Transparent red oxide

Red Iron Oxide

There are many manufacturers of the paint called Red Oxide or Red Iron Oxide, sometimes with the addition of transparent to the name. Common to all of them, and even more with other names, is the pigment PR101 which is synthetic iron oxide. Several manufacturers broadly call the same color Burnt Sienna, Umber or Mars Red.

Common to all colors with the name red oxide, is the relative transparency of the colors, while the color tone differs quite a lot from each other. Different iron oxide colors can be anything from bright orange or even slightly yellowish, to more brown and dirty and some can even have a vague violet hue. Therefore, colors with the name red oxide are not the same, on the contrary, they can be very different.

This text is about Transparent red oxide from Daniel Smith. The color is part of a series with a total of three colors that are all called transparent oxide, namely yellow, red and brown. I have already written about the brown variant, the yellow one will come later.

Like Transparent Brown oxide, Transparent Red oxide granulates by forming threads, not with the graininess that usually characterizes granulating paints. The granulation for the red color is slightly less obvious than for the brown. The paint is also reluctant wet in wet. A surprising property of brown oxide is that it is radically different in the wet and dry state, a property that does not apply to red oxide which behaves more “normally”.

Newly painted Transparent red oxide.
Same color as dry, not much difference
Transparent Brown oxide newly painted.
Very different as dry

Transparent Red oxide can replace burnt sienna. A burnt sienna made with the pigment PR101 is usually very similar to Transparent Red oxide. The difference is mainly in the granulation and thus the inability of the color to flow out on a wet paper surface. So if you are a friend of burnt sienna from, for example, W&N, perhaps a granulating variant of a similar color might be interesting to try.

Transparent Red oxide is a nice color. The pigment is very lightfast. It has a pleasing orange-brown color tone that is largely the same wet and dry. If you are a friend of colors that behave a little unexpectedly, the color is an asset, you never know when it will become stringy. What you think will be a nice and even transition wet on wet eventually forms a stringy edge that you can see in the first color sample below.

Hue and transparency.
Quite staining.
Does not follow in water.
A hard edge is visible.
Hardly any blooms.



Color index name: PR101
Lightfastness: Excellent
Transparency: Transparent
Staining: A little
Granulates: Yes (sort of)

Transparent Red oxide i färgcirkel

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Laura Etheridge
Laura Etheridge
18 days ago

Hello Erik,
I’ve been watching your videos on YTube for a while and I’m always amazed at your talent. I’m so happy to know that you have a blog! I’m a beginner watercolor student trying to find my way through what I find a very difficult medium, but I won’t give up yet ????. I’ll be coming back here often. I’m always interested in articles about different pigments and how they behave as well as exercises, I need a lot of that!
BTW, I live in the USA but I have visited your country and I loved it.

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