Lately there has been a LOT of buzz around powdered watercolors/dyes lately- products like ColorBurst, Brusho, and Magical have all been on the “hot” list this summer. But recently a reader asked, “What is the difference between Pearl Ex/ Perfect Pearls and Brusho (or another of the above.) While they are both powdered color, they are not the same. Some are powdered DYES, while others are PIGMENT powders.
The main difference is that one is a DYE and the other a PIGMENT. Want the Wiki definitions?
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and may require a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber.
Both dyes and pigments are colored because they absorb some wavelengths of light more than others. In contrast to dyes, pigments are insoluble and have no affinity for the substrate.
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.
Pigments are used for coloring paint, ink, plastic, fabric, cosmetics, food and other materials. Most pigments used in manufacturing and the visual arts are dry colorants, usually ground into a fine powder. This powder is added to a binder (or vehicle), a relatively neutral or colorless material that suspends the pigment and gives the paint its adhesion.
A distinction is usually made between a pigment, which is insoluble in its vehicle (resulting in a suspension), and a dye, which either is itself a liquid or is soluble in its vehicle (resulting in a solution). A colorant can act as either a pigment or a dye depending on the vehicle involved.
So what does this mean in a practical sense? Take a look at this 5-minute video, and I’ll SHOW you.
Want to see those examples again?
I’ll take a few more photos after they dry. What do you think?
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