Vine Black- PBk8


Peach black or Vine black is a black color obtained from charred plant parts. The origin varies, some prefer to use old vines that were charred, others prefer stone fruit seeds such as peach (hence the name), willow trees also occur. If I may guess, the paint was first used when a Stone Age man picked up a tree stump from the fire and drew with it on the nearest rock.

Since Winsor & Newton ceased production of the color they called charcoal gray in 2005, there are not many major manufacturers of the paint. Only a few have it:

Old Holland (Vine black)

Rublev (German Vine Black)

Kremer (Cherry Black)

It is also possible to find small manufacturers that have the color, search Google for “Vine black watercolor” or “Peach black watercolor” but beware of the cheaters, for example ShinHan sells a color called Peach Black but which is actually aniline black, the same applies to Holbein who calls aniline black Peach Black. Michael Harding’s Vine Black is actually iron oxide black. The color name doesn’t seem to mean anything these days. Check the pigment, which should be PBk8, if you are unsure.

Vine Black is a very durable, quite transparent black with a warm tone. The color does not stain at all, it washes off the paper very easily, even when dry. It granulates very beautifully, it forms an even, small-dotted surface. Vine Black does not want to move in water at all, wet on wet works very poorly with this color.

Vine Black is not really black, it could rather be described as dark grey-brown. It’s hard to get solid black with it, and it’s warm, so brownish it’s almost like a dark sepia.

I appreciate the color for its fine granulation. It creates nice patterns on the paper and it is quite transparent. Its reluctance to float with water is a disadvantage, it should perhaps not be used for frequent wet in wet painting.

If you’re one of those watercolorists who doesn’t want to use black paint, then you probably don’t care about the color, but if you use black watercolor paint and maybe even the boring lamp black, then I can really recommend Vine Black as a great addition to the palette for the watercolorist who has it all. Because you probably don’t own Vine Black, maybe you should.

A painting done with almost only Vine Black plus some earth tones.
Look how nicely the paint granulates.
Transparent and brown-black
Wet on wet, no movement.
Easy to wash off.
Left is freshly painted, right is dry, almost no difference.
Nice blooms.
Does not leave a hard edge but granulates beautifully.

Color index: PBk8
Light fastness: Very good
Transparency: Semi-transparent
Staining: Not at all
Granulates: Has a mild and fine granulation.

You may also like...

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x