Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor - King's Royal Blue , 15 ml Tube and swatch
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Products bearing the CL seal of the Art & Creative Materials Institute ("Caution Label") contain ingredients that are toxic or hazardous, but when used in properly supervised and controlled conditions, they can be enjoyed with complete safety.
complex silicate of sodium and aluminum with sulfur
Na8-10Al6Si6O24S2-4 or Na6-8Al6Si6O24S2-4
Ultramarine is the standard warm blue, a brilliant blue pigment that has the most purple and least green in its undertone. It has a moderate to high tinting strength and a beautiful transparency. Synthetic Ultramarine is not as vivid a blue as natural Ultramarine. Ultramarine dries slowly in oil and tends to produce clean, though granular, washes in watercolor. French Ultramarine mixes well with Alizarin colors in oil and watercolor form to create a range of purples and violets. It can dull when mixed with white in acrylic form, but mixes well with other colors. The shade varies based on manufacturer. Considered a great color for glazes, it is not suitable for frescoing.
Ultramarine has excellent permanence, although synthetic Ultramarine is not as permanent as natural Ultramarine. It may discolor if exposed to acid because of its sulfuric content.
Ultramarine has no significant hazards.
The name for this pigment comes from the Middle Latin ultra, meaning beyond, and mare, meaning sea, because it was imported from Asia to Europe by sea. It is a prominent component of lapis lazuli and was used on Asian temples starting in the 6th century. It was one of the most expensive pigments in 16th century Europe, worth twice its weight in gold, and so was used sparingly and when commissions were larger. Ultramarine is currently imitated by a process invented in France in 1826 by Jean Baptiste Guimet, making blue affordable to artists and extending the range of colors on their palettes.
Phthalo Blues are pure and clean primary blues with superior covering power. They have a very high tinting strength and tend to overwhelm other pigments, but if color strength can be controlled, they make predictable mixed colors. In oil form, blues are very deep and slow drying. When mixed with other colors or if chlorine is added, Phthalo Blue quickly tends towards green. When using alone, mix with some white, as Phthalo Blue can be semi-transparent and almost black on its own. It is among the most compatible of modern colors with mineral colors and is considered more reliable than Prussian Blue, while sharing the same physical and color properties. Phthalo Blue is a good color for glazing.
Phthalo Blues are completely lightfast and stable and are permanent for all paint uses. They are currently used in inks, coatings, and many plastics due to their stability and are considered a standard pigment in printing ink and the packaging industry.
Phthalo Blues have no significant hazards, although those made before 1982 contained some PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
Developed by chemists using the trade name Monastral Blue, the organic blue dyestuff now known as Phthalo Blue was presented as a pigment in November 1935 in London. Its discovery was accidental. The dark color was observed in a kettle where a dye was being made from a British dyestuff plant. The demand for such a pigment came from commercial printers who wanted a cyan to replace Prussian Blue.
Zinc White is the coolest white, and it has a cold, clean masstone and a slightly bluish tint. It has less hiding power and is more transparent than other whites. It dries slowly and is good for painting wet into wet and for glazing and scumbling. Zinc White is neither as opaque nor as heavy as Lead White, its covering power is not as good, and it takes much longer to dry. However, it does not blacken when exposed to sulfur in the air as Lead White does. It is very valuable for making tints with other colors. Unmixed Zinc White dries to a brittle and dry paint film that may crack over the years, so it is not good for frescoing. It is more transparent in acrylic form than Titanium White and is the most commonly used white with gouache. Chinese White is a version of Zinc White appropriate for opaque watercolor techniques.
Zinc White has great permanence and lightfastness.
Zinc White is moderately toxic if ingested and slightly toxic if inhaled.
Though historians are divided on who first isolated the element zinc, they agree that it was first suggested as a white pigment in 1782. Zinc White was accepted as a watercolor in 1834 and was called Chinese White due to the popularity of oriental porcelain in Europe at the time. Ten years later, a suitable oil form was produced. By the early 20th century, it had improved to the point where it was an acceptable alternative to Flake White.