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.
cadmium zinc sulfide
Cadmium Yellow is brilliant, dense, and opaque, with good tinting strength and very high hiding power. It is the artist's principal bright yellow and is available in light, medium, and dark shades. The deeper shades appear deep orange and have the greatest tinting strength. It is slow-drying in oil form and is used in both oil and watercolor form. It cannot be mixed with copper-based pigments. A clean Cadmium Orange is created when Cadmium Yellow is mixed with Cadmium Red. Hues vary by brand. Cadmium pigments have been partially replaced by azo pigments, which are similar in lightfastness to the cadmium colors, cheaper, and non-toxic. Cadmium Yellow is usually available in a pure grade, or in a cadmium-barium mix. This mix has the same permanence with a lower tinting strength.
Cadmium Yellow is lightfast and permanent in most forms, but like most cadmium colors, it will fade in fresco or mural painting. The deeper shades are the most permanent. The pale varieties have been known to fade with exposure to sunlight in conditions where moisture is able to penetrate the binder.
Cadmium Yellow is a known human carcinogen. It can be hazardous if chronically inhaled or ingested.
Cadmiums get their names from the Latin word cadmia meaning zinc ore calamine, and the Greek word kadmeia, meaning Cadmean earth, first found near Thebes, the city founded by the Phoenician prince Cadmus. Metallic cadmium was discovered in 1817 by Friedrich Strohmeyer. Oil colors were first made from Cadmium Yellow pigments in 1819, replacing toxic Chrome (lead) Yellows. However, their production was delayed until 1840 due to the scarcity of cadmium metals. Landscape painters, such as Claude Monet, preferred Cadmium Yellow to the less expensive Chrome Yellow because of its higher chroma and greater purity of color.
Calcium carbonate, the mineral constituent of chalk, is a low tinting strength, inexpensive white pigment that is often used is a buffer and filler. Because of its low tinting strength, it is overwhelmed by other colors. It is used in gesso and other coatings to give the surface more tooth, a desirable characteristic for some painting techniques.
Calcium carbonate is lightfast. Like all carbonates, it reacts with strong acids
Calcium carbonate is completely non-toxic, and is used in many food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products. However, excessive consumption is not recommended.
Naturally occuring chalk deposits have been mined since prehistoric times. Rocks and minerals that contain calcium carbonate include aragonite, calcite, vaterite, chalk, limestone. marble, and travertine. Calcium carbonate is the principle component of lime, used in many agricultural and industrial applications.