Our Extrafine Handmade Watercolor Genuine Cochineal Lake is prepared with pure Cochineal Lake pigment. Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is an insect native to tropical and subtropical America producing carminic acid, a strongly red colored substance. Before the arrival of this insect in Europe, other insect were used producing similar substances. Nowadays cultivations of these insects exist: they live on some genus of cacti in Central and South America and in Canary Islands. We work the ones coming from livestocks in the Canary Islands. The pigment is obtained if the coloring matter of cochineal is fixed on a mineral base: a beautiful magenta lake is thus obtained. We craft it with the same process followed since centuries and use it to prepare this watercolor.
The Extrafine Handmade Watercolor Genuine Cochineal Lake is made in Italy by Nila Colori and is prepared with this pure pigment, is transparent and has a medium to low tinting strength.
Genuine Cochineal Lake pigment is milled with just the right amount of a mixture of Kordofan gum arabic (binder) and vegetable glycerin (humectant and plasticyzer). These are the ingredients which are historically the main characters in the production of the watercolors and which give the best results regarding ease and pleasantness of painting. We don’t add any filler or any other organic compound, which might alter the color over time.
Colouring agent: Carminic acid
Lightfastness: BWS 5/8