Wednesday 24 September 2014

A Question of Hues - Jane's Gold

I recently found an old pan of Winsor and Newton genuine Quinacridone Gold watercolour. PO49. (I had already stocked up on old supplies of the W&N acrylic version :-) Needless to say I snatched it up as I was curious to see how their version compared with the Daniel Smith colour I know and love. Daniel Smith bought up the last supplies of this pigment many years ago and are the only ones still making the genuine version. On the screen they look very alike, though in real life the DS is a little warmer. It is interesting to note that a number of the DS colours that used to have PO49 are now using PO48 or other pigments.

What I have always tried to understand is why Winsor & Newton make such a complex and ugly hue of this colour. They use PY150 - a lovely slightly acid transparent yellow that is an excellent base colour, and is available in W&N as Transparent Yellow or M.Graham and Daniel Smith as Nickel Azo Yellow; PR206 a burnt red, available in W&N as Brown Mader, Daniel Smith as Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet and Daler Rowney as Transparent Red Brown; and PV19 - a rose to violet pigment. W&N Quin Gold (hue) ends up being a very dirty colour, with too much violet-red though once again that is difficult to see on the screen. If they simply mixed the PY150 with their own Burnt Sienna PR101 they would have a cleaner colour that exactly matches genuine Quinacridone Gold. Other companies make the hue with PY150 + PO48 or other variations. Once again, the simplest solution is the best? Anyway, my quin gold hue - Jane's Gold - is PY150 (DS Nickel Azo Yellow) + PR101 (W&N Burnt Sienna) :-)

So how much of each? Making Jane's Gold :-)

 I have used with a half pan and added a decent blob of Nickel Azo Yellow PY150, but left room to mix. Then a much smaller blob of W&N Burnt Sienna PR101. It really depends on the brands you are using how much you need. I mixed these thoroughly with a very fine quill (or use a metal skewer of needle) and came up with a colour that is still too yellow.

 Here is the first mix - not enough PR101

So I added another small blob using the tip of a palette knife - you can see the small blob in the corner of the palette
 The second mix is warmer, but not deep enough and still too much yellow in a wash.

So I added the third small blob amount again, stirred it well, and came out with a very close match, pictured on the left.

Here is my mix compared with the actual PO49 paint. I estimate it is 5 parts PY150:1 part PR101, but the different brands will be different thicknesses so there is no magic formula.
Here is my testing page. You can see Quin gold mixed with Ultramarine on the top left, Jane's gold with Ultramarine below it. It could still have a little more PR101 but is very close. The thing about making your own custom mixes is you can decide exactly what warmth to take it to.

Other good Quin gold hue mixes are PY150 + PO48, PY129 + PBr7 and even PY97 as a base yellow colour.
And here are the pigments in their pure form.

Happy custom mixing :-)

To see my Jane's Grey custom mix, click here
For Jane's Black and other custom mixes click here
For more custom mixes (Jane's golden Earth, Jane's Sienna and Jane's Earth Rose) click here.


  1. Do you know about how much of each color you used for your version of Quinn gold? Thanks!

    1. Not much! It is mostly PY150 with a little PR101. I have yet to make it up in a pan from tube colours but when I do I will update and let you know. Enough to get a perfect visual match, which only helps if you have PO49 to compare! Watch this space....

    2. Thank you Jane, I'll check back!

    3. This is excellent. Thank you!

  2. That is extremely interesting--didn't know DS owned all the PO49, nor had started using PO48. Quin gold is one of my go to colors, I need to go look carefully at my tubes.....

    1. Hi Amy. No need to panic - apparently there is enough PO49 for a couple of decades - but it is worth knowing how to make a workable version of a favourite I think rather than being stuck with strange hues if the DS version is not available where you live :-)

  3. Very useful information, as always. Thanks!!


  4. Hi Jane. Did you ever nail down the magic formula of this blend? I got in to watercolor in the time when people were talking about some pigment or paint or something that was really nice but was getting increasingly difficult to find. Well, now I know what exactly what they were talking about. Do you think that DS PO48, PY150 is the closest thing today?
    Thank you for all good info! I've learned a ton from reading your articles.