The Mighty "quins"...quinacridone pigments

I have been wanting to tell you about a special group of colors that are "sheerly" delightful.  Quinacridone pigments!  Since I work with Golden Artist Colors exclusively, I visited their website to "read up" on these pigments.  I was happy to learn that Golden has more Quins in their paint line than any other company.  In fact, they produce SEVEN (7) in their Heavy Body (thicker paints) and 6 in their fluid line.  The colors range from deep yellow (Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold) to a vibrant violet (Quin Violet).  All of the Quins are great mixing colors because they are highly transparent and have vibrant undertones.

What do I mean when I say a color is "highly transparent?"  Well, since paint is made of particles suspended in something to make it into paint; this refers primarily to the nature of the particles in the paint.  The particles in the Quins are flat and sheer and a bit like "stained glass" bits that have been suspended in acrylic medium. This makes them great for adding color on top of color, or creating glazes over collage images.  The other great thing about transparent pigments is they tend NOT to get muddy or turn gray.  They stay bright for you!

Let's talk a bit about each of the Quins:

Quin/Nickel Azo Gold:  This is a reformulation of the original Quinacridone Gold that is indistinquishable from the older formula.  Although it looks a lot like a Sienna in its "mass tone" (that would be full strength right out of the bottle or tube), it is has a yellow undertone that transforms it when applied to a surface.  You can't find that in a Sienna!  Try it to "age a page" or create a golden glaze.  It is a delicious way to create a faux "tea-stain" look or create a leathered patina to textured paper. When you apply it OVER another color the results are amazing. 

Quin/Burnt Orange:  This is a color unlike anything you have ever tried.  I promise you that.  Again, the "mass tone" looks dark and can be confusing at first look, but the color which looks brownish-red reveals a red-orange undertone when applied.  Spectacular does not begin to describe it.  You must try it as a glaze over yellow, or magenta, or any other lighter color. 

Just so you know these two color above are unique to Golden!  They are worth their weight in gold in your palette!

The remainder of the Quinacridone colors range from Red through Magenta to Violet.  They are by name: Quinacridone Red (on the cool side of red), Quinacridone Red Light (in Heavy Body only), Quinacridone Crimson (a browner red), Quinacridone Magenta, and Quinacridone Violet.  All of the Quin "red" family tends toward the pink side when mixed with white allowing you to create a full range of pinks and lavenders.  Alone they can be mixed with various transparent blues (more on them at a later date!) to give you great transparent lavenders and purples.

The pigment load in all of the Golden paints is very strong and I recommend that you start your experimenting with the smallest amount possible and see just how intense each color really is.  This way you will have a better understanding of how much Quin you need to make a change in another color either by mixing it in or by creating a glaze to brush over. 

I highly recommend getting some Acrylic Glazing Liquid (also through Golden) for creating glazes and for extending your open time.  It keeps your paint on the palette from drying out too quickly and is a great product if you like creating layers of sheer color.

Well, that's all for now, I hope to hear from you about your own experiences with the "Mighty Quins!"  Happy painting.


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  • 1/30/2008 7:23 PM lisa crofts wrote:
    I loved this. I want more. I am looking forward to your book does it describe the technique you wrote about in your first post
    Reply to this
    1. 1/30/2008 7:47 PM Chris Cozen Artist wrote:

      Hi there,  glad you enjoyed my comments on color.  As far as describing the technique, yes, the book, ALTERED SURFACES (Design Originals, available from does cover many techniques including the one I mentioned.  I will be posting again soon, so keep looking for more about color!

      Reply to this
  • 1/31/2008 9:17 PM Jacky wrote:
    Hi Chris, love your site, I sell Golden Products in Australia and have a Mixed Media shop with my daughter. I really love this product and am always learning something new. I love the affect that you get with layering the Quin Magenta over Quin Nickel Azo Gold gives a lovely rosy hue. I put some of my samples on my blog on our website if you are interested. Will also look for your book to add to our stock. Two books that I have found to be very good using Golden Products are Acrylic Revolution by Nancy Reyner and The New Acrylics by Rheni Tauchid.
    Reply to this
    1. 2/1/2008 7:35 AM Chris Cozen Artist wrote:
      I visited your busines website, WELL DONE!  It sounds to me that you and your daughter have hit upon a good thing for your clients as well as your own creativity.  I am a few days away from the national CRAFT & HOBBY ASSOCIATION trade show where my book:  Altered Surfaces by Design Originals debuts.  It is pretty exciting to know that something you worked on will finally find its way into the hands of Golden lovers everywhere.  I think you will find it the perfect answer to a expanding your understanding and use of Acrylic products!  It's also filled with colorful photos showing the product in many applications.  Yesterday I was working on my sample boards for a class I am teaching at CHA on the book and I was once again working with Quin Magenta and Nickel Azo Yellow.  They are really so fabulous together.  When you mix them up you get this intense rusty orange that is not as strong as Quin. Burnt Orange, but truly lovely.  My job was to come up with a limited palette that could be very versatile.  I'm going to post it to the "color" blog soon.  Keep and eye out.  Good luck on your work and continued success in your business.
      Reply to this
  • 6/14/2008 5:52 PM HELEN wrote:
    Dear Chris,
    Thanks for the clarification. I tried to get some info
    from Goldens site and some color samples for someone from out of town. Their site was of no help, though they are generous with technical information.
    Reply to this
    1. 6/18/2008 2:17 PM Chris Cozen Artist wrote:
      Hi Helen, I hope you will go back and visit the Golden website again when you have time to play around with their search engine.  It's pretty technical, but all the information in the world is there to peruse!  If you send someone an e.mail there I'm pretty sure they would be most happy to send you a color chart.  Thanks for visiting the blog!  Have a wonderful colorful day.

      Reply to this
  • 6/18/2008 1:53 PM DiAnn Ogawa wrote:
    You are the Best!! I love having you teach at Stamping Details in Poway, CA. You have a knack for bringing out the Artist in even the newest of students. AND Love your Altered Surfaces book, we have sold 82 so far-our goal is to sell 100, almost there.
    Reply to this
    1. 6/18/2008 2:20 PM Chris Cozen Artist wrote:
      DiAnn, we might have to argue who is the best!  Stamping Details is always the first place I will try out a new technique.  Your customers and students are the greatest!  Thanks for all the enthusiasm about the book.  I know you will pass up the 100 mark any day now! 
      Reply to this
      1. 6/29/2008 8:29 AM DiAnn Ogawa wrote:
        Dear Chris,
        Your August Classes are filling up!!
        And your new stamp line should be ready to ship in the next two weeks!!
        I'm so excited,
        Reply to this
  • 7/27/2008 6:02 PM Felipe Meyenberg wrote:
    On my mind, I did a very very similar painting, but when I saw my work to tell you about it, I realized their not similar. In fact, is intersting how your work remebered me about what I did.
    See on
    Reply to this
  • 6/26/2009 6:44 PM Genie Morton wrote:
    I'm excitedly involved in projects inspired by Laurie Mika's book, "Mixed Media Mosaics" where I first learned about quinacridone (gold, in this case). I've just tried using it and was puzzled by, yes, the different effects produced by varying the thickness of the layers. Your succinct info is enlightening. thanks.
    Reply to this
  • 10/6/2009 10:30 AM David Lewis wrote:
    Golden is good, but last time I checked, Daniel Smith carried different acrylic 10 quinacridones.
    Reply to this
  • 12/10/2009 6:04 AM Paula S In New Mexico wrote:
    Chris ~ This post was enormously helpful. Thanks
    Reply to this
  • 6/3/2011 1:33 PM Teleskope wrote:
    Reply to this
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