Hands down, I’ve never worked so hard to prepare for a blog post as I have for this red watercolor comparison. There are a LOT of red watercolors on the market, but that doesn’t mean you should paint with them. Many reds should be avoided because they can be highly impermanent or ultra finicky during use.
When I reach for a primary red, I want a solid performer that can hold its own. I don’t want a weak or washy red with low tinting strength that’s easily overrun by stronger colors. But I also want a red that mixes well and allows lifting, so it can’t be highly staining.
Very early into my watercoloring days, I tried Pyrrol Red which is comprised of red pigment #254 (or PR254) and it suited me so well that I’ve used it as my primary red ever since. I’ve tried many other reds, but any attempts to replace my staple Pyrrol Red have never worked for me or my palette.
I share this so you’ll know that before we explore red watercolors, I’m set on my primary palette red and don’t plan to change a thing. I’ve loved it for years, so if I constantly proclaim the benefits of Pyrrol Red, you’ll understand why.
But just in case my beloved red isn’t yours, I entered into a scientific study of scarlet (feeling a nerdy bit of Sherlock Holmes here) to help you find the best red watercolor for you. So let’s compare red watercolors to help you find a red that makes your heart race.Read More