9 - Earth Watercolour Swatches
There are literally hundreds of artist quality watercolours available from many brands. I have tested many of them and created swatches as seen on the right. The square box is painted into a damp wash at the top to show the colour mixed in water, with more pigment added towards the bottom. The rectangle is painted in a juicy wash to show the mass-tone. The small squares at the bottom of the swatch have the pigment number and characteristics - staining, lightfast rating, granulation and transparency.
For more on earth pigments see the Brown Artis creation pigment database page here. the comprehensive Handprint Earth Pigment page is here, based on lightfast tests competed in 2004.
Yellow Earth Single pigment Watercolours PY42 & Py43 and PBr7.
Yellow earth colours may be made with yellow pigments such as Yellow Ochre PY43 and the synthetic PY42, or brown pigments such as PBr7 which is generally used for the slightly more orange Raw Sienna. I have place both here for easy comparisons. Note that some Raw Umbers (see below) can be very yellow and look like a yellow ochre. You can see some more transparent neutral yellows such as the Quinacridone Gold hues in the orange and yellow sections.
Burnt Siennas, Raw Umbers, Burnt Umbers, and other Earth watercolours made with PBr7
Many of these colours are made with PBr7, which is found in Raw Sienna (see above), Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Burnt Umber. Raw Umber can vary from the deep cool brown I expect it to be, to a slightly greenish yellow ochre hue, depending on the manufacturer. See also the PR101 watercolours below - some manufacturers use PR101 to create their burnt sienna watercolours.
Red earth and yellow earth watercolours made with PR101 and PR102
There are many different colours made using the pigment PR101. They vary from a rich opaque and granulating Indian and Venetian Reds to a transparent burnt orange hue to a rich granulating transparent brown. I'll put them all together here. PR102 is less common but included here also.
Browns made with PBr25
PBr25 is an interesting alternative to Indian Red if you want to use an transparent earthy rather than an opaque PR101 Indian Red.
Miscellaneous single pigments PBr6, PBr11, PBr24, PBr25, PBr33, PR41, PR206, Primatek mineral pigments and others.
Earth watercolours - mixed pigments
I prefer to use single pigment earth colours. Some of these are a mix of PY42 or PBr7 pigments, or a brown pigment with black. I don't think any are essential, though sometimes I do mix my own custom earth colours.
These swatches are painted and added as a guide. The intention is show the characteristics of each colour when painted. The colour reproduction is not perfect but hopefully will still be helpful used in conjunction with the manufacturer's website. Thank you to those of you, from Canada, Sweden, Australia and the USA, who have helped me with this section by sharing your favourite colours. If you notice errors please let me know so I can correct them. If you have artist quality watercolour that are not shown here and want to help me build up this resource, also please let me know :-)