View Full Version : Alizarin Crimson Comparison Munsell Style

08-19-2014, 11:38 AM
Hello, everyone!

As I promised, here's the Munsell-style chips I've been painting with my own tubes. Your comments about this are really appreciated!

I have a small tube of Alizarin Crimson (PR 83). The purpose is not to use it for painting itself, but to compare hues and match them. This is a rare type of "Madder" Alizarin; in this variety, the purpurin is not extracted. It gives us a hue almost identical to Winsor & Newton's Madder Lake (NR 9), but brighter in masstone, less deep, and with higher tinting strength.

Since the hues are similar, I've photographed each of them separately to prevent "rounding errors" (when the camera makes each hue much closer to each other than they really are or identical in hue).

Here is each pigment tinted with Titanium White (PW 6).

"Madder" Alizarin (PR 83):


This variety is from a brand called Corfix, acrylics close to a regular to a student-grade acrylics. Not much of a surprise here, except the consistent graying of the mix when adding more white from a bright, rose color, to a grayish tint. The original sample is ever-so slightly more violet. The real deal shows a very linear curve, losing chroma consistently when mixed with white. In tints where white is predominant, the mix seems to shift to orange.

Perylene Maroon (PR 179):


This is from Winsor & Newton's Artists' Acrylics the most saturated of all.

It's a nice pigment on its own, but I don't know why handprint.com recommends it as a single-pigment replacement to Alizarin Crimson. Maybe it works much more differently in watercolors, or maybe it has to do with a duller hue of Alizarin Crimson.

Compared to the "Madder" variety of Alizarin Crimson, Perylene Maroon is much yellower. It does have a linear hue shift which is similar to Alizarin Crimson, though, and it also has a much higher tinting strength.

This particular shade also seems very interesting as a foundation layer for some plants, like red roses.

Permanent Rose (PV 19-gamma)


Winsor & Newton Artists' Acrylic Sample. This is what they used to recommend as a replacement for Rose Madder Genuine (NR 9) and/or Alizarin Crimson (PR 83).

Although they seem close in masstone if you just compare the swatches side-by-side, you see a different story comparing them side-by-side. Permanent Rose is far more chromatic, and as a single, isolated color, it even feels unnatural, so bright it is!

Another interesting feature of this pigment is the non-linear shift when mixing with white. First, it only seems like a brighter version of itself. In the third shift, it reaches maximum chroma, becoming much more bluish. Only then it starts to lose chroma, resembling Rose Madder Genuine in the last two shifts.

When trying to really approximate the hue of the "Madder" Alizarin, I found out one of the best approaches is to mix Permanent Rose (PV 19-gamma) to some Potter's Pink (PR 233), so that the mix will still be bluish but gray down it a little bit, and then add Perylene Maroon (PR 179), to shift it slightly to a yellowish hue. I haven't painted swatches of this mix, though.

08-19-2014, 03:24 PM
In oil Alizarin looks more deep in masstone. And less yellowish.

08-19-2014, 05:31 PM
In oil Alizarin looks more deep in masstone. And less yellowish.

Hi, Giga!

Keep in mind this is the "Madder" Alizarin variety. It's synthetic, but it is similar to madder lake (NR 9) because it doesn't have purpurin extracted from it; however, the pigment code is the same as the redder, bluer Alizarin.