Quinacridone Rose is a fairly popular pick for a watercolor palette. Comprised of Pigment Violet #19, or PV19, Quinacridone Rose watercolor is highly prized for its transparency and lightfastness.
Straight from the tube, it’s an electrifyingly cool pink that could possibly induce a migraine. Despite that description, Quin rose (Quinacridone Rose’s nickname) is a staple color in my palette and my go-to pick for pink flowers and rose-tinted skies. And because of Quin rose’s bright, transparent qualities, it will mix strikingly clear oranges, violets, and purples.
Let’s compare some common brands of Quinacridone Rose (PV19) and explore how this popular pink mixes with other colors.
Note: Because of Quinacridone's high chroma, Quin colors are ridiculously hard to accurately photograph and scan. I'll do my best, but the only real way to know the different brand's nuances is to test these colors for yourself.
What in the world is Quinacridone?
Just like the paint surnames Cadmium, Pyrrole, Phthalocyanine, and others, Quinacridone is nothing more than the chemical name for a family of pigments. Chemist weren't trying to give you pronunciation grief; there really are justifiable reasons for these names.
If you’re a chemistry guru, you’ll dig this... According to Bruce at Handprint, Quinacridone molecules are comprised of two pairs of oxygen and nitrogen atoms set in five (hence the Quin) rings of carbon. Quinacridone solutions are yellow to orange in color (where quin oranges and golds come from), but the final color of the pigment depends greatly upon how it's processed.
If you're not a chemistry guru, all you really need to know is that not all Quinacridone Rose colors are the same. Makes sense, right?
A Quin rose by any other name...
Different pigment manufacturers use varying processes and techniques to create a final pigment, and then different watercolor manufactures use varying processes and techniques to create the paint that goes into their tubes.
Because of multiple stages of fiddling by different entities, simply knowing the color code doesn’t guarantee the color of the paint. If two tubes of PV19 look like two totally different colors, it’s because they are.
Not only is this why Daniel Smith's Quin rose appears very different from M. Graham's, but it’s also how we get other variations from PV19 like Quin violet, Quin red, Quin magenta, and so on.
Regardless of all this tampering, Quinacridone colors including Quin rose are nontoxic, and their transparency and excellent lightfast ratings make them excellent choices for an artist.
Quinacridone Rose Watercolor Swatches
In past posts, I've shared which brand of Quin rose I prefer and keep in my palette. (Disclaimer: Subject to change without notice, because who doesn't love to play with color???) Quin rose is also a staple in my minimalist 4-color and 6-color palettes, and I've shared several Quin rose mixes in the chart here.
In other words, I feel like I know PV19 well, but for this post, I really want to test this pigment and various brands with an open mind.
Below, I'll explore and compare a few brands of Quinacridone Rose watercolor. PV19 tends to be quite transparent, but I'll also test each brand for transparency and share this information, as well. You can learn more about various brands of watercolor here.
To remain as impartial as possible, I'll list the brands in alphabetical order.
[List contains affiliates, so thanks!]
American Journey produces a beautiful PV19 that's labeled "Permanent Rose." This brand's color paints and mixes very well, but it tends to cost more than the others. I've profiled this color in my American Journey review, but it's worth mentioning again because AJ's PV19 strikes a nice halfway point between Daniel Smith's cool blue Quin rose and M. Graham's warm shade. A 15ml tube currently costs $15.89 at Cheap Joe's.
Daniel Smith makes a strikingly cool Quinacridone Rose watercolor. This PV19 has more visible blue than any of the other brands, but some may prefer the blue undertones. (I've gone through a tube or two myself.) Unlike many of DS's other colors (learn more here), their Quin rose has little to no granulation and is easy to control on the page. Though it paints very well, I've had issues with it separating and haloing in mixes, so I've since switched brands. A 15ml tube currently costs $12.92 on Amazon.
M. Graham's Quinacridone Rose is a rather warm hue, but it has a rosy sweetness about it that I adore. Like most other PV19s, it paints and mixes extremely well. Though it's the least transparent of all I've tried (see the chart below), I don't find this noticeable on the page. And this doesn't surprise me because most of M. Graham's paints have a tendency toward this characteristic. (Learn more about this brand here.) A 15ml tube currently costs $12.01 on Amazon.
Rembrandt's Quinacridone rose is the limelight loving wild child of the bunch. I've written a full review on this brand where I share how Rembrandt likes to dance on the page. Because of this characteristic, Rembrandt's PV19 can appear streaky and nonuniform on budget papers. However, some love a high amount of fluidity and dispersement in their watercolors, and Rembrandt tends to cost less than any of the above. A 20ml tube is currently $15.56 on Amazon.
Transparency of Quinacridone Rose Watercolor Brands
As I mentioned above, Quinacridone pigments lean toward transparency. However, there's always differences between colors and brands. For a further comparison, I also threw in two additional PV19 watercolors labeled "Quinacridone Red."
While writing this, I'm sitting at my desk with the original swatches in front of me. To the best I can tell, here are their rankings from most to least transparent.
Rembrandt Quin Rose
American Journey Quin Rose
AJ Quin Red & DS Quin Rose (tie)
Daniel Smith Quin Red
M. Graham Quin Rose
Quinacridone Red is often a slightly warmer version of PV19, but again, the name on the label means nothing. For example, M. Graham also makes a "Quinacridone Red," but it's crafted from Pigment Red #209 (PR209). I find it highly transparent and beautifully warm, but of course, it's not PV19.
By the way... Daniel Smith makes a color from PR209 that they've named "Quinacridone Coral," and American Journey calls their PR209 "Coral Red." And I'm sure every single one of these colors are different, but these need to be covered in a separate blog post. Whew.
This is why it's good to ignore color names and start with pigment numbers. (You can learn how to read a watercolor label at this post.) After that, pick a high-quality brand or two so you can try out various blends. After you find a favorite, you're welcome to memorize the brand and color name for personal reference, but continue to keep an eye on the pigment numbers. Manufacturers will sometimes perform a switcheroo without telling consumers.
Video: Quinacridone Rose (PV19) Brand Comparison
Because Quin colors don't scan or photograph well, I thought that a paint swatch video might allow you to see these colors in better light. (No pun intended.) Below, I paint out the Quinacridone Rose brands featured in this post and share a bit about each brand.
The swatches above were painted on student-grade paper in my mixing sketchbook, a Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal. For the video, I chose artist-grade Kilimanjaro cold-pressed watercolor paper in bright white that is sold through Cheap Joe's.
Quinacridone Rose Watercolor Mixing Chart
Most Quin colors are superb mixers, and I rarely have a problem with them. Though Quins are fairly transparent, they can hold their own in mixes and produce clear, bright colors that are hard to replicate with any other blend.
Below, I share a mixing chart with some common Quinacridone Rose (PV19) mixes so you can see some of the gorgeous blends that Quin rose can produce. Each horizontal line of swatches is an example of the range available when mixing Quinacridone Rose with the color listed on the left.
And don't worry about the variations in brands when mixing. I've spent a lot of time mixing with all four of the profiled brands, and the nuances of each color tend to disappear in mixes. Pick one you like straight-up, and then have fun experimenting!