Tuesday, 1 September 2015

5 - Mixing with Indian Red

This is my 5th in my series on mixing with my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. Just one more to go - mixing with Jane's Grey.

Indian Red is an interesting paint. It is the most opaque of any Daniel Smith watercolour I've used. It is best to use it without fiddling with it as the heavy pigment can be hard to control. What I love about it though is that it is the perfect colour for lips and the 'pink' of eyes in portraits, provided it is very diluted. It can also be used in mixes to paint the more red-toned skin. It is also lovely as an earth triad with Cerulean Chromium and Goethite for subdued paintings, and can be very useful for painting landscapes and rust.

Of my 15 palette colours, this is the one that is perhaps least used, but it completes the set of earth yellows (Goethite and Raw Umber), earth orange (Burnt Sienna) and earth Red (Indian Red) along with the earth blue Cerulean Chromium. An interesting earth green choice would be chromium green oxide but I would prefer Serpentine Genuine or Green Apatite Genuine.

Indian Red is made from PR101, one of the multi-personality pigments that can be anything from a transparent burnt orange colour, through a range of Venetian red and light red hues to a transparent brown.  Like PBr7 and PV19, the pigment number alone isn't enough to know what the paint will look like.


  1. This is very helpful! I haven't yet decided if I prefer this or the quin. burnt scarlet I sometimes substitute in my palette --- I'm not used to such an opaque paint. But mixed with buff titanium, it is very like the potter's pink I love.

    1. As I said above, I find it great for very specific uses, but I also enjoy all the different characteristics of watercolour. Others may prefer a more transparent 'red earth' option, or even just mix the indian red hue with Pyrrol Scarlet and Phthalo Blue GS so it is the same colour but less opaque.

      You can also make a Potters Pink hue by mixing DS Raw Umber with Quin Rose. It won't have the granulation of genuine Potters Pink but will be that dusty pink hue.