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Holbein Paste Pigments

Holbein Paste Pigments

Richard Steiner, who received the Moku Hanga teacher name Tosai, worked with Holbein in Japan to develop this line of pure paste pigments. The colors were chosen to resemble the palette used for 18th and 19th century Japanese Ukiyo-e prints.

Traditionally, Moku Hanga printmakers make their own colors by mixing dry pigments with water and a small amount of alcohol as a dispersant. However dust from handling dry pigments can cause health problems. Paste pigments eliminate this concern while providing the same intense, concentrated colors that come from mixing your own.

Holbein Paste Pigments contain pure color pigments suspended in a base of water, wetting agent and dispersant. Because each pigment requires a different ratio of base ingredients, the amount of pure pigment in each bottle ranges from 30% to 70%. There are no fillers, binders (such as gum arabic) or toxic chemicals.

A very small amount of paste pigment goes a surprisingly long way. Mix a few drops into water until the desired tint is reached. Water also makes paste pigments more transparent.

Once Holbein Paste Pigments are completely dry, the ink is non-reversible. Store in air-tight containers and only mix as much as you need for the current project. Clean brushes immediately after printing.