Owning hip out of gamut pigment will make me cooler than you
August 31, 2009 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Can I buy International Klein Blue pigment/paint? If so, where, and what form would it come in?

I'd be interested in painting a few things this color. Notably a bike or as part of a pattern, but most likely with an airbrush or spray can, However I'll take anything I can get
posted by Large Marge to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A bit of Persian blue mixed with synthetic ultramarine would be virtually indistinguishable. Automobile parts stores will scan
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2009

Automobile parts stores will scan a color patch and match it in a spray can.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2009

International Klein Blue has been described as ultramarine in a synthetic resin base, which is supposed to allow it to shine through more brilliantly than natural oil or watercolor binders. Ultramarine is a relatively expensive pigment, generic name Pigment Blue 29. If you take a sample of ultramarine blue to the paint store, they can mix a paint of similar hue, but it will lack the brilliance of true ultramarine; colors mixed to order typically contain cheaper, less brilliant pigments. If you want the full brilliance of International Klein blue, you should look for an artists' acrylic paint made with the true pigment (whether natural or synthetic), or make it yourself by buying powdered ultramarine, and suspending it in a synthetic acrylic binder yourself.
posted by Ery at 1:04 PM on August 31, 2009

Some people suggest that International Klein Blue is a mixture of ultramarine and cobalt suspended in the resin. I don't know what the actual answer is: what Klein patented was not the color but the means of suspending it, so that doesn't help.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2009

If you do get a custom mix, remember that it has to have a flat, matte finish (NOT glossy!) for it to look right.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2009

If you do decide to use pigments and mix it yourself, you might want to pick up a copy of Ralph Mayer's book: The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques: Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated (Artists' Handbook of Materials and Techniques). It is pretty much the bible as far as these things go. Plus, it is just plain fascinating.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:02 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

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