Color Spotlight: Phthalo Blue Red Shade (PB15:6)

Is Phthalo Blue Red Shade actually red-toned, neutral, or still green-toned but simply less so than its cousin Phthalo Blue Green Shade (PB15:3)? I’ve heard all opinions, and I suppose it’s a judgment call. (Is the color blue you see the same as the color blue I see?) My opinion is that it is a … Read more

Color Spotlight: Cerulean Blue Genuine (PB36)

Da Vinci - Cerulean Blue Genuine
Da Vinci – Cerulean Blue Genuine

The color Cerulean, a light sky blue, is traditionally made from the PB35 or PB36 pigments. It’s a semi-opaque, granulating, green-toned blue with limited range of values, erring on the side of being light-colored. It’s nonstaining and highly liftable, making it a good choice for skies (if you like granulating skies). Personally, I usually like a less textured sky – but Cerulean has other uses as well, such as being a beautiful textured green mixer, and muting earth tones into cool, granulating browns.

Warning: Be careful to look at pigment numbers. Some brands, like Mission Gold, call their PB15 Phthalo Blue “Cerulean.” Don’t make the mistake I did when I first started painting, and get “Cerulean Hue” (from Da Vinci or any other brand), made from Phthalo Blue + white. PB15 is not the same color, and will not have the same granulation/magic/mixing properties.

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Color Spotlight: Shadow Violet

Daniel Smith – Shadow Violet

Shadow Violet is a granulating purple-gray that’s made from a mix of three pigments: PB29 (Ultramarine), PG18 (Viridian), and PO73 (Pyrrol Orange). As such, close inspection of the seemingly unassuming shade reveals flecks of violet blue and blue-green as well as and underlying orange cast that make it more interesting than your typical gray, and mimics the overall effect of a real-life shadow with light and dark spots, color variety, and texture. John Muir Laws praises its beautiful granulation and suggests using it as a convenience gray for shadows in nature paintings.

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Color Spotlight: Pyrrol Crimson (PR264)

Daniel Smith Pyrrol Crimson: gradient, opacity and glazing tests, color mixes

Pyrrol Crimson is a robust deep crimson red with a slight blue undertone. It’s recommended by Jane Blundell as a part of her Ultimate Mixing Palette, as a lightfast and single-pigment replacement for the fugitive Alizarin Crimson.

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Color Spotlight: Pyrrol Red (PR254)

Daniel Smith Pyrrol Red: gradient, opacity and glazing tests, color mixes

Pyrrol Red is a straight-ahead, middle red, the platonic ideal of red! The color of fire engines, cardinals, and yew berries, it’s very bright and bold with a slight orange bias. Its closest complement is Phthalo Green Yellow Shade.

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Dark Magenta Part II: Carbazole Violet, Perylene Violet, and Bordeaux

After swapping out options for a dark magenta last week, I found that I had stuck too close to home and chosen colors too similar to my primary magenta. So, today, I’m comparing my favorite of those options – Bordeaux (PV32) – with two strikingly dark purple colors: Perylene Violet (PV29) and Carbazole Violet (PV23).

From left: DS Bordeaux (PV32), DS Perylene Violet (PV29), DS Carbazole Violet (PV23) on Canson XL

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Color Spotlight: Deep Scarlet (PR175)

A very transparent, deep, slightly muted orange-red. Experiment Results Gradient: I liked the overall handling of this color which dispersed easily and made a nice, glowing gradient from a deep, slightly textured barn red through to a light red. When it dried, though, I was disappointed to see that it had dried unevenly in masstone … Read more