WATERCOLOR

WHAT IS THE TRUE PRIMARY MAGENTA?

MY ADDICTION TO COLOR MIXING…

I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to mixing colors.   I mainly do it for two reasons – first it’s a great de-stressor when I’m struggling with anxiety and second I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my paint colors.    You see I’m always trying to achieve this perfect color palette that just fits with the what I see inside my head.   

MY IDEAL COLOR PALETTE…

Now I want to put a disclaimer out there – art supplies are very much a personal preference when it comes to the artist.   And this is very much true when it comes to what I desire in my paints.  PERSONALLY I DESIRE PAINT COLORS WITH 3 CRITERIA:

  • 1ST: VIBRANT COLORS THAT SEEM TO POP OFF THE PAPER
  • 2ND: COLORS THAT HAVE LITTLE TO NO GRANULATION OR TEXTURE:
  • 3RD: COLORS THAT MIX WELL WITH MY OTHER SUPPLIES

NOW THAT YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR IN A PAINT – Let’s go ahead and get started with testing these suckers…

THE CANDIDATES…

Today I’m going to be testing 7 different magenta paints from different brands and different pigment combos based on your suggestions.   All of these paints are lightfast and here is the candidates that ya’ll recommended…

  • #1: Quinacridone Rose – M. Graham (pigment – pv19)
  • #2: Permanent Rose – Da Vinci (pigment – pv19)
  • #3: Permanent Rose – Winsor (pigment – pv19)
  • #4: RUBY RED – SCHMINCKE (pigment – pv19)
  • #5: QUINACRIDONE MAGENTA – SCHMINCKE (pigment – pR202)
  • #6: QUINACRIDONE MAGENTA – DANIEL SMITH (pigment – pR202)
  • #7: QUINACRIDONE MAGENTA – QOR (pigment – pR122)

Make sure to watch the video below – if you would like to see how these paints performed! ?

MY DECIDING FACTORS

I’m going to be doing 3 tests to determine which color would work best for me and my paint preferences.   These test include…

  • #1: COVERAGE TEST:  
  • #2: TEMPERATURE TEST:  
  • #3: MIX-ABLITY TEST:

TESTING THE PAINTS…

TEST #1: COVERAGE TEST

For my first test – I’m going to be testing the values of each of these paints and really paying attention to how the paints are covering the paper.   Basically is it evenly coating the paper with a thin but vibrant layer of color or is it patchy or even granulating.   

TEST #2: TEMPERATURE TEST

Next, I’m going to be lining up the paints based on their color temperature.   So basically – all colors come in a spectrum of warm to cool.   So think of this color arch as the basic hue magenta – however there are cooler magenta’s and warmer magenta’s.   So what I’m going to be doing is lining all the colors I have up from cool (or more purple) to warm (which will appear more red).    By lining my colors up – I can get a better idea of what magenta’s would work well mixing with blues and which one’s would work better mixing with yellows.   So here’s how the rule works – cooler colors mix better with cooler colors and warmer colors mix best with warmer colors.   So a warm Magenta (or redder magenta) will mix better with yellows than a cooler or more purple magenta (which will mix better with purples and blues).   

Personally I like to have 2 magenta’s in my paint palette – a cooler magenta which makes beautiful purples and then a magenta that is somewhat close to the center of this spectrum or middle.   If you can get a color that lines of dead center on your temperature spectrum chances are it will mix nicely with both warm and cool colors.   AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS WHERE YOU WILL FIND YOUR TRUE PRIMARY MAGENTA! So that is what I’m looking for in this test.  

TEST #3: MIX-ABILITY TEST

And finally the last test I want to do is the mix-ability test – or basically see how well these colors work with my current paints.   What I’m looking for is granulation or chemical reactions when the paints mix either on my palette or on the paper.   

MY FINAL OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS…

And here are my findings!  So after testing out all seven magenta’s I personally really liked the Qor Quinacridone Magenta as a cooler more purple magenta.   It performed really well in the coverage test and had a fantastic purple tone that is fantastic for mixing purples.   

My next favorite is Winsor’s Permanent Rose which will be my primary lightfast magenta for the future.      

My least favorite was the Daniel Smith and Schmincke Quinacridone Magenta.  Both coated the paper with a splotchy appearance.   

As for the other three I tested – I really liked the Schmincke Ruby Red – But it’s a bit on the warm side for what I was looking for temperature wise.   Next Da Vinci Permanent Rose (Quin.) – I also really liked – but it didn’t paint as evenly of a coat when compared to the Winsor Permanent Rose.   And finally the Quinacridone Rose – from M Graham I really liked at first – but noticed it had some mixing problems when working with my Winsor Blue.  So – I had to set it aside.  

And those are my final observations!  So the two magenta’s I’ll be definitely adding to my palette is QOR Quinacridone Magenta and Winsor’s Permanent Rose.  So hopefully this will help you in deciding what magenta’s to pick up in the future.  

About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?

2 Comments

  • Francine Hall
    April 18, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Carrie! My perfect magenta is MaimeriBlu #256 rosso primario magenta. It makes the sweetest pinks! ?

    Reply
    • Misfit
      April 18, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks If I get a chance – I’ll check it out!

      Reply

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