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Top five black paint pigments. Which black is best? Warm blacks and Cool blacks

BLACK. That's what's on my mind. LOL - not in a depressing way though. Black is a colour (or non colour as my art teacher used to say - we didn't see eye to eye and I left the art class soon after) that I use daily.

I've just put together a large paint order and I am indulging in some extra chunky extra creamy super pigmented R&F oil sticks. They come in four colours of black. They are rather pricey so I wanted to make sure that I got one that would have the effects I wanted when it's smudged - essentially would it be a cool black that took on a bluish tint when smudged or a warmer black that had a browner tint?

It took me a while to think about and work out and I wrote a note to help me - which I hope you may find useful too:

Warm and Cool Black Pigments

Mars Black: Slightly warm in its tint, this leanest (more matte) black dries quickly. Mars Black has approximately three times the tinting strength of other blacks and is very opaque. This is the one I would use in a limited Zorn palette as it's warmth is useful for flesh tones.

Carbon Black pigment is formed from partial combustion of natural gas and is a nearly pure form of carbon. It is the strongest black has a slightly cool undertone.

Bone Black, an ancient colour is formed from the burning bones, where impurities provide a slightly warmer undertone.

Lamp Black is a semi-opaque black with a cool, blue undertone. It is great when you want bluer shades and cool blue greys.

Ivory Black is a warm, all around great black. Add Ivory Black to warm colours to maintain a warm colour temperature.

Attrament black a greenish tinted warm black. My personal favourite.

Interested in colour? join one of my workshops, online or in person


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