Swatching out all the greens I can make was useful to me in determining which mixes were promising and which ones I wanted to explore further, so I did the same with oranges! I did these tiny, so they fit on one page.
Reds and red-oranges are the rows, and yellows are the columns. My thoughts below…
Okay, together this looks like an absolutely overwhelming page of near-identical oranges, but let’s try to pick it apart row by row and column by column.
The columns (yellows) are:
- WN – Winsor Lemon (PY175) – Roughly identical to its neighbor PY154
- WN – Winsor Yellow (PY154) – Moderately bold oranges; not inherently muted but also not the boldest
- Mission Gold – Green Gold (PY150) – Quite muted oranges
- Holbein – Isoindolinone Yellow Deep (PY110) – The boldest column, by far! This one really jumps out.
- DS – Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) – Tied for most muted with…
- Holbein – Yellow Ochre (PY42) – Also very muted, only difference between MANS and YO is the granulation tbh.
The rows (reds) are:
- DS – Transparent Pyrrol Orange (PO71) – This is a slightly muted orange so its mixes are also slightly muted, but it’s still orange so of course it mixes clean oranges. I would expect a more bold PO71 like Schmincke’s Transparent Orange to make more vivid mixes.
- WN – Winsor Orange Red Shade (PO73) – This would be my pick for the boldest orange mixer (after fluorescent Opera). Just look at the middle orange you get from the mix with PY110. Also very clean yellow-oranges with the banana yellows, a nice PY110 hue.
- DS – Pyrrol Scarlet (PR255) – I was surprised by how muted these oranges were considering that this red is so bold and orange-toned. They’re not super muted, just a huge step down from WORS. Disappointing. (It’s not that muted oranges are never wanted, but it wouldn’t occur to me to get them from such a bold red.)
- DS – Perylene Red (PR178) – This color goes down bright but dries more muted, and its mixes behave the same way. I have to say I’m shocked that these are actually the most muted oranges on the page, since I would expect Perylene Red to be at least more bold than Pyrrol Crimson. Perylene Red, what are you good for??
- DS – Pyrrol Crimson (PR264) – Fairly similar to Perylene Red, although I find this color more “honest” because it has less drying shift and looks muted going down as well.
- DV – Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone (PV19) – A bit bolder than Pyrrol Crimson.
- DV – Red Rose Deep (PV19) – Bolder still! I find these to be roughly on a par with the Pyrrol Scarlet mixes, which should be surprising because it is a much more blue-toned pink. Admittedly, they are muted in a different way. Particularly with Lemon Yellow, this makes a “cool” orange that reminds me of sunrise. I also found the muted mix with MANS to be among the nicest in the muted burnt sienna hue category.
- Holbein – Quinacridone Magenta (PR122) – Much more muted and bluey than the PV19 pink mixes. I often struggle to decide between PV19 pink and PR122 magenta as my palette primary cool red, and I think this is a good demonstration of why PV19 can be better (if using it to mix orange is important to you).
- DS – Quinacridone Coral (PR209) – Extremely fiery! These are some of my favorite and boldest mixes! As an orange-toned coral pink, I’d expect Quin Coral to mix bolder oranges than more magenta-adjacent PV19 pink; but Quin Coral still has some blue undertones and mixes clean purples, so it’s shocking to see it beating out colors like PO71 and PR255 in terms of bold oranges.
- DS – Deep Scarlet (PR175) – This is a muted color so I expect its mixes to also be muted, but not muddy, and that’s what I’m seeing. What I like about using muted colors to mix muted colors is that it’s predictable, in a way that mixing two bolds and getting a muted can be a disappointment.
- Mission Gold – Brilliant Opera (PR122/BV10) – Neon oranges! These are undoubtedly the boldest, though this color has an unfair advantage due to its fluorescent element (special effect paint). Also, fugitive: we’ll see who has the last laugh in a few months of light exposure.
Unexpected Heroes: Quin Coral, Red Rose Deep
Unexpected Wallflowers: Pyrrol Scarlet, Perylene Red
- Orange-yellow (PY110) was by far the boldest mixer of the yellows, though middle yellows are also fine. Nickel Azo Yellow works like an earth color.
- Starting with a bold red-orange or orange-toned red/pink is a good idea, but the hue of the mixer isn’t always a clear guide. Sometimes transparent orange-pinks (like Quin Coral or Quin Rose) mixed bolder, cleaner oranges than opaque orange-reds (like Pyrrol Scarlet).
- Go for Opera Pink if you want literally fluorescent oranges.
- For pleasant muted oranges, my favorites were a mix of one earth color and one clean bright transparent (e.g. MANS + RRD, YO + Quin Coral, Deep Scarlet + Iso Yellow Deep).
Further research… I’d like to try mixing with a bold middle orange like Perinone Orange or Schmincke Transparent Orange. I’d also like to try a bold yellow that falls between PY154 and PY110, such as a PY74 Brilliant Hansa Yellow or PY83 Turner’s yellow (or a mix like Holbein Permanent Yellow Deep).