W&N PR206 discontinued and other ASTM pigments

dewalddewald -
edited January 20 in General Discussion
Firstly. I've have noticed the PR206 pigment (Permanent Alizarin Crimson) used by W&N and which is part of the DMP recommended 'supply list' will be dropped in favor of PR179. Not sure if that has any ramifications for our users, and if Mark will recommend something else.

My question however is with regards to the ASTM pigment list. How in the world do people get to learn, experiment and understand each pigment AND remember their codes? I find it mind boggling. Is there some system or order which I don't understand? I've noticed some people only refer to the pigments used by their codes when describing their pallets. I'm sure over a couple of years one might 'get it', but I'm hoping for some structure which will make it easier for me today.

Lastly. Here is an interesting 'online mixer' I've found by Golden Artist Colors to learn their colors, but not really what I'm after. https://www.goldenpaints.com/mixer

Hope everyone has a good weekend!


  • dewald

    There is so much to say about this topic.

    The ten series prefixes and numbers refer to a specific pigment. However, manufacturers apply names that are usually unhelpful in finding a colour. The prefix/number scheme refers to a database.
    Here is an example: http://www.artiscreation.com/red.html#PR223. Here we can see new, old and discontinued pigments, even unnumbered pigments along with characteristics and historical notes.

    The use of the prefix/number scheme printed on the tube allows us to get our favourite colour regardless of brand and to be able to reject hues comprising multi pigments.

    Using a restricted palette means we only need half a dozen numbers, so not a huge effort.

  • edited January 20
    Interesting post, @dewald. I agree that it is confusing. But it's better to learn the numbers for the limited number of pigments that we use most often, rather than to rely on color names. This is because different manufactures can use different names for paint containing the same or similar pigments. And "Hues" are a total morass. At least if we remember the 10 or 12 codes for the basic pigments, when we pick up a tube of say, Langridge's Cadmium green, we'll know that it is a hue made of Cadmium yellow PY35 and Ultramarine blue PB29.  Both very respectable pigments but, until I understood the codes, I thought it was made of just cadmium because it is called Cadmium green.  Other manufactures might call it something else but these codes, printed on the tube labels of respectable brands, will tell us what's actually in it and will help us decide whether it's worth buying or whether we could mix it ourselves more cheaply from basic pigments. The codes are a more systematic/scientific way of understanding pigments and, as @dencal says, if we are using Mark's limited palette, there's aren't that many of them to learn.  :)

    BTW, that's a great link, Denis.
  • Hey Denis :) Thats the other thing I've noticed. This PR206 seems to be discontinued across the industry. Its not just W&N. So yea would like to see a list where those pigments are listed as well.

    I'm aware of the prefixes, but those numbering system is a bit greek to me.

    Thanks for that link. Appreciate it.
  • dewald

    Do a word search in that database. Alizarin is listed 99 times.
    The numbers are a sequential register. Lead White is PW1, Zinc PW4 and Titanium PW6. Seems there are 33 varieties of white pigments in commercial use.


  • Over time I found after a lot of reading on the subject that I could remember many of the codes for the pigments we use. If we are interested in something it's easier to learn anyway.. :)
  • Hey DMPers - please consider contributing a few dollars to the artiscreation site. It is free, is a labor of love by the individual who owns it, and is a wonderful resource open to everyone. I have learned so much just by reading through color sections. I give $10/year and it hasn't broken the Bank of DesertSky yet. 
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