We are fully aware that there are more popular blue colors that an artist is able to use in their palette for their arts and crafts work but with the popularity of cobalt blue increasing with each passing month, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking questions to get the best out of this color. With cobalt blue offering a ton of versatility as well as having a huge range of use cases, we see questions based around a wide range of topics.
One of the more commonly asked questions that we see month in, month out is based around how to make cobalt blue pigments and paints at home. With so many people reaching out and asking how to make their own cobalt blue paints, we have decided to publish this dedicated article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
That said though, depending on your situation, goals, and budget, it is probably just going to be easier for a large number of our readers to just purchase some decent, cheap cobalt blue paint and be done with it. Unlike some of the other paint colors on the market, cobalt blue does tend to be cheap no matter the brand with it working out to be much cheaper and easier to just purchase it than make it.
Commercial quality paint usually offers better performance than homemade paint too until you have gone through the process of making you own paint a few times. That said though, we will be going over how you are able to make your own cobalt blue pigment and various types of paints below and you can use our table of contents for fast navigation if required.
What Is Cobalt Blue?
Cobalt blue is a popular color used in a huge range of arts and crafts that offers you a large amount of versatility and helps ensure that artists can get a large number of use cases out of a single tube of paint. The actual pigment of cobalt blue is made by sintering cobalt oxide with aluminum oxide at temperatures of around 1200°C making the actual pigment a pain to make in the comfort of your own home.
Although cobalt blue is often considered to be close to Prussian blue, cobalt blue is lighter and slightly less intense. Although we are huge fans of Prussian blue, if you are on a budget then opting to go with cobalt blue can offer slightly more versatility than Prussian blue but personal preference will come into play.
What Colors Do You Mix To Make Cobalt Blue?
You are able to mix colors such as Prussian blue, Cerulean Blue or even Royal blue to make your own Cobalt blue paint from products already in your collection. In our opinion, Prussian blue is definitely the best option, cerulean blue can work well but can be hit and miss depending on the brand.
Royal blue can also work well but you will have to darken it significantly to get it close to a cobalt blue and suitable for use. If you are new to mixing colors from your existing paint collection to make a new color then we would recommend either of the options above. Mixing blues can be a little difficult, especially a lighter color such as royal blue as too much can end up spoiling the color so Prussian blue or Royal blue will probably be your best option.
How To Make Cobalt Blue Pigment!
You need to sinter cobalt oxide with aluminum oxide at temperatures of around 1200°C to make your own cobalt blue pigment. This does tend to require speciallist equipment to do it correctly making it harder than most people initially expect to do in the comfort of your own home but it can be done. The actual ratio of aluminum oxide and cobalt oxide needed does change depending on the purity of the minerals too making the process even harder to do yourself.
This is why we usually just recommend that our readers go with the color mixing option covered above or just purchase some high-quality but cheap cobalt blue paint as it makes everything much easier. We know that many people do enjoy making their own paints though so you can also pick up some cheap cobalt blue pigment and mix it with your own mediums as covered below. Going with a pre-made pigment makes the whole process much easier as it removes the most difficult task in making your own cobalt blue paints.
How To Make Cobalt Blue Acrylic Paint!
To make your own cobalt blue acrylic paint you simply add your cobalt blue pigment to some clear gesso acrylic and thoroughly mix the two together. Making your own acrylic paint is easier than most people think and it is probably the easiest option to make in the comfort of your own home.
If your cobalt blue pigment is not fine enough then the particles will not suspend in the gesso correctly causing your issues when it comes to actually using your homemade paint. This is why we recommend a pre-made pigment to our readers who are looking to make their own cobalt blue paint as it is usually fine enough to suspend in the gesso with ease and get you a nice even coat of your paint.
As we touched on above though, it is almost always cheaper and easier to just purchase your own cobalt blue acrylic due to the color being so cheap and readily available. All local stationary and arts and crafts stores should carry it as standard as well as all online retailers too.
How To Make Cobalt Blue Oil Paint!
To make your own cobalt blue oil paint you simply add your cobalt blue pigment to an oil-based medium such as good old lintseed oil and then mix the two together. Although some people do add other additives to their oil based paint, there really is no need as homemade oil paint is almost as easy as homemade acrylic paint.
We know that there are many commercial oil-based paint mediums available on the market but we recommend that our readers just try something like lintseed oil instead. It is considerably cheaper than the commercial mediums and will help to keep your costs as low as possible. If you do go with a commercial oil medium then the cost of making your own cobalt blue paint is usually pushed higher than just buying some actual cobalt blue oil paint making the whole process redundant for most people.
How To Make Cobalt Blue Watercolor Paint!
Technically, you are able to make your own cobalt blue watercolor paint by adding some cobalt blue pigment to a suitable medium such as gum Arabic but the process tends to be hard and time-consuming. Making your own watercolor paint does tend to be the hardest option due to the ratios having to be perfect and then you often having to add additional ingredients to your paint to stabilize the gum arabic correctly.
Although you are welcome to try to make your own cobalt blue watercolor paint, your first few tries will probably fail due to getting the ratios correct being a paint. This is why we usually just recommend that our readers just avoid even trying to make their own homemade watercolor paints and just go with a decent commercial cobalt blue watercolor paint option.
That brings our article going over how you can make cobalt blue paint at home to an end. Although you can try to make your own paint, it can take a surprising amount of time to get the process perfected resulting in a paint that is actually usable and will offer you a good end result. This is why most people simply just purchase a cobalt blue paint from the store rather than try to make their own.