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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Any new pigments on the horizon?ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-08-30 05:17:59 ... Most recent comment 2017-09-18 15:37:19

    ​As some of you work for (or have close links with artist paint companies), I wonder if you were aware of any new paint pigments that are being tested by paint manufacturers at the moment? :)

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​While there are always new developments happening keep in mind that pigment research is really driven by the much larger concerns of the commercial coatings industry, so often new offerings are focused around optimizing performance for industrial processes, or reducing costs, and only rarely open up a new color space or greatly improved lighfastness performance that would be relevant to the arts. If you want to keep your own tabs on some of this a good entry point, that is not overly technical, might be a broad trade magazine like PCI - Pigment and Coatings Industry:

    Of course some innovations break out into the public press, such as the recent discovery of YInMn Blue which was covered by many outlets and which we wrote a short article on

    as well as Gamblin

    But as we both point out, it will be quite expensive and overall does not really represent a new exciting color space. At most it should provide some increased exterior durability and have a role in specialized applications where a strong reflectance of near-infra red radiation might make a difference.

    So, long story short, almost every year the major pigment and coatings manufacturers are touting and highlighting new offerings to the commercial world, including paint manufacturers like us, but that very few if any tend to pan out as being of any interest for the artist community  in the way that broad new chemistries, like the Pyrroles, Napthols, Azo Yellows, Quinacridones, or Phthalos have provided at different times in the past.

    One question in return, that always interests me - what pigment property or quality are you looking for or would interest you? What do you find lacking in what is currently offered? As sometimes there could be a niche pigment out there that could fit your need but simply is not widely used for cost or other reasons.

    Sarah Sands
    Senior Technical Specialist
    Golden Artist Colors

    Sarah Sands, Senior Technical Specialist, Golden Artist Colors
    2017-08-30 10:23:23
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for the detailed reply. Much appreciated and very interesting. A shame there are no new pigments out there being tested that fill a gap in the array of ones already available.

    For me, I paint in one layer and wet on wet in a realism style. So for this to work well I need opaque pigments. I don't necessary need high chroma colours as most colours in nature are rather muted. This means my palette at the moment are pigments like Titanium White, Iron Oxides (Red, Yellows, Black). They are very opaque, inexpensive and extreemly lightfast. 

    When yellow iron oxide is mixed with a super strong tinter like Pthalo Green you can get an opaque green as well. I add to these colours Cadmium Yellow and Red for when higher chromas are neccesary (although in the best brands these are expensive).

    I have recently tested PBr24 which is often used as a Naples Yellow replacement. In the more expensive brands it's very opaque, but more of a warm orange than a yellow.

    At the moment I wish there was a pigment that's lighter and yellower than PY42 (or PBr24) but cheap and opaque (Doesn't have to be as high chroma as a Cadmium). There is PY53 Nickel Titanate but it seems expensive and a bit greyish-white.

    I guess we really could do with a Pthalo Yellow :D

    2017-08-31 16:20:06
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​I was just reading this article today. I suspect that many years in the future all pigments used in artwork will be structural colours:

    2017-09-18 15:37:19

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