Prussian Blue is a semi-transparent, deep cyan-blue with a greenish undertone and a very high tinting strength unequaled by most pigments. It is similar to Phthalo Blue unless mixed with white, when it gives up intensity and becomes smoky. It can behave erratically and less reliably in oil and watercolor form depending on its manufacture. For permanent painting Phthalo Blue is considered a more reliable choice.
Prussian Blue is lightfast and permanent in all techniques except for fresco. When mixed with Zinc White in watercolor or tempera form, it fades upon exposure to light and completely regains its chromatic strength in the dark. Modern manufacturing techniques have made this tendency less of an issue in recent years
Prussian Blue is moderately toxic if ingested. It will emit toxic hydrogen cyanide gas if heated, exposed to ultraviolet radiation, or treated with acid.
"The first of the modern pigments," Prussian Blue is the first artificial pigment with a known history. It was discovered by accident in 1704 by the Berlin color maker Heinrich Diesbach, who was trying to create a pigment with a red hue by mixing iron sulfate and potash. The potash Diesbach purchased from a local laboratory had been contaminated by animal oil and blood during previous experimentation. The resulting mixture yielded a very pale red that changed to purple and then deep blue when he tried to concentrate it. Since previous blue pigments came from lapis lazuli, an expensive stone, Diesbach’s discovery was extremely important for artists of the time.
organic synthetic, quinacridone
Quinacridone Red is a high performance, transparent pigment with an average drying time and uneven dispersal. It is another name for Quinacridone Violet (PV19) and Quinacridone Red (PR192). Quinacridone pigments have relatively low tinting strength in general. For this reason, quinacridone colors are often expensive, because more pigment is required in the formulation.
Quinacridone Violet has excellent lightfastness and is considered the most lightfast organic pigment in this shade range.
Quinacridone Violet has no known acute hazards. Overexposure to quinacridone pigments may cause skin irritation. Quinicridone pigments contain a compound found to be a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant.
Although quinacridone compounds became known in the late 19th century, methods of manufacturing so as to make them practical for use as commercial pigments did not begin until the 1950s. Quinacridone pigments were first developed as coatings for the automotive industry, but were quickly adopted by artists.