A pigment is generally understood as a colored particle that is usually ground down to powder form to help distribute evenly and easily in a variety of uses. Pigments, unlike dyes, are insoluble in a liquid vehicle or binder. Colored or colorless pigment particles can be dyed to create a pigment lake, in which the resulting color is the combination of pigment and dye. Pigments can be used to make inks, paint, food, textiles and cosmetics.
NOTE: Pigments in powder form are more easily inhaled and thus are dangerous to handle. Many pigments listed here are extremely toxic and poisonous if ingested, inhaled or come in contact with skin. Research each material carefully before EVEN ATTEMPTING to handle the pigment in dry or liquid form.
- black (from plant material) - derived from charred wood, twigs, pits, nut shells, etc.
- ivory/bone black - derived from charred animal bone and/or ivory
- lamp black - derived from the soot of burning linseed oil
- azurite - a blue mineral. An acceptable modern equivalent would be cobalt blue.
- ultramarine - lapis lazuli, a blue rock. An acceptable modern equivalent would be (artificial) ultramarine blue.
- terre-verte - a green mineral. The English name for this pigment is green earth.
- cinabrese - a red rock, a red ochre. An acceptable modern equivalent would be red iron oxide.
- dragonsblood - derived from the gum of an unspecified Asian tree.
- hematite - a red rock, a red ochre.
- realgar - red arsenic sulfide.
- red lead - lead tetroxide.
- sinoper - a red rock, a red ochre. An acceptable modern equivalent would be red iron oxide.
- vermilion - mercuric sulfide. An acceptable modern equvalent would be cadmium red light.
- lead white - lead carbonate.
- lime white - white derived from limestone.
- ocher - a yellow rock, a yellow ochre.
- orpiment - arsenic sulfide. An acceptable modern equivalent would be cadmium yellow.
- saffron - derived from the saffron plant