Color Spotlight: Quinacridone Purple (PV55)

Daniel Smith Quinacridone Purple

Quinacridone Purple is a straightforward purple that is neither blue-toned nor magenta-toned.

Experiment Results

Gradient: Smooth gradient from a deep purple somewhere between plum and eggplant, up to a pale lilac. Doesn’t get extremely dark.

Opacity: Transparent.

Granulation: Non-granulating.

Glazing: Glazes more reddish.

Color Mixes:

  • With Quin Rose, a plum shade similar to PV19 Permanent Magenta.
  • With Quin Coral, a pink similar to Quin Rose.
  • With all yellows, uninspiring dull tans.
  • With Phthalo Green Yellow Shade, gray-blue.
  • With Phthalo Blue Green Shade, violet-blue (duller than Ultramarine, and not granulating).
  • With Burnt Sienna, an ugly gray-red-brown.
  • With Transparent Brown Oxide, a reasonable red-brown.

Comparison to Other Colors

Bluer than true magentas (Quin Rose PV19, Purple Magenta PR122, primary Magenta PV42), and bluer than the more purple PV19 (e.g. WN Permanent Magenta).

But, more magenta than blue-violets like Carbazole/Dioxazine Violet.

Comparison to Other Brands

Many brands have a PV55.

The only other one I’ve tried is Schmincke Horadam. The hue is quite similar. Like most Schmincke paints, I found it high in binder and difficult to rewet without overdiluting.

Schmincke Horadam Quinacridone Purple

What Others Say

Starting off at number 5, we are going to be taking a look at Quinacridone Purple which is made from PV55. This is a relatively new color to watercolors; it was added to Schmincke line earlier in 2017. This is a very, very cool violet when you first apply it to the paper (although it does tend to dry a little bit warmer), and when you mix it with [other] colors… it reacts pretty uniquely as far as purples go.

Purple’s opposite on the color wheel is yellow, and so when you mix it with yellows typically, you’re going to neutralize it and make a brown color. However, you don’t find that as much here with yellows because – something about the coolness of the color – it just doesn’t quite ring as brown. It looks really like if you mixed yellow with purple and put it on a page.

Denise Soden, “My Top 5 Favorite Watercolors: Purple” [video] (2017)

My Review of Quinacridone Purple

I was happy to find this color as a single-pigment palette purple, but I find I rarely reach for it. I don’t like the mixes it makes, and if I want a purple, I’m more likely to mix one with Quin Rose and one of my blues. I just get such a great range of purples from that mix, and it feels like the purples I mix from Quin Purple aren’t as bold, or as easy to tint toward pink or blue as desired. This is is a nice color on its own, but it’s a “not necessary” for me.

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