The Ultimate Phthalo Blue Vs Cobalt Blue Comparison!

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At the time of writing, the various shades and hues of blue are seeing a huge surge in their popularity for arts and crafts and home design. Although the various blue colors have always been popular, this spike has resulted in wide range of questions about different popular blue colors, especially for head to head comparisons.

Although we have already published a number of dedicated color comparisons, we have noticed more and more people reaching out about a dedicated phthalo blue vs cobalt blue comparison article. With so many people asking about phthalocyanine blue and cobalt blue, we have decided to publish this dedicated article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Our regular readers will be aware that we are huge fans of Cobalt Blue and feel that it is one of the best colors to have in your color collection. That said though, we are going to be totally fair in this article as phthalo blue is a very popular color in its own right and has a very large user base in the arts and crafts community.

Phthalo Blue Vs Cobalt Blue Comparison!

Phthalo Blue Top Left, Cobalt Blue Bottom Right.

Phthalo blue is a darker blue where as cobalt blue is a regular blue with both offering solid versatility when mixed with other colors. Both colors are widely available and usually retail at around the same price per tube of paint for each color.

Although Prussian blue is probably the most popular dark blue paint on the market right now, Phthalo Blue is a very close second that has a huge following that is growing at a rapid pace. Phthalo blue is a great option for mixing with lighter colors if you want them to end up with a blue tint after the mixing process due to it being so dark.

On the flip side of that, Cobalt Blue is more of a regular blue that offers an absolute ton of versatility when mixed with other colors. Cobalt blue works very well as a stand alone color but due to its relatively neutral color of not being too dark or light, it goes well with a large number of other colors.

The Phthalo Blue Color!

Due to the dark shade of Phthalo Blue making it a dominant blue, it doesn’t offer as much versatility as cobalt blue due to it usually overpowering the majority of other colors you mix it with. Depending on exactly what you are doing, this can work to your favour as it is an excellent option for tinting other colors with a nice blue.

If you do need a dark blue for your paint palette then phthalo blue is a great option due to it being widely available as well as cheap. Some of the other dark blues need a rare pigment to give it the deep blue color that is similar to phthalo blue pushing their prices up helping to score phthalo blue even more points over other dark blue.

If you are working on a piece of artwork that needs a dark blue then phthalo blue can be a solid option due to its consistency across brands. Some of the other dark blues can change quiet drastically from brand to brand but phthalo blue tends to be very close to the same color no matter what brand you use for your paint tube.

The Cobalt Blue Color!

Although there are some very popular blues in North America and Europe, Cobalt Blue does tend to be one of, if not the most popular blue with the majority of artists. This is due to cobalt blue being so easy to find while it is also cheap and offering you so much versatility when mixed with other colors.

Unlike phthalo blue that overwhelms so many other colors due to it being so dark, cobalt blue is great for mixing into other solid colors rather than mixing to get a tint. This helps to score cobalt blue a huge number of points over some of the other blues out there that are either too dark or too light for use in that way.

Although you can use cobalt blue to easily make your own darker blues if needed, the more popular dark blues such as phthalo blue and Prussian blue do tend to be hard to duplicate exactly by mixing colors. This is due to their unique pigments giving them a unique look so if you do want a specific dark blue then picking up a specific tube of that particular paint can be worth it.

What Is The Difference Between Phthalo Blue And Cobalt Blue?

The obvious difference between phthalo blue and cobalt blue is that phthalo blue is considerably darker than cobalt blue. Unlike some other colors, the difference is obvious and easy to see with the human eye making it very easy to see the difference between the two.

Both colors do offer you some levels of versatility due to working well when mixed with other colors in different ways. Cobalt blue tends to be a better option to mix with colors to make a whole new color where as phthalo blue tends to be better to add a blue tint as it is so dark that phthalo blue will usually quickly overwhelm the other colors.

Unlike some of the other colors that we see people asking for comparisons between, both phthalo blue and cobalt blue are a very similar price to each other too. This increases the chances that our readers will be able to add both options to their paint collection without issues with their budget where as some other blue paint colors can be much more expensive due to the required pigment for them.

Should You Use Phthalo Blue Or Cobalt Blue?

If you are a beginner then we would recommend that you add Cobalt Blue to your collection over a tube of Phthalo Blue. This is due to the additional versatility that it offers you when being able to mix with more colors to get a wider range of results.

If you are a more experienced painter and already have a decent blue in your collection while also having the budget available you can choose to add a dark blue such as phthalo blue too. Many of the dark blues tend to be hard to duplicate due to their unique pigments used and the colors they deliver so having a decent dark blue in your collection tends to be a good option.

The actual task at hand and your goals for the specific piece of artwork that you are working on will also come into play. It may need a normal blue or a dark blue to get the most out of your painting and get the best possible end result so you have to factor things like that in too.


That brings our phthalo blue vs cobalt blue comparison article to an end and we hope that you have found it helpful. Thankfully, both of the featured blue colors tend to be very popular options so you can easily find plenty of examples of paintings that use them online to see how other artists have used the colors.

This helps to make it easy for you to get a good idea of what you can expect out of the color when you use it in your own artwork. In our opinion though, the majority of our readers will be making a good choice to ensure they have a tube of cobalt blue in their paint collection before they look to add phthalo blue.