This color contains the following pigments:
Red Iron Oxide
FeO or Fe2O3
Mars Black is an opaque black with a strong and cool masstone, a slightly warm tint, and a warm brown undertone. It is not as black as Ivory Black, but it dries more quickly and has three times the tinting strength. Mars Black is normally the only black available in acrylic form and that is safe to over paint. It can be used in all media without reservation and is widely used as an alternative to Lamp Black and Ivory Black.
Mars Black is very lightfast with excellent permanence.
Mars Black has no significant hazards and is the only major black pigment considered non-toxic.
The word Mars refers to the Roman god of iron and war. Mars Black was developed in the early 20th century from inorganic, synthetic iron oxide.
Red Iron Oxide
iron oxides (synthetic), iron oxide, silica, alumina, lime, and magnesia or hydrated iron oxide
Fe2O2 or Fe2O3 • H2O
Red iron oxide varies in hue and transparency, depending on hydration and slight impurities. Indian Red is a slightly duller, deep brick hue with a bluish undertone. It is very dense and opaque, with excellent tinting strength and covering power. It is dependable when mixing with all other permanent pigments and yields good flesh tints when mixed with Zinc White. It is the synthetic version of PR102, which is a pigment made from earth reds, or natural red iron oxides, and the names applied to PR101 and PR102 often overlap. The synthetic red iron oxides have mostly replaced natural red iron oxides and are brighter, stronger, finer, and more permanent. Indian Red is the highest grade bluish shade. Light Red, English Red, and Venetian Red are yellowish shades. Mars Violet is a dull and subdued bluish or purplish oxide.
Red iron oxide is very lightfast with excellent permanence.
Red iron oxide has no significant hazards.
Natural red iron oxide comes from the mineral ore hematite, called bloodstone by the ancient Greeks from the word hema, meaning blood. It is one of the oldest pigments, has been used by every major civilization, and was an important mineral for medieval alchemists. It was not widely used in artists' materials until the 17th century and was not produced in large quantities until the 18th century.