Cadmium Red 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. Cadmium Red 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.

Cadmium Red by different brands

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

Cadmium Red  – Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Cadmium Red

A blue shade red with a deep mass tone and soft, creamy undertones. It is a genuine single pigment colour and has been favoured for its strong rich colour by artists such as Matisse. Please note product packaging may vary from image.

Color No.: 94Lightfastness:I – ExcellentOpacity:Opaque
Staining:Granulation:Sizes: 5ml tubes; 14ml tubes; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Cadmium Red  – Rembrandt

Watercolor Cadmium Red
Color No.: 305Lightfastness:Opacity:Semi-transparent
Staining:Granulation:Sizes: Tube 10 ml

Manufacturer website

Cadmium Red Deep  – Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Cadmium Red Deep

A dark and velvety red with soft, blue undertones. It is an opaque single pigment colour. It can be used for dense layers or diluted for soft effect. A by-product of the zinc industry, Cadmium was discovered in 1817. Please note product packaging may vary from image.

Color No.: 97Lightfastness:I – ExcellentOpacity:Opaque
Staining:Granulation:Sizes: 5ml tubes; 14ml tubes; Half Pans

Manufacturer website

Cadmium Red Deep  – Rembrandt

Watercolor Cadmium Red Deep
Color No.: 306Lightfastness:Opacity:Semi-transparent
Staining:Granulation:Sizes: Tube 10 ml

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 Cadmium Red

Cadmium Red is a bold, warm red watercolor paint that is known for its high pigment concentration and excellent lightfastness. The color is made from cadmium sulfoselenide, a synthetic pigment that was first developed in the early 20th century.

The history of Cadmium Red can be traced back to the mid-20th century when watercolor artists began looking for brighter, more vibrant colors to use in their paintings. Cadmium Red quickly gained popularity for its ability to create intense, vivid washes and for its superior lightfastness compared to other red pigments.

Today, Cadmium Red is widely used by watercolor artists all over the world, and its bright, bold hue is perfect for creating eye-catching paintings. It is especially useful for depicting warm, fiery tones in landscapes and still-life paintings.

Fun Fact: Cadmium Red is also used in the production of red plastic and red glass due to its bright, stable color.

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 Cadmium-Free Red, Cadmium Red Deep, and Cadmium-Free Red Deep, which provide in-depth information on these colors and their various shades.

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