Phthalo Green

Phthalo Green – All About the Greenish-Blue Pigment

If you are not an artist, you might be wondering what phthalo green is. Never mind the color, how do you even pronounce the name, and where does the name come from? You might also be interested in what colors go with phthalo green. In this article, we hope to cover these questions among others, so that you can obtain a better understanding of the phthalo green color!



What Color Is Phthalo Green?

Phthalo green can come in different forms, the main one is as a powder pigment, and the other is as a graphic color you will see on your computer screen. In both cases, it can be described as a dark bluish-green, which leans more toward a green undertone. This also makes it a cool color, similar to many shades of blue and green. The synthetic green pigment is known as Phthalocyanine Green G and comes from a group of phthalocyanine dyes and can also be referred to as Pigment Green 7 (PG7) and Copper Phthalocyanine Green, among others.

The pigment is a soft green powder that is insoluble in water and does not pose any health problems. It is a high-intensity color pigment that is used in oil as well as acrylic paints, and other applications.

What color is phthalo green? In the table below, you have an example of the graphic phthalo blue, which can be described as a dark cyan color. You will also notice the color proportions in the specific RGB color code, which uses red, green, and blue as the primary colors. As for the pronunciation, it is not too difficult. The only slight difference is the pronunciation in different parts of the world. For example, it sounds like “thelo” in British English, while when pronounced in American English, it sounds more like “thaylo”.

Phthalo Green shades

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Phthalo Green#12352466, 0, 32, 7918, 53, 36 



Phthalo Green: A Brief History

The word “phthalo” is a shortened version of the word Phthalocyanine, which is the copper-based, synthetic greenish-blue pigment. Chemists began experimenting with synthetic dyes in the mid-1800s. The phthalo green pigment was only developed during the 1930s and became quite popular among artists for its intense hue and versatile applications. Before synthetic dyes or pigments, artists did not have many choices when it came to blue-green colors. Most of these pigments were expensive, unstable, and harmful to your health.

A lot of pigments contained dangerous substances like arsenic. So, when a beautiful synthetic green hue was created, posing no health risks, and producing more stable results, of course, it will become popular.

What Color is Phthalo Green

Today, it remains a widely used color, due to its versatility and vibrance. Phthalo green is used in a large variety of industries, including printing and textiles. The color is also used in oil paints, acrylic paints, inks, various coatings, and even plastics. It is also added into some cosmetics and a few tattoo products. One of the more well-known uses of phthalo green in art is the oil painting known as Alchemy (1947), which was done by the American artist, Jackson Pollock. He was known for his form of abstract expressionism, and in this painting, he uses a pouring or drip technique onto the canvas.


Meaning of Phthalo Green

All colors have psychological reactions, which means they can evoke certain emotions, and even produce physical changes. Sometimes, these effects can be produced by the intensity of a color, or it can be due to various cultural influences and experiences people have in their lives. Green, in general, is seen as a color that is directly associated with all things natural. Think green leaves and forests, which also makes it a color that is refreshing and tranquil.

Since the phthalo green color is a synthetic pigment, you could associate it with innovation. And since many artists love using color, it also symbolizes creativity.

Dark Phthalo Green

Darker green hues do tend to have more negative associations, such as envy, greed, or love of money. However, it can also represent fertility, abundance, and drive or purpose. Darker shades can also be seen as having a soothing effect. The lighter shades of green have more positive associations, but too much green in all cases can evoke feelings of isolation and stagnation. Greens with yellow undertones can also sometimes be associated with illness. So, balancing out the use of green, and accompanying it with other colors, can help to produce a more appealing effect.



Different Phthalo Shades and Tones

The color that is very similar to phthalo green is Viridian, which is a little duller and not as intense as phthalo green. It also has more of a bluish undertone. There are also quite a few paint pigment color ranges that are similar, or include a bit of phthalo green in them, such as the following.

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

Below are examples of these pigments, but in their graphic forms. Each of them are separate colors that have their own identifying hex code. These might not appear as paint pigments but are as close as you can get. When it comes to phthalo pigments, you can get a bluish version, which is known as Phthalo Green BS. Phthalo green YS (PG36), which is a warmer version or “yellow shade”.

Light Phthalo Green

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Phthalo Green#12352466, 0, 32, 7918, 53, 36 
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Cadmium Green#006b3c100, 0, 44, 580, 107, 60 
Emerald Green#50c87860, 0, 40, 2280, 200, 120 
Permanent Green#25442f46, 0, 31, 7337, 68, 47 
Sap Green#507d2a36, 0, 66, 5180, 125, 42 
Hooker Green#49796b40, 0, 12, 5373, 121, 107 
Chrome Green#36422f18, 0, 29, 7454, 66, 47 



Phthalo Green Color Combinations

All colors can be represented on a color wheel, where you can then determine the best color combination. There are quite a few phthalo shades you can choose from, but most of them can be paired with similar colors. The easiest color combination you can try is a monochromatic color palette, which uses various shades and tints of the same color. So, you simply choose darker or light versions of your chosen color. Phthalo green also goes well with neutral hues, such as white, black, and gray Below we take a look at some of the more popular color combinations.


Complementary Colors

These colors are positioned on opposing ends of the color wheel and when they are placed alongside each other, they stand out. In this case, it is dark pink, but you can use other shades of pink or red that can also work. For example, a dusty pink. Red and green can easily be associated with Christmas, so it is important to pair them properly.

In a design, the trick is to use the colors wisely, so that they do not overpower the look.

Heavy Phthalo Green

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Phthalo Green#12352466, 0, 32, 7918, 53, 36 
Dark Pink#3512230, 66, 34, 7953, 18, 35 
Dusty Pink#d68b940, 35, 31, 16213, 138, 148 


Analogous Color Combinations

Analogous colors are all neighbors on the color wheel and form a more pleasant color combination. They also share similar characteristics, and in this case, are other shades of blue-green, green, and blue.  For example, turquoise, forest green, and navy blue.

Mixed Phthalo green

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Phthalo Green#12352466, 0, 32, 7918, 53, 36 
Turquoise#30d5c877, 0, 6, 1648, 213, 200 
Forest Green#228b2276, 0, 76, 4534, 139, 34 
Navy#000080100, 100, 0, 500, 0, 128 


Triadic Color Combinations

This color combination can be a bit tricky, as it involves three colors. The best way to handle this is to choose your base color and then use the other two colors as supportive colors or accents. Interior designers implement the 60, 30, 10 rule to help create a balanced color scheme. You can create a pretty vibrant color combination with phthalo green, together with various shades of orange and violet.

Purple or violet and green work wonderfully together, while orange brings a bit more energy and warmth to the mix. You can play around with different shades but consider a dark violet and a lighter shade of orange.

Shades of Phthalo Green

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Phthalo Green#12352466, 0, 32, 7918, 53, 36 
Dark Violet#5b248934, 74, 0, 4691, 36, 137 
Pastel Orange#fbb1440, 29, 73, 2251, 177, 68 



Can You Mix Phthalo Green Acrylic Paint?

It is best to get yourself a tube of phthalo green, as you might not get the same effects if you decide to try and mix a blue and yellow. Some would say that it is impossible to get similar properties, intensity, and translucency that are offered by the phthalo pigments. However, you can experiment with different yellow and blue paints. For example, cadmium yellow light and phthalo blue or Prussian blue.

Some of the main popular artist green pigments include phthalo green PG7 and PG36, which can produce a range of color mixtures.

Tints of Phthalo Green

This can be more subtle greens and transparent mixtures, or stronger and more vibrant and opaque greens. For example, using phthalo green and Hansa yellow light or medium can produce a variety of green shades, and provides a “chalky” tint. The pigments are quite versatile, and you can also create warmer or cooler mixes, depending on what phthalo green you use.



Phthalo Green Interior Designs

The more traditional phthalo green wall paint color has a deep blue undertone that has a light-absorbing quality. However, depending on the paint manufacturer, phthalo green can range from deep green to a brighter, almost spring green. Phthalo green might not be the first color that jumps to mind when considering wall paint, but there are many ways you can use the color in the home.


Bathroom Ideas

Phthalo green is a cool color that is a perfect fit for a bathroom space. The green color brings in a sense of tranquility and freshness. However, since the darker version of phthalo green can absorb light, it is best to bring in the color as an accent wall or wall tile in the shower, so as not to overwhelm the space.

You can also consider green shower curtains, towels, or bathmats.

Phthalo Green Hue


Bedroom Ideas

Green is a naturally calming color that reminds you of green leaves and nature, so the bedroom is another space that can use phthalo green. Make sure there is enough natural light in the room if you are going to go all out, or for a smaller room, an accent wall is always a good choice.  The green color can also add more drama and a little color to a neutral-themed bedroom, using cushions, bedding, rugs, or a green headboard.


Kitchen Ideas

Since phthalo green can be a bit overwhelming when used as your base color, consider bringing it in as an accent. In the kitchen, you can use green tiles, or add a green backsplash. Consider painting the cabinets a phthalo green. This will be evened out by combining the phthalo green with white and natural light wood flooring.

If you can find accessories, such as kettles, pots, kitchen chairs, or mugs, this would also look amazing.

Phthalo Green Palette


Living Room Ideas

Living areas tend to be larger and usually have plenty of natural light, so phthalo green can be a wonderful addition. However, work carefully, as the color can make a space feel dark and closed in. You can go all out and paint all the walls, however, phthalo green works amazingly as an accent color. Again, try cushions, throws, or rugs to add color. Do not forget, you can also add pops of color with shades of orange or pink.

To create a more harmonious color palette, neutral colors like white and gray, or beige are perfect to create more depth and interest.

Hues of Phthalo Green


Outdoor Ideas

Painting your whole house with a phthalo-type green may not be the best option. However, it can be used effectively on window shutters, fences, front doors, and patios. With the variety of shades you can get, phthalo green can be easily incorporated into your home, both inside and outside.


The creation of synthetic colors like phthalo green has provided artists with a safer and easier way to create beautiful artwork. The amazing color also inspires artists today, as it can produce a wide range of useful color blends. It is also a bit of a lesser-known color that can be used to create some intriguing color schemes for the home. Hopefully, you now have a fuller understanding of the phthalo color and how to use it!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Is Phthalo Green?

Phthalo green can be described as an intense and dark bluish-green or cyan. However, you also get different phthalo shades, from the darker versions all the way to the lighter and brighter varieties.


What Can You Use Instead of Phthalo Green Paint?

You can try mixing the color using different yellow and blue paints to create a variety of green shades. However, the closest color to phthalo green is viridian, which is a less intense hue.


What Does Phthalo Mean?

Phthalo is a word that is used to refer to certain pigments, which are all in the same family of synthetic blue and green pigments that are variations of copper phthalocyanine. This is a deep blue substance, which is created by the reaction of ammonia, copper, urea, and phthalic anhydride.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “Phthalo Green – All About the Greenish-Blue Pigment.” Art in Context. September 5, 2023. URL:

Lewis, C. (2023, 5 September). Phthalo Green – All About the Greenish-Blue Pigment. Art in Context.

Lewis, Charlene. “Phthalo Green – All About the Greenish-Blue Pigment.” Art in Context, September 5, 2023.

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