Viridian is the standard green and is stable, powerful, and cold with an emerald green undertone. It has a transparent hue, good tinting strength, a dark masstone that can be almost black at full strength, and a slow drying time in oil form. Viridian is commonly replaced by the darker, more saturated, and staining Phthalo Greens, but its properties make it a necessary part of the palette of an experienced landscape painter.
Viridian has excellent permanence, except in high-temperature work, and is highly valued as a glazing color.
Viridian is slightly toxic.
Viridian’s name comes from the Latin viridis, meaning green. The process for manufacturing Viridian, or Transparent Oxide of Chromium, was patented by Guignet in Paris in 1859. However, it had actually been discovered by Pannetier and Binet in 1838. Viridian replaced Verdigris, which was reactive and unstable, and Emerald Green, which was a poisonous copper aceto-arsenite used as a rat poison in the sewers of Paris.
cobalt(II) oxide + aluminum oxide
CoO + Al2O3
Cobalt blue is a semitransparent pigment with low to moderate tinting strength. When it dries, it appears lighter and less saturated. Pigment particles are large and grainy. Differences in how the pigment is ground and mixed lead to considerable differences in its performance among various manufacturers.
Cobalt blue is absolutely lightfast and extraordinarily stable. The stability of cobalt salts at high temperatures make them the standard for blues used in ceramics and glassware.
Cobalt salts are toxic. Avoid respiratory and skin contact. Soluble cobalt may cause irritation and allergic reaction through contact with skin. It is considered a possible carcinogen.
Since ancient times, smalt blue has been used to color glass and ceramics. Cobalt salts, which give smalt its characteristic blue color, were identified in the 18th century. Techniques for manufacturing Cobalt Blue, a chemically pure salt of cobalt and aluminum oxide, were developed in 1802.