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The Color of Art: Pigment Black, PBk
Artist's Paint and Pigments Reference: Color Index Names, Color index Number and Pigment Chemical Composition

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Where applicable, clicking on the artist paint or pigment company code next to the pigments name will take you off site where more information can be found on the artist color. You can right click and open in a new window if you wish to keep the Pigment Database Reference open. See the Key at the bottom of this page for all the art supply or pigment company codes. The linksmay lead to an art materials supplier, In most cases more specific art medium or paint binder info, pigment properties, pigment history and MSDS sheets. Along with more info, special discounts or sales are often available. NOTE: Medium/binder codes in italics mean the pigment under that name is in the economy grade, not the "artist's" premium paint.see the Key for art material code.

Jump to CI Pigment Black Number:
NBk 1, NBk 2, NBk 3, NBk 4, NBk 6,
PBk 1, PBk 6, Shungite, PBk 7, PBk 8, PBk 9, PBk 10, PBk 11, PBk 12, PBk 13, PBk 14, PG 17 Blk, PBk 17, PBk 18, PBk 19, PBk 22, PBk 23, PBk 24, PBk 25, PBk 26, PBk 27, PBk 28, PBk 29, PBk 30, PBk 31, PBk 32, PBk 33, PBk 34, PBk 35,
Acetylene Black; Antimony Black; Black Earth; Black Hematite; Black Tourmaline; Cobaltic Oxide; Cuprous Sulfide; Hartshorn Black; Ivory Black; Lead Sulphide; MagnetitePyrolusite;
Historic Black Pigments without Color Index Names
Historic Black Pigments Without C.I. Names  |  CI Natural Black  |  CI Pigment Black  | KEYTop ^
Color Index Name Code
CI Pigment Name
Common, Historic and Marketing Names
Chemical Composition
Color Description
†Long Term Effects of Light
Oil Ab.
Oil Absorption
Side Notes
N/A Acetylene Black Acetylene Black;
Carbon Black;
Nero di Acetilene;
Shawinigan Acetylene Black;
Thermal black;
N/A *Acetylene black-A particularly pure form of carbon black pigment, made by the controlled decomposition of Acetylene. Characterized by the highest degree of aggregation and
crystalline orientation when compared with all other carbon blacks (Ref);
(Ref Boston Fine Arts)

CAS 1333-86-4
Black - I H A -
N/A Antimony Black Antimony Black;
Antimony Orange;
Antimony Red;
Antimony Vermilion;
Antimony Sulfide;
Hermus Mineral;

See Pigment Red 107
N/A The black natural form of Antimony Trisulfide, powdered Stibnite. (Ref at Boston Fine Arts CAMEO); Black - - - D
N/A Black Earth Black Earth;
Black Ochre;
Black Oxide;
Black Iron Oxide;
German Vine Black [NP.p];
Manganese Black;
Manganese Grey;
Mineral Brown Black (Pyrolusite) [NP.p];
Natural Black Earth [SI.p];
Natural Black Oxide [NP.p];;
Prussian Black;
Roman Black [NP.p];
Shungite [NP.p];
Vine Black;
77268 Natural dark earth pigment of varying composition. There are varieties composed of Iron Oxide and Magnetite, Earths with high carbon content like Shungite, minerals like iron manganese oxide known as Jacobsite and Pyrolusite, or other manganese rich soils similar to Wad; (Ref Natural Pigments);, (Pigment Compendium, Ref); (Ref Natural Black Oxide Natural Pigments). Blackish brown to blue gray* 1-4* I 15-?* A**

* varies by composition

N/A Black Hematite Black Hematite;
Black Iron Ore;
Bloodstone Geniune [DS.o.w*];
Iron Black;
Hematite [DS.o*];
N/A Natural Black Iron Oxide (Ref)

Violet Red or Silvery Black

- I - A * more info on the Dan Smith PrimaTek™ artist paints and other minerals used for art pigments at the watercolor Handprint.com site.
N/A Black Tourmaline Black Tourmaline Genuine [DS.w*];
Black Tourmaline;
Genuine Black Tourmaline;
N/A Semi-precious stone composed of a complex crystalline silicate comprised of aluminum, boron, iron and magnesium along with other elements; (Ref), (Ref), (Ref) Blueish to Greenish black 4 I - A * more info on the Dan Smith PrimaTek™ artist paints and other minerals used for art pigments at the watercolor Handprint.com site.
N/A Cobaltic Oxide Cobalt Black;
Cobaltic Oxide;
Cobaltic Oxide Black;
77323 Cobaltic Oxide - - - - - -
N/A Cuprous Sulfide Cuprous Sulfide 77449 Cuprous Sulfide - - - - - -
N/A Hartshorn Black Hartshorn Black N/A Horn of Hartshorn (male red deer) calcined without exposure to oxygen Black 2 I M-H A Similar to Bone Black or Ivory Black
N/A Ivory Black Ivory Black N/A Calcined elephant tusks (ivory);
Ivory Black (Ref at Boston Fine Arts CAMEO);
Bluish Black, yellow undertone 2 I 50 A Substituted with bone black in modern paints
N/A Lead Sulphide Galena;
Lead Sulphide
N/A Lead Sulphide Black-grey 1 I L C Often a unwanted reaction of lead white with sulfides
N/A Magnetite Brown Oxide [KA];
Brown Oxide Medium [GU];
Brown Ochre Goethite [DV.o];
Dark Goethite [DV.o];
Ferric oxide;
Goethite Genuine [DV.o];
Iron Oxide Brown;
Iron Oxide Hydroxide;
Iron Oxide Hydroxide Brown;
Magnetite Genuine [DV.o**];
Magnetic Iron Ore;
Pigment Black 11;
Pigment Brown 6;
Rhombehedral Magnetite;
Inorganic; Natural Feric oxide and Ferroso-ferric hydroxide;

**Magnetite is the natural form of PB11 (mindat.com Ref); (Webmineral.com Ref)

CAS 1309-38-2;
CAS 52357-70-7;
CAS 12227-89-3
Very dark brown to grey or black with a metalic sheen 1-3 I 28-43 A * Oil paints and watercolors using PBr6 and PBk11 exist in almost any shade of red and violet brown to black, Magnetite is usually a metalic black or deep grey.

** {Ref at Mindat.org}

The Preparation of Magnetite, goethite, hematite and maghemite of pigment quality from mill scale iron waste.
N/A Pyrolusite Manganese Oxide;
Mineral Brown Black [NP.p]
N/A Manganese Oxide with other manganese salts and impurities (Ref), (Ref); Reddish Brown To bluish black to steel gray - I M B Speeds drying in oil paint (Ref)
CI Natural Black
Historic Black Pigments Without C.I. Names  |  CI Natural Black  |  CI Pigment Black  | KEYTop ^
Color Index Name Code
CI Pigment Name
Common, Historic and Marketing Names
Chemical Composition
Color Description
†Long Term Effects of Light
Oil Ab.
Oil Absorption
Side Notes
NBk1 Logwood Lake C.I. Natural Black 1;
Log Wood Extract [KA.p];
Logwood [NP.p];
Logwood Extract Powder [KP.p];
Logwood Lake
Natural Black 1
Logwood Dye precipitated with various inert pigments to form a lake;
Hematoxylin (leuco form);
Hematein (oxidized form)

CAS 8005-33-2
Brown to reddish-brown, black to blue-black 4 IV - A*
Reddish brown turns blue-black in presence of alkalis

*ingesting large amounts can be poisonous
NBk2 Logwood Black Lake C.I. Natural Black 2;
Logwood Black Lake;
Natural Black 2
75291 Hematoxylin oxidized to Hematein Blue-purple black - - - A* *ingesting large amounts can be poisonous
NBk3 Logwood C.I. Natural Black 3;
Logwood extract;
Logwood Lake;
Natural Black 3;
75291 Hematoxylin oxidized to Hematein (Ref), (Ref) Blue-purple black - - - A* *ingesting large amounts can be poisonous
NBk4 Logwood C.I. Natural Black 4;
Logwood Lake;
Natural Black 4;
Hematoxylin oxidized to Hematein (Ref)

CAS 8005-33-2
Blue-purple black - - - A* *ingesting large amounts can be poisonous
NBk6 Asphaltum Antwerp Braun;
Antwerp Brown;
Asphalt Paint;
Asphaltum [KP.p];
Bitumen** [ KA.ad.o.p | MA.o(artis) | MR.o];
Bitumen of Judea;
C.I. Natural Black 6;
Gilsonite (Asphaltum) [NP.p];
Jew's Pitch;
Mineral Pitch;
Natural Asphalt;
Natural Asphaltum;
Natural Bitumen;
Natural Black 6;
- The natural form of a resinous hydrocarbon similar to petroleum asphalt; (Reference Pigment Compendium, 2008); (Mindat.org Mineral Ref); (Ref Natural Pigments); (Ref: The Manufacture of Varnishes and Kindred Industries: Vol. 2, 1908 By Achille Livache);
(Asphaltum Ref at Boston Fine Arts); (Bitumen Ref at Boston Fine Arts);

Asphaltum: Bitumen - Mineral Pitch - Antwerp Brown - Mummy - Mumie section of The Chemistry of Paints and Painting, By Arthur Herbert Church here.
Dark blackish red-brown with a yellow undertone 4 II?* N/A A Usually substituted with more permanent earth colors or iron oxides.;

?* Unrated by ASTM, Asphaltum is reportedly lightfast but has problems with shrinkage and cracking. see Wetcanvas.com Thread (Ref).;

Reportedly never dries and causes "dripping" (Reference: Color: a natural history of the palette By Victoria Finlay).;

Highly refined asphaltum may be more stable. Highly refined source from Natural Pigments here.

** Bitumen is actually a range of compounds decribed in the Pigment Compendium, 2008 as 'a complex group of synthetic or natural, solid or high viscosity mixtures of hydrocarbons and volatile substances, that include the asphalts'.
In an artistic sense, as a pigment , it most often referers to Asphaltum, but has also been used as a name for humic earths (eg. Cassel Earth, Van Dyke Brown) and lignites. (Reference Pigment Compendium, 2008)

CI Pigment Black
Historic Black Pigments Without C.I. Names  |  CI Natural Black  |  CI Pigment Black  | KEYTop ^
Color Index Name Code
CI Pigment Name
Common, Historic and Marketing Names
Chemical Composition
Color Description
†Long Term Effects of Light
Oil Ab.
Oil Absorption
Side Notes
PBk1 Aniline Black Aniline Black [WNd];
Black #1;
Black Aniline;
Black Lake [SE];
C.I. Pigment Black 1;
Diamond Black;
Intense Black [SE.a];
Jet Black [DR | HO.ag.g | WN.g];
Paliotol Black;
Pigment Black 1
50440 Azine;
CAS 13007-86-8
Black - III?* - - ?*ASTM rated fugitive,;
"As a clothing dye, it has been reported to have excellent lightfastness"{-Dick Blick site (Ref).
PBk6 Carbon Black Antique Black [HO.w];
Black [DV];
Blue Black [SCH.w | WN];
Carbon Black [DV.af];
Carbon Black Lamp Black;
Charcoal Grey [GR.w];
C.I. Pigment Black 6;
Gas Black;
Gas Soot;
Ivory Black [DV.k.o];
Ivory Black Hue [DV.k.o];
Lamp Black [AS | BX.w | DB | DR | DS.a.i.o.p.w | DV.k.o.w | GR.o.w.wo | HO.o.w | MG.a.g.o.w | RT.w | UT.w | WL.o | WN.a.k.o.wo];
Negro de carbon;
Nero Carbon;
Noir de Charbon;
Pigment Black 6;
Thermal Black;
Thermatomic Black;
Vegetable Black W9823;
Velvet Black
77266 Inorganic;
Almost pure carbon (Ref: Color Index, Pigment and Solvent Dyes Edition, 1997);

How Carbon Black is made at webexhibits.org

CAS 1333-86-4
Black with Brown, Blue or Neutral Undertone 2 I 109-160 A -
PBk6 Shungite C.I. Pigment Black 6;
Natural Carbon Black;
Shungite* [NP.p];
Shungite Natural Black;
77266 Natural amorphous variety of graphite of intense black color; Mix of crystalline silicate particles in a carbon matrix. (Ref from Natural Pigments);
CAS 1333-86-4
Cool Black 1 I 100 A *Only found in the Zazhoginskoye deposit in Russia (Ref)
PBk7 Lamp black Bistre;
Black [DR];
Blue Black;
Bone Black [GU];
Candle Black [PF.w];
Carbon [GU];
Carbon Black [ CAS.k | CL | CR.a.o | GO.a | GU | JO.ag | KA.ad.o.p | MA.o.p.w | OH.a | SE.a];
Carbon Lampblack;
Carbon soot;
Carbon Water [GU];
Channel Black [GU];
Channel Extra Black [GU];
Charcoal Black [RGH.o];
Charcoal Gray [SCH.w];
C.I. Pigment Black 7;
Flame Black;
Fullerene tubes;
Furnace Black;
Graphite Grey [WL.p];
Grey Shade [CH];
Ivory Black [HO.g | MA.a | MR.o | WL.p];
Ivory Black Imitation [PF.o]
Jet Black [AS];
Lamp Black[GEN | AS | DB.o.w | DR | DS.a.i.o.p.w | HO.a.ag | MH.o | MW.o | RT.a.o | SCHM.o | WN.g];
Mars Black [CR.a.o | WL.p];
Negro de humo;
Nero di Lampa;
Nero Fiamma;
Nero Fume;
Noir de Bougie;
Noir de Fumeé;
Nnoir de Houille;
Noir de Lampe;
Oil Black;
Pigment Black 7;
Primary Black [OH.g];
Process Black [DR];
Scheveningen Intense Black [OH.o.w];
Sepia [MA.g];
Smoke Black;
Soot Black;
Transparent Black [HO.o];
Vegetable Black
77266 Inorganic;
Amorphous carbon from soot (Ref: Color Index, Pigment and Solvent Dyes Edition, 1997). Lamp soot was the one manufacture method hence the name.(Ref Boston Fine arts);

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Carbon Black;

CAS 1333-86-4
Deep Black, brown undertone 1 I 58-117 A Very fine particle size (Ref)
PBk8 Vine Black Black Ochre;
Blue Black;
Carbon Black [SE.o];
Charcoal Black;
Charcoal Grey [HO.o | WN.o];
C.I. Pigment Black 8;
Coke Black;
Cork Black**;
Drop Black;
Earth Black;
Frankfort Black;
German Black;
Grade Black;
Grape Black;
Kernel Black;
Marc Black;
Mineral Black;
Native Black;
Paper Black;
Peach Black;
Pigment Black 8;
Prussian Black;
Roman Black [NP.p];
Roman Earth;
Spanish Black;
Transparent Black [AS];
Vegetable Black;
Vine Black [GR.o | OH.o.w? | SE.os];
Wine Lees Black;
Yeast Coke;
Yeast Black
77268 Inorganic;
Natural carbon of organic and mineral origin and may contain a substantial amount of impurities*** (Ref: Color Index, Pigment and Solvent Dyes Edition, 1997).;
"Impure carbon of organic and mineral origin"*** (Ref Color index 3rd Ed., V.4, Inorganic colorants CI 77268);
Made by burning vegetable matter in a low oxygen environment. Name comes from the grape vines* used in one method of manufacture., (Ref Pigment Compendium, 2008, p.396); , (Ref paint making at paintmaking.com);

How Carbon Black is made at webexhibits.org

CAS 1339-82-8
Black, Undertone depends on impurities can be blueish to brownish 2 I H A * Similar to the vine charcoal sticks used in drawing, and just powdered

** Cork Black is also referred to as ‘beggar’s ultramarine’ or 'poor man's ultramarine' and said to be the 'bluest of blacks' (Ref Pigment Compendium, 2008, p.138);

*** this definition seems to indicate that the natural mineral blacks (i.e. Roman Earth, Black Ochre) as well as the blacks from burning vegetable matter (i.e. Vine Black, Cork Black) fit the designation of Pigment Black 8.

PBk9 Bone Black Abaiser;
Animal Black;
Animal Bone Charcoal;
Animal Charcoal;
Blue Black;
Bone Black [ DS.p | GO.a | KP.p | WN];
Bone Black (Ivory) [DS.p];
Bone Char;
Bone Charcoal;
Carbone Animale;
C.I. Pigment Black 9;
Drop Black;
Frankfort Black?*;
German Black;
Ivory Black (hue*) [GEN | AS | BX.o.w | BR | DB.a.o.w | DR | DS.a.o.w | DV.w | GB.o.o.p | GR.o.o.w.w.wo | HO.w.wo | KA.o.p | LB.o | LQ.a | MA.o.o(artis).p.w.w | MG.a.g.o.w | MH.o | MW.o.wo | RGH.o.p | RT.a.o.wo | SE.a.o.o.w | SCH.a.o.w, SCHM.o | UT.a.o.w | WL.o | WN.a.a.g.k.o.w.w.wo];
Ivory Black Extra [OH.a.o.w?];
Lamp Black [AS | DR | SCH];
Negro de Huesos;
Nero Avorio;
Nero d'ossa;
Noir Animal;
Noir d'os;
Ossa Sepiae;
Paris Black;
Pigment Black 9;
Sepia Extra [OH.o];
Velvet black
77267 Inorganic;
Amorphous Charred-Bone Carbon;
Calcined animal bones consisting of a "Mixture of carbon (10%), calcium phosphate (78%), calcium carbonate (8%) with small quantities of calcium sulphate, magnesium phosphate, calcium sulfide and other soluble salts" (Ref: Color Index, Pigment and Solvent Dyes Edition, 1997);
Bone Black (Ref at Boston Fine Arts CAMEO);
Animal Black (Ref at Boston Fine Arts CAMEO);
Ivory Black (Ref at Boston Fine Arts CAMEO);

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Ivory Black;

How bone black is made at webexhibits.org

CAS 8021-99-6

Brownish Black 2 I 50 A
* Although simular in chemical composition, true Ivory black is from calcined ivory. Ivory is now banned and illegal to import. Bone black and Ivory black have come to be used interchangeably to name artist paints made from Calcined (burnt) animal bones.

?* incorrect? (Ref)
PBk10 Graphite Acheson Graphite;
Beech Charcoal [KP.p];
Black Graphite [KA.p];
Black lead;
C.I. Pigment Black 10;
Graphite [SCH];
Graphite Gray [CAS.k | DS.a.o.w | GO.a | RGH.o.p | SE.a | WL.o | WN.a];
Graphitan 6154;
Graphitan 7525;
Natural Graphite Chunks [KA.p];
Pigment Black 10;
Silver Graphite [KA.p];
Stove Polish;
77265 Inorganic;
Crystallized Carbon;

CAS 7782-42-5
Dark gray with metallic sheen 1 I - A The graphite grey oil paint can be used to make wonderful pencil like oil sketches.;

There are unverified rumored reports of migration of graphite to other layers in oil colors, it's unknown at this time if this is relative to graphite in a binder of linseed oil of just the pencil sketch coming through other layers of paint, possibally by a . More research or tests may be needed.
PBk11 Mars Black Anthracite Black [LA.a];
Ash Black;
C.I. Pigment Black 11;
Black 318 [EP.p];
Black Iron Oxide [SCH.o];
Black Oxide;
Black Oxide of Iron;
Ferrite Black;
Ferroso-ferric Black;
German Earth [WL.o];
Intense Black [PF.o];
Iron Black;
Iron Oxide;
Iron Oxide Black [CAS.k];
Italian Black Roman Earth [WL.p];
Lunar Black [DS.w];
Mars Black [GEN | BX.o | CH | CL | DB.a.o | DR | DS.a.o.p | DV.k | GB.o.o.p | GO.a | GR.o.o.wo| HO.a | KA.o.p | LB.o | LQ.a | MA.a.o.o(artis).o.p | MG.a.o | MR.o | MW.o.wo | OH.a.o.w? | RGH.o.p | SE.a.o | UT.a.o | WL.o | WN.a.a.o.w];
Mars Black Hue [GR.a]
Magnetite Genuine [DV.o**];
Magnetic Black;
Magnetic Black S 0045 [BASF];
Magnetic Oxide;
Magnetic pigment [BASF];
Mapico Black;
Natural Black [EP.p];
Natural Iron Oxide;
Noir naturel;
Oxide Black [RT.a.a.o];
Pigment Black 11;
Raw Umber [DB.o* | SE.o*];
Rhombehedral Magnetite;
Roman Earth [WL.o];
Synthetic Black Oxide;
Vine Black [BX.o]
Synthetic or natural black Iron Oxide with traces of SiO2 and Al2O3 in natural forms (Ref Paint Film Components, National Environmental Health Monographs by M van Alphen, 1998);
Ferroso-ferric oxide;
Ferroso-ferric hydroxide;

**Magnetite is the natural form (mindat.com Ref); (Webmineral.com Ref);

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Mars Black;

CAS 12227-89-3
Bluish gray to black 2 I 15 A
* Although Dick Blick's and Sennelier's oil color "Raw Umber" is stated as being the single pigment PBk11 (Mars Black) both in their literature and on the website, I have a sneaky suspicion it's typo and it's actually PBr11, Pigment Brown 11 (Magnesium Ferrite).
PBk12 Iron Titanium Brown Spinel Brown 20C8191;
Autumn Brown No.156;
Battleship Gray No.6;
Chestnut Brown;
Chocolate Brown [GU];
C.I. Pigment Black 12;
Golden Brown;
Iron Titanate;
Iron Titanium Brown;
Iron Titanium Brown Spinel;
Natural iron ore*;
Pigment Black 12;
Russet Brown;
Shepherd Brown
77543 Inorganic;
Iron Titanium Brown Spinel is an inorganic pigment that is the created by calcining iron (II) oxide and titanium (IV) oxide, in varied ratios, that react to create an inverse crystalline spinel matrix. Its composition may include any one or more of the modifiers Al2O3, Fe2O3, MnO, and/or ZnO (Ref IPConsortium);

Iron titanate in a spinel crystal lattice;

The Natural mineral is ilmenite or titaniferous iron ore. "It is not so heavy as black iron oxide and free from the tendency to 'float'" like carbon blacks can do. (Ref Color index 3rd Ed., V.4, Inorganic colorants CI 77543)
* Natural iron ore has impurites;

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Iron Titanium Brown Spinel (i);
Iron Titanium Brown Spinel (ii);
Iron Titanium Brown Spinel (iii);

CPMA 13-34-7;

CAS 68187-02-0
Dark red to brownish yellow black 2-3 I 17-26 A
PBk13 Cobalt Black Black Cobalt Oxide;
C.I. Pigment Black 13;
Cobalt Sesquioxide;
Cobalt Oxide, gray /grey;
Cobalt Tetraoxide;
Cobalt Black;
Cobaltic Tetraoxide;
Cobaltic Oxide;
Cobalt(III) Oxide Black
Pigment Black 13;
77322 Inorganic;
Cobaltous oxide;
Cobalt Tetraoxide;
Cobalt(II,III) Oxide;
Cobalt(2,3) Oxide;
Cobaltic Tetraoxide;

CAS 1307-96-6
Grayish black 2 I - B
PBk14 Manganese Black Black Umber;
Brown Umber;
Bog manganese;
Cement black;
C.I. Pigment Black 14;
Manganese Black
Manganese Dioxide;
Manganese peroxide;
Manganese (VI) oxide;
Mineral Brown Black [NP.p];
Pigment Black 14
77728 Manganese Dioxide;
"Occurs naturally as pyrolusite and polianite but the commercial product is usually prepared from a mixture of pyrolusite, hausmannite, braunite and other manganese ores." (Ref Inorganic Colouring Matters, Color Index 3rd Ed.)

"the second major component of umbers. It occurs in some ochres and is present in small quantity in the siennas." (Ref Inorganic Colouring Matters, Color Index 3rd Ed.)

Manganese(IV) oxide (Ref wikipedia);

CAS 1313-13-9
Black - I L-M B
PG17 Blk Chromium Green Black Hematite Black 10C909A2;
Chromium Green Black;
Chromium Green-Black Hematite;
Chromium Iron Oxide Black;
C.I. Pigment Green 17;
Hematite Oxide Black Brown;
Pigment Green 17;
Shepherd Black 10C909

see PG17 (Pigment Green 17)
77288 Chromium Green-Black Hematite Cr2O3 is an inorganic pigment that is the reaction product created by the high temperature calcination of chromium (III) oxide that creates a crystalline hematite. It may include any one or more of the modifiers Al2O3, Fe2O3, and/or Mn2O3. (Ref IPConsortium);

Mixed Metal Oxide (MMO) (PCImag Ref):
Chromium Green-Black Hematite;

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Chromium Green-Black Hematite;

Ferro Data Sheet

CAS 12737-27-8;
CAS 68909-79-5
Brownish Black 1 I 10-13 A
Used as a "cool" black pigment, when used for outside coatings it reflects the suns warmth instead of absorbing it like most blacks. This helps keep surfaces cooler and saves on cooling costs.
PBk17 Zinc Sulfide Black Jack;
C.I. Pigment Black 17;
C.I. Pigment White 7;
Zinc Blende;
Zinc Sulfide
77975 Zinc sulfide Grey to brownish grey - - - - -
PBk18 Mineral Black C.I. Pigment Black 18;
Flake Black;
Mineral Black;
Oil Black;
Pigment Black 18;
Slate Black (hue) ?*[WL.p];
77011 "Carbonaceous hydrated aluminium silicate which may contain up to 30% of carbon." (Ref Colorindex 3rd Ed., V.4, Inorganic colourants CI 77011);

CAS 12001-98-8
Grey to black - - - - ?* Williamsburg's web site lists their pigment form of Slate Black as PBk18, I believe it is a typo because their oil paint Slate Black is PBk19 (Slate Black), although chemically simular, I don't think there would be any advantage for them in useing PBk18 instead of the real slate black for this pigment.
PBk19 Slate Black
Nero Bernino [KP.p];
Black chalk;
C.I. Pigment Black 19;
Davy's Grey [WNd];
Davy's Grey Deep [WL.o.p];
Gray Hydrated Aluminum Silicate;
Ground Schist;
Mineral Black;
Mineral Grey;
Neutral Grey

Pigment Black 19;
Powdered Slate;
Slate [EP.p];
Slate Black;
Slate Black (Davy's Grey Extra Deep) [WL.o] ;
Slate Gray;
Slate Grey;
Slate Grey, dark [KP.p];
Steel Grey;
Stone Chalk
77017 Inorganic;
Powdered Slate;
Hydrated Aluminum Silicate; (Ref), (Ref)
Greenish to blueish grey to black 2 I - A -
PBk22 Copper Chromite Black C.I. Pigment Black 22;
Copper chromite black spinel;
Fast Black 100;
Pigment Black 22
77429 Inorganic;
Copper chromite created in a spinel crystalline form;

CAS 55353-02-1
Black 4 I - B -
PBk23 Tin Antimony Gray Antimony Gray Cassiterite;
C.I. Pigment Black 23;
Tin Antimony Cassiterite;
Tin Antimony Grey;
Tin Antimony Grey Cassiterite;
Pigment Black 23
77865 Inorganic;
Tin Antimony Grey (gray) Cassiterite (Sn,Sb)O2 is made by calcining a mixture of Tin (IV) Oxide and Antimony (V) Oxide in varyied ratios creating a interdiffused crystalline matrix of cassiterite. Its may include any one or more of the modifiers MnO, SiO2, TiO2, V2O5 to adjust color hue and/or other properties (Reference: 4th ed. CMPA Classification and Chemical Description of the Complex Inorganic Color Pigments). .

CPMA 11-24-8;

CAS 68187-54-2
Bluish Gray - - - B -
PBk24 Titanium Vanadium Antimony Gray Antimony Vanadium Gray Rutile;
C.I. Pigment Black 24;
Pigment Black 24;
Titanium Vanadium Antimony Gray Rutile;
Vanadium Antimony Gray;
Vanadium Antimony Gray Rutile;
77898 Inorganic;
Titanium Vanadium Antimony Rutile, is obtained by combining a mixture of Titanium (IV) Oxide, Vanadium (IV) Oxide, and Antimony (V) Oxide at high temperature creating a homogeneous, interdiffused crystalline rutile form;

CPMA 11-21-8

CAS 68187-00-8
Bluish Gray - - - B -
PBk25 Cobalt Nickel Gray C.I. Pigment Black 25;
Cobalt Nickel Gray;
Cobalt Nickel Gray Periclase;
Gun-Metal Grey 6591;
Pigment Black 25;
Sicocer® F Gray 1985 [BASF]
77332 Inorganic;
Cobalt Nickel complex;
Cobalt (II) Oxide and Nickel (II) Oxide calcined to create a periclase crystalline matrix. It may include Al2O3, CaO, Cr2O3, FeO, Fe2O3, MgO, MnO, SiO2, TiO2, ZnO, and/or ZrO2 as modifiers.

CAS 68186-89-0
Neutral Dark Gray - - - B -
PBk26 Manganese Ferrite Black Black 20F9441;
C.I. Pigment Black 26;
Copper Iron Manganese Oxide Spinel;
Iron Manganese Black;
Iron Manganese Black Spinel;
Manganese Ferrite Black;
Manganese Ferrite Black Spinel;
Daipyroxide Black 9550;
Pigment Black 26;
Spinel Black [SI.p]
77494 Inorganic;
Manganese Ferrite Black Spinel (Fe,Mn)(Fe,Mn)2O4 is made by calcining, at high temperature, a mixture of oxides of ferrous iron and ferric iron, divalent and trivalent manganese in differing amounts to create a crystalline spinel matrix. Its composition may include any one or more of the modifiers Al2O3, CoO, CuO, NiO3, SiO2 or TiO2 used during the creation process to tailor properties (Ref Color Index 4th edition);

Manganese Ferrite;

CPMA 13-41-9;

CAS 68186-94-7
Jet black 1 I 24-26 A
"true black, reflects virtually no color"
PBk27 Iron Cobalt Chromite Black C.I. Pigment Black 27;
Chromium Cobalt Iron Black;
Chromium Cobalt Iron Black Spinel;
Iron Cobalt Chromite Black;
Iron Cobalt Chromite Black Spinel;
Pigment Black 27;
Sicopal® Black 0090 [BASF];
Sicocer® F Black 10901 [BASF];
77502 Inorganic;
Iron Cobalt Chromite Black Spinel (Fe,Co)(Fe,Cr)2O4 is created by the high temperature calcination of a mixture of oxides of ferrous iron, cobalt, ferric iron and chromium in varying amounts, that creates a spinel form crystalline matrix. Its composition may have one or more of the modifiers Al2O3, B2O3, MnO, NiO and/or SiO2. (Ref Color Index 4th edition);

CPMA 13-40-9;

CAS 68186-97-0
Black - - 20 B
PBk28 Copper Chromite Black Black 30C9652;
Black Spinel [GB.o];
Chromium Copper [GU];
Chromium Copper Black;
Chromium Copper Black Spinel;
C.I. Pigment Black 28;
Copper Chromite Black;
Copper Chromite Black Spinel;
Daipyroxide Black 9510;
Ebony Black;
Fragonard Black [PF.o];
Jet Black;
Mineral Black [SCHM.o];
Neutral Black;
Pigment Black 28;
Shepherd Black;
Spinel Black [HO.wo];
Transoxide black [LA.a]
77428 Inorganic;
Copper Chromite Black Spinel CuCr2O4 is obtained by calcining at high temperature a mixture of copper oxides and chromium oxides in varying ratios to create a crystalline spinel matrix. The constitution may include any one or more of the modifiers Fe2O3 or MnO. (Ref Color Index 4th edition);

Mixed Metal Oxide (MMO) (PCImag Ref):
Copper Chromite Spinel;

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Copper Chromite Black;

CPMA 13-38-9;

CAS 68186-91-4
Blueish black to jet black 1 I 13-18 B
PBk29 Iron Cobalt Black C.I. Pigment Black 29;
Cobalt Iron Black;
Cobalt Iron Black Spinel;
Iron Cobalt Black;
Iron Cobalt Black Spinel;
Pigment Black 29
77498 Inorganic;
Iron Cobalt Black, created by calcination of Iron (II) Oxide, Cobalt (II) Oxide, and Iron (III) Oxide in varied ratios creating a ionically interdiffused spinel form crystalline matrix. In can be modified with the addition of any or either of the chemicals Al2O3, B2O3, MnO, NiO, SiO2 and/or SnO2 during the creation process;

CPMA 13-39-9

CAS 68187-50-8
Black 1 I - B -
PBk30 Chrome Iron Nickel Black Black 376A1;
Cavern Black;
Chrome Iron Nickel Black;
Chrome Iron Nickel Black Spinel;
Chromium Iron Nickel Black;
C.I. Pigment Black 30;
Onyx Black;
Pigment Black 30;
Shepherd Black
77504 Inorganic;
Chrome Iron Nickel Black Spinel (Ni,Fe)(Cr,Fe)2O4 is created by the calcining at high-temperature a mixture of Chromium (II) Oxide, Iron (II) Oxide, Iron (III) Oxide in varied ratios creating a crystalline spinel matrix. Its composition may include one or more of the modifiers CuO, MnO or Mn2O3.(Ref Color Index 4th edition);

Mixed Metal Oxide (MMO) (PCImag Ref):
Chrome Iron Nickel Black Spinel;

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Chrome Iron Nickel Black Spinel;

CPMA 13-50-9;

CAS 71631-15-7
Blue shade black to jet black 1 I 12-15 A
PBk31 Paliogen Black Atrament black [SCH.a, SCHM.o];
C.I. Pigment Black 31;
Paliogen Black;
Paliogen Black L0084 [BASF];
Paliogen® Black S 0084 [BASF];
Perylene Black [WN.g.o];
Perylene Green [DS.w | DV.w | WN.a.w];
Pigment Black 31;
Shadow Green [HO.w.wo]
71132 Inorganic; Perylene; (Ref)

CAS 67075-37-0
Intense very dark bluish green 3 I 40 A
Very deep green, almost black in masstone, nice for cool shadows and glazes.
PBk32 Perylene Black BASF Paliogen Black L0086;
C.I. Pigment Black 32;
Paliogen Black L0086 [BASF];
Perylene Green;
Pigment Black 32
71133 Inorganic;
Perylene; (Ref);

LBNLPigment Database Spectral radiative properties;
Perylene Black;

CAS 83524-75-8
Very dark blackish green or brown 2 I 35-40 A -
PBk33 Iron Manganese Oxide Bayferrox 303T;
C.I. Pigment Black 33;
Iron Manganese Oxide;
Pigment Black 33
77537 Inorganic; Synthetic mixed manganese oxide with a minimum of 58% iron oxide;
CAS 68186-94-7
CAS 75864-23-2
Black - I 25 A -
PBk34 Molybdenum Disulfide C.I. Pigment Black 34;
Graphitan 7700;
Moly Disulfide;
Pigment Black 34;
77770 Inorganic; Natural Molybdenum Disulfide;
CAS 56780-54-2
Black 1 I - A Used to give a “silk” effect mixed with mica or other colors in auto finishes
PBk35 Titanium dioxide Black C.I. Pigment Black 35;
Tilac D;
Pigment Black 35
77890 Inorganic; Reduced titanium oxide;
CAS 51745-87-0
blueish Black - I L A -

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Jump to: Manufacturer Codes  |  Binder/Medium Codes

Color Index Name Code:
This is the official code given by the Color Index International for that particular pigment. The first 2 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.

= 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

CI (Color Index) Pigment Name:
This is the official name given in the Color Index (third edition, 1997), or the name the first manufacturer or original patent holder has given that pigment, in a few instances where neither of the previous are available, I have used the actual chemical name. Where a pigment has no color index name, I have used the traditional historic name or the mineral/chemical names.

Common, Historic and Marketing Names:
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 name but merely a collection of names that are in common usage or have been used. They have been culled (in order of importance) from paint manufacturer and supplier literature, The Color Index, Third edition (1997), Historical Books on pigments and art (see Free Art e-Books), Artist manuals and handbooks (see the bottom of the Pigment Database's main page for a complete list of reference works), various dictionaries and encyclopedias (old and new), and various web sites in particular AMIEN.org, Dick Blick Artist Supply, Handprint.com, Natural Pigments, Kama Pigments, Sinopia Pigments, PCImag.com and Kremer Pigments, along with the paint, chemical and pigment manufacture sites.
Marketing names given by paint manufacturers are often misleading, deceptive or descriptive of the color and not the actual pigment. Where there is a common historic name associated with that pigment I have used "GEN" to denote the generic common historically accepted name of that particular pigment. When a manufacturer has used a common historical name for a pigment that is not the accepted traditional historic pigment name, I have indicated it with the "(hue)" designation.

C.I. (Color Index) Pigment # (number):
These are the chemical composition number given that pigment by the Color Index International (see Colour Index Number Categories here)

Chemical Composition:
These are the basic chemical names, or mineral names along with chemical composition. Where I can fine them, I have included CAS numbers. Sometimes multiple names are given because chemical names can be stated in different ways or the pigment is a group of chemicals rather than a single one. I have not included detailed chemical descriptions or analyses but only basic information that should help you find further information. I have included references designated with "(Ref)" where further information can be attained.

Color Description:
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. I have not in all cases used any of the attempted means of standardizing color descriptions for this, but where the pigment is included in the Color Index International Pigments and Solvent Dyes (The Society of Dyers and colourists, third edition), I have used that description, when not, I have used other reference sources in particularly manufacturer or supplier literature.

Opacity- Transparency*: 
The opacity and transparency is only a general reference, where available, i have used the Color index's designation or manufacturers literature to arrive at this figure. Many pigments exist in both transparent and opaque versions, or can be manipulated by the paint or pigment manufactures for a particular purpose. A general designation such as given will not always be the case in any particular formulation.

= Opaque,
2 = Semi-Opaque,
3 = Semi-Transparent,
4 = Transparent

Light Fastness Rating**:
The light fastness rating is only a general reference, where available i have used the ASTM or manufacturers literature to arrive at this figure. The ASTM has not rated all pigments, so this 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 lighfastness ratings have been condensed or averaged to a less specific 4 designations. I can can not cover every possible paint, binder, or pigment formulation in this chart as it would take too much time and space; there are so many variables as to make this designation, in this database, of only marginal use. 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 opens new window); (AMIEN.org Thread - opens new window)
= Excellent,
II = Good,
III = Poor,
= Fugitive/Very Poor

Oil Absorption: is in ml/100mg
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).

When the specific numbers are unavailable:   H = High,   M = Medium,   L = Low

The hazardous properties is 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, MSDS sheets at the Oxford University Chemical Laboratory., or the City of Tucson's Environmental Management Division's searchable database of Health & Safety in the Arts. All paints and especially dry pigments can be hazardous if carelessly handled, but if handled properly with common sense all but the most dangerous can be used safely.

A = Low hazard, but do not handle carelessly;
B = Possible Hazard if improperly or carelessly handled;
C = Hazardous, use appropriate precautions for handling mildly toxic substances; 
D =
Extremely Toxic, only attempt working with this pigment (especially the dry form) in laboratory like conditions and with proper safety equipment (see "Prudent practices in the laboratory: handling and disposal of chemicals" at google books opens new window; or PDF format here);

Side Notes:
These are typically interesting things I have read, or information collected on a pigment that may be worth further study. 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.

(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 source of the information I have given. or 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 reference, possible typo or other discrepancies in the manufacturer or other reference documentation. Further study is needed to clarify.

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 and more opaque;  Darkens = Becomes darker but retains hue;  Dulls = Loses chroma towards neutral;  Blackens = Turns very dark or black losing chroma;  Hue shift = Changes hue towards a different color

Paint or Pigment Manufacturer Code & Art Medium:*****    Key Top ^, Page Top^
Paint/Pigment Manufacturer Code:
(links below are to the official manufacturer web site and will open in a new window)
DG = Daniel Green
EP = Earth Pigments
= Gamblin
GEN = Common Generic term
GO = Golden
GR = Grumbacher
GU = Guerra Paint & Pigment
HO = Holbien
JO = Jo Sonja
KA = Kama Pigments
KP = Kremer Pigmente  (USA site)
Art 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.

d in italics next to the pigment manufacturer or art supplier code indicates a discontinued pigment or paint.
All 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;  
ad = Aqueous pigment dispersions;
af = Fluid Acylics or Airbrush Colors;
k = Alkyd paints;
c = Casein or milk paint;
e = Encaustic paints;
g = Gouache;
i = Ink (printing ink or pigmented drawing inks);
o = Oil Paint;
p = Dry Pigment;
t = Tempera or Egg Tempera;
w = Watercolor Paint;
wo = Water mixable oil paint or water soluble oil paint.

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. Clicking on the art medium code will give you more specific paint binder information. Clicking on the art supplier's artistic medium code will also take you to more information on the paint pigment that may include: whether it is the "artists" premium or "student" grade, MSDS sheets, pigment history and additional artist paints or pigments hazard & environmental information.
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.

+++++In all cases clicking on the art medium/binder code will take you off site to where you can find more information and-or a purchasing source. If you find this site helpful you can help support this site by purchasing through these links. Thanks, and I hope I can continue to make this information available and current. The above links in this key are to the actual manufactures official sites.

©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





The Color of Art Pigment Database Reference of artist paint and dry pigments, pigment powders, and pigment dispersions it is a complete resource on color for acylic, watercolor, oil color, oil paint, alkyds, inks, egg-oil emulsion tempera, casein and gouache for assisting in the artistic creation of artists. The Color of Art Pigment Database Reference includes Artist's paint Color Index Names and Color Index Chemical Constitution Numbers along with MSDS sheets, light fastness ratings, oil absorption, and other reference information on artist pigments used for painting, crafts, graphic design, decorating, illustration or any medium that uses color in thier art work or craft.

This page of the Color of Art Pigment Database is for CI Pigment lack, Color Index code PBk. is a complete artist's reference, with color Index names and specifications for artist's pigments and paint. The Art is Creation, Color of Art Pigment Database Reference has resources and info for artist paint, student paints, Oilcolor, Oil Paints, Watercolors, Aqueous Pigment Dispersions, Fluid Acylics, Airbrush Paint, Acrylic Gouache, Matte Acrylic Paints, Acrylic Vinyl, Acylic paint or Alkyd Oils, Casein or Milk Paint, Encaustic, Gouache, Printing Inks or Pigmented Drawing inks, Oil sticks, Oil Bars, Oil Base Pigment Sticks, Dry Pigments and Powders, Tempera or Egg Tempera, Watercolor Sticks, Watercolor Base Pigment Sticks or Bars, and Water mixable oil paint or water soluble oil paint.

© 2010 by David Myers