Seeing Red - by Jan Thomson

Acrylic Paint, Atelier, Educational, Paint, Red -

Seeing Red - by Jan Thomson

Red stands for passion. Red stands for danger. Red stands for warmth. Sometimes I’ll paint using lots of red, sometimes I reserve my red for an attention grabbing stroke at the end of a work.

Reds can give your work a beautiful warmth and vibrancy and, as one of the primary colours , can be used to mix oranges , purples , browns and greys.

On my palette when I’m painting with Atelier Interactive I have three reds , each serves a different purpose:

  • The first is Cadmium Red Scarlet ….think fire engines! This is a strong, deep scarlet. Made from Cadmium Sulfo Selenide pigment it is very opaque, so should be kept for areas where you want a dense, solid colour. Cadmium pigments are toxic, so don’t lick your brush.
  • The second red which I use is Quinacridone Magenta. This one is made from organic quinacridone pigment, which is nontoxic. It is a cool red, with a touch of blue and is very transparent, so it’s great for glazing over the top of other layers of colour. As with other quinacridone pigments it’s a strong, clear colour and is permanent.
  • The third red on my palette is Transparent Red Oxide. This one is made from a synthetic iron oxide , similar to burnt sienna. Again, it’s a very transparent and permanent colour. This is the pigment that I reach for when I’m making darks as I don’t use black – instead , a mix of transparent red oxide and ultramarine blue with make a beautiful moody black which softens to grey.

Hint …..if you have a tube of premixed green paint which is too vivid and flat looking on its own, try mixing in a tiny amount of red. As the complimentary hue on the colour wheel the red will neutralize the green and make it a much more lifelike colour , especially for New Zealand bush.

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