = When the word "hue" in in parenthesis (hue), it refers to a hue color not designated on the label, when the word "hue" is not in parenthesis is part of the pigment name as per ASTM guidelines.
(Ref) = A link to a reference source. This may be the reference source of the information that I have given, or just a link to more detailed information.
? = a question mark next to a name, note, or data code indicates that it may or may not be correct information due to conflicting information, questionable references, possible typo or other discrepancies in the manufacturer or other reference documentation. Further study is needed to clarify.
|Paint or Pigment Manufacturer Code & Art Medium:***** Key Top ^ Page Top^
|Paint/Pigment Manufacturer Code:
The manufacturer code is to indicate companies that make or supply paints or pigments using the particular pigment. Only those products that are single pigments will be indicated in this database. In a few cases, the Color Index International has listed a mixture of pigments or chemicals under a single color index pigment name or code, and these will also be designated as if they were a single pigment. The codes next to the pigments in above Color of Art Database may take you off sight where you can find more info or even purchase, if you so desire. These codes are not part of any standard, but were made up by me for this database, with purpose of making them as short as possible.
The links below next to the manufacturer code below are to the official manufacturer web site and will open in a new window.
Paint medium or binder code: Key Top ^ Page Top^
Clicking on the paint or pigment manufacturer code next to the pigment name will take you off site where more information can be found. The link will most often take you to an art supplier where you can find more specific art medium or paint binder info, purchasing source, pigment properties, pigment history, MSDS sheets, and whether it is the artist premium or student economy grade. If you find this site helpful you can help support this site by purchasing through these links.
d in italics next to the pigment manufacturer or art supplier code indicates a discontinued pigment or paint.
All other art medium or binder codes in italics mean the pigment under that name is in the "student" or economy grade, not the "artist's" grade paint.
a = Acrylic Paint, heavy body;
ab = Acrylic Airbrush colors;
ad = Aqueous pigment dispersions;
af = Fluid Acrylics;
ag = Matte Acrylic or Acrylic Gouache;
ao = open acrylics or slow drying
k = Alkyd paints;
c = Casein or milk paint;
d = Discontinued
e = Encaustic paints;
g = Traditional water color Gouache;
i = Ink (printing ink or pigmented drawing inks);
o = Oil Paint;
p = Dry Pigment;
t = Artist Professional Tempera or Egg Tempera;
w = Watercolor Paint in tubes;
wp = Watercolor Pan; wp = 1/2 pan, wp(f) = full pan, wp(L) = large pan
wo = Water mixable oil paint or water soluble oil paint.
am = Acrylic medium, may have a wide variety of ingredients or uses
om = Oil painting Medium, may have a wide variety of ingredients or uses
wm = Watercolor Medium, may have a wide variety of ingredients or uses
GEN = Where there is a generally accepted common historic name associated with a pigment, I have used "GEN" to denote the generic or common historical name of a particular pigment.
Other than gouache, only single pigment paints and pigments are included. Gouache is designated distinct from watercolors because it is often mixed with white or additives to make it matte and/or opaque and that is not usually indicated on the paint manufactures literature. Other art material or medium forms such as pastel, oil pastels, oil bars, dyes and ceramic glazes will not be designated with a artists medium or binder code, but may still be listed under the pigment name with a company code.
©2010 by David Myers, All Rights Reserved. Please email me with corrections, additions or comments.
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Artist Reference Resources:
Natural Pigments, Pigments, Education, The Best source of Natural and Historical Pigments
Dick Blick Artist Supply: Full Range of art supplies at discount prices
Handprint.com, Guide to Watercolor Pigments, Bruce MacEvoy 2008
|Artist Reference Resources:
Historical Artist and Pigment Reference Sources:
This is just a partial list, for a more complete listing of Historical Pigment References see the Free Art Books Page.
- The Industrial and Artistic Technology of Paint and Varnish,
By Alvah Horton Sabin, Published by J. Wiley & Sons, 1904
- The Painters' Encyclopaedia,
By Franklin B. Gardner, Published by M.T. Richardson, 1887
- The Science of Painting,
By Jehan Georges Vibert, Published by P. Young, 1892
- A Treatise on Painting,
By Cennino Cennini, Giuseppe Tambroni, Mary Philadelphia Merrifield, Translated by Mary Philadelphia Merrifield, Published by Lumley, 1844
- A Treatise on Painting,
By Leonardo Da Vinci, John Francis Rigaud, Published by J.B. Nichols and Son 1835
- The Book of the Art of Cennino Cennini,
By Cennino Cennini, Cennini, Christiana Jane Powell Herringham, Translated by Christiana Jane Powell Herringham, Published by G. Allen & Unwin, ltd., 1899
- The Chemistry of Paints and Painting,
By Arthur Herbert Church, Published by Seeley, 1901
- A Handbook for Painters and Art Students on the Character and Use of Colours,
By William J. Muckley, Published by Baillière, Tindall, and Cox, 1880
- The Household Cyclopedia,
By Henry Hartshorne 1881
- The Chemistry of Pigments,
By Ernest John Parry, John Henry Coste, Published by Scott, Greenwood, 1902
- Facts about Processes, Pigments and Vehicles: A Manual for Art Student,
By Arthur Pillans Laurie, Published by Macmillan, 1895
- The Manufacture Of Earth Colours:
By DR. JOSEF BERSCH,
translated by CHARLES SALTER,SCOTT, GREENWOOD & SON
, 1921 Link
- Materials for Permanent Painting,
By Maximilian Toch 1911
Modern Pigment and Artist Reference Sources:
- The Artist’s Handbook,
by Pip Seymour, Arcturus Publishing (September 16, 2003)
- The Artist's Handbook, Revised Edition,
Ray Smith; DK Publishing 2003
- The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques,
Third edition, by Ralph Mayer; Viking Press 1979
- Artists' Pigments: Volume 1: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
Edited by Robert L. Feller
- Artists' Pigments: Volume 2: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
Edited by Ashok Roy (Oct 2, 1993)
- Artists' Pigments: Volume 3: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
Edited by Elisabeth West Fitzhugh (Oct 1997)
- Artists' Pigments: Volume 4: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics
Edited by Barbara Berrie (Jun 7, 2007)
- Collins Artist's Colour Manual,
Simon Jennings; HarperCollins Publishers 2003
- Color Index International Pigments and Solvent Dyes,
The Society of Dyers and colourists, third edition 1998
- A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques,
Ralph Mayer, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969
- The Materials and Techniques of Painting,
by Jonathan Stephenson (May 1993)
- The Painter's Handbook,
Mark David Gottsegen; Watson-Guptill Publications 1993
- Painting Materials A Short Encyclopaedia,
by Rutherford J. Gettens and George L. Stout; Dover Publications 1966
- Pigment Compendium,
by Nicholas Eastaugh,
Ruth Siddall; Butterworth Heinemann 2004
Web Resources and Art Suppliers with Excellent Reference Materials:
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC):
National membership organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation of cultural material, establishes and upholds professional standards, promoting research and publications, educational opportunities, and fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public.
a resource for artists dedicated to providing the most comprehensive, up-to-date, accurate, and unbiased factual information about artists' materials
- Blick Art Materials;
has done a extremely thorough job of indicating the pigments used in most of the paints they sell, making the Dick Blick art supply website much more than just a store to purchase paint and art supplies.
Dick Blick also has the MSDS sheets
for of most of the products they sell , making the Blick site a valuable resource for toxicity info and the health and safety of artist materials.
a large and thorough site on pigments, in Finnish http://www.coloria.net/index.htm
- Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO), The Materials Database,
developed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), to be a more comprehensive and well-rounded encyclopedic resource for the art conservation and historic preservation fields. The MATERIALS database contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on over 10,000 historic and contemporary materials used in the production and conservation of artistic, architectural, archaeological, and anthropological materials.
- Conservation OnLine (CoOL):
A freely accessible platform to generate and disseminate vital resources for those working to preserve cultural heritage worldwide.
- The Handprint,com;
site by Bruce MacEvoy has loads of excellent information on watercolor pigments and Has a excellent color wheel showing where the actual pigments are in color space. Truly an awesome site, the site is directed at watercolors, but is a good general reference for any paints or pigments.
Great pigment sight that even includes step by step instructions for making you own pigments.
- The Real Color Wheel;
by Don Jusko is also a great color site.
has a fantastic pigment reference database sorted by the marketing paint color name and brand.
- Health and Safety in the Arts;
A Searchable Database of Health & Safety Information for Artists
- Household Products Database;
Health and safety information on household products from the US Department of Health and Human Services
- Natural Pigments:
One of the best sources of rare natural and historical pigments and information.
- Pigments and their Chemical and Artistic Properties; by Julie C. Sparks, is part of The Painted Word Site. Wonderful stuff.
- Paintmaking.com: By Tony Johansen, Great Paint making site with all types of useful pigment and binder information for the artist.
- PCImag.com; Paint & Coatings Indusry
2010 Additives Handbook by Darlene Brezinski, Dr. Joseph V. Koleske, Robert Springate, June 4, 2010;
A History of Pigment Use in Western Art Part 1;
A History of Pigment Use in Western Art Part 2
- Dick Blick Artist Supply:
Full Range of art supplies at discount prices and has pigment info on most paints they sell
- Kremer Pigmente Europe / Kremer Pigments USA site;
Has a huge amount of pigments and information.
- Earth Pigments:
Specializes in earth pigments.
- Guerra Paint and Pigments:
Many rare and out of production Pigments mostly in aqueous dispersions
Lots of Pigments & info
Health and Safety in the Arts References and Info:
- Art and Craft Safety Guide (PDF, 250 KB)
Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Art Materials Business Guidance
Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Art Safety
Environmental Protection, Health & Safety, California State University at Monterey Bay
- Artist Safety
Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, Oregon Health & Science University
- Environmental Health & Safety in the Arts: A Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans
U. S. Environment Protection Agency
- Exposing Ourselves to Art (PDF, 6.83 MB)
Scott Fields. Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 105, Number 3, March 1997
- Health & Safety Bibliographic Resources and Resource Guides in Art Conservation
CoOL – Conservation Online, Stanford University Libraries
- Health and Safety Guides and Publications
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work
- Art Safety
Office of Environmental Health and Safety, Connecticut College
- Health and the Arts Program
The Occupational Health Service Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Online Health and Safety in the Arts Library
The Occupational Health Service Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
- Studio Safety
Gamblin Artists Colors
Color Index pigment info on brand name paints
The Color of Art Pigment Database Reference of artist paint and dry pigments, pigment powders, and pigment dispersions along useful for artists and illustrators painting or drawing in oil or watercolor, acrylics or other art media that uses color in their artwork. it is a complete painting resource for the artistic palette, showing the meaning of the color index pigment codes usually indicated on the paint tube label. The color index pigments numbers can be found on acrylic paints, watercolor both water color tubes or dry watercolor (often called "pans", "half pans" or "watercolor cakes"). Watercolors can also be in the form of water soluble drawing sticks and water soluble colored pencils.
Tubes of oil color with the pigment names on the oil paint tubes contain important info on the pigments the paint is made from. The CI generic pigment name codes on tubes of professional artists paints in any media oil color, watercolor, alkyd paint, pigmented inks, or even contemporary manufactured historic egg-oil emulsion tempera are an international standard and can be looked up in the Color of Art Art is Creation Pigment Name Database. The color of art database also Includes info on casein milk paint and gouache opaque paint. Oil paint and historic egg-oil emulsions and tempera were often used by the old masters of painting in their artwork. The reference pigment information found here will assist in the artistic creation of all artists, skilled craftsmen, craft women or craft persons, and other crafters or hobbyists of all types. The pigment database can also be put to good use by artisans in all the fine arts and visual artists, and is also the info necessity for art conservators and art restoration, particularly painting restoration professionals or art restorers. The pigment reference is even a useful resource for Graphic illustrators, commercial artists and graphic designers.
This page of the Art is Creation Color of Art has the art supplier and manufacturer color charts indicating color index pigment names of their products. All artist paints and pigments that are ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) and ASTM D4236 - 94* compliant that are sold in the United States must have the pigment identification number or generic chemical names of the pigments that were used to make the paints or dry pigments (either powdered or in the commonly found "pigment dispersions") and should be have the generic pigment name printed on the paint label. The oil paint tube or jar, oil color paint label, along with the label on tubes of acrylic paints, or jars of acrylic paint, or even including the label on tubes of watercolor often found as pans, half-pans or dry cakes in often sold as a complete palette or "watercolor set", will have the pigment or pigments index number on the label, or the paint label or pigment id is printed directly on the paint tube.
*other ASTM specifications used the the labeling of artists materials are:
D4236-94(2011) Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials for Chronic Health Hazards
D4302-05(2010) Standard Specification for Artists' Oil, Resin-Oil, and Alkyd Paints
D4303-10 Standard Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists' Materials
D4838-88(2010) Standard Test Method for Determining the Relative Tinting Strength of Chromatic Paints
D4941-06(2010) Standard Practice for Preparing Drawdowns of Artists' Paste Paints
D5067-05(2010) Standard Specification for Artists' Watercolor Paints
D5098-05a(2010) Standard Specification for Artists' Acrylic Dispersion Paints
D5383-02(2010) Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists
D5398-97(2010) Standard Practice for Visual Evaluation of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by the User
D5517-07 Standard Test Method for Determining Extractability of Metals from Art Materials
See also WK41263 proposed revision
D5724-06(2010) Standard Specification for Gouache Paints
D6801-07 Standard Test Method for Measuring Maximum Spontaneous Heating Temperature of Art and Other Materials
D6901-06 Standard Specification for Artists' Colored Pencils
See also WK27266 proposed revision
D7354-11 Standard Guide for Artists’ Paint Waste Disposal in Private, Non-Commercial Settings
D7355-10 Standard Guide for Artists' Paint Waste Disposal in Smaller Commercial or Educational Settings
D7733-12 Standard Specification for Acrylic Dispersion Ground
WK28388 New Specification for Traditional Artists Watercolor Paints
WK37409 New Test Method for Measuring Aspiration Potential of Aerosol Products
WK37916 New Specification for Standard Specification for Artists Pastels
© 2013 by David Myers