Colour Story: Phthalo Green

There are many green hues available in artists’ colours and one of the main contributing pigments is phthalo green (PG7 and PG36). This green is capable of producing a vast range of useful colour mixtures, from transparent, subtle natural colours to strong, opaque and brilliant ones. For this reason it has become the most popular green in use by artists today.

Phthalo green was introduced in 1938 and is a synthetic organic from the group of phthalocyanine dyestuffs. It is a soft green powder which is insoluble in water and poses no health hazards. Before its introduction, the only greens capable of equal brilliance were the original emerald greens which were opaque, more limited in their mixtures, harmful and much less permanent.

Though virtually all ranges include a pure phthalo green in some form, it is also the basis of many of the mixed greens in colour ranges. Examples include:

  • Permanent green
  • Cadmium green
  • Emerald green
  • Chrome green
  • Hooker’s green
  • Sap green

At Winsor & Newton we have different names for our phthalo greens. Since we began manufacturing this colour in the 1930s we have always called it Winsor Green in our Artist and Professional grade colour ranges.