Some dry pigments from Kremer, Earth Pigments, Guerra Pigments and others


I’ll post these in the hope they might help someone make dry pigment decisions and save some money. They’re not great swatches or scans, but it’s hard to find any dry pigment references on the web.  These are in linseed oil or Genesis heat set oils, which have the same color result as linseed (but tend to hide rheology so none is noted on those swatches).  In practice, I find I only use a moderate selection of these regularly. I bought them when I was studying paint rheology.  It’s fun to have them around though; I feel like I have an alchemist’s lab.


EP = Earth Pigments
Kr = Kremer (a lot of these are from their 25th anniversary set)
NP = Natural Pigments
GP = Guerra Pigments
DS = Daniel Smith, no longer available except on ebay
Gamb = Gamblin
Sch = Schmincke (just py153)
PP = Permanent Pigments (no longer available, these are really old!)

Long refers to ropy, stringy paint rheology
CS is dilatant (cornstarch) rheology

Column 1 – Earth Pigments turquoise green, Earth Pigments French pale green, Earth Pigments Cyprus Umber Dark, Earth Pigments dark yellow ocher, Earth Pigments colonial yellow ocher, Earth Pigments natural sienna, Earth Pigments colonial raw sienna, Earth Pigments amber ocher dunkel.

Column 2 – Kremer gold ocher light, Kremer raw sienna, Daniel Smith ultramarine blue, Kremer Venetian red, Kremer burnt sienna #3, Kremer burnt umber, Kremer raw umber, Italy, Kremer Bohemian green earth.

Column 3 – Earth Pigments plum, Earth Pigments blackcurrant, Earth Pigments colonial violet, Earth Pigments sky blue, Earth Pigments burnt sienna (France), Earth Pigments colonial burnt sienna, Earth Pigments ocher limone, Earth Pigments ocher avana.

Column 4 – Earth Pigments French green slate, Daniel Smith burnt umber, Daniel Smith raw umber, Kremer titanium buff, Kremer French ocher extra light, Kremer titanium orange, Kremer ultramarine violet medium, Kremer ultramarine red, violet pink.

Some personal favorites out of this bunch are the EP Natural Sienna, EP Colonial Raw Sienna, EP Colonial Burnt Sienna  (I have liked all the Colonial pigments I have bought), EP Ocher Limone (a unique shade but slow drying in oil), and EP Ocher Avana (great for desert landscapes).   There are some beautiful subtle differences between similar earth pigments, but in practice, I find these often disappear in mixes with other colors, making it questionable to have as many yellow ochers as I have! Generally, earth pigments are inexpensive, so if you like them they are a good buy. Some dry earths have interesting long rheology that doesn’t show up in tubes.

Kremer Titanium Orange is Pbr24, often sold as as Naples Yellow substitute.

The EP Turquoise Green and Sky Blue are pg7 and pb15 “fixed to a natural Calcium Carbonate base” to dramatically cut the intensity.  I did some lightfastness tests of some of these EP “French mineral pigments.”  One, Rosewood, showed some fading in tints in about 4 months.  This was unexpected, since the color is pr101, generally very lightfast. This has made me somewhat hesitant to use them unless I’ve tested them.  I haven’t yet tested Turquoise green, sky blue, plum or blackcurrant.

Column 1 – Earth Pigments lemon yellow (py53), Earth Pigments yellow ocher light, Earth Pigments yellow iron oxide, Earth Pigments orange iron oxide, Earth Pigments rosewood, Daniel Smith yellow ocher, Daniel Smith raw sienna, Daniel Smith quinacridone burnt orange.

Column 2 – Natural Pigments Ercolano red, Daniel Smith burnt sienna, Daniel Smith Indian red, Daniel Smith Mars violet, Daniel Smith quinacridone red, Daniel Smith quinacridone violet, Daniel Smith manganese violet, Earth Pigments ultramarine violet.

Column 3 – Earth Pigments Cyprus green, Earth Pigments pistachio green, Daniel Smith chromium oxide green, Earth Pigments Brentonico green earth, Earth Pigments ancient green earth, Daniel Smith viridian, Daniel Smith phthalo green, Earth Pigments light sienna.

Column 4 – Daniel Smith cerulean, Earth Pigments Havana ocher, Earth Pigments apricot, Earth Pigments pewter gray, Earth Pigments gray ocher, Earth Pigments clay brown, Earth Pigments Italian umber, Earth Pigments Cyprus umber warm.

I like the EP py53 more than Guerra’s version, mainly because Guerra’s leans toward the green, just personal.  EP’s has very long rheology. Kremer’s py53 (not the greenish version) is about the same hue as EP’s, on the warm side with a bit more saturation than EP’s.  Where I have direct comparisons between Kremer and Earth Pigments, I find Kremer almost always shows more intensity in masstone, justifying the higher expense, but Earth Pigments are quite serviceable.

DS Quin Burnt Orange is PO48. Kremer is the only vendor that has it as far as I know. It’s expensive but quite lovely, a warm dark brown in masstone with orange in the tints.  It can be matched pretty closely with burnt umber and a Mars orange or light red or similar.  Handprint suggests a “mixture of nickel azomethine yellow (PY150) and a synthetic organic red or red violet such as perylene maroon (PR179), quinacridone rose (PV19) or quinacridone violet (PV19). A close substitute can also be mixed from green gold (PY129) with quinacridone magenta (PR122).”

EP Light Sienna is a favorite. I use it for its olive masstone and to tone down intense modern pigments for landscapes.  Of this bunch, I’d say this is the most interesting pigment that won’t be found in tubes easily. (Vasari makes it for high cost.)

EP Orange Iron Oxide is a very nice orange for landscapes; like all Mars colors it has greater strength than comparable earths.

NP Ercolana is my most intense warm earth red, though Kremer’s Terra Pozzuoli and Venetian Red are close.


Column 1 – Kremer permanent yellow light (py151), Kremer Indian yellow imitation, Kremer Irgazin orange DPP RA, Kremer Irgazin red DPP RO, Kremer Irgazin ruby DPP-TR, Kremer Alizarin crimson, Kremer Hostaperm red, Kremer manganese violet, Permanent Pigments cadmium yellow medium.

Column 2 – Kremer ultramarine blue very dark, Kremer prussian blue lux, Kremer cobalt cerulean blue, Kremer cobalt blue turquoise light, Kremer phthalo green yellowish, Kremer cobalt green, Kremer cobalt green bluish A, Permanent Pigments viridian, Permanent Pigments cadmium red medium.

Column 3 – Daniel Smith phthalo blue, Gamblin transparent yellow oxide, Gamblin transparent red oxide, Kremer Irgazin yellow greenish, Kremer chromium oxide DD, Kremer zinc oxide, Kremer yellow-orange oxide gamma, Kremer Pozzuolano red earth, Schmincke Indian yellow.

Column 4 – bronze powder, pecan powder, Earth Pigment Mayan yellow, Earth Pigments Mayan red, Guerra Paints Cobalt Nickel Green, Guerra Paints Nickel Titanate Yellow, Guerra Paints Permanent orange HL, Guerra Paints perylene carmine, Guerra Paints chromium oxide green dark, Guerra Paints nickel azo dark, Guerra Paint cadmium yellow litho lemon extra, Guerra Paints cadmium orange dark extra, Kremer Victoria green (unlabelled), Kremer red oxide 110 M light (unlabelled).

Kremer Victoria Green / pastel green (44190) is a weak-tinting, muted, and rather gritty lime green I find somewhat useful to modulate reds in portraits.  Any weak red can help to adjust skin tones, but  I find the texture of this one a bit off-putting.

GP Cobalt Nickel Green is very unusual for its light masstone. It’s great for cool highlights and muting of reds in portraits, and certain atmospheric effects.  This is my vote for the best pigment in this batch that won’t be found in tubes.  I am surprised this isn’t available commercially; it’s really useful to me. Guerra has it in dry pigment and dispersion. Golden makes an imitation version called Titan Green Pale, but it is lighter than the original.

GP Perylene carmine makes an interesting alizarin crimson substitute that is a bit more violet, but true to the muted nature of tints in the original, without the magenta tint that pv19 or pr122 adds in many alizarin substitutes.  There are several variants of pr179; Guerra has others in dispersion. Kremer has a version too.  The Guerra perylene maroon in dispersion looks even closer to alizarin crimson.

GP chromium oxide dark is only slightly darker than the regular versions I own, but enough to give it an edge over them. It seems to have slightly more saturation in masstone also.

GP nickel azo dark is a lovely and expensive extinct pigment only available from Guerra. It’s the only lightfast single pigment I know of that is in the sap green range.

GP Cadmium Orange Dark Extra is a nice vermillion.  I have found that I can get a good complete range from yellow to deep red mixing GP cadmium litho lemon, this, and my cadmium red medium.

GP po36 is a wonderful transparent red-orange that makes more natural landscape oranges than po73, or add it to a cadmium red to push warmth into tints.

I can no longer find the Kremer Zinc Oxide py119 (49550) on their website.  It’s similar to an orange oxide and is pretty easy to match with a mix of yellow oxide and orange or red oxide.

The Kremer Oxide Yellow-Orange Gamma (48050) below it is a really intense orange oxide, very nice, even stronger than pbr24. It mixes with yellow oxide and red oxide light to produce a full range from yellow to red, more muted than modern synthetics but stronger than earths.

Gamblin transparent red and yellow oxides – I find these difficult to disperse in most binders, and they are very fine so get into everything; I’d probably stick to tubed version since they are available now in most paint lines.

The EP Mayan red and yellow are the only Mayan colors that have not faded for me.  I won’t use the green, blue or purple after seeing color shifts and fading. The red and yellow are unique and interesting colors, though I find them hard to handle. The yellow is the greenest of any I have seen, and translucent in masstone.  The red has the lipstick intensity of some naphthol reds. I don’t think EP carries these anymore, but Sinopia has them. It’s possible that my problem with the other Mayan colors is vendor-dependent.

Schmincke py153 is a knockout Indian Yellow, but unfortunately hard to find (extinct?), only available from Schmincke.

Kremer py129 (green gold) is expensive but indispensable to me. It mixes beautifully with almost anything, kind of a magic pigment. py150 has some of the same qualities, but is more of a mustard color. I have been using a limited palette of py129, ultramarine blue, and a red or orange oxide or earth red. The py129 acts as the yellow.

Bronze powder and pecan flour are weirdo experiments of mine that I won’t recommend.