The pigment content is remarkably high in the Charbonnel colours in order to provide good colouring power even after dilution in the Charbonnel white transparent base.


Charbonnel inks are more or less easy to wipe depending on their viscosity and the pigment used.

Some blacks are difficult to wipe due to their high poise rate. All the colours contain a 30 poise stand oil. Some shades such as Prussian blue are difficult to wipe because of their pigment. The wiping can be improved by adding a little linseed oil to the shade before applying it to and heating the plate (mainly in winter).


The consistency of Charbonnel colours is identical; from the new 60ml tube to the 400ml pot. The consistency of a Charbonnel intaglio ink colour is measured by its viscosity which will vary slightly depending on the pigment used and for the blacks according to the viscosity.

The adhesion and thickness of an ink can be reduced by adding linseed oil which will make wiping easier.

The thickness of the ink can also be reduced with 30 or 60 stand oil. In this case the ink will remain thick (useful if the ink is wiped too easily). If the ink is thought to be too fluid, the user may add a white transparent base.


The intaglio colours are like oil colours, they dry by oxidation. However because the thickness of an ink in an engraving is generally less than for an oil painting, it will take less time to dry. In addition, paper absorbs more paint than a canvas. You should allow about two weeks for the paint to dry thoroughly.


The opacity or transparency of a Charbonnel colour will vary depending on the pigment used. This characteristic is very important for the creation of work with several plates. An opaque colour applied on a transparent colour will not have at all the same effect as, for example, two transparent colours applied on each other.


All colours can be mixed with all other colours


Charbonnel colours can be kept for years in their boxes or tubes. If the greaseproof paper which is placed on the paint in the boxes is damaged, it should be replaced by another to prevent the upper layer of the paint drying.