If a painting catches your eye with the most vivid and alluring blue, chances are you are looking at the color Ultramarine. Ultramarine was favored by artists like Gerard David in his artwork “Virgin and Child with Female Saints” because of the calming and regal mood the color creates.
How the color is made: Ultramarine Blue is made by mixing Cerulean Blue with little Light Green and Lemon Yellow.
History: Historically Ultramarine Blue was made using lapis lazuli which was mined in Shortugai. This semi-precious stone was exported to Europe where artists ground it to create saturated blue pigments.
Color in Action
Ultramarine means deep blue, specifically the deep blue of the ocean. Ultramarine was associated with Poseidon, and ancient sailors were wary of setting sail if the ocean gleamed a menacing blue that indicated the sea god’s ill temper.
Ultramarine has a majestic aura when worn on the runway or in streetwear as was demonstrated by top fashion designer Paola Navone at the Milan Design Week in 2022.
Colors that go with Ultramarine
Match Ultramarine Blue with colors that appear on either side of it on the color wheel like Deep Sky Blue and Blue-violet for a calm effect. For a vibrant effect try a complimentary scheme that contrasts Ultramarine Blue with Jonquil.
Ultramarine Color Palettes and Schemes
Try a monochromatic theme with hues of Ultramarine in various tints and shades. This scheme paired with a lustrous metallic bronze can make Ultramarine Blue pop because it mimics the natural environment where the lapis lazuli was mined.
Backgrounds and Seamless Patterns
Incorporating this mesmerizing blue in damask patterns complemented with Egg-shell White in wallpapers will create an elegant feel. Hokusai’s painting, “The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa” displays the timeless elegance of artwork that uses Ultramarine Blue with neutral colors.