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 four 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.

Akua Pigment Identification Chart

lemon yellow Lemon Yellow
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PY3
Pigment Type: Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

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

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

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

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

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

quinacridone redQuinacridone Red
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PV19
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment


quinacridone violetQuinacridone 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


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


phthalo bluePhthalo Blue 

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

phthalo blue greenPhthalo Blue Green
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PB15:3
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

phthalo green yellowPhthalo Green Yellow
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PG36
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

phthalo green bluePhthalo Green Blue
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PG7
Pigment Type:Organometallic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

yellow ochreYellow Ochre 
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PY42
Pigment Type:Synthetic Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

burntsiennaBurnt Sienna 
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PBr7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio


redoxideRed Oxide 
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PR101
Pigment Type:Synthetic Organic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

burntumberBurnt UmberSingle 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 OrganicNatural Inorganic
available in Akua Intaglio


raw umberRaw Umber 
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PBr7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio

jetblackJet Black 
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PBk7
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

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

lamp blackLamp Black
Single Pigment
Color Index Name: PBk7 
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment

lamp blackLamp Blue Black
Mixed Color
Color Index Name:PBk7 PB15:4 
Pigment Type:Natural Inorganic, Organometallic
available in Akua Intaglio

tit whiteintTitanium White
Single Pigment
Color Index Name:PW6
Pigment Type:Synthetic Inorganic
available in Akua Liquid Pigment and 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, it has become too expensive, it was not lightfast 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