Sometimes two colors you like are so similar that it seems silly to have them both on your palette, but how do you choose which one to use? It’s like that for me with Quinacridone Rose (a pink made from the pigment PV19) and the color that I usually call Purple Magenta (PR122), which is also known as Quinacridone Lilac (in Daniel Smith) or Quinacridone Magenta (in Holbein and some other brands).
In making these comparisons, I chose a version of Quinacridone Rose from Da Vinci called Red Rose Deep. This is a version of the color on the warm/red end, which makes it more of a contrast from Purple Magenta than typical. Most Quin Rose hues fall somewhere between Red Rose Deep and Purple Magenta in terms of redness or purpleness.
Both are quite bold, bright, and high-tinting with a wide range of values. Both are transparent, non-granulating, and medium staining. Both have excellent light-fastness. (PR122 gets a bad rap because of its association with the fugitive Opera Pink, make from PR122 and fluorescent BV10, but it is the fluorescent additive, not the PR122, that fades with exposure to light. When the BV10 fades, Opera Pink turns into plain PR122.)
Red Rose Deep is a warmer color, more of a hot pink than a purple. Purple Magenta is cooler, closer to purple and further from red. Purple Magenta is closer to a “true” primary magenta.
In dilute, the PV19 rose produces such lovely blush pinks, perfect for peonies, while diluted PR122 magenta makes pinky purples, perfect for lilacs.
Getting from One to the Other
So what’s easier: mixing a Quin Rose hue from Purple Magenta, or mixing a Purple Magenta hue from Quin Rose?
Color theory would dictate that it’s harder to mix a “true” magenta, a primary color, and indeed I found that to be the case. That said, this will vary based on what other mixing colors you have at your disposal.
In the tests above, I first attempted to mix a “Red Rose Deep hue” from Purple Magenta by adding Transparent Pyrrol Orangee, getting a close but slightly duller/redder color. Directly under that is my first attempt at a “Purple Magenta hue” by mixing Red Rose Deep and Phthalo Blue Red Shade. Again, the result was close but a bit too dull.
I’m happier with the mixes at the bottom. My second “Red Rose Deep hue” from Purple Magenta and Quinacridone Coral looks, to me, strikingly similar to Red Rose Deep. It’s nice and bright and clean. I’m still a bit iffy on the mix of Red Rose Deep and Ultramarine Blue, which is cleaner than the Phthalo Blue and does look similar to Purple Magenta in dilute, but is still weird in masstone and also has slightly different properties (because Ultramarine is granulating). Granted, the mixer I used for the Red Rose Deep hue is much more similar to the target color, so maybe if I had a bright, bold purple on the blue side, I could have done a better job with the Purple Magenta hue.
Both colors are suitable to use as a primary magenta in your palette. Both mix great purples and good oranges. Both can be used to mix a fire engine red with an orange (such as Transparent Pyrrol Orange) and a crimson with a deep earth red-orange (like Deep Scarlet or Perylene Maroon).
These mixes look really similar to me! Red Rose Deep makes slightly cleaner oranges.
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
Both mixes make muted coral/peach tones. The Purple Magenta feels like it has a greater range of tones, but this variance could have been user error.
Transparent Pyrrol Orange
Both mixes are suitable for making bright red or red-orange.
Both colors make a deep crimson with Deep Scarlet.
Both make a range of dark purples with Indanthrone. As we get into the blues, the general trend will be that Purple Magenta (PR122) purples are ‘cleaner’ and less muted, but almost imperceptibly. The unmixed Red Rose Deep has more of a “hot pink” look and offers more contrast with blues.
Deeper (darker and purpler) colors with Purple Magenta.
This one seems more different to me than the ones above – hard to put my finger on it, but there’s a muddiness to the Red Rose Deep mixes that I don’t like as much.
Viridian mixes turn purple with Purple Magenta or gray with Red Rose Deep (note that you also get purples from Daniel Smith Quin Rose, not shown).
Generally, these colors tend to be the same “series” so there should be no major cost difference within the same brand (though costs between brands will vary depending on your locality.)
- In the Daniel Smith line, Quinacridone Rose (PV19) and Quinacridone Lilac (PR122) are both series 2.
- In the Schmincke line, Ruby Red (PV19) and Purple Magenta (PR122) are both series 3.
- In the Winsor & Newton line, Permanent Rose (PV19) and Quinacridone Magenta (PR122) are both series 3.
Some brands have only one or the other; for example, in Holbein, I could only find a PR122 magenta (Quinacridone Magenta). They have a PV19 Quin Violet and a PV19 Quin Red (which looks like Alizarin Crimson), but no PV19 rose. Da Vinci paints, meanwhile, has two versions of PV19 rose (Quinacridone Permanent Rose and Red Rose Deep), but no PR122.
This is a really difficult choice for me because I like both colors so much and because there is no material difference. They mix about the same, and either hue can be easily mixed from the other. I’d ordinarily choose based on gut feeling (which color do I like better?), but I like them both a lot!
At present, I’ve gone with Holbein Quin Magenta (PR122) on my palette alongside DS Quin Coral, which allows me to mix a vibrant rose or to use either color separately. If I had to be a palette minimalist, though, a PV19 rose would cover pretty much the entire range of what I do with both colors nearly as well.