Color Theory Thursday – Ultramarine Blue

Too Much White Paper

For the first Color Theory Thursday I thought I’d take a look at one of the most common paints, Ultramarine Blue, also known as PB29 (pigment blue 29). I’ll start out with samples of a few varieties, tell some brief history, and then show what I mixed with them.

If you don’t want to read it all, skip to the end where I show a nice mix I discovered on accident.

There are many subtly different varieties of ultramarine, with many paint makers offering as much as 2-4 varieties at once. All varieties are going to be a very dark, transparent, intense, somewhat reddish blue. Ultramarine “light” or “GS” (green shade) are about the same thing; a slightly lighter and less reddish blue. “French” or “deep” ultramarines are also the same thing, or close to it; a slightly deeper and more reddish blue.

Note: The photos are all taken at…

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