At firt, I started to mix colors which I had on my palette. I thought maybe this time I would try the optical mixing method. I decided to test Arches HP paper (this will be the subject of another post). I painted spots of different colors: Permanent Rose, Translucent Orange, Quinacridone Red, Winsor Red, Perylene Maroon and Quinacridone Magenta. Once they dried, I applied the second layer of Winsor Red and I checked out what I got:
My thoughts on reds
When you look at the swatches above you can see I divided them into several groups. This is another way of selecting a color: when the colors are very similar I choose only one from the group.
I also pay attention to transparency (I prefer transparent or semi-transparent paints) and lightfstness.
When I did that color chart I noticed that Permanent Alizarin Crimson PR177 and Perylene Maroon PR179 were quite similar. It was a surprise to me. They are even similar to Winsor Red Deep PR264, although the later is more red, while the first ones are more brown when dry.
Here is the list of reds that I think are the most helpful and they are not really similar to each other (*I don't really pay attention to the particular brand but I will mention them. All professional paints are great, for me the most important is the pigment):
Pyrrole Red Light PR255 by QoR - orange-red. This is the color that I should have had a long time ago. I always thought that Winsor Red is warm, but it's not. Pyrole Red Light is a wonderful warm red. It is very bright, semi-transparent and has excellent lightfastness. In the warm red family which I have (Scarlet Lake PR188, Cadmium Scarlet PR108, Cadmium Red Medium Hue PY53, PR254 and Cadmium Red Scarlet Hue PY53, PR254, PY83) the Pyrole Red Light is similar to Scarlet Lake by Winsor Newton. I did a little research and Winsor&Newton doesn't have a paint with the PR255 pigment. But Daniel Smith has - Pyrrol Scarlet is made with PR255 pigment so it's the same and I'll have to buy it because it's cheaper than QoR's (I was given it).
Winsor Red PR254 by Winsor&Newton - red-red. Now when I lie down two swatches side by side (of Winsor Red and Pyrole Red Light) I can clearly see that Winsor Red is cooler. It is a wonderful red which I really like and it's been my main red for a long time. Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith and Scarlet Red by Schmincke Horadam are the same colors.
Quinacridone Red PR209 by Winsor&Newton - pinkish-red. Very different from the two above. When diluted is more like pink than red. Also helpful in many cases. Quinacridone Coral by Daniel Smith is the same color. Note: Quinacridone Red by Daniel Smith is very different, it has PV19 pigment.
Winsor Red Deep PR264 by Winsor&Newton - dark-red. This is my favourite dark red which reminds me the color of blood. I use it very often to darken Winsor Red or to paint shadows. I also mix it with Perylene Green to make black. Pyrrol Crimson by Daniel Smith is the same color. Note: Alizarin Crimson PR83 and Permanent Alizarin Crimson PR177 are very similar (Alizarin Crimson more) but they have much worse lightfastness.
Perylene Maroon PR179 by Winsor&Newton - brown-red. Very nice, dark red, actually more like a dark brown (depending on what is next to it: if there are reds it looks like red, if there are browns it looks more like dark brown). Very nice in mixes. Deep Red by Schmincke Horadam is the same color.
Here you can see why I was looking for the red. It's currently on my easel.