Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (initials MANS) from Daniel Smith is my favorite variation on Raw Sienna. Raw Sienna is traditionally a yellow-orange earth tone that’s more orange than Yellow Ochre but less orange than Burnt Sienna. Like Burnt Sienna, it traditionally uses the pigment PBr7. MANS uses PBr7, but looks a bit more like a yellow ochre.
Gradient: Doesn’t get very dark, but still grades nicely. Gold-ochre in masstone, to a pale yellow-orange glow.
Granulation: A bit granulating in masstone, and smooth in dilute.
Glazing: Glazes to a darker/orangier sienna color than I could get from a single layer.
Comparison to Other Colors
Raw Sienna is a more traditional version of this pigment family, it’s typically less yellow and more orangey and has a wider range.
Daniel Smith also has a color called “Raw Sienna,” which is more orangey than MANS and less pigmented.
Yellow Ochre (PY42)
Yellow Ochre typically has the closest hue to MANS, even closer than Raw Sienna (although MANS and Raw Sienna are made from the same pigment, PBr7, and Yellow Ochre is made from PY42 or PY43). Yellow Ochres vary a lot from brand to brand, but I found the Holbein Yellow Ochre to be less granulating and a bit wider in range.
Daniel Smith’s Goethite is a highly granulating Yellow Ochre variant. See: What’s the difference between Goethite Brown Oxide (PY43) and Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7)?
Daniel Smith – Van Dyke Brown
Cool (green-toned) yellow-browns with granulation that looks to me like a sun-dappled dirt road. In dilute, a gray-tan sand color.
Transparent Red Oxide (PR101)
Fiery and bold yet naturalistic and textured red sandstone colors. I love this combination.
Transparent Brown Oxide (PR101)
Although I don’t find either MANS or TBO to look particularly orangey in masstone on their own, I found the combination rather orangey – certainly in comparison to VDB (below), though they are more subdued than TRO (above). TBO tends to go peachy in dilute which makes sense since it is made from PR101 like TRO. I like these combos but to me they don’t distinguish from TRO particularly.
Potter’s Pink (PR233)
The MANS warms up the Potter’s Pink, and the Potter’s Pink adds granulation and orangeyness to the MANS. The balance mixed looks like a nice granulating Raw Sienna.
Quinacridone Rose (PV19)
Warm, golden, fiery peachy mixes. I like these slightly muted corals better than a straight orange for golden hour clouds.
Ultramarine Blue (PB29)
The violet-toned deep Ultramarine reacts with the yellowy MANS more like a violet than a blue, making grayish tones rather than green. Lovely granulating mixes that don’t get too dark and always retain the texture of the original pigments.
Also grayish mixes (not green). A bit of MANS mutes the Indanthrone Blue to an Indigo or Payne’ Gray type shade. The medium mix is pretty uninspiring to me, but the mostly-MANS mix is nicely muted to a convincing dead-grass color.
These gray-tan mixes are yellower than those with Ultramarine, but still nowhere near green.
Also very grayish mixes, thanks to the muted blue.
Another grayish mix, this one very predictable.
Another bi-color gradient with a sandy beach quality – again, adamantly refusing to go green! I think this is an interesting natural mix that looks like sand at the bottom of a pond.
Bright, saturated, aloe greens and olive greens.
A balanced mix looks like mossy rocks. Just a touch of MANS makes the Viridian more yellow and natural-looking.
Phthalo Green (PG7)
Similar to the Viridian mixes since PG7 is roughly the same hue, but less granulating. Because Phthalos are so strong, it’s also harder to get a mix that leans more toward MANS here.
What Others Say
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna is Liz Steel’s primary yellow ochre/raw sienna equivalent for many reasons:
* A result of a big search… many yellow earthsLiz Steel
* A beautiful glowing raw sienna… intense + transparent + granulating.
* Most used color 🙂
* Better (for me) than a yellow ochre as it makes greys with blues + great for skies + drop into cobalt + skin (Potter’s Pink)
* Killer combo with Transparent Red Oxide + French Ultramarine
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna– at first I didn’t like this color as much, but as soon as I tried it in these paintings it was a perfect addition. It is a bit more opaque than quinacridone gold, and it also made less orange-y mixtures than the gold as well. It ended up being my go-to for combinations with the perylene red if I wanted a more red-orange without making a color that would take over the whole painting.Claire Giordano, Petrified Forest Residency: Favorite Colors
My Review of Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
At first glance, it seems like MANS wouldn’t be as useful as a traditional Raw Sienna because it doesn’t have as much range, but I find its yellow-ness useful. Specifically, much more so than a traditional Raw Sienna, it can be used in the sky as a horizon glow. Because it’s based on a brown pigment, it doesn’t tend to mix with blue (unless you force it) so it can grade directly into blue without turning your sky green.
It basically fulfills a role for me more similar to Yellow Ochre, but I prefer it because it’s transparent (traditional Yellow Ochre made from PY42 or PY43 tends to be opaque) and it’s even harder to turn green.
My only problem with MANS is that it dries hard and can be a bit difficult to rewet. It also a tendency to dry and shrink out of the pan. Texturally, it’s not my favorite on the palette. But oh, it makes such lovely mixes on the page.
The Bottom Line
On my palette? Yes!
Favorite version: I usually do these posts on more general color categories rather than a specific paint; you could say that MANS is the version of the Raw Sienna/Yellow Ochre family that sparks the most joy for me.