It’s time for this month’s color test! Last month was Prussian Blue, since it was the color of the year. This month Lisa and I have picked….pinks and reds! Specifically Quinacridone Rose, and when we started in on that we thought adding Bordeaux would be good for a warm/cool comparison, and then I had Bordeaux in my new-to-me-colors collection, so….well, yeah. That kinda grew!

If this month works like last month, I’ll be playing more with these 3 colors in my daily sketchbook – I’ve been posting little daily sketches (and sometimes finished works) on my fine art instagram account. Soon I’ll have another place for all that to be housed, so stay tuned.

Supplies for this project are linked at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.

So for my project on the blog, I’ve painted some lovely flowers (photo source is on PMP) with two of the colors, after finding out that the warm red didn’t work nearly so well with the Bordeaux….

Check out the video – and scroll down for more info on my study of these colors so far and my companion post over on Ellen Hutson’s blog!

View video on YouTube.


Quinacridone Rose ans Pyrrol Scarlet are both in the Daniel Smith Essentials set – always my first recommendation for new painters. It includes a warm red yellow and blue, and a cool red yellow and blue – and they can be intermixed for a huuuuuge variety of colors! I’ve talked about that before in THIS video so this look at these colors is just about the reds alone. Since it’s nearing Valentines Day.

Quin Rose is a cool color; it’s very similar to Quin Pink, but has a little higher lightfast rating, so that’s what I’m sticking with. (You don’t need to replace your Quin Pink instantly or anything, they’re both good.) It’s a lovely color for pinks, and mixes delicious purples with a bunch of different blues.

Pyrrol Scarlet is a warm red – and while it doesn’t have “yellow” pigment in it, it’s got a yellow undertone to it – so when mixing it with blues, you get all kinds of neutrals and dull colors rather than purples. That yellowishness adds the third of the primaries – and what you get when mixing red blue and yellow together is neutrals: browns and greys. Pyrrol Scarlet does mix a good black when mixed with Phthalo Blue Green Shade – so don’t knock its ability to mix great colors! Just not pretty purples etc.

Bordeaux is my newest tube purchase. I was intrigued by the swatch I made from my dot card, and have been playing with it. Unfortunately it’s not quite what I had hoped – it IS called bordeaux which means it’s a wine color – and few wines have bright tones to them, so this color dries to a somewhat dull color. Layering it a bit helps, but also painting it WITH Quin Rose worked nicely – so it’s not as though Bordeaux is a bad color, it’s just not one that’ll earn a place in my main palette. But I want to see what I can do with it in landscapes too, so don’t worry that it’ll be going away anytime soon.


I sketched the flowers on Arches Cold press, just some loose outlines. I taped it to a Graphix Incredible Board


Over on Ellen Hutson’s blog I’ve got a cardmaker-friendly comparison between warms and cools – go visit her blog or watch the video on YouTube.


After my fine art pieces, especially flowers, I always get requests to put them on Society6 – in advance this time! I do this as a service, rather than a money maker, just so you know – I think my biggest monthly check ever was $16 and change – usually it’s 3 or 4 dollars. But I know lots of folks love to have a piece of mine in their home, so I’m glad to make these items available. If you get one, post a photo and tag me, I’d love to see how you’re displaying or using the products! I think I might need this one in a pillow….


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