Artist Palette Profiles: Kim Crick

Kim Crick has an amazing database of pigments and reviews of tons of colors, including brand comparisons. It’s an amazing resource. Today, I’m looking at her list of recommended lightfast colors.

How this normally works is I list the colors an artists uses, and I suggest alternative colors that might also work in the same set of “slots”. This one is a little unusual because Crick is so specific about the exact pigments, and because it’s unclear if this is really Crick’s working palette or if it’s more of a library of colors to choose from, so “slots” might not be a thing.

Since the pigment is important, I’ll use the pigment itself as the “slot” – instead of swapping in different similar colors, I’ll suggest my favorite version(s) of that exact pigment.

KC Recommended PigmentKC Preferred BrandI Have
Ultramarine (PB29)Schmincke Horadam – French UltramarineHolbein – Ultramarine Deep
Magenta (PR122)Rosa Gallery – Magenta RoseHolbein – Quin Magenta
Nickel Azo Yellow (PY150)Da Vinci – Nickel Azo YellowMission Gold – Green Gold
Phthalo Blue GS (PB15:3)Winsor & Newton – Winsor Blue (Green Shade)Any brand
Lemon Yellow (PY175)Holbein – Imidazalone LemonWinsor & Newton – Winsor Lemon
Quin Coral (PR209)Sennelier – Quin RedDaniel Smith – Quin Coral
Pyrrol Red (PR254)Da Vinci Red or Winsor RedSchmincke Horadam – Scarlet Red
Burnt Umber (PBr7)Da Vinci – Burnt UmberSame
Viridian (PG18)M. Graham – ViridianWinsor & Newton – Viridian
Cobalt Turquoise (PG50 or PB28)Daniel Smith – Cobalt Teal (most granulating) or White Nights – Cobalt Turquoise (more subtle & affordable)Schmincke Horadam – Cobalt Turquoise (PG50)
Potter’s Pink (PR233)MaimeriBlu or SchminckeMaimeriBlu – Potter’s Pink
Lunar Earth (PBr11 or PY119)Daniel Smith – Lunar Earth (PBr11)Winsor & Newton – Magnesium Brown (PY119)
Lunar Black (PBk11)Daniel Smith – Lunar Black (PBk11)
Titanium White Gouache (PW6)Schmincke or M. GrahamHolbein, Schmicnke, or WN
Ultramarine Violet (PV15 or PV62)Winsor & Newton – Ultramarine VioletDa Vinci – Ultramarine Violet
Manganese Blue Genuine (PB33)Prodigal Son’snever tried
Pyrrol Scarlet (PR255)Roman Szmal – Quin ScarletDaniel Smith – Pyrrol Scarlet (PR255)
Red Brown (PBr25)Holbein – Imidazolone Brownsame
Cadmium Red (PR108)White Nights (smooth) or Schmincke Volcano Red (granulating)never tried
Permament Alizarin Crimson (PV19 or PV19+PR206)Winsor & Newton – Permanent Alizarin CrimsonDa Vinci – Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone
Spinel Grey (PBk26)Rembrandt – Spinel GreyMaimeriBlu – Neutral Tint
Goethite (PY43)Daniel Smith – Goethitenot a favorite
Yellow Ochre (PY42)anyHolbein – Yellow Ochre (PY42)
PBr7 brownsWinsor & Newton – Raw UmberDS MANS; Da Vinci various (Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, or Raw Umber)
Quin Burnt Orange (PO48)anyDS – Quin Burnt Orange (PO48)
Mahogany Brown (PBr33)Schmincke – Mahogany BrownThis is the only version of that color that I know of

Huh, I thought it would be harder to put my own spin on this – that I’d either say “yup that’s a good color” or not – but I consistently prefer a different brand! Sometimes because I’ve never tried Crick’s choice, but often because I have and I didn’t like it. For example, I found Holbein’s Imidazolone Yellow dull compared to WN’s Winsor Yellow, even though both use the same benzimidazolone yellow pigment PY154. While Crick chooses pigments on the objective basis of lightfastness, her recommendations for specific brands are based on subjective factors like hue, handling, and perceived usefulness, and my preferences in those areas are almost all opposite. It just goes to show that the factors that go into simply liking or disliking a particular color or texture are extremely variable from person to person.

I also use a number of colors which Kim considers insufficiently lightfast or unnecessary. For example, I like Cobalt Blue, which Kim pans as too close to Ultramarine to be useful. I also like DS Serpentine, where Kim amusingly has it out for the Primatek colors and has a whole video on how to replicate Serpentine for cheaper. I am into it – I love having a vendetta against a color, like mine against Buff Titanium.