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The Color of Art - Pigments, Paints and Formulas

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Pigments, colors and mediums are the tools of the painter. Ever since human beings stood upright, freeing their hands, they have been using natural pigments, earth colors and synthetic pigments to record their experiences. If a language is meant to communicate ideas and record events, then art was the first written language.

Color Index Pigment Information Database:

Pigment Orange Pigment Red Pigment violet Pigment Blue Pigment Green Pigment Brown Pigment Black Pigment white Inert Additives and Mineral Pigments

Click above to go to the pigment code reference charts. These are, to my knowledge, the most complete color index pigment code reference of it's type available on the internet for free. The pigment information is sorted by color index name making it easy the look up the pigment codes that are listed on artist paint tubes. The Colour Index Generic Names and Colour Index Constitution Numbers are voluntary international standards of the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), CII (Color Index International), AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists), and the SDC (Society of Dyers and Colourists). The Color Index Codes and generic pigment names were developed so that artists and colorists had a consistent international standard.
This pigment reference database consists of the color index pigment code name, generic pigment name, common paints/pigments names, color index chemical constitution number, chemical composition or formula, transparency/opaqueness, light fastness, oil absorption, toxically/safety, and other artists' paint information.


Color Charts:

Go here for color index pigment code information and color charts of most of the popular brands of artist paints. This will help when making purchasing choices, getting clean paint mixes, and identifying chemical toxins. Once you find the Color Index Name, Code or Number of any paint your interested in, you can look it up the pigment info and chemical composition in the pigment code reference charts.
Be aware that sometimes the paint formulas are changed due to pigment availability, pigment cost or to substitute a more modern lightfast pigment. The artist paint manufactures are slow to update their online color charts, so when ever possible it is best to purchase paints where you can actually check the paint tubes label. If the paint has to be bought mail order or online it may be wise to confirm the actual pigments used in the paint before purchase.


Making Paints and Pigments:

Making your own paint is the only way to really know what's it them. You can customize the paints to be perfect for your painting style or needs. Paints can be made that don't exist anywhere on the market using rare pigments, mineral pigments, and unusual pigments that are not profitable enough for the major art supply manufactures. I have made paints in rare pigment colors and earth colors that I have collected myself. I have mulled artist grade water mixable oils, historical, unique and experimental paints. It is not necessarily cheaper and certainly not easier, but making your own paint can be very gratifying. For those who are interested, I have added some recipes or formulas on chemical synthesizing and making pigments too.


Formulas and Recipes for the artist:

Painting mediums have been used for centuries to change the body and working characteristics of paints. The elusive magical medium of the old masters is the holy grail for thousands of artists. There is no magical medium or mixture, but paint mediums can impart wonderful handling properties. There are many other formulas and artist recipes that are useful in the studio as well. Here you'll find artist formulas, recipes, links and my own experiments.


Free Art Refercence Books:

The free art books page is a totally free public domain artist reference book resource. I've put them on one page to save you the time of searching and hunting the all over the internet for them. These books contain historical techniques, formulas, recipes and other useful art resource books including references on Oil Painting, Watercolor, Composition, Paint making, Pigment making, Historical Pigments, Art History and Art materials both old & new. There is an incredible wealth of information and history to be found in these great books... and there're all completely FREE!

NOW OPEN !! Art is Creation Artist Book Store:

Recommended Art Reference Books. These are selected art books with all the information you'll ever need. If your thinking about getting a specific art book anyway, you can help support my efforts to keep this information available by purchasing through this site, and these are the best prices your likely to find anywhere. All proceeds go to help me keep this site running. Thanks!


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Pigment, Paint, Formulas and Artist Paint Medium Recipes