It amazes me the variety of colors that watercolor manufacturers can achieve from one single pigment, especially when it comes to the iron oxide labeled as PBr7, or basically brown pigment #7. This pigment can be altered to produce a huge range of earth tones ranging from warm yellows to rich reds to deep browns.
Since I’m a nature sketcher, PBr7 is one of my favorites. It's extremely lightfast and moderately transparent, plus it plays well with others... most of the time. Occasionally, its more granulating or opaque forms aren’t completely happy in mixes, but for the most part, it's a team player.
Earthen yellows are full of warmth and promise— the color of a fresh baked loaf hot from the oven, filtered sunshine, wild honey, and crunching autumn leaves, earth and heat and fire and toil, and the essence of craving on a deathbed. Because who doesn't hope to see golden light in those last moments?
Two of PBr7’s common colors, Raw Sienna and Raw Umber, are current staples in my palette. When I featured my 12-color palette, I had several folks ask why I chose Raw Sienna instead of Yellow Ochre (PY43), especially after my recent color and brand tests with yellow ochre.
It’s a great question, and I would love to offer an experty watercolorish answer, but really I just picked it because I enjoy using it. I'll share more experty reasons below, but for now, let's compare several earth tone yellows and see how they perform in mixes.Read More