The Difference Between Our Pigment Types

The Difference Between Our Pigment Types

1st Aug 2019

When browsing our Online Store, you will discover that rather than being presented by color groups, our pigments are divided into pigment categories or types. Sometimes choosing by color is all that is needed when making a pigment choice. Then there are times when you must first decide what pigment type suits your needs before you decide on that color, as pigments vary in many ways. Our Categories are there to help you narrow down your choices by first considering what the pigment can do for you.

Natural Earth and Ochers


This category will only have those pigments that are extracted from the soil. There are no manmade pigments in this group. They are traditional pigments used since Antiquity that provide a very unique color selection. This color selection is limited to natural, earthy tones rather than truly Primary Colors. You will notice there is also no blue as Mother Nature did not create blue soil. For artistic purposes, they have a beautiful light refraction and transparency. They will not tint as strong as Oxides in opaque bases such as lime coatings but instead will produce lovely pastel to mid tones. They are permanent to UV. Just like soil or rocks, they cannot fade in the sun.

French Minerals


The pigments in this group are lovely pastel colors unique to our Parent Company in Provence. Their composition is unique as well since they are created by fusing oxide pigments onto a calcium carbonate base. This creates a natural pigment in lovely shades that are some of our customer favorites. They also are semi-transparent and will produce softer, pastel shades in opaque bases. They have excellent UV stability.

Primaries Pigments


To round out any pigment powder color selection, you must offer pigments in Primary tones or colors that cannot be produced by mixing other pigments together. Throughout history, Reds have been a classic example of a color that is desired in its Primary tone. History has also shown that those Primary Reds so sought after were also toxic. That is why we are so excited at Earth Pigments to be able to fill the need for Primary pigment colors with non toxic alternatives. The reds, yellow, blues, greens and purples in this Category are vibrant colors and like all of our pigments are non toxic and safe. They are archival, but not for exterior applications. Each color will have to be considered individually for Fresco applications unlike our other Categories of pigments that can be used in any medium.

Oxide Pigments


This category of pigment colors are man made from natural elements such as Iron Oxides. These are the workhorses of the pigment world. They are pure, strong tinting and perfect for industrial as well as art applications. Their UV Stability is excellent, and of course they are non toxic and safe for all your projects.

We hope this helps to sort out some of the differences between our Non Toxic, Archival pigment colors to help you narrow down your selection. Now comes the hard part, choosing by color! Remember, we are always here with Customer Service to assist you in finding the right pigments for your needs.