Cadmium Orange (PO 20)


Cadmium Orange (PO 20)

Information: Opaque, Lightfast
Handling Characteristics: Saturated color when used purely and when tinted with white, cadmium orange desaturates immediately when mixed with other colors and cools down in temperature.

Cadmium orange is a difficult color to use in mixtures however it is indispensable when you need a pure orange tint to lay over other layers of paint. Every time I begin to question why I still keep this color out and keep it a regular color on my palette, I encounter a painting moment when I need to lay a pure orange tint on top of an area and it needs to be saturated and a most neutral orange (by this I mean something neither too warm of an orange or two yellow of an orange and an orange that cannot be mixed from other colors).

When painting flesh tones I use pure orange tints on my upper layers of paint, and am always amazed by how these tints lay down and glow above other colors. Cadmium orange also mixes very well with blues or greens when trying to achieve colorful grays. In fact, its tendency to desaturate the moment it is mixed with another color lends itself to making lovely opaque grays.

Row 1:
Name: Cadmium Orange (PO 20)
Manufacturer: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors
My thoughts: I have been using the Williamsburg cadmium orange for the longest time, I like how it stays open on the palette for a long while, I like the tinting strength, and most especially I like the pure middle range orange it is. This is a pure pigment oil color made of PO 20, cadmium orange.

Row 2:
Name: Cadmium Orange (PO 20, PR 108)
Manufacturer: Winsor and Newton Artists Oil Colors
My thoughts: the Winsor and Newton cadmium orange is just a slight tint redder than the Williamsburg. Not much but enough to make a slight difference when laying down a pale tint of cadmium orange on top of another layer of paint. One reason why this cadmium orange may stray towards the red spectrum on the color wheel is because it is a mixture of two pigments PO 20 and PR 108, which is cadmium red.

Row 3:
Name: Cadmium Orange (PO 20)
Manufacturer: Vasari Classic Artists Oil Colors
My thoughts: In the autumn of 2016, I got the opportunity to explore using Vasari cadmium orange and it was a luxury. I especially enjoyed the smooth, creamy texture of this paint, the tinting strength is phenomenal. On the color wheel it falls within almost an identical color spectrum as the Windsor Newton cadmium orange. This is a pure pigment oil color made of PO 20, cadmium orange.

If money is no object, I believe I would use Vasari paint, whereas the Williamsburg cadmium orange is a great deal for its price.

Here is an image of my original swatches I did of the cadmium reds and oranges before I began to make the graduated swatches.

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These articles about my color palette and the oil colors I use are the result of my experience and continued exploration. I have purchased all oil colors on my own and I have not received any reimbursement from the mentioned paint manufacturers or art supply stores. The usefulness and perceived attributes expressed here in these articles are my personal opinions.

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