What’s the difference between Nickel Azo Yellow (PY150) and Rich Green Gold (PY129)?

Top: Mission Gold – Green Gold (PY150), a Nickel Azo Yellow.
Bottom: Daniel Smith – Rich Green Gold (PY129).

Both of these golds are highly transparent and dispersive, and both are made from nickel. Nickel Azo Yellow is more of a yellow – warm and ochreish in masstone and cool and lemony in dilute – while Rich Green Gold is more, well, green! It looks to me like pickles. Both make more muted, naturalistic greens with Phthalo Green than a bright yellow would.

For my money, they have roughly the same role, so which of these should I pick for my palette?

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Da Vinci PV19 Comparison: Is Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone Reduplicative With Red Rose Deep?

DV Red Rose Deep (PV19), top, vs DV Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone (PV19), bottom

I chose my watercolors by slot: my favorite green-blue, my favorite black, my favorite yellow ochre… Of course, slot boundaries and malleable. Over time, I broke out reds into several categories: bright magenta/rose, bright orange-red, deep crimson, and deep scarlet. My bright orange-red (which varies between Quin Coral or Scarlet Lake) is pretty different from my deep scarlet (Deep Scarlet), so no problem there. However, when it comes to my “cool reds,” I think my bright and my dark are too similar!

My quin rose choice is Da Vinci’s Red Rose Deep, and my crimson choice is Da Vinci’s Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone. They both use the same pigment, PV19, and now that I look at them together, I’m wondering if they’re basically… essentially… the same color?

This is the problem with choosing colors one-by-one like this: as your slots become increasingly fine, you may end up with some pretty similar colors. In fact, you’re likely to, since the common denominator is you, with your same aesthetic preferences. In my case, apparently, I tend to go for lively, cheerful, deep pinks! RRD is one of the more “crimson-like” roses, and ACQ is one of the more “rose-like” crimsons.

So, are these colors reduplicative? Do I only need one, and if so, which one? Or do they actually serve different palette roles?

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What’s the difference between Transparent Red Oxide (PR101) and Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PO48)?

Transparent Red Oxide and Quinacridone Burnt Orange are both transparent, highly granulating earth oranges — alternatives to Burnt Sienna. Both can be mixed with Nickel Azo Yellow (PY150) to create a Quinacridone Gold hue. So what’s the difference between them, and why might you choose one over the other?

Top: Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PO48).
Bottom: Daniel Smith Transparent Red Oxide (PR101).

It’s the battle of the granulating earth oranges!

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What’s the difference between MANS and Yellow Ochre?

It’s no secret that my favorite earth yellow is Daniel Smith’s Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7). But I also like a yellow ochre; for example, Holbein’s Yellow Ochre (PY42). They’re so similar that I wouldn’t want to have both in my palette at the same time, so which should I choose? Which is better in which situation?

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna vs Yellow Ochre
DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7), left, vs. Holbein Yellow Ochre (PY42), right

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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?

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Dark Magenta Part II: Carbazole Violet, Perylene Violet, and Bordeaux

After swapping out options for a dark magenta last week, I found that I had stuck too close to home and chosen colors too similar to my primary magenta. So, today, I’m comparing my favorite of those options – Bordeaux (PV32) – with two strikingly dark purple colors: Perylene Violet (PV29) and Carbazole Violet (PV23).

From left: DS Bordeaux (PV32), DS Perylene Violet (PV29), DS Carbazole Violet (PV23) on Canson XL

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Finding a Dark Magenta: Comparing Quin Fuchsia, Quin Violet, and Bordeaux

I have two great options for a primary magenta, Quin Magenta (PR122) or Quin Rose (PV19), both of which are extremely bright but don’t get that dark. I like to have a way of making a dark version of each of my colors, but none of my usual ways of darkening magenta quite work for me.

  • Adding blue makes it purple
  • Adding green (the complement) makes a weird gray
  • Adding earth orange makes crimson red
  • I’m not a fan of the muddy mixes with black

Could a new pigment help?

Comparison of Magents
Holbein Quin Magenta (PR122) vs. DV Quin Fuchsia (PR202), DS Bordeaux (PV32), DV Quin Violet (PV19)

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What’s the difference between Goethite Brown Oxide (PY43) and Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7)?

Jane Blundell’s Ultimate Mixing Palette includes the highly granulating ochre Goethite Brown Oxide (PY43), with Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) listed as an alternative. But what’s the difference between these two colors?

DS Goethite (PY43) vs. DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) on Stilman & Birn Beta

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What’s the difference between Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) and Phthalo Blue (Red Shade)?

Getting from PBGS to PBRS

Phthalocyanine blue (PB15) is an incredibly intense, staining, transparent, non-granulating, lightfast pigment that comes in two versions:

(I’ll call them GS and RS in this post.)

What’s the difference, and which should you choose?

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