Lapis Lazuli Pigment

Bring out the true meaning of art

What is Natural Ultramarine Pigment (Lapis Lazuli Pigment)?

A natural ultramarine pigment is a mineral inorganic pigment that is obtained from the precious stone Lapis Lazuli, which is harvested from the highest quality mines in Afghanistan.

Why use Lapis Lazuli Pigment?

Natural ultramarine is the painters dream; the natural ultramarine pigment with its crystalline structure and multiple surfaces reflects light like a finely faceted jewel thereby exhibiting ever changing display of rich vibrant blues. This creates a three dimensional, gem like effect which is not at all possible with a very small, round and homogenous shaped particles of thesynthetic ultramarine pigment.

  1. Compare the reflection of light from the larger & heterogeneous shaped particles of natural Lapis pigment to the small same sized and shaped particles of synthetic ultramarine; the lapis pigment particles are far more transparent allowing more light to pass through them also allowing greater reflection of light. While synthetic pigment particles do not allow much light to pass through them absorbing most of it and reflecting little.
  2. The lapis pigment is a gemstone pigment therefore its particles act as finely faceted jewels reflecting light giving a crystalline glitter to the painting; synthetic ultramarine is a chemical pigment, its particles  are round and small they cannot reflect light like natural ultramarine.
  3. As lapis pigment allows more light to pass through it so the layer of paint underneath it receives more light and becomes more luminous; synthetic pigment do not allow much light to pass through therefore the paint layer underneath it is not illuminated.
  4. As shown in the diagram ,there is far greater and better transmission of color from the layer underneath lapis paint layer than that of synthetic paint layer; also the color reflected through lapis layer is brighter and more vibrant than the dull shade of color transmitted through synthetic pigment.

The natural ultramarine has a high stability to light and records have shown a painting 500 yrs old which has as pure and intense a blue color as freshly painted. It is suitable for every medium, equally excellent with oils, water and egg tempera. Ultramarine is well suited to make works of art more distinguished and alive with its gemstone energy.

Techniques in which it can be used in oil paintings:

  • With ultramarine pigment mixed in oil you can paint wet on wet (i.e. mix paint both on the palette and the canvas)
  • Layered (apply a layer of ultramarine paint once the previous has dried)
  • Glaze – ideally suited for glaze (you can work with very thin transparent layers)
  • Blending – it can be blended with any colour, giving smooth and velvety brush strokes. It imparts luminosity to every color it is blended with.
 For  Water color technique
Lapis pigment is equally splendid for water colors, mixing it with a little gum Arabic ,it yields smooth brush strokes and can be mixed with any color.
For Egg Tempera technique
Mix the pigment with little water(optional)and egg yolk and apply it for egg tempera painting,also a little linseed oil can be added to make egg oil emulsion paints ,good for impasto.
Whatever technique you choose to use, ultramarine pigment is the ideal choice.As its hue,chroma,or  value do not alter with time,it is resistant to changes in temperature and weather.

How to make Lapis Lazuli Pigment Oil Paint

Step 1

Gather Material

Step 5

Mix well forming a thick putty

Step 2

Add pigment in a bowl

Step 6

Thoroughly mix the pigment with oil

Step 3

Add few drops of linseed oil

Step 7

Mix until the right color is reached, add more oil if needed

Step 2

With a knife, mix the mixture

Step 8

Viola! The pigment is ready to Rock

Famous Painting Made From Lapis Lazuli Pigment

The Girl with Pearl Earring

Woman with the Water Jug

The Milkmaid

The Allegory of Faith