Color Spotlight: Benzimidazolone Orange (PO62)

Winsor & Newton – Winsor Orange (PO62)

Benzimida orange – called Winsor Orange in the Winsor & Newton line, Permanent Orange for Daniel Smith, Chrome Orange by Schmincke – is a light, bright, orangey orange.

Experiment Results

Hue: A light-colored middle orange that’s neither reddish nor yellowish, and as a semi-opaque color, never gets very dark. It has a cheerful, bold appearance on the palette and dilutes to a light peach.

Gradient: Smooth gradation.

Opacity: Semi-opaque.

Comparison: Compared to Isoindolinone Yellow Deep (PY110), it’s more orange/less yellowy.

Color Mixes: I liked the way this mixed; it integrates well with other colors. Predictably, it pulled all the warm colors into an orange space; I especially love the range of golden hour canyon colors it makes with my earth tones. Oddly pleasant browns with purple. Muted greens with blues.

Comparison to Other Colors

Hansa Yellow Deep (PY65) and Isoindolinone Yellow Deep (PY110)

The most obvious comparison is to warm yellows, which look very similar unmixed. I compared DS Hansa Yellow Deep (PY65), Holbein Isoindolinone Yellow Deep (PY110), and Winsor Orange (PO62) in a variety of situations: sunset grading to red, sunset grading to blue, and mixing green.

Situational comparison of PY65, PY110, PO62

PO62 performed similarly as a warm sunset mixer, looking only slightly more orange. Grading to blue, it tended to mix gray in the middle instead of greenish. And when mixed with Phthalo Green, instead of making warm naturalistic greens as the warm yellows did, it mixed more of a cool gray-green.

Comparison to Other Brands

Da Vinci – Benzimida Orange

PO62 comparison: DV Benzimida Orange vs Winsor Orange

Looks very similar to Winsor; a bit more orangey and less yellow in dilute, perhaps. I think I prefer it being a little more on the orange side to distinguish from deep yellow colors.

Lightfastness of Da Vinci Benzimida Orange

Lightfastness test for Da Vinci Benzi Orange (PO62) Left: window swatch, exposed to western light in Boston, MA, from May 30-December 9, 2023. Right: Protected strip.

No noticeable change from 6 months of light exposure.

Color Mixes

Hansa Yellow Light (PY3)

Hansa Yellow Light (PY3) + DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) on Canson XL

Nice bold yellow-oranges.

Hansa Yellow Deep (PY65)

DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) + Letter Sparrow Sunflower (PY74) on Canson XL

Even deeper, yellowier sunflower oranges.

Naphthol Scarlet (PR188)

DV Permanent Red (PR188) + DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) on Canson XL

Bright, bold oranges.

Pyrrol Scarlet (PR255)

DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) + DS Pyrrol Scarlet (PR255) on Canson XL

Slightly more muted, but still intense oranges.

Pyrrol Red (PR254)

HO Pyrrol Red (PR254) + DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) on Canson XL

Quin Rose (PV19)

DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) + DV Red Rose Deep (PV19) on Canson XL

More bold oranges! I don’t see a huge difference between the scarlet and rose oranges.

Phthalo Turquoise (PB16)

DV Benzimida Orange (PO62) + WN Phthalo Turquoise (PB16) on Canson XL

Unlike warm yellows (Hansa Yellow Deep et al), this doesn’t really mix green with cyan. Tonya at Scratchmade Journal calls this middle combination “a smoky teal thats reminiscent of misty mountains.” Adding more orange tips it into “gross brown” territory, though.

What Others Say

Use it solo for the perfect autumn orange, or mix it with Phthalo Turquoise to create a smoky teal that’s reminiscent of misty mountains, or try it with Pyrrol Red to gain a bright pumpkin hue.

Tonya @ Scratchmade Journal, Spooktacular 8-Color Fall Palette (2018)

An interesting middle orange pigment, yellower and lighter than cadmium orange or perinone orange, and one of the more commonly available pigments. It is frequently recommended as a substitute for cadmium orange, but it is only slightly more transparent, and cadmium orange is more lightfast, darker valued, has a higher tinting strength, and is slightly more intense at the same hue.

Bruce MacEvoy,

My Review of Benzimida Orange

Not one I usually reach for, because Hansa Yellow Deep or Isoindolinone Yellow Deep look similar alone (or with a touch of red) and mix green. Benzimida Orange is a nice alternative if you specifically don’t want to mix green, but I usually use the earthier Raw Sienna for those use cases. Still, the orange is nice for a specific sunlit desert orange.

Even though it’s not very useful it sparks joy.

On my palette? B-team.

Favorite version: Da Vinci currently, but Winsor Orange is good too.

1 thought on “Color Spotlight: Benzimidazolone Orange (PO62)”

  1. I have this color from DS and it definitely does not spark my joy. It’s a bit orangier than yours (more like the DV, I suppose) and I would call it semiopaque. And I agree with Bruce McEnvoy: given this, I would rather just go for cadmium orange. (I have a very nice one from Holbein.) I think the higher tinting strength of PO20 makes it easier to avoid those awful mud-browns.


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