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View Full Version : Is Cad red light really need in watercolor?


oramasha
04-18-2015, 01:03 AM
This is a cross-post from watercolor in case someone is well versed in watercolor.

Hello, watercolorists.

I'm in the midst of putting together my "fantasy" watercolor palette if I were to start to paint in watercolor. I'm new to gouache, and I like it, but it reactivates so easily with water, and I tend to be impatient and I want to layer! It's my understanding that once dry, watercolor doesn't reactivate.

In any case, I come from an acrylic background and am willing to try some new pigments rather than my usual palette. My goal is to find saturated hues that do not have large color shifts and that give me the best mixing options.

For yellows I've chosen: (these are easy, you really can do no wrong, I suspect)

--azo yellow (seems like a good primary)
--Gamboge (m graham)-- never used this one. How do you guys use this in mixes?

Reds:

I'm stumped here. Normally, I'd use cad red light and a quin crimson, and would pull cad red or a quin magenta if needed. Or, even a naphthol red in acrylics. But, I'm trying to just stick with a bare bones 12 color or less palette in case i don't like this medium and to ease my learning curve and encourage me to mix the heck out of my palette.

Do you all find cad red light to be essential? Can I mix with with gamboge and pyrole red? I had it on my acrylic palette there because it mixed skin tones.

Any suggestions for reds warm and cool? None of the permanent alizarins across brands have excellent lightfast ratings.

I was planning on pyrole red since it is so similar to the cad red and mixes well with oranges.

Unless I really get into this medium, I hope not to need 5 colors in each hue with all different properties! (granualating, opaque, etc.) I hope I can make something "attractive" with these transparent or semi transparent colors.

I also plan on buying: (all m graham unless specified)

-? perm rose (Winsor Newton's is supposed to be the most saturated)
-cerulean blue or cerulean blue deep
-um blue (I hear Schminke's is the best)
-?phthalo blue or keep my student grade paint which probably has enough saturation of pigment
-viridian green (or keep my phthalo green student grade for now)
-?raw sienna vs. yellow ochre
- burnt sienna (winsor newton is supposed to have a nice one with TR101)
-? burnt umber vs. van dyke brown (m . graham)
-? black

I think these are the basics which I use on my acrylic palette. I have a few convenience colors, but they aren't immediately necessary unless I find myself loving this medium. Any advice welcomed. I'm not even at the point in my acrylic painting where I want convenience greens yet.

I also learned that soft brushes get destroyed with gouache! You need stiffer synthetics. And for watercolor, I probably need a few sizes of rounds and maybe a large flat or mop brush. I'm still reviewing some watercolor and drawing books. I can't afford kolinsky's though.

Thanks for any tips on how you use gamboge, how you choose reds, if cad red light is necessary, and if perm rose is necessary. (And if it's necessary to have a range of properties across each color to start. .. . I hope not, I want to keep this simple and portable.)

BTW, I really like anthraquinone blue and sap green hue, but I need to learn the basics first before I go for convenience!

Thanks for any advice and sharing of your experience.

opainter
04-18-2015, 01:50 AM
I'll just comment on the colors. I think that yellow(s), blue(s), and brown(s) are more important on most palettes than are reds. Of course, if you are going to paint red flowers, you will obviously need red! Or if you are going to paint African violets or moody purplish skies, and your palette does not have purple, you will need a bluish red as well as a reddish blue (this is where Anthraquinone Blue (PB60) would fill the bill, but so would Ultramarine Blue (PB29)). But it all depends on what subjects you normally paint. Some artists reserve one or more reds (for example, Cadmium Red (PR108) and Alizarin Crimson Permanent) for adding to their palettes only when a realistic red is needed. As an acrylic painter, you know about the speed which paints can dry on the palette, which is why acrylic painters tend to be extra conservative about putting out colors! (A nasty fact of life, but one that the artist must deal with.) With watercolors, you can always rewet, so paints drying out is not so much of a problem.

There seem to be a lot of watercolor artists who do not use red - or at least do not use it very often. Esp. if they have a reddish brown, such as Iron Oxide (PR101) or Burnt Sienna (which may be variously formulated), and perhaps one or more oranges or yellow-oranges, perhaps also a violet, they may not find themselves needing a real red very often - or even at all.

Gigalot
04-18-2015, 03:17 AM
I am poor watercolorist, I did only a few paintings in watercolor. But anyway, I think that the most versatile color is bright Rose. I used Tioindigo Rose in the past.
I guess, the modern replacement of this bright color is PV19 or PR209 - Quinacridone Rose or Quinacridone Red.

Personally, I will try to find all available Quinacridones in watercolor to make complete Quinacridone watercolor palette. For me, Quinacridones are best ever colors particularly for watercolor media :)

oramasha
04-18-2015, 04:23 AM
I am poor watercolorist, I did only a few paintings in watercolor. But anyway, I think that the most versatile color is bright Rose. I used Tioindigo Rose in the past.
I guess, the modern replacement of this bright color is PV19 or PR209 - Quinacridone Rose or Quinacridone Red.

Personally, I will try to find all available Quinacridones in watercolor to make complete Quinacridone watercolor palette. For me, Quinacridones are best ever colors particularly for watercolor media :)

Thanks, Gigalot. I will get perm rose pv 19 as it does mix nicely with blues and for flowers, but pv 19 does not have the best lightfast ratings esp. in the violet tones for watercolor. Of course, I should do my own studies once I choose my pigments. Thank you for your thoughts.

Mythrill
04-18-2015, 08:07 PM
Oramasha, you don't really need Cadmium Red Light (PR 108). You can do pretty well with Permanent Rose (PV 19-gamma), Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122) or any organic bright red (such as Pyrrole Red, PR 255). However, you might like the opacity and mineral qualities of Cadmium Red Light.

Gigalot
04-19-2015, 02:42 AM
I remembered, a tinny amount of Cadmium Red Deep and Titanium White tempera I used in my watercolor paintings. Works perfectly!
(I have Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow med and Cadmium Orange in my watercolors, but I never have Cadmium Reds)

I heard about "Quinacridone watercolor set" in which all available Quinacridones are added!
http://www.cheapjoes.com/catalog/product/view/id/26496/s/american-journey-artists-watercolor-quinacridone-6-set-5-ml-tubes/category/17/

Patrick1
04-19-2015, 03:05 AM
I've been disappointed in the somewhat ruddy reds and oranges when using PV19 or PR122 as my only mixing red. Not surprising - I paint mostly opaquely. But if you paint more thinly, or in watercolor, the red-orange mixes might be adequate for some. In the same way that some find that some blue + yellow gives greens that are more than adequate. While others need a separate, single-pigment green.

I would say you really need Cadmium Red Light only if you want maximum opacity, no hue shift towards pink in undertone and tints, and maximum lightfastness. In this regard PR255 is almost as good, if not equally so.

If you can live with greater transparency and hue shift, there are several luscious middle and orange-reds out there. Personally, I haven't found a need for any Cadmium Red. I've gotten used to and actually preferred the nature of the organic reds I've used over the years. It depends on what you're used to. But I don't do watercolors...where you get various effects inherent to that medium, so I can't comment on that.