Pigment Meaning

What is Pigment:

A pigment gives or modifies the color of a plant, animal or thing. It is commonly used for mixing colors in paint, but it also refers to those that give color or pigmentation to living things, such as melanin in skin or chlorophyll in plants.

Pigments can be used to dye or add pigmentation to textiles, buildings, ceramics, wood, cement, and food. In general, the pigments that are used to color food are known as colorants.

Natural pigments

We refer to natural pigments generally, in the field of mixing colors for use as ink or paint. Natural pigments are those extracted from plants, insects or minerals found in nature.

This type of pigment can be used to paint crafts, walls, ceramics and works of art. The most widely used natural pigments are those from algae, fungi and flowers such as the marigold flower, but also from some animals or insects such as cochineal grana, native to Mexico.

Photosynthetic pigments

Photosynthetic pigments are those found in plant cells that have the function of transforming light energy into chemical energy in the process called photosynthesis.

We can find 2 types of photosynthetic pigments or also known as plant pigments: chlorophyll and chromoplasts.


Chlorophyll is the main pigment in plants and it is what gives them their characteristic green color. Chlorophyll is found within the thylakoids, the chloroplasts of plant cells.

It is called the photosynthetic pigment par excellence, since, by joining with specific proteins, they form what is known as pigment-protein, complexes responsible, together with the electron transfer components, of producing, as a final result, biochemical energy. We know this process as photosynthesis.


Chromoplasts are plasts found in plant cells that contain the pigment that gives some plants and flowers their red, yellow, orange, and purple color.

Chromoplasts are found in the stroma of plant cells and are the secondary photosynthetic pigments of plants. In addition, they have the function of storing nutritional reserves.

Chromoplasts accumulate 2 types of pigments: hydrogenated carotenoids present, for example, in carrots and oxygenated carotenoids that give corn its yellow color.

Pigment in visual arts

Pigments are an essential resource in the visual arts. The colors that artists are able to create will more accurately reflect the artist's feelings. Depending on the historical period in which the artwork is created, the taste for certain pigments varies.

Today, all kinds of pigments are used from natural pigments such as plants, flowers, minerals and insects, as well as synthetic or artificial pigments such as acrylic paint.

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