Friday, 1 July 2011

Quinacridone Gold - Pigment PO49 (2)

As a follow up to my previous post this is the current position. Only one manufacturer of artists  watercolours offers the genuine article - described by the famed Australian watercolourist Robert Wade in his 2002 book, `Robert Wade's Watercolour Workshop Handbook', as "the best thing for years". The sole source of genuine Quinacridone Gold (PO49) is the American company Daniel Smith.

According to Bruce McEvoy of Handprint manufacture of the pigment, a mixed crystal form of PV19 alpha and beta (don't ask me what this means because I don't know!), ceased in 2001.The reason was that the automotive industry, the prime source of demand, dropped it. Pigment volumes for paints is a drop in the ocean compared to that from the automotive, ceramics and chemical industries so  paint makers are at the mercy of the market. They follow demand rather than drive it and get what they can.

Confusion has been caused by Maimeri continuing to put out `Golden Lake' with PO49 Quinacridone listed as the pigment ingredient. Soon after PO49 manufacture ceased Maimeri changed their formulation. Actually the information on both tubes and chip charts was wrong as they said `PV49', and still do although it also says `Quinacridone' which PV49 is not, an error never corrected. When I enquired about this from Maimeri they did not reply but Bruce McEvoy of Handprint has considerably more clout than little me and sent me a copy of an e-mail from them in Italian which nevertheless translated that PO49 had been replaced by PY42 `a similar pigment'. PY42 is a yellow oxide which is widely available from up to 30 producers Worldwide. It varies considerably in colour and tone depending on a number of factors affecting manufacture. The other main source of `true' Quinacridone Gold was Winsor & Newton who ran out of the pigment pretty quickly and have replaced it with a three pigment mix of PR206, PV19 and PY150, all excellent pigments but do not call it a `hue', which it is, and using it for mixing will give a different result.

What then of Daniel Smith? It is assumed they bought up a large consignment of PO49 and this is why they are able to continue to offer it. I shall have to ask my friend Hap, who lives not far from the Daniel Smith headquarters, to see if he can clarify this. How long will stocks last? Hap offered to take me there, should I visit Seattle again, and introduce me to the chief chemist. Much as I'd like to visit Seattle once more our days of long haul flights are more or less finished. Now if I were to win the lottery and could travel first-class things might be different.....

One problem is the price. The Daniel Smith UK price via Jacksons is £9.55 for a 15ml tube. Daniel Smith's website list the price as $10.45 or $9.40 if you buy 12 tubes overall. This is under £6 so once again we in the UK get the short straw. What are the alternatives?


The swatches above show Quinacridone Gold compared with Gold Ochre, Raw Sienna and purely for comparison, a true yellow Azo Yellow. The first three are earth colours but note Gold Ochre. This is the Winsor & Newton version made with PY42, a commonly used pigment, widely available from pigment manufacturers and (apparently) capable of a quite wide colour range. This is a favourite of Bruce McEvoy of Handprint and I think he is onto something. It is shown almost full strength but can be diluted down and is even touted as a possible alternative to Raw Sienna. Is it an alternative to Quinacridone Gold? One big advantage is that it is much cheaper, certainly in the UK and can be purchased from the online suppliers at under £7, much cheaper than the DS paint. In the USA this is reversed with W & N paints amongst the dearest so the DS Quinacridone Gold is a viable purchase but for how long?.

13 comments:

hap said...

While I'd love to buy you a cup of tea (or coffee or even a pint or two) if you ever get to Seattle I have not seen the gentleman who developed the primatek line in my last several visits to Daniel Smith's..Not sure if he's back in the lab working on new "stuff" or whether he has moved on to another position. However I do think I am going to stock up on Quin gold next time I'm there...I LIKE that color!!

Peter Ward said...

Nice to hear from you Hap. Unless DS have a source of PO49 unknown to anyone else, then they will run out eventually. According to Handprint this pigment is no longer manufactured.

hap said...

That it is no longer manufactured is a shame (in my opinion). I find it a very versatile tube in my arsenal. It mixes well with others, has great range from weak washes to straight from the tube is pale when you need it pale and vibrant when you need it to pop a bit! How many tubes do you currently have of DS quin gold? Have you found that you use it a lot?

Peter Ward said...

I have only the one tube of Quin Gold from Daniel Smith Hap but I still have two full pans, one partialy used, of the original Winsor & Newton version.
No I currently don't use it a lot. I am becoming quite keen on Gold Ochre from W & N which might prove to be a useful substitute.

Michael from PDX said...

Peter, I've used single pigment Quin Gold PO49 from WN and Maimeri (called Golden Lake). Never got the hang of them. Switched to Nickel Azo Yellow PY150 as my earthy "gold" paint. Transparent, good mixer with Quin Rose and it makes incredible greens with any blue paint (which can be a blessing/curse). Very versatile pigment, still readily available.

Michael (Portland, OR)

Peter Ward said...

Hi Michael. Quinacridone Gold is (or was) a favourite of many but each to his own I say. The Maimeri version was never as good as that from W & N. Nickel Azo yellow PY150? Is that Daniel Smith? I'll have to look it up on Handprint. I like Gold Ochre from W & N (PY42) but haven't really tried it out with any blues as yet. Thanks for commenting.

Kevin said...

The W&N website pigment chemical information still shows Hookers green (code 311) pigments as PG36 and PO49??
http://www.winsornewton.com/products/water-colours/artists-water-colour/composition--permanence/.

Peter Ward said...

Welcome Kevin. Don't believe it. See what the pigments are now in the current W & N Quinacridone Gold. PO49 ceased production some years ago and I am led to believe the only true source is now Daniel Smith and they will run out eventually. It appears, and this just doesn't apply here, that there are paints in other ranges where pigments have changed and the labels have not (yet) been changed.

Kevin said...

Thanks Peter, W&N have had 6 years to update this information as the old formulation was discontinued in 2005. This also confuses retailers - see this link http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-supply/W311-5_4692_winsor-amp-newton-artists-watercolor-hookers-green-ml.asp. Whats worse in that link they confuse the chemical name Isoindolinone PY110 with PO49 (Quinacridone) exactly as W&N do on their website.

Sophia Wright said...

Thanks for the advice, I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well.
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Peter Ward said...

Thanks Sophia - just picked up your comment.

Alex Operchuck said...

I personally love the Quin Gold Deep from Qor. It's listed as pure PO48, but I'm not quite sure how it compares to the others. X

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Alex. PO48 is Quinacridone Orange and is still available. PO49 is Quinacridone Gold. This is no longer produced although Daniel Smith still list it. I think one or two others do but this is almost certainly incorrect. They have replaced it in their paints but have not changed the label.