Color Spotlight: Venetian Red (PR101)

Venetian Red is an opaque earth scarlet made from synthetic iron oxide (PR101), very similar to Indian Red but a bit more on the orange side of red (not at all violet-toned). It is still more red/less orange than Burnt Sienna.

Observations of WN Venetian Red

Hue: Earth scarlet, diluting to coral/peach. More toward red (less orange) than Burnt Sienna Deep, but not as far toward violet as Indian Red.

Granulating: Mildly granulating.

Opacity: Extremely opaque.

Color Mixes:

  • Deepens warm colors, like yellows/oranges/reds.
  • Adds orange tones to earth yellows.
  • Creates gorgeous cool browns with blues!
  • Earth violets with Ultramarine Blue and Ultramarine Violet.
  • Cool Raw Umber type tones with Phthalo Blue and Phthalo Turquoise. This can be a tough color to mix!
  • A nice soft dove gray with Cerulean Blue Genuine (similar to the combo of Indian Red + Cerulean Blue, though a bit warmer/less neutral.)
  • Mix with Cobalt Turquoise is pretty ugly.

Comparison to Other Colors

Indian Red (PR101)

Indian Red is the most similar color in terms of general hue and brushfeel. Both are made from the same pigment (PR101), and both are granulating and very opaque. Indian Red is a deep maroon hue that dilutes to a dusty pink; while Venetian Red is more orange-toned, a true earth scarlet that dilutes to coral. The WN Venetian Red is less granulating than the DV Indian Red and looks merely thick and flat in masstone, as opposed to that lovely texture you see all the way up in the DV Indian Red.

Note that different companies’ definitions of Indian and Venetian Red may vary along the scarlet-to-violet spectrum. To my eye, Daniel Smith’s Venetian Red looks more like the Indian Red pictured; its Indian Red is even more violet, similar to WN Caput Mortuum.

Color Mixes

Naples Yellow Deep (PBr24)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + WN Naples Yellow Deep (PBr24) on Canson XL

Yellow Ochre (PY43)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + DV Yellow Ochre (PY43) on Canson XL

Raw Sienna (PBr7)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + DV Raw Sienna (PBr7) on Canson XL

Ultramarine Blue (PB29)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + DV Ultramarine Blue (PB29) on Canson XL

Some lovely browns. A bit more brownish or grayish than similar mixes with Indian Red.

Indanthrone Blue (PB60)

DS Indanthrone Blue (PB60) + WN Venetian Red (PR101)

Brown side of neutral.

Phthalo Blue RS (PB15)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + HO Phthalo Blue RS (PB15) on Canson XL

Neutral grays are possible here, or deep Indigo hue blues.

Cerulean Blue (PB36)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + DV Cerulean Blue Genuine (PB36) on Canson XL

Soft dove greys. A bit warmer/less violet than those with Indian Red.

Phthalo Turquoise (PB16)

DV Venetian Red (PR101) + WN Phthalo Turquoise (PB16) on Canson XL

Some pretty neutral shades here, as well as a very difficult-to-mix cool green-brown Raw Umber hue!

Phthalo Green BS (PG7)

WN Venetian Red (PR101) + WN Winsor Green BS (PG7) on Canson XL

My Review of Venetian Red

I found this color very attractive. The hue is the color of red clay or fall oak leaves. As its name suggests, it’s a lovely match for Italian houses and roofs. In dilute, it’s coral enough for sunset cloud edges.

Blues & Browns Only Week 1. February 25, 2024. Venetian Red used for cloud edges.

I also like its mixes overall; it does a fantastic job of muting green-blues to neutral grays (especially the tricky Phthalo Blue Red Shade); it makes gorgeous browns with a wide range of blues (including a tricky Raw Umber hue with Phthalo Turquoise), and soft granulating browns with Ultramarine and Cerulean.

There may be some palette overlap with other colors typically made from PR101/PR102:

  • Indian Red has similar handling characteristics, but is typically slightly more violet-red, diluting to a dusty pink. This may be more useful for some animal use cases (Denise Soden uses it for animal ears) as well as for desert red rocks.
  • Terra Cotta or Light Red typically is more orange, diluting to peach. A more orange color is more apt to neutralize Indanthrone Blue or Ultramarine Blue (see also Burnt Sienna, Transparent Red Oxide).

I’ll be trying it out in my palette for a bit to see what I can make of it!

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