Lamp black is a very opaque, heavily staining black pigment that does not have much covering or tinting power. It is typically the most opaque black in watercolor form. Though a very pure black, it tends to muddy slightly in mixtures. Natural sources may be brownish or bluish in tone because of impurities. When used in oil paints, it is one of the slowest drying pigments, and should not be used in underpainting or applied in layers underneath other colors.
Lamp Black is very lightfast and absolutely permanent. It is used in all techniques in permanent painting.
<p>Carbon itself is not considered hazardous, however other combustion products that are hazardous are often present as impurities when Lamp Black is produced from natural materials. For this reason, commercial preparations of the pigment should be considered slightly toxic. Avoid skin contact and inhalation. Where such impurities are present, Lamp Black is a possible human carcinogen.</p>
Lamp Black is a carbon based black traditionally produced by collecting soot (known as lampblack) from oil lamps. It has been used as a pigment since prehistoric times. It is the black found in Egyptian murals and tomb decorations and was the most popular black for fresco painting until the development of Mars Black.
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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.