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Q & A Page

I just made a page for vis­i­tors to post questions—you can see a link to it in the nav­i­ga­tion bar at the top of each page. I get a fair num­ber of ques­tions, some­times attached to a ran­dom post because the vis­i­tor didn’t really know where else to post the ques­tion. So now there’s a place.

If you put a rel­e­vant ques­tion into the com­ments there, I will respond. Of course, my response may be sim­ply to tell you that I don’t know. But feel free to give it a try. It’s not exactly an inter­net forum, but it will serve for now.


21 June 2008: Of course, the first ques­tion (an excel­lent one) stumped me. More, please. I’ll have a good answer to someone’s ques­tion eventually.

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5 Responses

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  1. Albert Edward says

    After years of study­ing oil paint­ing, all my teach­ers were pro­po­nents of the place­ment of Alizarin Crim­son on a decent palette. This is color not per­ma­nent, yet the use of it seems essen­tial, as I know of no deep rose that can replace it. In my search for an excel­lent replace­ment, at var­i­ous quar­ters I’ve had a few sup­pos­edly per­ma­nent replace­ments espoused: Quinacridone Vio­let, Gamblin’s Alizarin Per­ma­nent, Win­sor & New­ton too make’s a spe­cial replace­ment, Rembrandt’s Per­ma­nent Mad­der Deep, and doubt­less there are others.

    My Ques­tion: know you a per­ma­nent Alizarin Crim­son replace­ment that’s inseper­a­ble, or almost inseper­a­ble, from Alizarin Crim­son in hue, value, chroma, and trans­parency, yet per­ma­nent? I really would pre­fer not to use an imper­ma­nent color, yet really need the affects Alizarin Crim­son pro­vides. Much Thanks.

    • David says

      @Albert Edward -


      I don’t know of any color that is exactly like alizarin crim­son. No two pig­ments ever per­form iden­ti­cally, so there can be no “per­fect” alizarin replace­ment. On the other hand, many of the great paint­ings of his­tory were made with­out it; there­fore it is by no means indispensable.

      I don’t use alizarin and never became addicted to it. I am a big fan of pyrol ruby, myself. It is sim­i­lar to alizarin, but not the same. If you can find a gen­uine rose mad­der (light fast­ness rat­ing II while alizarin is III) that can be an excel­lent choice (Doak makes it, as does Blue Ridge).

  2. Albert Edward says

    David, Thanks for your response. I have in fact used Gen­uine Rose Mad­der. I’ve done W&N’s, and theirs is, in fact vir­tu­ally inseper­a­ble from Alizarin Crim­son, how­ever the grapevine tells me that this too isn’t light­fast, so if my source is cor­rect, I’m in the same boat I was with the Alizarin!!

    At any rate, I now have your Pyrol Ruby on my list of col­ors to inves­ti­gate, and do thank you for your time and knowl­edge. Mean­while, if there be any­one else out there that knows of effec­tive Alizarin Crim­son replace­ments, jump aboard.

  3. David says

    @Albert Edward -


    If I recall cor­rectly, W&N’s “per­ma­nent” alizarin is made with anthraquinone red (PR 177), which is a chem­i­cal rel­a­tive of alizarin. I have read that it is not a great per­former in terms of lightfastness.

    Among the mod­ern organic pig­ments, you may also want to look into pery­lene maroon (PR179) and ben­z­im­i­da­zolone carmine (PR176). They are both sim­i­lar to alizarin but demon­strate bet­ter light­fast­ness than PR 177. And again, I’d also strongly sug­gest look­ing into pyrrol/irgazine ruby (PR 254).

  4. Albert Edward says

    David, Thanks, but again, I didn’t use W&N’s Per­ma­nent Alizarin (which I have) as the Alizarin replace­ment on my palette. It was W&N’s Rose Mad­der Gen­uine– not Gen­uine Rose Mad­der, pre­sum­ably, some­what dif­fer­ent from Alizarin. That notwith­stand­ing, as pleased as I am with it’s per­for­mance, else wise my source does indi­cate that it too isn’t lightfast.

    Need­less to say, I’ll find some time to look into the two addi­tional col­ors you rec­om­mend as well.

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