Cobalt Blue Watercolor – All You Need to Know 2023

For artists, the choice of color is essential in creating a unique and compelling work of art. Every color has its unique characteristics that can evoke different emotions and moods. Cobalt Blue has found its place in the artist’s palette is versatile and vibrant. In this article, we will explore this color’s use and significance in the art world, providing insights into why it continues to be a popular choice among artists.

Cobalt Blue by different brands

Find 5 manufacturer(s) of watercolors below. We’ve also compiled a list of our favorite art supplies here.

Cobalt Blue  – Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Cobalt Blue

Cobalt Blue is a clean blue pigment. It was discovered in 1802 by French chemist Louis Thénard as an alternative pigment to the expensive Lapis Lazuli blue pigment.

Color No.: 178Lightfastness:I – ExcellentOpacity:Semi-Transparent
Staining: Granulation: Sizes: 5ml tubes; 14ml tubes; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Cobalt Blue  – Rembrandt

Watercolor Cobalt Blue
Color No.: 511Lightfastness:Opacity:Semi-transparent
Staining: Granulation: Sizes: Tube 10 ml

Manufacturer website

Cobalt Blue (Ultramarine)  – Rembrandt

Watercolor Cobalt Blue (Ultramarine)
Color No.: 512Lightfastness: Opacity:Semi-transparent
Staining: Granulation: Sizes: Tube 10 ml

Manufacturer website

Cobalt Blue (Ultramarine)  – Van Gogh

Watercolor Cobalt Blue (Ultramarine)
Color No.: 512Lightfastness: Opacity: Transparent
Staining: Granulation: Sizes: Tube 10 ml

Manufacturer website

Cobalt Blue Deep  – Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Cobalt Blue Deep
Color No.: 180Lightfastness: Opacity: Semi-Transparent
Staining: Granulation:Granulation Sizes: 5ml tubes; 14ml tubes; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Tips when choosing colors

When it comes to choosing colors for watercolor painting, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, consider the color wheel and how different colors interact with each other. Understanding complementary colors, warm and cool tones, and color harmonies can help you create dynamic and visually appealing artworks. Additionally, think about the subject matter and the mood you want to convey. For example, if you are painting a landscape, you may want to choose greens and blues for a calming and natural feel. Lastly, experiment with different brands and pigments to find colors that suit your style and technique. Remember, the color choices you make can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your artwork, so take your time and choose wisely.

Also read, watercolor essentials to see which colors are essential

History of Cobalt Blue

Cobalt Blue is a classic watercolor tone that is prized for its bright, pure color and its ability to create a range of blues, from pale sky blue to deep navy. The color is made from a synthetic pigment that was first developed in the early 19th century by the French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard. Thénard discovered that by heating cobalt salts with alumina, he could create a bright blue pigment that was much less expensive than other blue pigments like ultramarine.

Cobalt Blue quickly became popular with artists, who appreciated its bright color and versatility. It is often used to paint water, skies, and other natural elements, as well as for creating shadows and adding depth to paintings. Cobalt Blue is also known for its lightfastness, which means that it is resistant to fading over time.

Today, Cobalt Blue is still a popular watercolor tone among artists of all levels. It is widely available from many different manufacturers and is often included in basic watercolor sets.

Fun fact: Cobalt Blue was used by the famous French Impressionist painter Claude Monet in many of his paintings, including his iconic series of water lilies. Monet was known for his use of color and light, and Cobalt Blue was one of his favorite colors to use in his paintings.

How watercolor paint is made

Watercolor paint is typically made from a few simple ingredients:

  • pigments
  • binders
  • water
Watercolor manaufacturing

The pigments used in watercolor paints can be organic or inorganic compounds, such as minerals or synthetic chemicals. These pigments are finely ground and then mixed with a binder, which helps the pigment particles adhere to the paper when the paint is applied.

The most common binder used in watercolor paints is gum arabic, a natural resin extracted from the sap of the acacia tree. Gum arabic is mixed with the pigment to create a thick paste, which is then combined with water to create the final paint.

Other additives may be added to the paint to improve its performance or create specific effects. For example, some watercolor paints may include wetting agents to help the paint spread more evenly on the paper, or preservatives to extend the paint’s shelf life.

Testing newly made watercolor paint
Testing newly made watercolor paint

Watercolor paints are available in a wide range of colors and textures, from transparent washes to opaque and granulated pigments. Different
manufacturers may use slightly different formulations or ingredients in their paints, which can affect the quality and performance of the paint.

If you’re interested in learning about other colors, check out our pages on Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Antwerp Blue, and Prussian Blue, which provide in-depth information on these colors and their various shades.

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