Color Spotlight: Goethite Brown Ochre (PY43)

Daniel Smith – Goethite (Brown Ochre)

I like granulation now, so this is part of my effort to revisit colors I previously wrote off because of the granulation. Last week, I did Potter’s Pink for the same reason.

Goethite Brown Ochre is a highly granulating, low-tinting-strength yellow ochre, made with the traditional yellow ochre pigment PY 43. Jane Blundell includes it as one of the fourteen colors in her Ultimate Mixing Palette.

Experiment Results

Gradient: Grades extremely poorly, with the masstone all stuck in a straight line (that was high-effort to get) and everything else being very low-strength. Color is a medium yellow ochre to pale tan.

Opacity: Transparent

Glazing: Glazes to its masstone color, a medium yellow-brown.

Similar Colors

Da Vinci – Raw Sienna Deep

Da Vinci – Raw Sienna Deep (PY42)

Also a granulating yellow ochre hue, though this one is based on synthetic yellow ochre (PY42) instead of natural yellow ochre (PY43) like Goethite. Still, it offers a similar yellow-brown hue, and it granulates. It is stronger in tinting strength.

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7)

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

Made from the Raw Sienna pigment PBr7, MANS has a yellower hue, but tons of granulation similar to Goethite. This is the second choice Jane Blundell suggests to swap in for Goethite in her Ultimate Mixing Palette. See also my post What’s the difference between Goethite Brown Ochre (PY43) and Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7)?

Color Mixes with Goethite

Transparent Red Oxide

DS Transparent Red Oxide (PR101) + DS Goethite (PY43) on Stilman & Birn Beta

I like this variety of peachy brown shades, which I think give a range of mid to light skin tones that allow a good amount of realistic variation between gold and rose undertones, but I’m surprised that the mixes don’t look as granulating as I’d expect from two highly granulating components.

Deep Scarlet

DS Deep Scarlet (PR175) + DS Goethite (PY43) on Stilman & Birn Alpha

Warm, dusty pink/peach/brown mixes. Lightly granulating, but I think the Deep Scarlet is having a smoothing effect on the Goethite. The pastiest mix is an orange that looks a lot like a Transparent Red Oxide hue to me.

Quin Rose

DS Goethite (PY43) + DV Red Rose Deep (PV19) on Stilman & Birn Alpha

PV19 tames the granulation of Goethite a lot, so it’s mostly just a dull pink mix.

Potter’s Pink

MaimeriBlu Potter’s Pink (PR233) + DS Goethite (PY43) on Stilman & Birn Beta

Extremely granulating mixes! The PP and Goethite granulation compete but ultimately the PP floats on top. The middle mix has a sienna hue.

Cobalt Blue

DV Cobalt Blue (PB28) + DS Goethite (PY43) on Stilman & Birn Alpha

Brownish-gray granulating mixes. Decidedly not green.

Cobalt Turquoise

SH Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + DS Goethite (PY43) on Stilman & Birn Beta

Interesting light-value muted yellow/gray greens.

Phthalo Green Blue Shade

DV Phthalo Green (PG7) + DS Goethite (PY43) on Pentalic Aqua

The mix makes a granulating, brownish green somewhere between Sap Green and Undersea Green. The large granules of Goethite tended to float on the top, remaining brown in diluted or Goethite-tilted mixes.


DS Serpentine Genuine + DS Goethite (PY43) on Stilman & Birn Alpha

I guess these mixes are more brownish and granulating than base Serpentine, but I don’t feel like it looks different enough to be worth mixing.

What Others Say

This is a Daniel Smith exclusive and I love it for the granulation – it is wonderful for beach and landscape scenes, sandstone and rocks generally. It is also useful for skin tones, but a raw sienna is another option.

Jane Blundell

My Overall Review

I expected this to be, like Potter’s Pink, essentially a special effect paint to make other shades granulating. It is, sort of, but I found it mixed unpredictable results. Several of the mixes didn’t look more granulating to me, but less so!

The mixes with warm and earth tones were generally disappointing, though the greens were fantastic: it turned all of my greens into lovely textured/muted natural foliage colors. However, I can get similar mixes from Monte Amiata Natural Sienna.

I see why Jane Blundell likes the mix with buff for sand or sandstone, and I failed to find another mix that was as good. For example, the mix of Transparent Brown Oxide with buff wasn’t nearly as good.

Goethite & Buff Titanium mix, vs. Transparent Brown Oxide & Buff Titanium mix

However, ultimately I decided this wasn’t enough reason for me to promote Goethite to my main palette. For a special effects granulation paint, I kind of like Potter’s Pink better, and for my general yellow ochre/raw sienna needs, I’ll stick with MANS.

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