Color Spotlight: Monte Amiata Natural Sienna aka MANS (PBr7)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
Daniel Smith – Monte Amiata Natural Sienna

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (initials MANS) from Daniel Smith is my favorite variation on Raw Sienna. Raw Sienna is traditionally a yellow-orange earth tone that’s more orange than Yellow Ochre but less orange than Burnt Sienna. Like Burnt Sienna, it traditionally uses the pigment PBr7. MANS uses PBr7, but looks a bit more like a yellow ochre.

Experiment Results

Gradient: Doesn’t get very dark, but still grades nicely. Gold-ochre in masstone, to a pale yellow-orange glow.

Granulation: A bit granulating in masstone, and smooth in dilute.

Opacity: Transparent.

Glazing: Glazes to a darker/orangier sienna color than I could get from a single layer.


Lightfastness test for DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7). Left: window swatch, exposed to western light in Boston, MA, from July 22-December 9, 2023. Right: Protected strip.

I see no difference between these. Sweet!

Comparison to Other Colors

Raw Sienna

Raw Sienna is a more traditional version of this pigment family, it’s typically less yellow and more orangey and has a wider range.

Da Vinci Raw Sienna (left) vs Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Raw Sienna (right)

Daniel Smith also has a color called “Raw Sienna,” which is more orangey than MANS and less pigmented.

Daniel Smith color comparison: Raw Sienna, MANS, Goethite, and Yellow Ochre.

Yellow Ochre (PY42)

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

Yellow Ochre typically has the closest hue to MANS, even closer than Raw Sienna (although MANS and Raw Sienna are made from the same pigment, PBr7, and Yellow Ochre is made from PY42 or PY43). Yellow Ochres vary a lot from brand to brand, but I found the Holbein Yellow Ochre to be less granulating and a bit wider in range.

Goethite (PY43)

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

Daniel Smith’s Goethite is a highly granulating Yellow Ochre variant. See: What’s the difference between Goethite Brown Oxide (PY43) and Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7)?

Color Mixes

Daniel Smith – Van Dyke Brown

MANS + DS Van Dyke Brown (PBr7) – in Wonder Forest sketchbook

Cool (green-toned) yellow-browns with granulation that looks to me like a sun-dappled dirt road. In dilute, a gray-tan sand color.

Transparent Red Oxide (PR101)

Transparent Red Oxide + Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
Daniel Smith Transparent Red Oxide (PR101) + Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) in a Wonder Forest sketchbook

Fiery and bold yet naturalistic and textured red sandstone colors. I love this combination.

Transparent Brown Oxide (PR101)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Transparent Brown Oxide
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Daniel Smith Transparent Brown Oxide (PR101) in a Wonder Forest sketchbook

Although I don’t find either MANS or TBO to look particularly orangey in masstone on their own, I found the combination rather orangey – certainly in comparison to VDB (below), though they are more subdued than TRO (above). TBO tends to go peachy in dilute which makes sense since it is made from PR101 like TRO. I like these combos but to me they don’t distinguish from TRO particularly.

Potter’s Pink (PR233)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Potter's Pink
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + MaimeriBlu Potter’s Pink (PR233) in a Pentalic Aqua sketchbook

The MANS warms up the Potter’s Pink, and the Potter’s Pink adds granulation and orangeyness to the MANS. The balance mixed looks like a nice granulating Raw Sienna.

Quinacridone Rose (PV19)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Red Rose Deep
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Da Vinci Red Rose Deep (PV19) in a Pentalic Aqua sketchbook

Warm, golden, fiery peachy mixes. I like these slightly muted corals better than a straight orange for golden hour clouds.

Ultramarine Blue (PB29)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Ultramarine Blue
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Holbein Ultramarine Deep (PB29) in a Wonder Forest sketchbook

The violet-toned deep Ultramarine reacts with the yellowy MANS more like a violet than a blue, making grayish tones rather than green. Lovely granulating mixes that don’t get too dark and always retain the texture of the original pigments.

Indanthrone Blue

DS Indanthrone Blue (PB60) + DS MANS (PBr7) on Canson XL

Also grayish mixes (not green). A bit of MANS mutes the Indanthrone Blue to an Indigo or Payne’ Gray type shade. The medium mix is pretty uninspiring to me, but the mostly-MANS mix is nicely muted to a convincing dead-grass color.

Cobalt Blue

DV Cobalt Blue (PB28) + DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) on Stilman & Burn Beta

These gray-tan mixes are yellower than those with Ultramarine, but still nowhere near green.


Holbein Indigo + DS MANS

Also very grayish mixes, thanks to the muted blue.

Payne’s Gray

WN Payne’s Gray + DS MANS

Another grayish mix, this one very predictable.

Cerulean (PB36)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Cerulean
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Da Vinci Cerulean Blue Genuine (PB36) in an Etchr Perfect Sketchbook

Another bi-color gradient with a sandy beach quality – again, adamantly refusing to go green! I think this is an interesting natural mix that looks like sand at the bottom of a pond.

Cobalt Turquoise

SH Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) on Stilman & Birn Beta

Bright, saturated, aloe greens and olive greens.


Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Viridian
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Winsor & Newton Viridian (PG18) in a Pentalic Aqua sketchbook

A balanced mix looks like mossy rocks. Just a touch of MANS makes the Viridian more yellow and natural-looking.

Phthalo Green (PG7)

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Phthalo Green
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Da Vinci Phthalo Green (PG7) in a Wonder Forest sketchbook

Similar to the Viridian mixes since PG7 is roughly the same hue, but less granulating. Because Phthalos are so strong, it’s also harder to get a mix that leans more toward MANS here.

What Others Say

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna is Liz Steel’s primary yellow ochre/raw sienna equivalent for many reasons:

* A result of a big search… many yellow earths
* A beautiful glowing raw sienna… intense + transparent + granulating.
* Most used color 🙂
* Better (for me) than a yellow ochre as it makes greys with blues + great for skies + drop into cobalt + skin (Potter’s Pink)
* Killer combo with Transparent Red Oxide + French Ultramarine

Liz Steel

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna– at first I didn’t like this color as much, but as soon as I tried it in these paintings it was a perfect addition. It is a bit more opaque than quinacridone gold, and it also made less orange-y mixtures than the gold as well. It ended up being my go-to for combinations with the perylene red if I wanted a more red-orange without making a color that would take over the whole painting.

Claire Giordano, Petrified Forest Residency: Favorite Colors

My Review of Monte Amiata Natural Sienna

At first glance, it seems like MANS wouldn’t be as useful as a traditional Raw Sienna because it doesn’t have as much range, but I find its yellow-ness useful. Specifically, much more so than a traditional Raw Sienna, it can be used in the sky as a horizon glow. Because it’s based on a brown pigment, it doesn’t tend to mix with blue (unless you force it) so it can grade directly into blue without turning your sky green.

Layered mountains from Kolbie Blume’s Wilderness Watercolor Landscapes. MANS is the sky glow in both versions.

It basically fulfills a role for me more similar to Yellow Ochre, but I prefer it because it’s transparent (traditional Yellow Ochre made from PY42 or PY43 tends to be opaque) and it’s even harder to turn green.

My only problem with MANS is that it dries hard and can be a bit difficult to rewet. It also a tendency to dry and shrink out of the pan. Texturally, it’s not my favorite on the palette. But oh, it makes such lovely mixes on the page.

The Bottom Line

On my palette? Yes!

Favorite version: I usually do these posts on more general color categories rather than a specific paint; you could say that MANS is the version of the Raw Sienna/Yellow Ochre family that sparks the most joy for me.

5 thoughts on “Color Spotlight: Monte Amiata Natural Sienna aka MANS (PBr7)”

  1. Hey,

    Thanks for the great blog.

    I’m curious abt how DS Mans compares with Kremer Pigmente Mans, not sure if that’s something you can do (nor if Kremer supplies it to DS)


    • I don’t know! I’ve never gotten anything from Kremer. My art supply budget is blown at the moment, though of course if you want to send me something to try I’m happy to try it (though you would probably enjoy more to try it yourself!) The photos certainly look similar but you never quite know how it will paint out.

  2. Do you have both this and Quinacrodone Gold? I have Quin Gold and trying to decide if I want to get this one too or if they are too similiar.

    • They are a similar hue, but they behave differently in mixes. Quin Gold is a mix of Nickel Azo Yellow and Quin Burnt Orange and has a lot of the same properties as the Nickel Azo Yellow in mixes; dispersive, bold, functions similarly to a bright yellow especially in dilute. MANS behaves more similarly to a typical Raw Sienna (because it IS a yellowy version of a Raw Sienna), tending to mute mixes and make them more granulating. One of the biggest differences is how they behave with blue: Quin Gold makes bright and bold green, and MANS resists going green and will make a hazy, muted blue.

      Quin Gold hue vs MANS


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