Isoindoline Yellow – PY139


Isoindoline pigments are a group of modern dyes with shades from red to green-yellow, of which only the warm yellow PY139 is fairly common in watercolor. isoindoline yellow has an orange-yellow hue, is a semi-transparent, staining and very intense pigment. In full tone you can probably say that it is orange, while diluted has a beautiful medium yellow tone.

The color is not at all suitable for mixtures in the green direction if you strive for a reasonably clear mixture, green colors mixed with isoindoline yellow and some blue color all become very cloudy. The color is much better suited to mixtures with different red and other yellow colors but it is beautiful as it is, unmixed.

Left: French Ultramarine mixed with Isoindoline yellow can hardly be called green, it is more grayish
Right: Here Isoindoline yellow is mixed with phthalo blue, the mixture is not very green, but at least greenish.

The pigment was invented in 1964 but only began to be used as an artist’s pigment several years later. It is not common as a watercolor paint, I have only found two, of the larger manufacturers, that have the paint: MaimeriBlu and Daniel Smith. MaimeriBlu has the bad taste to call the color gamboge (several years ago they gave the name indian yellow to the same color!) While DS uses the real name Isoindoline Yellow. In addition to these, the pigment is present as part of several different color mixtures at different manufacturers.

MaimeriBlu – Gamboge (Hue) – PY139
Daniel Smith – Isoindoline Yellow PY139

Semi-transparent color with color tone from orange to medium yellow
See, so willingly the color blooms
Stains the paper quite well.
A nice hard edge but no granulation
The color is a little reluctant wet in wet


Color index name: PY139
Lightfastness: Excellent
Transparency: Semi-transparent
Staining: Yes
Granulation: No.

How isoindoline yellow is placed in the color wheel.

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