Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue are both widely used in the art world as watercolor, acrylic and oil painting pigments. The two blues have some similarities, but also have many differences in terms of their chemical composition, properties, and usage. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue, and what makes them unique.
Phthalo Blue, also known as Winsor Blue or monastral blue, is a bright and intense blue color that is commonly used in the art world. It is a synthetic organic pigment, and its chemical composition is copper phthalocyanine. It has a very high tinting strength and a very fine particle size, which makes it very opaque, and it’s known for its strong staining properties.
Phthalo Blue is a modern pigment that first appeared in the 1930s; it was developed by chemists at the Swiss pharmaceutical company Ciba-Geigy, who were looking for new dyes for the textile industry. Its intense color and great lightfastness made it an instant favorite among artists, and it has been used widely ever since.
Phthalo Blue is an excellent pigment for transparent glazing and is great for mixing with other colors. It’s also perfect for creating deep blues used in landscapes and seascapes, and it’s often used as a primary color in painting. In oil painting, it does tend to dry slower than other colors, so it requires a longer drying time. But for many artists, this is seen as an advantage, as it allows them more time to blend colors.
Prussian Blue is a dark blue pigment that has been around since the early 18th century. It was first discovered by a Berlin dye maker who was trying to make a red dye, but instead, he accidentally created a blue pigment by mixing iron(III) ferrocyanide with a solution of iron(II) sulfate. Its chemical name is ferric ferrocyanide, and it’s sometimes called Berlin Blue.
Prussian Blue has some interesting properties; its hue is a mixture of blue and green, which makes it slightly warmer than Phthalo Blue. It’s very opaque and has a low tinting strength, which means it doesn’t overpower other colors. It’s also very stable, and it’s not affected by light, heat or chemicals, making it an excellent pigment for archival works.
Prussian Blue is often used for painting skies, portraits and still-life works. It’s also great for creating dark backgrounds, and it can be used as an underpainting for other colors. In watercolor painting, it’s often used for creating blue-gray shades and for using in glazes, while in oil painting, it’s great for creating accents and highlights.
Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue have some similarities, but they’re also very different. Here are some of the main differences between the two blues:
Pigment: Phthalo Blue is a synthetic organic pigment, while Prussian Blue is an inorganic pigment.
Color: Phthalo Blue is a bright and intense blue color, while Prussian Blue is a dark and slightly warmer blue-green color.
Tinting Strength: Phthalo Blue has a very high tinting strength and is very opaque, while Prussian Blue has a low tinting strength and is not highly opaque.
Usage: Phthalo Blue is great for transparent glazing, mixing with other colors, and creating deep blues, while Prussian Blue is often used for painting skies, portraits and still-life works, and it’s great for creating dark backgrounds and using as an underpainting.
Lightfastness: Both Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue are highly lightfast, meaning they won’t fade over time.
Are Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue toxic? Both Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue are non-toxic, but it’s still a good idea to wear gloves and keep them away from your eyes and mouth while you’re working with them.
Can I mix Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue? Yes, you can mix Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue to create a range of colors, but it’s essential to consider the properties of each pigment before mixing them.
Which blue is better, Phthalo Blue or Prussian Blue? There is no definitive answer to this question, as each pigment has its own unique properties and uses. But if you’re looking for a bright and intense blue, Phthalo Blue might be the right choice for you, while if you’re looking for a darker and slightly warmer blue-green, Prussian Blue might be the way to go.
In conclusion, Phthalo Blue and Prussian Blue are two of the most popular blues in the art world. While they share some similarities, they’re also very different in terms of their chemical composition, properties, and usage. Both pigments offer unique properties, and understanding the differences between the two can help you choose which one will work best for your artwork.