Friday 1 February 2013

PO48 & PO49 Quinacridones

PO48 and PO49 are two of the more interesting pigments, transparent and staining,  currently offered by a few -  very few - paint manufacturers. They are both synthetic pigments classified by Handprint in the `Earth' colours section and rated as `Top Forty' pigments. In the case of PO49 Quinacridone Gold the only source of the actual pigment is Daniel Smith and how long that will continue is a large question mark, as according to Handprint, pigment production ceased years ago, due to lack of demand from the automotive industry. As has been said the paint manufacturers are at the back of the queue, a long way behind the automotive and chemical industries so have to take the scraps!. One or two instances have come to light recently of manufacturers changing the formulation of their paints, yet the packaging and literature have remained unchanged. In other words what you see is not what you get! I wonder how this would play with trading standards? It would be foolish to expect the manufacturers to alter everything for the odd pigment substitution, but is to be hoped this isn't something that becomes widespread. When I have asked questions to at least two manufacturers  I received no response.

When Quinacridone Gold was originally introduced Winsor & Newton, Sennelier and Daniel Smith all listed it. They still do but, with the exception of Daniel Smith, the current paints are multi-pigment mixes that should correctly be called `hues'. In the case of Maimeri they changed to PY42 without telling anyone and the tubes still say `Quinacridone PV49'. Note PV49 which is and was incorrect and has never been altered. I found the Maimeri version, called Golden Lake, less than satisfactory. The Winsor & Newton Quinacridone Gold was called, by the doyen of Australian watercolour artists Robert Wade, as the `best thing for years'. It was a very nice paint and I still have two original full pans but is now a three pigment mix. I don't have it and while the shade may be similar the results of mixing it with other paints must surely be different.

From left to right we have Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Rust, Quinacridone Burnt Orange and Gold Ochre. Click on the photo to enlarge it. For more details go to and then to the `Earth' section. I am not entirely happy with these swatches. The first attempt at photographing them turned out too light and using the colour adjustment feature has improved that, but there appears to be more difference between the two PO48 swatches than in actuality. My impression is that the Daniel Smith paint is equally rich if slightly redder. Gold Ochre is a lovely shade but very opaque.

The second paint featured is PO48 Quinacridone Orange. Handprint originally said production of this pigment had also been discontinued, but it appears this was untrue and it is currently available from at least three pigment suppliers. It is a lovely colour but the only sources, as far as I am aware, are Daniel Smith, Graham and Da Vinci. Graham call it Quinacridone Rust while the others Quinacridone Burnt Orange.  I have both the Daniel Smith and Graham paints and they are one of my favourites.

In the UK Daniel Smith paints are available from Jacksons , Ken Bromley and a few others. Graham and Da Vinci only from Lawrence of Hove . In the USA all  are freely available. I believe you can get Daniel Smith in Australia but (at a price). Whether any of the European art suppliers stock any of these makes is unknown, although Great Art certainly don't.  


Yvonne Harry said...

Thanks for the info Peter, but why must it all be so complicated!!!

Must not buy any new colours!

Peter Ward said...

It is complicated Yvonne! Daniel Smith alone offer over 200 colours and several other 100 or more.

Like you I have a myriad of colours - what to do with them all (scratching head). So many gorgeous colours!!!

Unknown said...

Another interesting insight into your paint collection.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. I haven't exhausted the subject yet!!!

Ray Maclachlan Art said...

Very interesting Peter. your road tests are much appreciated.

Rui said...

Hi Peter,

Another beauty of an article.

It is such a shame the production of Quin. Gold having been stopped. It is an excellent and very useful colour in many subjects.

As to Quin. Orange I have used the one from DS here and there. Very powerful colour.

Please keep this sort of article coming. They are extremely useful.

Kind regards,


Peter Ward said...

Thanks for those comments Rui. They are lovely colours and it is a real shame Quin. Gold will eventually disappear in it's `true' form.

artist said...

Thank you Peter for your continuing search of the right color - very interesting.

I have no fear of ever running out of Quin. Gold as I am a hoarder and I think have enough to last me even if I paint another say 40 - 50 years!

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Delilah. It will be a shame when Q.Gold finally disappears.I have enough to last a year or two.