View Full Version : Cool/Black-Leaning Raw Umbers

02-09-2019, 04:26 PM
I am looking for cool, black-leaning raw umbers (most appear to be warm leaning).

I have heard that Richeson and Vasari produce cool raw umbers. I have also noticed that Michael Harding's Van Dyke Brown (Pbr7) appears to be almost black and mixes with white to a neutral gray.

I am trying to lessen my reliance on carbon blacks by using dark earth colors. Any suggestions? I really like Michael Harding and hope the Van Dyke brown will fit the bill.

Does anyone have any swatches they've made?

Richard P
02-09-2019, 04:29 PM
You know you can get Mars Blacks which are not carbon based (PBk11)?

02-09-2019, 04:44 PM
Some manufacturers produce Raw Umber in a "green shade" that isn't really green, it is somewhat less warm than the usual Raw Umber. On the other hand, I've seen color samples of Van Dyke Brown that tint more to brown than gray.

I can't tell you anything about the specific brands you mention. If nobody here has tried the actual paints, you can always add a touch of Ultramarine Blue (or Indanthrone Blue) to Raw Umber, and it will become graaaaay.

One advantage of a Raw Umber + Ultramarine (or Indanthrone) blue mix, is that is will be semi-transparent (more towards transparent), and thus is more suitable as a glaze than is Mars Black.

02-09-2019, 04:48 PM
If you like natural earths, try Roman Black Earth (https://www.naturalpigments.com/roman-black-oil-paint.html).

02-09-2019, 08:24 PM
For a very useful black, consider Prussian Blue mixed with the darkest umber (raw or burnt) you can get your hands on.

I have four Raw Umbers in my personal collection; the darkest is the one produced by Utrecht. Actually, I have an even darker tube produced back in the '70s, but the manufacturer is no longer in business.