Color Spotlight: Imidazolone Brown (PBr25)

Holbein – Imidazolone Brown (PBr25)

A single pigment transparent brown with a distinct warm reddish undertone.

Experiment Results

Hue: A brown with a red/pink/coral cast, especially in midtone.

Gradient: Smooth, strong, non-granulating.

Transparency: Transparent.

Color Mixes: A range of reddish browns. Neutralizes blues.

Comparison to Other Colors

Less orange (more red) than earth oranges like Burnt Sienna, Transparent Red Oxide, and Quinacridone Burnt Orange.

Less yellow-toned than Burnt Umber. Also not granulating.

More brown (less red) than Deep Scarlet, Perylene Maroon, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet.

Comparison to Other Brands

Daniel Smith – Permanent Brown

This is one of the ones that jumped out at me in the Daniel Smith dot cards (as Permanent Brown). I’ve never purchased a tube because it’s not available in a sample size and I can’t commit.

Mission Gold – Red Brown

Mission Gold – Red Brown (PBr25)

Like many Mission Gold colors, it’s quite shiny in masstone.

Color Mixes

Mixes with Imidazolone Brown (PBr25)

Neutralizes Phthalo Turquoise. Mixes a range of reddish-browns.

What Others Say

Denise Soden loves it for bay horses, but that’s not a common subject of mine.

It isn’t an absolutely vital pigment, but it is a useful one. I recommend it if you struggle with mixing browns, or if you tend to mix subjects this pigment may be a good match for. I enjoy it for animals and birds, and even mixed with reds for floral shadows. PBr25 is also great if you just want a quick way to make neutral grays by adding it to blues.

Kim Crick

My Review of Imidazolone Brown

I like this as a brown; it reminds me of red clay earth, which is not really a color I see a lot in my personal natural environment, but I think it’s pretty for a brown. It also appeals to me also as a sort of dark earth red equivalent. I’ve never found an earth red that I really loved, and this brown does the earth red job of neutralizing blues and cyans, and deepening reds. As a transparent color, it mixes nicely. It’s smooth, so it doesn’t add granulation, as many earth tones do, which may be a negative (depending on what you want), but this sets it apart from other common browns.