Alizarin Crimson Watercolor – All You Need to Know 2023

For artists, the choice of color is essential in creating a unique and compelling work of art. Every color has its unique characteristics that can evoke different emotions and moods. Alizarin Crimson has found its place in the artist’s palette is versatile and vibrant. In this article, we will explore this color’s use and significance in the art world, providing insights into why it continues to be a popular choice among artists.

Alizarin Crimson by different brands

Find 4 manufacturer(s) of watercolors below. We’ve also compiled a list of our favorite art supplies here.

Alizarin Crimson  – Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Alizarin Crimson

A synthetic lake pigment from the Madder plant, Alizarin Crimson was the first natural dye to be synthesised in 1868. It is a deep transparent red with a blueish undertone.

Color No.: 4Lightfastness:Opacity:Transparent
Staining:StainingGranulation:Sizes: 5ml tubes; 14ml tubes; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Alizarin Crimson  – Rembrandt

Watercolor Alizarin Crimson
Color No.: 326Lightfastness:Opacity:Transparent
Staining:Granulation:Sizes: Tube 10 ml

Manufacturer website

Permanent Alizarin Crimson  – Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Permanent Alizarin Crimson

Highly transparent with a blue undertone, Permanent Alizarin Crimson is a vivid red colour.Please note that due to a pigment change there may be two different product formulations in circulation. Pigment PR206 is being phased out and replaced by PR179. PR179 provides a colour that technically cannot be closer to the original, but is not identical.

Color No.: 466Lightfastness:Opacity:Transparent
Staining:StainingGranulation:Sizes: 5ml tubes; 14ml tubes; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Permanent Alizarin Crimson  – Daniel Smith

Watercolor Permanent Alizarin Crimson

Permanent Alizarin Crimson, developed with our customers, blends pigments to produce an exceptionally lightfast red with true Alizarin Crimson character and versatility. Like classic Alizarin, it is vibrant, medium staining and very transparent, with the undeniable advantage of permanence. Try a rich and bold application or a blush of crimson color in a light wash, we know you’ll love this beautiful shade.

Color No.: Lightfastness:I – ExcellentOpacity:Transparent
Staining:3-Medium StainingGranulation:Non-GranulatingSizes: 5ml tubes; 15ml tubes; Sticks; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Tips when choosing colors

When it comes to choosing colors for watercolor painting, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, consider the color wheel and how different colors interact with each other. Understanding complementary colors, warm and cool tones, and color harmonies can help you create dynamic and visually appealing artworks. Additionally, think about the subject matter and the mood you want to convey. For example, if you are painting a landscape, you may want to choose greens and blues for a calming and natural feel. Lastly, experiment with different brands and pigments to find colors that suit your style and technique. Remember, the color choices you make can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your artwork, so take your time and choose wisely.

Also read, watercolor essentials to see which colors are essential

History of Alizarin Crimson

Alizarin Crimson is a deep red pigment that has been used in art for centuries. It was originally made from the roots of the madder plant and was used as a dye and pigment as early as the ancient Egyptians. In the 19th century, synthetic versions of Alizarin Crimson were developed, which made the pigment more widely available and affordable.

Alizarin Crimson has a rich, warm hue that is ideal for use in watercolor painting. However, the pigment is known for its poor lightfastness, meaning that it can fade over time when exposed to light. Because of this, many artists today choose to use Permanent Alizarin Crimson instead.

Despite its lightfastness issues, Alizarin Crimson remains a popular choice among artists for its rich color and versatility. It is often used in watercolor painting to create deep reds, pinks, and purples, and can be mixed with other colors to create a wide range of hues.

Fun fact: The use of Alizarin Crimson was so widespread in the 19th century that it sparked a worldwide search for the madder plant, which was the primary source of the pigment at the time. The search led to the colonization of Madagascar and other parts of Africa, where the plant was found growing in abundance.

How watercolor paint is made

Watercolor paint is typically made from a few simple ingredients:

  • pigments
  • binders
  • water
Watercolor manaufacturing

The pigments used in watercolor paints can be organic or inorganic compounds, such as minerals or synthetic chemicals. These pigments are finely ground and then mixed with a binder, which helps the pigment particles adhere to the paper when the paint is applied.

The most common binder used in watercolor paints is gum arabic, a natural resin extracted from the sap of the acacia tree. Gum arabic is mixed with the pigment to create a thick paste, which is then combined with water to create the final paint.

Other additives may be added to the paint to improve its performance or create specific effects. For example, some watercolor paints may include wetting agents to help the paint spread more evenly on the paper, or preservatives to extend the paint’s shelf life.

Testing newly made watercolor paint
Testing newly made watercolor paint

Watercolor paints are available in a wide range of colors and textures, from transparent washes to opaque and granulated pigments. Different
manufacturers may use slightly different formulations or ingredients in their paints, which can affect the quality and performance of the paint.

If you’re interested in learning about other colors, check out our pages on Permanent Carmine, Permanent Rose, and Rose Madder Genuine, which provide in-depth information on these colors and their various shades.

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