This pigment is from India and derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria.
Indigo has a long, long history and contains some unpleasant moments from the era of the Empire where slave labour was used in it's intensive and then unpleasant method of production. Used in Peru in 4000 BC, mentioned by Pliny the Elder it has passed through human history in fairly constant use until relatively recently when it was replaced by synthetic dyes and pigments, a lump of genuine Indigo dye from India is shown opposite.
In masstone it is a very dark blue/purple and has a rich depth.
In tints it is quite powerful and produces lilac/violet/blues.
Opaque and dense.
Available in 40ml tubes here!
Pigment - Genuine Indigo
Opacity - Opaque
Binder - Linseed Oil
I bought both Indigo and Woad (albeit from a different stockist) and love their weirdness. Both are very lightweight and really want to get out of the tube, more so Woad than Indigo. I have more than once splatted out more than I needed. The consistency is more food-like, closer to tomato paste in a tube than buttery oil paint – somewhat similar to madder though less silky. I have used both Indigo and Woad to great effect for jeans (obviously) in a figure painting. They smell unusual too. Dry time is slow. Like all plant pigments, neither one is fully lightfast in oil. I have done basic lightfast tests and they fade a bit in bright sunlight after a few months. The density decreases a bit, and the color yellows slightly, much more so with Woad. But that's part of the fun I guess. I would recommend trying every single tube of Wallace Seymour's paint.
I cannot give this 5 stars because it is not an everyday life-changing oil paint, like Vermilion or Lead-Tin Yellow, but more of a curiosity. It's not going to live on your palette, and neither will Lapis. It won't permanently alter your color palette. But that's not the point. Nobody else makes this paint. If you paint with it you will paint something that is impossible to replicate using more common materials. If you want to try everything then you should try this.