Mixing an Alizarin Crimson Hue

Alizarin Crimson is a notoriously beautiful and fugitive pigment. Many people now use Quinacridone Rose (PV19), Carmine (PR176), or other alternatives, but the color is often pinker and not as deep. So how can we mix a hue?

While I don’t have the original Alizarin Crimson (PR83) to compare to, I’m using Da Vinci Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone (PV19) as a point of comparison (upper left).

Alizarin Crimson hue mixes

Here’s what I came up with.

  1. Daniel Smith Quinacridone Red (PV19) – Redder than Quin Rose, but still quite pink and not dark-valued. This is more similar to Da Vinci’s Red Rose Deep than to Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone.
  2. DS Quin Red (PV19) + Holbein Perylene Maroon (PR179) – Wow, this is a super-close hue match to the ACQ I’m using for comparison. It even handles similarly. It’s capable of getting a bit deeper, which is a bonus.
  3. Holbein Quin Magenta (PR122) + DV Hansa Yellow Deep (PY65) – Jane Blundell inspired this combination by writing in 2016, “I think of crimson as a convenience colour since it can be created by mixing a warm red or yellow with magenta.” So, here’s a warm yellow and a magenta. I tried to balance the color but found it difficult to get to the crimson sweet spot without going too orange or too pink. I think what I came up with is both.
  4. DS Quin Rose (PV19) + DS Deep Scarlet (PR175) – The DS definitely adds a rosy glow to the Quin Rose but I think this combination just looks like DS in masstone and Quin Rose in dilute. It doesn’t get dark enough for me.
  5. DS Quin Red (PV19) + DS Naphthamide Maroon (PR171) – Dark enough but far too purple. Naphthamide Maroon is simply too violet-toned (it looks almost identical to Perylene Violet).