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Fugitive Colour

You may have heard artists call certain colours "fugitive colours". If you're not familiar with the term, let us enlighten you.

What is Fugitive Colour?

You may have heard people saying they won't use certain colours because they are fugitive. In this article, we’ll explain exactly what is meant by a fugitive colour, how to identify which colours are fugitive and why some artists seek to avoid it. Fugitive Colour is a colour that is made from a pigment which is susceptible to fading or darkening over a short period of time, when exposed to natural UV light and other environmental factors like temperature and humidity. You can find lightfast information on all paint and colour products either on colour charts and, on the paint labels themselves.   


Modern manufacturing technique now allows for many fugitive colours to be replicated with close colour matches. For example, common fugitive colours such as Alizarin Crimson and Gamboge can be replaced with Permanent Alizarin Crimson or New Gamboge or Hue after the name. These colours offer a close colour match to the original colour but have higher lightfast ratings.  

six saa watercolour paint tubes in pink yellow blue red and green