Alternatives for Manganese Blue PB33

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Manganese Blue is a semi-opaque green-blue granulating pigment. Production for this pigment discontinued, according to handprint.com, in early 1970s because the production process wasn’t good for the environment. So it’s almost impossible to buy this paint nowadays.

The tube I have was sent to me by Adeline, a viewer on my Youtube channel.


These are colour swatches for

  • DV Manganese Blue PB33 + PB15
  • DS Manganese Blue Hue PB15
  • DS Cerulean Blue PB35
  • DS Cerulean Blue Chromium PB36

You can click the picture above for a larger view.

Out of the four swatches, DS Manganese Blue Hue is the most vibrant, followed by DV Manganese Blue. Cerulean Blue Chromium would be a good alternative to Manganese Blue.

I’ve heard of the beautiful granulation of Manganese Blue but that’s not obvious here. It could be the paint or it could be the paper (coldpress paper from St Louis Art Supply #302 sketchbook).


Here’s a sketch painted with lots of Manganese Blue.


The paper here is Fabriano Artistico (100% cotton, coldpress). There is slightly more granulation.


The green was mixed with Hansa Yellow Medium PY97. Grays mixed with an earth pigment (can’t remember the name).


The purple here was mixed with Quinacridone Lilac PR122.

I was expecting more obvious colour separation but that’s not the case.

Anyway, this green-blue pigment is great for mixing vibrant purples/violets and yellow green. The tinting strength is considered low so you’ll have to use more paint to achieve the intensity, and that means using up the paint much faster.


Cerulean Blue Chromium PB36 is a good alternative to Manganese Blue. PB36 may not be as vibrant compared to PB33 but you can add some PB15:3 to it. Or just use Manganese Blue Hue PB15 and neutralise it slightly to look like the original Manganese.

What I like about Cerulean Blue Chromium is it’s a beautiful colour you can use straight from the tube. It can produce beautiful vibrant purple/violet and yellow greens. The granulation is beautiful and you can get colour separation very easily.


When you mix PB36 with a yellow, you can even produce a granulating green.

Manganese Blue is a nice colour, yes, but the alternatives are good options too, at more reasonable prices.

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Source: parkablogs.com

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