What’s the difference between Deep Scarlet and Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet?

In analyzing my palette, one of the “gaps” I identified was a dark red to help me mix reddish browns and deepen my red and orange mixes, especially for autumnal paintings. There were a few options for this slot:

  • Perylene Maroon (PR179)
  • Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet (PR206)
  • Deep Scarlet (PR175)

I’ve given Perylene Maroon a couple of shots and never really liked it, but I like both QBS and DS unmixed. They’re actually quite similar:

DS Quin Burnt Scarlet on top, DS Deep Scarlet below

In terms of hue, Quin Burnt Scarlet is a bit browner and duller, and DS is a bit closer to a typical red-orange.

It’s hard to tell from the above because I made a concentrated effort to make a dark pasty mix on the leftmost square, but in general I also find it more difficult to get a dark tone from Quin Burnt Scarlet; the second square is more representative the darkest typical tone. The Deep Scarlet is very easy to get dark.

Both are transparent, staining, and non-granulating.

Since they’re really similar unmixed, which is better in mixes?

Color Mixes

Yellow Ochre

I’m not seeing much difference here. Both make fiery mixes with Yellow Ochre, that can be vibrant reds/oranges/siennas, or diluted peach tones.

Transparent Brown Oxide

These mixes are quite similar. Either QBS or DS are great options for making a rich, mahogany red-brown with Transparent Brown Oxide.

Carbazole Violet

It was easier for me to make dark mixes with Deep Scarlet. DS is also a bit redder, so I more consistently got nicer red-maroons rather than awkward orange-purple mixes.

Prussian Blue

These looks really similar wet, but the QBS mixes dried lighter, whereas with the DS I was able to get those juicy dark indigos, near-blacks and dark maroons. The darker tones are nicer than lighter tones when it comes to these jewel hues, so DS is the winner for me.

Phthalo Green

Both of these mixes are pretty ugly to me – sort of like melted Christmas crepe paper. They get beige rather than gray in the middle. The DS mix has more versatility because it can get super dark, near black.


I found these hues very similar and rarely found a reason to choose one over the other. I do think they’re largely interchangeable. Deep Scarlet more consistently impressed me. It’s easier to get dark, has a wider range, and is a bit brighter unmixed which makes it more versatile (it can be more easily substituted for a typical red-orange, in addition to mixing up earth tones). I never found anything QBS could do that DS couldn’t.

Winner: Deep Scarlet!