Pigment Types and Properties
There are two types of pigments: organic or inorganic
. Each pigment types has distinct properties which, in the past, were used to distinguish one from the other. For example, organic pigments are traditionally transparent. However, modern manufacturing techniques are capable of imparting properties not previously associated with the chemical type: it is now possible to produce high opacity organic pigments.
The use of inorganic pigments dates back to the early cave paintings that are 30,000 years old. Although they occur naturally, for the manufacturing of paint they usually require modification. All white pigments are inorganic as are a wide range of colored pigments.
Organic pigments are relatively new. Although natural dyes have been precipitated on to inorganic bases (known as lakes) and used in artists' colors since the middle ages (e.g. madder lake and crimson lake), true organic pigments have only been known since the early years of the twentieth century. They divide in two sub-groups: one of vegetable and the other of animal origin.
Inorganic and Organic Pigments Properties