An Intense Blue Pigment
Phthalocyanine blue is an organic pigment that has intense tinting strength. It is insoluble in common liquids except concentrated sulfuric acid. It is stable, nontoxic, and light fast. It is used to color virtually all artists medium such as oil paints,acrylics, and inks. Being a high volume produced pigment, it is prevalent in industry as well. It is also used in house paints, industrial coatings, and plastics.
Just like so many new products and inventions, phthalocyanine blue was discovered by accident. During the 1930’s the Imperial Chemical Industries Inc. was having problems with blue contamination of their phthalimide product. It was determined that this blue coloration was caused by a byproduct formed by interaction of phthalimide with traces of iron from the metal reactor they used at the plant. Later, they where able to substitute copper for the iron to make copper phthalocyanine. With this they where able to make a usable pigment that was stable in all media.
phthalo blue acrylics
One of the most common mediums for phthalocyanine blue is acrylic paints. The acrylic paint featured in the photo is a student grade phthalo blue paint from Liquitex. Quality acrylics with phthalocyanine blue are intensely pigmented but transparent in thin layers. Also, they can be mixed with clear gel and glazing mediums for even more transparency in painting.
Sometimes you need a super fluid medium that is also highly pigmented. This is where acrylic inks come to play. They are very fluid with very finely ground pigments. They are ideal for stamping and color blocking. There is no need to thin or dilute them for airbrushing or calligraphy. Liquitex has professional grade inks in 30 different colors.
Phthalocyanine blue usually is supplied as the green shade. For color mixing this is important especially if you are blending with greens or yellows to make teals and turquois colors. Some lines of artists acrylics and oils come with a phthalo blue that is red shade. This would be a warmer blue for making various violets and purples in color mixing. .