Red is another hue in my palette where my selections are a little unusual. A standard split primary red would include a Cadmium Red or a Scarlet as the warm red, and Alizarin Crimson or a Carmine as the cool version.
Instead I have a dark orange for a warm red (DS Transparent Pyrrol Orange) and a pink version of a cool red (DS Quinacridone Rose). Quin Rose is a real workhorse for me as it can mix lovely oranges as well as nice purples. Therefore if I only could have three colours in my palette this would be my single red. Some people like to use a magenta which is another very versatile ‘red’ but I find it too unnatural on its own to be usable in my palette (refer to my earlier posts for some of my general principles). Quin Rose makes a nice range of pinks as well.
The reason for Transparent Pyrrol Orange (TPO) is because I like it’s transparent nature and refer working with it over the stronger Pyrrol Scarlet, Vermilion colours or the more opaque Cadmium Reds. I love that TPO is the same pigment as a favourite colour of mine – Schmincke Transparent Orange. This is a stunning beautiful orange paint but sadly I don’t use it enough these days (now that the T2 Teahouse is no more) to justify it in my everyday palette. (Note: The T2 Teahouse is the ‘random colour reference of the day’ and if you know about it, then you are a long time follower!)
TPO is dark enough that it can function as a red and it’s a lovely orange! (Thanks to Jane Blundell for introducing me to this colour.) It’s a paint which is unique to Daniel Smith and there are no directly comparable paints in most of the other brands I have explored. Sadly I’ve been told that the latest tubes of this colour are lighter. What!?! I’m rather concerned about this as it means that I might have to reconsider it’s inclusion in my palette down the track.
I’m not particularly concerned about creating a wide variety of reds and pink and so these two pigments do the job for me nicely. I mix them together to get primary red and add a touch of Ultramarine if I need a darker red.
And in the red section, I’m including Potter’s Pink which is very quirky selection. I wrote a whole article on it previously so have included a link to that below.
Just for the record, I don’t have a purple in my palette as I find it so easy to mix with Quin Rose and French Ultramarine. Therefore tomorrow we will go straight to my blue pigments!
Once again I have to stress that these are my personal preferences! Everyone is different and you might like some of the colours mentioned above which don’t do it for me! My hope is that by sharing my own thought process and preferences you’ll be able to think through your own palette and personal colour needs.
Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith)
Quinacridone Rose (Daniel Smith)
Potter’s Pink (Winsor & Newton)
Full Palette – Further Reading
Just for reference… here is my complete palette with the abbreviations I use for the other colours.
- More about Potter’s Pink
- The general principles behind my palette selection
- All my palette articles
- My SketchingNow Watercolour course – Learn how to increase your control of water, how to decide when to layer/glaze and when to work wet-in-wet, how to create vibrant colours with a limited palette, how to be more confident with your use of colour and much more!
So what reds do you have in your palette? and why are they there?
Thank you in advance to anyone who takes to the time to share in the comment section – it really makes this article more valuable for other readers. Plus I always LOVE reading about other people’s WHY’s