Pigment is the substance which gives color to paint, to leaves, to skin, and to hair. Mineral pigment is used as a fine powder and can be mixed with liquids to form paint (the pigment does not dissolve in the liquid). Shellacs and varnishes show the surface beneath them because they do not contain pigment. Two common paint pigments are white lead and zinc oxide.
   The pigment in the deeper epidermal layers of the skin that makes the difference in color in various races is called melanin. It is also the pigment of suntan.
   Pigments gain their colors only by reflecting parts of the light shining on them. Transparent colors, however, gain their color by allowing the passage of only certain wavelengths of light.