A very transparent, deep, slightly muted orange-red.
Observations of Daniel Smith’s Deep Scarlet
Price: A plus of this color is that it’s series 1, so it’s on the inexpensive side (for Daniel Smith). As Teoh of Parka Blogs points out, it can be hard to find reds in series 1.
Gradient: I liked the overall handling of this color which dispersed easily and made a nice, glowing gradient from a deep, slightly textured barn red through to a light red. When it dried, though, I was disappointed to see that it had dried unevenly in masstone and the little bubbles dried without popping, creating a weird line of dots. I’ve never seen that before in another paint – usually any bubbles naturally pop before it dries.
Glazing: Not the most dramatic glazing I’ve ever seen but it does glaze to a deep red similar to its masstone color.
Daniel Smith gives this a Lightfastness I – Excellent. However, I have to say this was one of the worse performers in my sets of lightfastness tests. The exposed strip has noticeable muting and less vibrant than the protected strip. The change is somewhat subtle, but more noticeable than most of the changes I saw over a 4 month period.
Mix This Hue
I was able to get pretty close to a Deep Scarlet hue by mixing two Da Vinci colors: Alizarin Crimson (Quinacridone) and Burnt Sienna Deep.
Comparison to Other Colors
Earth Reds (Quin Burnt Scarlet, Perylene Maroon)
On the spectrum of earth reds, it’s less orange than Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet (PR206), and more orange than Perylene Maroon (PR179).
A range of oranges more muted than those you’d make from LY + Transparent Pyrrol Orange. I’m especially happy with the high-pigmented pumpkin.
Rich Green Gold
I’m surprised by how nice I find this. I like the red-brown, which is sort of TRO hue.
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
Nice glowing, yet slightly muted, corals
Transparent Pyrrol Orange
These are similar colors, so it’s a subtle grade, but you can see that the Deep Scarlet is a darker value and redder than the TPO. Deep Scarlet deepens the oranges to pumpkin shades (you can get a similar mix with Lemon Yellow).
Because Deep Scarlet is also orange-toned, these never quite get to a middle red.
Transparent Red Oxide
Now, here is a combination that makes a middle red – a deep, crimson shade.
I’m kind of digging these black cherry and blackberry shades. These feel useful for botanicals, though they are too warm and/or gloomy for mauve clouds.
Dark, deep blues and muted purples. Although the actual sunset sky rarely gets super red like this, there is something sunsetty about this gradient to me.
Deep Scarlet and Cobalt Blue mute each other, but are not perfect complements – the mix is a grayish-purple rather than an even gray. I like this gradient, too.
Phthalo Blue Red Shade
Slightly purplish grays in the middle. Redder mixes are Perylene Violet-hued. Deep Scarlet mutes the blue.
Phthalo Blue Green Shade
More orangey mixes than the Phthalo Blue Red Shade. Kind of gray in the middle, but difficult to get balanced without slightly pink or slightly blue undertones.
I found these grays so surprisingly realistically shadow-looking. Like they’re all slightly pinkish or bluish but it looks like real shadow more so than the PBGS mixes (in my opinion). Maybe because Prussian Blue is darker so the dark grays look more shadowy? IDK but I really like this combo.
I find these mixes muddier, perhaps because of the opacity of the Cobalt Turquoise.
You can get near-black with deep color here. However, they’re not complements; the middle tone is more of a cool brown than a gray.
Better. The green turns the Deep Scarlet into red-browns, and the red turns the Serpentine into a brownish-yellow color. Dilute mix is a tan.
What Others Say
A darker and slightly more chromatic alternative to the umber earths, roughly in between the value, saturation and hue of perylene maroon (PR179) and quinacridone maroon (PR206). Not an essential pigment, but probably useful to landscape and portrait/figure painters.Bruce MacEvoy, handprint.com (2010)
Deep Scarlet is my favorite red, a rich earthy tone that works beautifully with landscapes.Maria Coryell-Martin, Expeditionary Art Palette
My Review of Deep Scarlet
I go back and forth on this color. It feels like it ought to be useful.
- It is similar in hue to Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet (PR206), which is all but out of production now.
- It performs the useful function of muting Phthalo Blues.
- It can add some depth to earth reds and oranges.
- Compared to traditional earth reds (e.g. Indian Red, Venetian Red), it’s smooth and transparent, which I usually prefer.
- Compared to bright scarlets (e.g. PR255 or PR188), it mixes a pretty range of neutrals that I find much nicer than the muddy mixes that brighter scarlets can make.
Some artists can use this color very effectively. Maria Coryell-Martin uses it as her only scarlet, eschewing bright scarlets altogether!
And yet… every time I put it on my palette, I end up taking it off.
- There is just something about the watery/bubbly/streaky consistency that I find unpleasant.
- It doesn’t add much value range to mixes (for example, Alizarin Crimson hues mixed with Deep Scarlet + Quin Rose have less value range than those mixed with Perylene Maroon + Quin Rose).
- When I try to use it as a medium-bright scarlet, it gets too muted too quickly, especially in mixes on the page.
This is one of the those in-between colors that you’ll either find to be a versatile jack of all trades or a disappointing master of none. Theoretically, it can replace both a bright and an earth scarlet, but in practice, I find it is not as good as either as its specific role.
On my palette? Not at the moment.
- An earthy red such as Venetian Red (PR101) makes a good hue match, though is opposite in qualities (e.g. opaque and granulating).
- Perylene Maroon is darker and more muted, and may be a good alternative if you want to use this as a dark mixer.
- Alizarin crimson hues, such as Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone, are a similar value but cooler; with a Burnt Sienna or Transparent Red Oxide, they can be used to mix a Deep Scarlet hue.