3 Of The Best Prussian Blue Substitutes!

Our content may have affiliate links that can result in commissions for qualifying purchases, full details in our privacy policy.

Since the resurgence in the popularity of Prussian blue a few months back we have noticed more and more questions being asked about this increasingly popular color. Although we thought that the popularity of using Prussian blue in artwork would end up dropping back down to regular levels, it has continued to increase with each month that passes with more and more questions being asked.

Although we have already published articles on how to make your own Prussian blue paint as well as 7 common Prussian blue color combinations, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking what color is close to Prussian blue for artwork. Due to so many people reaching out and asking for a decent Prussian blue substitute, we have decided to publish this article going over what we feel are the three best options on the market.

We would like to quickly say that if you don’t currently carry any of these alternative options in your paint palette then it is probably better to just purchase a cheap tube of Prussian blue rather than a tube of either of the alternative options. Although the feature substitutes below are just as versatile as Prussian blue, if you need Prussian blue for your arts and crafts and have to purchase a new paint tube it just makes sense to go with the real thing rather than an alternative.

What Can I Use Instead Of Prussian Blue?

Although there are a few other shades of blue that can be used as a Prussian blue substitute, they tend to be difficult to find or are overly expensive. Due to this, we are only going to be focusing on the three main options that we feel are the best substitutes and due to the popularity of these three colors, many of our readers may already have them in their paint palette.

Phthalo Blue

Prussian Blue Top Left – Phthalo Blue Bottom Right

A huge number of people use Phthalo blue instead of Prussian blue due to it being the closest alternative to Prussian blue while also being cheap and easy to source. Phthalo blue is just as versatile as Prussian blue too allowing you to use it as a stand-alone color or when mixed with other paints to help broaden the color and hue range in your artwork.

As you can see from the color sample above, both Prussian blue and phthalo blue are very close to each other with Prussian blue only being a touch darker than phthalo blue. This is why we have chosen it as our number one alternative for our readers as the two color options are pretty much interchangeable with each other.

Due to the popularity of phthalo blue, all good arts and crafts stores will carry it in their paint range but you can often save a little money by ordering your phthalo blue paint online with next day delivery usually being available. With phthalo blue being a synthesized paint color, it tends to be cheap too as there is no need to mine or farm the natural pigment used for the color helping to keep your costs down.

Depending on the colors that you already have in your paint palette, you may be able to make your own phthalo blue by mixing paints in your current collection but we go into this in more detail in our article on how to make phthalo blue paint at home. Either way, all of our readers should be able to get what they need from some phthalo blue paint if they don’t have Prussian blue available and still get the same effect in their artwork.

Phthalo Blue Color Code – #000f89

Ultramarine Blue

Prussian Blue Top Left – Ultramarine Bottom Right

A large number of artists will use ultramarine blue instead of Prussian blue making it our second Prussian blue alternative recommendation for our readers. Ultramarine blue does tend to be very similar to Prussian blue but you have to check the hue of your ultramarine blue as there are different shades of the color available. If you are wanting to use ultramarine blue as a substitute for Purssian blue then you are going to want the darkest ultramarine blue possible.

As you can see from the color sample above, ultramarine blue is lighter than Purssian blue with ultramarine blue also being just a touch lighter than phthalo blue covered earlier in the article. Thankfully you are easily able to mix a little black paint with ultramarine blue to get it just as dark as Prussian blue to allow you to use it as a direct alternative.

Ultramarine blue is another popular color with the majority of arts and crafts stores carrying it as standard due to so many people using it in their arts and crafts but again, you can usually save a little money by purchasing your ultramarine paint online with next day delivery often available. Depending on the colors that you currently have in your palette you may also be able to mix your own ultramarine blue from your existing paints as covered in our article on how to make your own ultramarine blue paint.

Ultramarine Color Code – #120a8f

Navy Blue

Prussian Blue Top Left – Navy Blue Bottom Right

Although many people do use navy blue instead of Prussian blue, you have to realise that the term “navy blue” usually refers to a collection of colors rather than a single specific shade. Due to this, using navy blue as your Prussian blue alternative can be hit and miss as different paint brands usually use different pigment charts for their navy blue paint with some being surprisingly lighter than others while still being marketed as navy blue on the paint tube.

Although the navy blue in the color sample above does look very similar to Prussian blue, we have used the official navy blue hex code of #000080 for the sample used in digital artwork. Actual navy blue paint may not look like this due to the different pigment charts used as we touched on above.

If you already have some navy blue paint in your collection then you can apply a little to some paper or canvas to see how it performs and then darken it up with a little black paint if required. If you are having to pick up some navy blue paint from your local arts and crafts store or via an online retailer we would recommend that you just go with Prussian blue and order that instead.

This will guarantee that you are getting a dark blue and remove the risk of you getting a lighter shade of blue that is listed as being navy blue. Although some of the lighter shades of navy blue are a little more versatile when mixed with other paints, if you do need Prussian blue for your artwork then just ordering a tube of it rather than taking a risk will often be the better option.

Navy Blue Color Code – #000080


That brings our article going over the best Prussian blue substitute to a close. Although you can use any of the three featured Prussian blue alternatives in your artwork to great effect, the first two do definitely perform the best and usually provide you with the best possible results. If needed, you can add a little black paint to push any of our recommended alternatives close to Prussian blue due to it being so dark.