The Vibrant and Moody 'Midnight Aqua' | A Must-Have Color for Every Watercolor Palette


In the world of art, color plays a vital role in expressing emotions and capturing the essence of a subject. Artists are always on the lookout for new shades and pigments that can elevate their work to new heights. One such color that is always part of my studio palette is PB16 Phthalo Blue. This synthetic inorganic pigment has left a lasting impression on artists due to its vibrant hue and moody undertones and has great mixing strength. PB16 Phthalo Blue has a fascinating history and captivating properties that elevates this pigment to a permanent seat in every artist palette. I feel that for my fellow artists who adore granulation and all the drama it offers to their art work, ‘Midnight Aqua’ with its many surprises will become an essential to any palette.

A Historical Discovery

The story of PB16 Phthalo Blue traces back to the early 18th century when Heinrich Diesbach stumbled upon iron blue, one of the first synthetic inorganic pigments. However, it wasn't until the 1930s that copper phthalocyanine blue, the precursor to PB16, was introduced. DuPont, an esteemed chemical company, played a pivotal role in producing this remarkable pigment under the trade name Monastral Blue in the USA. Its launch in Great Britain (ICI) and Germany (I.G. Farbenindustrie) occurred a few years prior, in 1935.

Vibrancy and Versatility

PB16 Phthalo Blue is celebrated for its unique qualities and versatile nature. Described as a lightfast, transparent, and heavily staining pigment, it offers artists a wide range of possibilities.

As a component along side a very refined version of PBK11, my newest watercolor “Midnight Aqua” has moderately dark to very dark value. When water is added, this color exudes a vibrancy that instantly catches the eye. When compared to the more somber yet also bold Prussian Blue, Phthalo Blue boasts a brighter reflection to the eye making it an excellent choice for creating bold and striking artworks.

Moody Granulation for Dramatic Effects

One of the exceptional features of my “Midnight Aqua” is its ability to create a moody granulation effect. When mixed with water, the pigment PBK11 ash granulates heavily, resulting in a misty appearance with dramatic undertones. This unique interplay of colors and textures adds depth and atmosphere to landscapes, backgrounds, and even deep ocean paintings.

Shades of Midnight Blue and Aqua Brilliance

“Midnight Aqua” truly showcases its versatility when used in different ways. In its mass tone, this mesmerizing color transforms into a deep and enchanting midnight blue, instantly evoking a sense of mystery and intrigue. On the other hand, when applied lightly or mixed with water, it radiates a brilliant aqua hue filled with luminosity and transparency. The interplay between the dark and vibrant shades offers artists an array of possibilities, making it an invaluable addition to their creative repertoire. This is a watercolor I can’t live without and much like my beloved Prussian Blue, it takes a solid seat in my palette.

Endless Artistic Possibilities

The appeal of “Midnight Aqua” lies in its ability to add drama to any painting. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, this color is a game-changer. I find it to be an excellent tool for capturing the intensity and emotions of water in motion, an evening sky or even a ridge of shadowed mountains. Its unique properties allow for the creation of artwork that truly stands out, leaving a lasting impression on both the artist and the viewer.

My newest release to Handmade Honeys Watercolor is Midnight Aqua'. Its vibrant yet moody nature, combined with its ability to granulate and create dramatic effects, makes it an invaluable addition to any watercolor palette. With its versatility and ability to add depth and atmosphere to artworks, this color will quickly become a favorite among artists of all levels. So, if you are looking to infuse your paintings with a touch of brilliance and drama, don't forget to include “Midnight Aqua” in your artistic arsenal. It's a hue that practically paints for you, offering an endless array of artistic possibilities. Shop here

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