The Difference Between Pigments and Micas

The Difference Between Pigments and Micas

17th Dec 2019

Artists have a variety of mediums to choose from to execute their vision, but one thing they all have in common is that mediums need pigments! Pigments and Mica powders provide the color, but how do these two materials differ? A basic understanding of how they are used can help artists use colors to their full potential. Here we give a brief overview of both materials.


  • Pigments can be broken down by color, but they can also be broken down by pigment type. Each type will serve a different function within a medium. The types of pigments we offer are both natural and synthetic. The categories are:
    • Earth and Ocher Pigments
    • French Mineral Pigments
    • Primary Pigments
    • Oxide pigments
  • All pigments will have these two common characteristics:
    • They will appear saturated to their darkest tone in a clear medium
    • They will tint lighter in an opaque medium and their undertones will appear
  • Some of the ways they differ, include:
    • Their semi transparent nature vs those that are opaque
    • Those that are color stable in the high ph of lime or cement vs the few in our Primaries Category that cannot be used in those select mediums
    • Those colors that are all natural vs those that are man made or a combination of both

Mica Powders

  • Mica Powders and our new Mica Glitter Gold and Glitter Silver provide a metallic color that has some limitations, but great versatility. Artists can mix mica powder and glitter into mediums, but only those that are clear or translucent. They can be dosed to create an opaque metallic color, or just to create a metallic sheen. The effect is controlled by how much is added and how clear the medium is. The colors we offer are:
    • Majestic Gold and Gold Glitter 175
    • Silver Pearl and Silver Glitter 175
    • Super Copper
    • Super Bronze
    • Gunmetal
  • Some of the ways artists can use our Mica Powder and Glitter include the following:
    • Egg Tempera
    • Oil Paints
    • Varnishes, shellacs, topcoats
    • Clear polymer clay
    • Waxes for art, walls and furniture

The Earth Pigments

At The Earth Pigments Company we strive to bring you the finest pigments and micas for your artistic endeavors, as well as those sustainably sourced, humane and Earth friendly. If you have yet to buy from us, shop now and see the quality for yourself.

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