View Full Version : The Merits of Grumbacher's Oil Thalo Blue

12-17-2001, 09:00 AM
(Or other oil blues that are made from Phtalocyanine pigment and known by other names by other manufacturers.)

In comparison to other oil blues:

1. It is very transparent so you can add it to other colors...clean

2. It is not too slow or fast drying.

3. It is extremely potent so it goes a long way.

4. It is the darkest of blues so you can make many tints.

5. It is very intense so when mixed with white it remains bright.

6. It makes great grays when mixed with oranges, burnt sienna, or burnt umber.

7. Makes a great luminous rich dark tone when mixed with Burnt Umber and Alizarin Crimson.

12-17-2001, 03:24 PM
Just wondering if anyone else had any other great features or thought about Thalo blue?

12-17-2001, 03:32 PM

I thought of one other thing that happens when I use Thalo Blue.... my brush gets stained and it looks dirty .... even when I know that I have cleaned it well. Don't worry if this happens to you...your brush is clean, it's just the nature of Thalo to do that. Alizarin Crimson and Prussian Blue wil also stain brushes...especially if they are white. :)

12-17-2001, 04:22 PM
I have Grumbacher MAX 'thalo blue'. It's the "PB15" version...about halfway between green shade and red shade. This is the only phthalo blue in the MAX series, and I think it's the only phthalo blue Grumbacher offers in any of its 3 lines of oil paints. I don't like this, because most people use phthalo blue as their greenish blue, so if they offered only one, I'd like it to be the green shade version. But the hue difference is not that much.

I also noticed it is VERY difficult to clean from the brush...I literally spend 5 minutes cleaning the brush with saop & water, and blue keeps coimng out, so I just say "heck with it, this is as clean as I can get it".

My biggest use for pthalo blue is for water/ocean scenes and for the cyan-colored sky near the horizon. In fact I just might post an
ocean scene I made with that color in the landscapes forum in the next few days. But theis is a color I haven't yet really had time to explore much. I usually base my shadows upon ultramarine blue or diox. purple, but I definitley
will try thalo blue instead...from what I've seen this gives an eerie, ghost-like effect.

12-17-2001, 07:35 PM
I'm a big thalo blue fan too. I use it in greens especially in distant trees.
For water and sky, I prefer currelean blue and Ultramarine Blue.

12-17-2001, 07:46 PM
Pthalocyanine blue is the modern replacement for Prussian blue, which is said to darken badly with age. However, I believe the modern versions of Prussian have eliminated this tendency. I prefer the older Prussian blue, which has all the same properties, and has a more earthy character in mixtures. Thalo seems to me to be too steely. Both have very strong tinting strength, but I'm not sure that is an advantage. Afterall, having one color that is so strong makes it difficult to handle in mixtures and it essentially can't be used by itself. Grumbacher calls it Thalo, but this color is available in all paint makers, most use a proprietary name like Winsor Blue.

BTW using a little Viridian green in the sky mixture is also a nice touch.

01-01-2002, 11:12 AM
I'm still not sure if I like pthalo blue or ultramarine blue better. The pthalo is capable of mixing brighter colors than you can with any metal compound based pigment. But it is kind of tricky using the phtalo blue because it's so overpowering and can act funny in mixtures.

Because of the bright color of pthalo blue, it's the only blue you need, you can mix anything with it from the brightest blues, the the dullest. And the tube lasts forever because you usally don't need to use much.

And btw, the Grumbacher Max Thalo Blue plus burnt sienna does not create a gray, it makes a grayish green. A slight bit of Grumbacher Thalo Violet (really quinicridone) has to be added to the mix to get it gray.

cobalt fingers
01-05-2002, 11:32 AM
I can't believe none of you mentioned how weird it is that THALO's; all hues, seem to WANT to be on your sleeve when you leave the studio and are then transported all over your home and car.

Beyond this important aspect, I think it is important that painters REALIZE THE SPECIFIC traits of each tube color and use NOT Favorites...

01-05-2002, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by cobalt fingers
I can't believe none of you mentioned how weird it is that THALO's; all hues, seem to WANT to be on your sleeve when you leave the studio and are then transported all over your home and car.

that is so true! everytime i leave my atelier i always have some thalo that i find somewhere on me that i didn't see or know about. and its usually on the inside of my elbo...how did that happen???

any theories tim..lol!