Alizarin Crimson Alternative!
I have been searching for an alternative to Alizarin Crimson over the last year or so off and on. Alizarin Crimson is not a permanent pigment. Alizarin Crimson or the pigment PR83 has a lightfastness of III and means at normal exposer light. (gallery, your studio, your home) it will last about 15- 50 years. Not good! if the painting is in sunlight in the summer it will last 2-5 weeks!! the winter sun it will last 2 - 5 months! Many artist have been recommending this pigment for years since 1868! Many artist still use it, like myself and recommend it!. I started using Naphthol Red in most my paintings to get away from Alizarin Crimson, but Naphthol Red or PR112 has a lightfasteness of II. Much better than Alizarin Crimson and will last in normal lighting for 50- 100 years. In summer sun 6–8 weeks and winter sun 5–6 months so a lot better. I tested rose madder PY3 mixed with PR83. So this paint still had the PR-83 Alizarin Crimson pigment in it and has the same lightfasteness of III, so not a good alternative. Over the last few days I have been tested Thio Violet or pigment PR122. It has a lightfastness of 1 so the most permanent! In normal lighting it will last over 100 years and in the summer sun light and winter light it will last about a year and half. Now we know we don't put our paintings in the sun for maybe a few minutes at a time. To take photos ,move them, display them at an art show that might be outside or if the painting is in front of a window. It will start to fade the pigment. So any mixtures that have the PR83 pigment will start to fade. So your dark mountain or trees will start to fade or anything you use with PR83. Now I don't use van dyke brown because of the same reasons. van dyke brown or PBr7 because it has a lightfastness of III, that is why I use Burnt Umber or PBr7 because it has a lightfastness of 1. Hansa yellow that I also use or PY74 has a Lightfasness of II so Cadmium Yellow Light that I also use is better or pigment number PY35:1 that has a lightfastness of 1. Anything past the lightfastness of II should not be used. I will try and not to use Alizarin Crimson if I can and I think the Thio Violet or PR122 will be the best alternative and it is much nicer! You should also stop using it if you can. Here is a photo of the Thio Violet that is on the left, Rose Madder in the middle and Alizarin Crimson on the right. I mixed the same amounts of Titanium White so you can see the color and strength. If you add a small amount of Burnt Umber or PBr7 it will make it like Alizarin Crimson or PR83. So check your paints pigment numbers and see what the lightfastness is. I gave the numbers to the colors because not all manufactures use the same name, but the pigment number never changes or the lightfastness! If the manufacture of paint you use doesn't have the lightfastess you should switch brands! I also have a photo of the back so you can see the lightfastness info. Check your paints! ~Brandon T!
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