Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Naples Yellow Comparison

Naples yellow is one of those great "horse-y" colors, but I have found that it really varies from one manufacturer to another. Each company seems to use different mixtures of pigments to make their color, and it can range from a bright yellow to a subtle neutral. I've been cycling through tubes to see what manufacturer I like best, so here's a few that I've tried lately.

I like Rembrandt paints in general because they are very smooth and relatively cheap (plus their tube is 40ml vs 37ml for most standard tubes). However, some of their colors tend to be garish, and also they tend to use more oil so I have started steering away from them a little bit.

The first color on the left is Rembrandt Naples Yellow Light. As you can see, the tube is almost full because I didn't like this color. It's too light for my taste, and it almost has a greenish cast to it. The color to the right of it is Naples Yellow Deep. This one is better, and I have used it on models, but it's still too yellow and falls into the garish category for me. It can always be modulated by another color, but I'd rather not take the extra time when one color will do.

Next is Sennelier Naples Yellow Deep. I really like this color and use it all the time. It's a nice neutral yellow, and the consistency is buttery without too much oil. I don't use a lot of Sennelier colors because I had a really bad experience with a stringy tube of paint from them once, but this is one color that I will definitely buy again.

Finally, there is Winsor & Newton Naples Yellow. This is slightly more yellow than the Sennelier, but it's still a very nice color. The problem I have with it is that it has lead carbonate in it. I didn't realize this when I ordered it online. I don't like using paint with lead in it, not because of the toxicity so much, but because the lead makes the paint heavy and difficult to brush out. It's a weird feeling and doesn't work well with the lighter synthetic brushes, it needs a good stiff brush to work best.

There are still a few other brands left that I'd like to try, but I need to use up the Sennelier first. It lasts a long time!


Jenn Scott said...

I highly recommend Daniel Smith oils, in any color. I've been very happy with their shade of Naples Yellow too, which is more of a light, but still brighter pastel yellow. I just love the consistency of the DS oils - very smooth without being too oily. They also have a higher concentration of actual pigment in their paints, which is a big bonus. You'll pay a bit more for them, but they are most definitely worth it!

Carol said...

Daniel Smith is just down the street from me :-) I do like some of their paints (I've got most of their metallics and their Quinacra Rose is my favorite red) but I haven't tried their Naples Yellow yet, I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

I mourn the loss of Winsor Newton Naples Yellow containing lead. It was the perfect shade of Naples Yellow, and it had properties that none of the non-lead versions have. For scumbling, the is no better paint. For separating planes, and pushing one plane back into the distance, there is no better paint.

I still have two tubes of it left, but when they are gone, I'll have to search for another with similar properties, if all the lead paints aren't removed from the market by then.