Although there are some excellent blue pigments available for arts and crafts, phthalo blue has grown to be one of the big three with a huge number of artists carrying it in their paint color collection as standard. As with all of the more popular colors, we constantly see people reaching out to ask a number of different questions about phthalo blue pigments, paints, and inks.
Although we have already published some articles going over these, more and more people seem to be looking to make their own phthalo blue pigment and paints at home. Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over how you are able to make your own phthalo blue in the comfort of your own home in a number of different ways.
Although the best option in our opinion will always be to go with a decent, cheap commercial Phthalo Blue paint, we will be covering various color combinations that make phthalo blue as well as how to make your own pigment and finally how to make your own acrylic, oil, and watercolor paints as well as some inks that are phthalo blue.
What Is Phthalo Blue?
Phthalo blue is a synthetic blue pigment that comes from the phthalocyanine group of dyes. It offers a bright blue color that is very popular but also offers a wide range of versatility as phthalo blue paint can mix well with a number of other colors.
Please keep in mind that phthalo blue is high in chroma so it tends to mix better with similar or darker colors. That said though, you are also able to get some good results from some lighter colors although the phthalo blue in the mix will usually be dominant.
What Colors Make Phthalo Blue?
There is no exact color combination that is able to make phthalo blue due to it being a synthetically created, high chroma color. That said, you can mix colors with either french ultramarine blue or cerulean blue hue and get a very similar look with minimal effort or expense required on your part.
Due to cerulean blue hue actually being a hue, there is a high chance that it already has a high ratio of phthalo blue in its pigment mix usually making it the better option. As most people do carry ultramarine in their paint collection, it does tend to be a more popular choice as more people will already have it to hand.
If you don’t currently carry cerulean blue hue or french ultramarine blue in your paint collection then it will probably be easier to just purchase a decent, cheap commercial Phthalo Blue paint rather than mix your current colors as it tends to be cheaper or at least the same price as the other colors. We know that we have a high number of readers who are new to arts and crafts and who are on a budget so we always try to save them money.
How Do You Make Phthalo Blue Pigment?
Although you can technically make your own phthalo blue pigment in your own home, the process is complicated and requires some speciallist equipment that the majority of our readers will simply not have access to. Due to this, we usually just recommend that our readers skip making their own pigment and just purchase a commercial Phthalo Blue pigment as it works out to be cheaper and easier.
As we touched on earlier in the article, phthalo blue is a synthetic pigment so it is not based around crushing up minerals like some of the other pigment guides we have already published. Simply sourcing the base reagents for the average person to make your own phthalo blue pigment can be a pain as you will require phthalonitrile, diiminoisoindole, phthalic anhydride, and phthalimides. Depending on your country/state, you may not even be able to purchase some of these base reagents without a specialist license too.
Although there are workarounds using phthalic anhydride, the process does still tend to be complex, complicated, expensive, and have a high fail rate unless you have a decent understanding of chemistry as well as some specialist items. This is why we as well as many people established in the community just recommend you pick up some cheap Phthalo Blue pigment and then mix it with your required medium for your paint that we will go into below.
How To Make Phthalo Blue Acrylic Paint!
To make your own phthalo blue acrylic paint, you simply add your Phthalo Blue pigment to an acrylic medium such as some clear gesso acrylic and then mix the two together. Start with small amounts of your pigment at first and then add more at a slow rate as the existing pigment is mixed into your gesso as it takes less pigment then most people initially think for a good strong color.
Another reason why we usually recommend that you go with a commercial phthalo blue pigment rather than make your own is that the pigment granules do have to be extremely fine to work well for acrylic paint and it can be problematic to achieve the correct granule size at home. Provided your pigment is fine enough, most people tend to be surprised at just how easy it actually is to make your paint but a commercial Phthalo Blue Acrylic paint does still tend to be easier and perform better.
How To Make Phthalo Blue Oil Paint!
Making your own phthalo blue oil paint is much easier than the majority of people think as it comes down to simply adding your Phthalo Blue pigment to a oil paint medium such as regular lintseed oil. We know that many people do prefer to use an actual oil paint medium, lintseed oil tends to perform almost as well while being a fraction of the price.
Your pigment has to be as fine as possible to ensure that it will suspend in the oil medium correctly but the majority of commercial pigments will be fine. Add your pigment in small amounts but oil-based paints do usually need more pigment added to them to get the same results as an acrylic paint. Although making your own phthalo blue oil paints at home is easy and straightforward, high-quality commercial Phthalo Blue oil paint is usually cheap enough for most people to just buy it pre-made.
How To Make Phthalo Blue Watercolor!
Although some people do make their own phthalo blue watercolor paints, it does tend to be much harder than other homemade paint options. We usually just recommend that our readers opt to use commercial Phthalo Blue Watercolor paints as it tends to be considerably easier, cheaper, and offer a much better performance.
The main issue with making your own phthalo blue watercolor is the medium, most people do use gum Arabic but keeping the consistency correct while also getting enough pigment in there to offer the brilliant blues that phthalo blue is known for is a total pain. Even a commercially produced Phthalo Blue pigment that will work well with acrylic or oil paint will end up having issues with eater color as balancing the medium is just too much of a hassle for most people.
That brings our article going over how you can make your own phthalo blue pigments and paints to an end. We hope that you have found the article helpful and that it has helped you make your own phthalo blue paint at home. As we mentioned, actually making the pigment yourself from scratch is a nightmare in itself as it keeping the medium for watercolors correct but you can make some decent oil and acrylic phthalo blue paints at home without too many issues.