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Key to the Paint Ratings

rhodamine violet + red violet

PV1+PV39 Sennelier 905 1 3 69 0 3 0 320 +6 3,3
triphenylmethane violet [discontinued in 2005]
rhodamine violet +
PV1+PV10 mauve
cobalt violet + copper Winsor & Newton - 1 4 70 0 2 3 311 +8 4,5
+PV14+PB15 [discontinued in 1994]
Many watercolor versions of violet or mauve manufactured decades ago
included fugitive pigments. Some of these the basic blue violets (PV1 and
PV10) still used in specialty printers inks and layout colors are not suitable
for artistic use. They produce a luscious dark, rich color that sadly starts to
fade as soon as the pigment has dried. The fading is so complete that in some
brands a tint will leave nothing but white paper.
lightfastness test sample
AVOID. These paints are only useful if you want to do a concept art
unexposed (top); exposed 800+ hours
environmental erasure of your own work. Substitutions. The most saturated (bottom)
and lightfast blue violets are obtained with a mixture of ultramarine blue
(PB29) and quinacridone magenta (PR122).

anthraquinone violet +
PV7+PV15 bright violet Holbein 375 3 2 63 1 3 0 329 -3 2,3
ultramarine violet
A recent paint from Holbein, combining lightfast ultramarine violet (PV15)
with fugitive PV7. The CIECAM J,a,b values for bright violet (PV7+PV15) are:
27, 65, -32, with chroma of 73 (estimated hue purity of 68) and a hue angle
of 334.

AVOID. A very intense, dark valued reddish violet, wonderful for decorative
work or paintings that are explicitly intended to be photographically reproduced
but not preserved for more than a few months. Substitutions. The most
saturated and lightfast blue violets are obtained with a mixture of ultramarine
blue (PB29) and quinacridone magenta (PR122).

PV14 cobalt phosphate (1859) cobalt violet Winsor & Newton 192 2 0 40 4 2 2 328 -19 8,8
PV14 cobalt magenta Rowney Artists 417 2 0 44 3 3 1 332 +12 8,8
PV14 cobalt violet Blockx 331 2 0 39 4 0 0 333 +10 8,8
PV14 cobalt violet Rembrandt 539 4 0 48 3 2 1 318 +8 8,8
PV14 cobalt violet deep Daniel Smith 030 4 0 53 3 3 2 318 -6 8,8
PV14 cobalt violet deep Utrecht 176 4 0 40 3 2 1 319 +4 8,8
PV14 cobalt violet light Holbein 110 2 0 42 3 3 1 313 +10 8,8
PV14 cobalt violet DaVinci 236 1 0 35 4 1 0 329 +7 8,8
PV14+PB28 cobalt violet deep DaVinci 237 1 0 34 3 1 1 321 +4 8,8
paint introduced after my last pigment
PV14 cobalt violet M. Graham 099
cobalt phosphate + cobalt violet
PV14+PB28 Winsor & Newton 088 3 0 30 1 1 1 327 +2 7,8
cobalt aluminium oxide [discontinued in 2005]
TOP 40 PIGMENT Cobalt violet PV14 (often labeled "cobalt violet deep") is
a very lightfast, semitransparent, nonstaining, moderately dark valued,
moderately dull violet to red violet pigment, available from 4 registered
pigment manufacturers worldwide. The ASTM (1999) rates its lightfastness in
watercolors as "excellent" (I) and my own tests consistently concur. PV14
undergoes a moderate drying shift, lightening by about 17%; the hue
typically shifts toward red in tints. The average CIECAM J,a,b values for cobalt
violet deep (PV14) are: 46, 33, -32, with chroma of 47 (estimated hue purity
of 47) and a hue angle of 316. 1/8
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PV14 is one of the most expensive pigments used in artist grade watercolors,
and is frequently mimicked with less expensive pigments, especially in student
grade paints. The Maimeri cobalt violet and Daniel Smith cobalt blue violet
(listed below) are less lightfast mixtures of cobalt blue (PB28) and
quinacridone rose. Many art supply manufacturers do not offer PV14 at all,
suggesting it is unpopular in the retail market or not profitable to sell. Among
artists listed in the section on palette paintings, only Charles LeClair
recommends it.

There is noticeable variation in the color and texture (granulation) of this

pigment, with one cluster of paints at around hue angle 330 (reddish), and a
second at hue angle below 320 (bluish). Rowney Artists cobalt magenta is
the reddest and most intense of the paints listed here: a lovely,
semitransparent middle violet with a good granular quality; in masstone it has
an interesting duotone (magenta/violet) appearance. The recently revamped
Winsor & Newton cobalt violet is similarly reddish. Blockx cobalt violet has a
similar hue and chroma, but is slightly lighter valued, coarsely granular, and as
inert as sand in wet applications. At the other extreme, Holbein cobalt violet
light is the bluest in hue and one of my favorite cobalt pigments: lighter
valued, more intense and more opaque than other brands, with a more
homogenous, glowing purple color. Daniel Smith is in the middle of the hue
range, but darker valued and less saturated than the others; the Utrecht paint
is the same hue but is thinly mixed and even more unsaturated.

Although some artists disparage this pigment (Michael Wilcox calls it "gummy
and weak"), genuine, high quality cobalt violet is a spectacular paint in broad
wash applications morning skies and magnified florals and evocative in
flesh tone shadows. The "red" shades offered by Rowney, Blockx and Winsor &
Newton are effective as the pink component in caucasian flesh tones. Like
other granulating pigments (such as viridian), the typical pigment contains a
very broad range of particle sizes; heavier wash applications may show a
whitish overcoat, especially in paper depressions, produced because the
smaller (less saturated) pigment particles are the last to sink out of solution.
The hue is readily mixed from ultramarine blue (PB29) and quinacridone rose
(PV19), but the poetic granular quality and crystalline color permanence are
unique and well worth exploring. See also the section on cobalt pigments.

sodium aluminium
PV15 sulfosilicate [blue violet ultramarine violet Winsor & Newton 221 4 2 56 2 2 1 303 +2 8,7
shade] (1878)
PV15 ultramarine violet Daniel Smith 057 2 1 55 2 3 2 304 +4 8,7
PV15 ultramarine violet Rembrandt 507 4 1 54 2 3 2 306 +3 8,6
PV15 ultramarine violet MaimeriBlu 440 2 2 54 1 3 2 307 +11 8,6
PV15 ultramarine violet Old Holland 199 4 1 48 2 3 2 304 +6 8,6
PV15 ultramarine violet Rowney Artists 419 4 1 60 1 3 1 306 +3 8,6
paint introduced after my last pigment
PV15 ultramarine violet DaVinci 285
PV15 ultramarine violet [BS] M. Graham 193 1 3 70 2 3 2 296 -9 8,7
paint introduced after my last pigment
PV15 ultramarine violet deep M. Graham 194
[PV15] cobalt violet Lukas 1127 2 2 35 4 1 0 305 +7 6,6
PV15+PB29 ultramarine violet [BS] Blockx 234 4 1 64 1 3 1 293 -11 8,8
sodium aluminium sulfur
PV15 silicate [red violet shade] ultramarine red Daniel Smith 052 3 1 47 1 3 2 330 -10 8,7
TOP 40 PIGMENT Ultramarine violet PV15 is a very lightfast,
semitransparent, moderately staining, dark valued, moderately dull violet to
very dark valued, moderately intense blue violet pigment, available from 6
registered pigment manufacturers worldwide. The ASTM (1999) rates its
lightfastness in watercolors as "excellent" (I), but I found some brands began
to opacify and whiten slightly, with a very small resulting color change, after a
month of full sun exposure. In watercolors PV15 presents a very small
drying shift, holding its value and losing only 10% saturation. The average
CIECAM J,a,b values for ultramarine violet [red shade] (PV15) are: 36, 21, 2/8
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-37, with chroma of 42 (estimated hue purity of 45) and a hue angle of 299;
for ultramarine violet [blue shade] (PV15) they are: 22, -4, -57, chroma 57
(estimated hue purity 61) and hue angle 266.

There are significant color differences across various brands of this paint. A red
violet version is available under the same color index name and chemical
description; most manufacturers only provide the blue hue. (Hilary Page's
quirk of adding "R" or "B" to the color index name has no sanction from either
the SDC or the manufacturers.) Both the red violet and blue violet hues are
manufactured as a chemical modification of ordinary ultramarine blue, which is
mixed with sal ammoniac (for the blue hue) or dry hydrochloric acid (for the
red) and heated to 150 C for several hours. Although technically PV15 is any
ultramarine that has been chemically treated as described, all ultramarine
violets contain significant amounts of unaltered ultramarine blue (PB29).

Winsor & Newton ultramarine violet is the lightest valued, most intense
and most characteristic "blue" violet of the brands tested here; it is less active
than other brands in wet applications. The Daniel Smith and Rembrandt
ultramarine violets are similar in value range and chroma; the MaimeriBlu is
the reddest of the violet shades with good saturation. The Rowney Artists and
Old Holland were the least saturated brands tested here. In my paint tests, I
discovered Lukas cobalt violet was actually an ultramarine violet that whitened
under sunlight exposure; Lukas replied to me that they use genuine cobalt
violet only in their dry pan formulation (!). The M. Graham ultramarine
violet and Blockx ultramarine violet contain substantially more unadulterated
ultramarine, producing a color that appears significantly bluer, darker and
more saturated: in tints these paints shift toward red to nearly match the
traditional violet color. (Actually, the hue angles of all the ultramarine violet
paints are very similar; the "bluer" shade arises in part because the color is
both darker and more saturated.)

Daniel Smith ultramarine red is the only commercial source I know of for
the PV15 red shade, a granular and soft pinkish violet, close in hue to a
diluted, dull manganese violet.

Ultramarine violet does not mix well with yellows, producing to my eye a
lifeless gray. (Stephen Quiller recommends it as the mixing complement to
cadmium lemon, but see the chart at mixing complementary colors.) The
color can be easily reproduced by other mixtures ultramarine blue with a
touch of quinacridone rose, for example. Good as a blue violet for a muted
palette, and sometimes useful for subtle gray violet shading in portrait work or
to capture the colors and textures of twilight skies. See also the section on
sulfur pigments.

manganese ammonium
PV16 manganese violet Daniel Smith 038 3 2 62 2 3 2 327 +1 8,8
pyrophosphate (1868)
PV16 permanent mauve Winsor & Newton 491 2 1 68 4 1 2 332 +3 8,8
PV16 mineral violet MaimeriBlu 460 0 3 64 1 3 1 329 +2 8,8
PV16 manganese violet DaVinci 254 2 1 60 2 1 1 332 +7 8,8
paint introduced after my last pigment
PV16 mineral violet M. Graham 116
PV16 manganese violet - blue Old Holland 196 3 0 48 3 3 0 334 +4 8,5
TOP 40 PIGMENT Manganese violet PV16 is a very lightfast,
semitransparent, lightly staining, dark valued, moderately dull red violet
pigment, available from 4 pigment manufacturers worldwide. The ASTM
(1999) rates its lightfastness in watercolors as "excellent" (I) and my 2004
tests agree. In watercolors PV16 undergoes a moderate drying shift,
lightening and losing saturation. The average CIECAM J,a,b values for
manganese violet (PV16) are: 31, 39, -21, with chroma of 44 (estimated hue
purity of 40) and a hue angle of 331.

The PV16 pigment is very consistent across paint manufacturers. Daniel

Smith manganese violet was a principal source for this pigment: slightly
bluer and lighter valued than other brands, and blossoming more when
rewetted. The Winsor & Newton permanent mauve, previously available only
in dry pans, is now (2005) available in a tube formulation; it has a slightly less
saturated, and darker color that lightens into effective tints and lifts almost 3/8
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completely to produce cutouts or sculptured edge effects. The MaimeriBlu
mineral violet is more staining and very opaque. Hilary Page noted
discoloration in her sample of Old Holland, which may not have been a single
pigment paint; my swatch began life as a dull, scabby purple, not at all
pleasant to look at, and the vehicle (or pigment?) discolored to a browish cast
after about a month of sunlight exposure. Two thumbs down!

PV16 is the most lightfast balanced purple pigment available in watercolors,

and its recent addition to the DaVinci and Winsor & Newton is a welcome
development. While it has an assertive and distinctive pigment personality,
this becomes less conspicuous when the paint is part of a shadow mixture. It
is attractive both in full strength and wash applications, but for the most
characteristic color appearance it must be applied with confident, juicy
brushstrokes and left to dry without fussing or retouching. It is especially good
in floral painting, both as a muted floral color and to add texture and body to
browns mixed with deep yellow or orange paints. The same hue can be mixed
from ultramarine blue (PB29) with quinacridone rose (PV19) or quinacridone
violet (PV19), depending on whether you want more saturation or darker
values. In many respects, PV16 handles like thioindigo violet (PR88) and can
play a similar role in landscape or botanical palettes. See also the section on
manganese pigments.

PV23 dioxazine violet (1952) carbazole violet Daniel Smith 035 2 4 69 0 3 1 308 -2 7,7
PV23 winsor violet (dioxazine) Winsor & Newton 213 3 3 71 0 2 2 306 -1 7,7
dioxazine purple
PV23 M. Graham 100 2 4 66 0 2 3 312 +2 6,7
[discontinued in 2000]
PV23 dioxazine purple Utrecht 008 4 2 67 0 3 1 310 +7 6,6
PV23 permanent violet bluish MaimeriBlu 463 2 4 71 0 2 4 306 +2 5,6
PV23 permanent mauve Rowney Artists 413 4 2 72 0 3 1 304 +4 5,6
PV23 mauve Schmincke 476 3 3 70 0 3 1 306 0 3,6
dioxazine violet +
PV23+PR122 permanent violet reddish MaimeriBlu 465 2 2 64 0 3 4 339 -1 5,6
quinacridone magenta
TOP 40 PIGMENT Dioxazine violet PV23 (and its sister form, PV37) is a
lightfast to impermanent, semitransparent, heavily staining, very dark valued,
dull violet pigment, available from about 30 pigment manufacturers
worldwide for use in plastics, inks, paints and foods. The hue is similar to (but
much darker than) ultramarine violet or cobalt violet deep. Its tinting strength
is very high, on a par with phthalo green (PG7) and phthalo blue (PB15). In
watercolors PV23 and PV37 show a very large drying shift, lightening by
38% and losing more than 20% saturation. The average CIECAM J,a,b values
for dioxazine purple (PV23) are: 20, 15, -27, with chroma of 31 (estimated
hue purity of 34) and a hue angle of 299.

Because it is so dark, the color appearance of this pigment is very similar

across paint brands, though clear differences do appear in the paint
undertones (tints), and there are very large brand differences in the paint
lightfastness (see below). The most robust paints in my tests were
manufactured by Daniel Smith (which gives the pigment a lightfastness rating
of "1, excellent"), Winsor & Newton and M. Graham. The Daniel Smith
carbazole violet is very dark and concentrated, producing a slightly grayed
violet in tints, perfect for rendering shadows, and it appeared to be among the
most lightfast paints. Winsor & Newton winsor violet (dioxazine) is more
intense and slightly less staining than other brands, and dilutes down to lovely
glowing tints. The M. Graham paint, recently discontinued (see under PV37) is
dense and dark, but seemed slightly more susceptible to fade in tints.

There were some glaring lightfastness failures in other brands of watercolor

paint, such as Utrecht, Schmincke, Rowney Artists and MaimeriBlu. The very
expensive dioxazine pigment is so diluted in the Utrecht paint that it cannot
produce a dark value even at full strength, fades noticeably, and bronzes
heavily in masstone. Other brands should not be used until they change the
manufacturer suppliers of their pigments.

There is considerable confusion about the lightfastness of this pigment in

watercolors. Let me set the record straight. The ASTM (in D5067-99,
Standard Specification for Artists' Watercolor Paints) gives separate 4/8
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lightfastness ratings for a "red shade" ("fair" [III]) and a "blue shade" ("poor"
[IV]) of dioxazine violet. Michael Wilcox's paint guide merely repeats these
ratings without doing any lightfastness tests of his own. However, Hilary
Page's paint guide, which is based on actual lightfastness tests, is incorrect to
say that "the blue shade does not seem to exist". In fact, a range of color
variations are produced from different crystal forms of the pigment and from
different manufacturing methods to refine and grind it. The problem is that
pigment manufacturers seem to assign hue designations at their whim:
among the SDC Colour Index pigment descriptions supplied by the pigment
manufacturers, one finds the designations "bluest shade," "blue shade,"
"reddish shade," "red shade" and even "yellowish shade" (!). So without
knowing which pigment manufacturer made the pigments that were tested by
the ASTM, and on what grounds that manufacturer described the pigment
color (colorimetric values? manufacturing methods?), the ASTM lightfastness
ratings are uninterpretable.

dioxazine violet lightfastness samples (2004)

after 800+ hours of sunlight exposure, brands show large differences in
fading or discoloration: (left to right) Daniel Smith, M. Graham (PV23),
M. Graham (PV37), Winsor & Newton, Schmincke, Rowney Artists,
MaimeriBlu, Utrecht

Manufacturer and my own 2004 lightfastness tests indicate dioxazine violet

actually has better lightfastness than reported by the ASTM, easily reaching
"very good" (II) lightfastness in the best brands reported here. The
lightfastness reported as 6,7 or 7,7 is equal to or better than the lightfastness
I observed in naphthol red, PR170, perylene scarlet, PR149, quinacridone
pyrrolidone, PR N/A, perinone orange, PO43, and even some brands of
quinacridone rose, PV19, all pigments that are considered acceptable for
artistic use. Overall, art materials manufacturers are clearly using pigments
from different pigment suppliers, and the pessimistic ASTM ratings are either
unrepresentative or flawed.

Examined overall, however, PV23 is a pigment that (1) is not transparently

labeled "blue" or "red" by manufacturers; (2) produces highly variable
lightfastness test results; (3) may produce unreliable lightfestness test results
within a single pigment, given the wide range in lightfastness test results
across different grades; and (4) therefore presents a difficult sourcing problem
for paint manufacturers, who must themselves do rigorous testing in order to
be confident in the quality of the pigment and pigment manufacturer they are
dealing with.

PV23 is a good choice for color point 6 on the color wheel, is useful for
reducing the saturation of paints on both the warm and cool sides of the color
wheel, and produces potent dark shades when mixed with the likes of phthalo
green (PG7) or quinacridone violet (PV19). It is probably too strident or
strongly tinting to make an effective shadow color, and I feel it is
untrustworthy in tints.

CAUTION. This is a pigment that puts responsibility squarely on the artist.

Many artists may conclude that there is reason to reject it out of hand, given
the problems described above. Others may choose to use it because it is
acceptably lightfast in the best brands and in applications near full strength, or
may use it in limited applications such as field sketching. However, it is clearly
reckless to use it in significant works without doing your own lightfastness
tests on the brand you use, and it is risky to rely on it in tints or in light
valued mixtures with green, yellow or red paints. Substitutions. PV23 is very
close in hue, saturation and value to indanthrone blue (PB60), which is
consistently more lightfast and is a better hue match to the blue
chromaticity of skylight that illuminates outdoor shadows. The same hue at 5/8
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similar lightness and saturation can be mixed from ultramarine blue (PB29)
with quinacridone violet (PV19), which I recommend you use if you are
concerned about PV23's lightfastness or find its aggressive staining hard to
work with. The many purple convenience mixtures made with ultramarine
blue and quinacridone rose seem in my tests to have about the same
lightfastness as dioxazine violet, and therefore are not really practical
substitutions. See also the section on dioxazine pigments.

PV37 dioxazine violet (1952) dioxazine purple M. Graham 100 2 4 66 0 2 3 312 +2 6,7
Dioxazine violet PV37 is a lightfast, semitransparent, heavily staining, very
dark valued, dull violet pigment. In 2000, M. Graham switched from PV23
to to the chemically more complex but reportedly more lightfast form of
dioxazine, PV37, in its formulation of dioxazine purple. However I didn't find a
significant difference in the lightfastness of the newer pigment in comparison
to PV23: both began to fade in tints at about 550 hours of sunlight exposure
(BWS high 6), and remained solid in masstone well into BWS 7. The paint is
dark and concentrated with very good tinting strength, producing a slightly
grayer violet in tints. Many artists recommend dioxazine violet as a foundation
shadow color, glazing over the purple with paints that describe the surface
colors of objects; I suggest you try indanthrone blue (PB60) for that purpose.
For more information on dioxazine pigments, see under PV23.

PV39 triphenylmethane violet blue violet Sennelier 903 0 4 70 0 2 4 300 -3 5,5

Crystal violet PV39 sounds like a drug, and it is. An intoxicating blue violet
color, it loses most of its brilliance within a few weeks of daily sunlight
exposure. The average CIECAM J,a,b values for crystal violet (PV39) are: 20,
8, -49, with chroma of 49 (estimated hue purity of 54) and a hue angle of
lightfastness test sample
AVOID. The most saturated and lightfast blue violets are obtained with a
mixture of ultramarine blue (PB29) and quinacridone magenta (PR122). unexposed (top); exposed 800+ hours

cobalt ammonium
PV49 cobalt violet Daniel Smith 088 4 0 39 2 3 1 329 +7 8,8
phosphate (1859)
PV49 cobalt violet light Utrecht 177 3 0 37 4 1 0 329 +9 8,8
Cobalt violet PV49 is a very lightfast, semitransparent, nonstaining,
granulating, moderately dark valued, moderately intense red violet pigment,
available from just 2 pigment manufacturers worldwide. The color is a dull
shade of the optimal "red" subtractive primary; the handling characteristics
are indistinguishable from its sibling, PV14). The average CIECAM J,a,b values
for cobalt violet light (PV49) are: 50, 52, -26, with chroma of 58 (estimated
hue purity of 50) and a hue angle of 334.

Daniel Smith cobalt violet is a lovely granular pigment, a pinkish violet with
darker violet accents; it blossoms when rewetted, and lifts completely. The
Utrecht paint granulates equally well, but with a slightly lighter and more
homogenous value and a slightly redder hue; it also seems somewhat more
concentrated but is slightly less saturated. PV49 has poor tinting strength
but an attractive, unique hue and granulation. I find it works best when used
for skies or sandy, earthy landscapes; it can be used either in its natural hue
or mixed with near transparent pigments such as the iron oxides,
quinacridones or phthalocyanines to give a different background tint. See also
the section on cobalt pigments.

violet paints made with pigments in a different color index category

thioindigo violet (1905;
PR88 permanent violet Daniel Smith 074 2 4 68 1 2 1 3 -16 6,7
thioindigo violet
PR88 Winsor & Newton 231 4 4 64 0 3 1 357 -11 6,6
[discontinued in 2005]
PR88 garnet lake MaimeriBlu 181 3 4 62 0 3 4 356 -10 6,6
Thioindigo violet PR88 is a marginally lightfast, semitransparent, heavily
staining, very dark valued, moderately dull magenta pigment, offered by only
2 pigment manufacturers worldwide. It is one of the many red lake
pigments. The ASTM (1999) rates its lightfastness in watercolors as "very 6/8
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good" (II), with the caution that "pigments described as thioindigoids have
varying degrees of lightfastness," depending on the manufacturer of the
pigment used in the paint; my 2004 tests of the paints listed here were also
"very good" (II).

thioindigo violet lightfastness samples (2004)

after 800+ hours of sunlight exposure: (left to right) Daniel Smith,
Winsor & Newton,
Grumbacher, MaimeriBlu

In watercolors, PR88 undergoes a moderately large drying shift, lightening

and losing saturation by 20%. The average CIECAM J,a,b values for thioindigo
violet (PR88) are: 29, 50, -2, with chroma of 50 (estimated hue purity of 47)
and a hue angle of 358.

This is a fairly consistent pigment across manufacturers. The Winsor & Newton
paint has been discontinued and the Grumbacher line has lapsed. Of the two
remaining brands, the Maimeri paint is more transparent and is much more
active wet in wet. The Daniel Smith permanent violet is darker valued at
full strength and is so unsaturated it appears maroon, but it dilutes out to a
pleasing hue and microscopic pigment texture and is somewhat more lightfast.
PR88 mixes to some very attractive dusky violets with ultramarine, cobalt or
prussian blue, as well as lovely browns with orange and yellow paints. All
brands backrun readily.

AVOID. I don't feel the pigment is reliable enough to provide lightfast

mixtures, and there are more lightfast pigments with very similar color
appearance. Substitutions: I suggest quinacridone violet (PV19) or perylene
violet (PV29) instead. Both paints are as dark as thioindigo violet, and both
have substantially better lightfastness. The perylene violet is warmer and
produces less intense brown mixtures.

sodium polysulfide
PB29+PV19 aluminosilicate + rose of ultramarine Daniel Smith 017 2 3 67 0 3 1 333 +1 6,7
quinacridone rose
sodium polysulfide
PB29+PV19 aluminosilicate + permanent violet red DaVinci 172 4 2 66 0 3 2 307 +5 6,7
quinacridone rose
cobalt blue +
PB28+PV19 cobalt blue violet Daniel Smith 017 2 3 67 0 3 1 333 +1 6,7
quinacridone rose
cobalt blue +
PB28+PV19 cobalt violet MaimeriBlu 449 2 2 65 1 2 3 308 -2 6,7
quinacridone rose
sodium polysulfide
PV15+PV23 aluminosilicate + permanent violet Utrecht 172 4 2 66 0 3 2 307 +5 6,6
dioxazine violet
sodium polysulfide
PB29+PV19 aluminosilicate + permanent violet blue DaVinci 172 4 2 66 0 3 2 307 +5 6,6
quinacridone rose
Many artists mix their violets from ultramarine blue (PB29), cobalt blue
(PB28) or ultramarine violet (PV15) and a rose or violet quinacridone
(PV19). Well, here are the same purples, premixed for you as convenience
paints you can use straight out of the tube. The problem with these
convenience mixtures is that they appear in some cases to be less lightfast
than the dioxazine violet they are designed to replace! 7/8
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lightfastness samples of convenience purple paints

after 800+ hours of sunlight exposure, the samples show significant
fading or discoloration: (left to right) Daniel Smith cobalt blue violet,
Daniel Smith rose of ultramarine, Maimeri, Utrecht

These representative convenience purples, all mixed from ultramarine blue

and quinacridone rose, show substantial discoloration or fading. Daniel Smith
rose of ultramarine offers a less staining and lighter valued alternative to
dioxazine violet (PV23). The Utrecht permanent violet is mixed with
dioxazine, which shifts slightly in relation to the more permanent ultramarine,
making the color combination unstable.

AVOID. As shown above, I found across several brands that these premixed
purples are not as transparent or lightfast as dioxazine violet (PV23) or
ultramarine violet (PV15). If you require a basic purple paint or purple
mixture, then you will do much better to use manganese violet (PV16) as the
basic pigment. If you mix purple colors yourself, for example with ultramarine
blue (PB29) or indanthrone blue (PB60) and quinacridone violet (PV19), I'd
suggest you can expect no better lightfastness than the commercial paints

KEY TO THE PAINT RATINGS. Summarized as numbers: Tr = Transparency: 0 (very opaque) to 4 (transparent) - St = Staining: 0
(nonstaining) to 4 (heavily staining) - VR = Value Range: the value of the masstone color subtracted from the value of white paper, in
steps of a 100 step value scale - Gr = Granulation: 0 (liquid texture) to 4 (granular) - Bl = Blossom: 0 (no blossom) to 4 (strong
blossom) - Df = Diffusion: 0 (inert) to 4 (very active diffusion) - HA = Hue Angle in degrees of the CIELAB a*b* plane - HS = Hue
Shift as the undertone hue angle minus the masstone hue angle, in degrees of the CIELAB a*b* plane - Lf = Lightfastness: 1 (very
fugitive) to 8 (very lightfast) for paint in tint,full strength - Mentioned in pigment notes: Chroma: For the masstone paint on white
watercolor paper. - Drying Shift: Change in masstone color appearance from a glistening wet to completely dry paint swatch, in units of
lightness, chroma and hue angle in CIELAB. For more information see What the Ratings Mean.

Last revised 07.I.2015 2015 Bruce MacEvoy 8/8