Venetian Red Watercolor Paint, Eighth-Pan

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French Red Ochre Watercolor Paint, Eighth-Pan

Greenleaf & Blueberry Professional Handmade Watercolors


Color Overview

 Color Name Venetian Red
Pigment Red Ochre from Venice, Italy
Pigment Index No. PR102
Chemical Formula Fe₂O₃
Series No. Series 2
Lightfastness Rating 5/5 Very Lightfast
Toxicity 1/5 No Known Toxicity
Hue Red Category
Chroma 3/5 Moderate Chroma
Transparency 4/5 Semi-Opaque
Pigment Type Natural
Granulation Some
Value Range 3/5 Moderate Range
Tinting Strength 3/5 Moderate Strength
Staining Some Staining
Flocculation 1/5 Very Dispersing
Variegation No


Combination Swatch  

Greenleaf & Blueberry Professional Artisanal Handmade Watercolors Natural Pigments French Red Ochre

Gravity Wash Swatch

Greenleaf & Blueberry Professional Artisanal Handmade Watercolors Natural Pigments

Value Scale Swatch

Greenleaf & Blueberry Professional Artisanal Handmade Watercolors Natural Pigments French Red Ochre

Color Description

Our Venetian Red displays a smooth, ruddy hue. It has cool undertones when dry, while appearing bright and warm when wet. Its characteristics are typical of quality Ochre pigments, but with some granulation.  Fine particle size and even application make this color relatively easy to control.  

This color is is an excellent choice for a base color when color mixing, especially when mixing skin tones.  

Each of the following swatched have been painted onto Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Color Story

Our Venetian Red is from Venice, Italy, a famed source of Red Ochre for many hundreds of years.

Red Ochre receives its color from iron oxide, more commonly known as rust.  The mineral form of iron oxide is Hematite.  What differentiates Red Ochre from Hematite is its accessory components, such as a modifying coloring agent (goethite or magnetite) and a variety of clays.  This Venetian Red also contains very small amounts of gypsum, a white calcium carbonate mineral, which adds some brightness and opacity to the color.

Ochres are a category of Earth pigments, and are distinguished from other Earth pigments by receiving their color primarily from iron oxide.

Iron oxide can be synthesized, but it has very different handling properties and can be identified by a different pigment index number (PR101).

To learn more about Ochre, read our post about them here.

Red Ochre is unusual among pigments in that it has been constantly in use since before recorded history began.



Color behavior assessments and descriptions are of course somewhat subjective, your perception being determined by your watercoloring experience.  We offer this information with the intent of giving you an accurate idea of how a color will look and handle so that you can determine if it is a good fit for your palette and painting practice.


Combination Swatch:

This swatch demonstrates:

  • Opacity: Compare the two black lines, the top lines is drawn over the swatch and the bottom one is under the swatch.  The more the bottom line has disappeared, the more opaque the color.

  • Staining: The white line at the bottom of the swatch was lifted out.  The whiter the line, the less staining the color.

  • Value Range:  Color is painted from most concentrated (at left) to least concentrated at right.  The closer a color is to black at most concentrated, the wider its value range.  (All watercolors painted onto white paper can be diluted to complete transparency, or white.)


Gravity Wash Swatch:

This swatch demonstrates:

(A Gravity Wash Swatch is made by pre-wetting the paper, then holding it vertically at an angle, and applying paint from left to right at the very top of the wetted area.)

  • Granulation: Granulation display is influenced both by pigment particle size and behavior determined by chemical composition.  Granulating colors are recognizable in Gravity Washes through their patterned and textured appearance.

  • Flocculation:  Flocculation is the tendency for a color's pigment particles to cling together or be attracted to one another.  Dispersion is the opposite.  A flocculating color is recognizable in a Gravity Wash by a "jellyfish" appearance with the downward movement of the pigment resembling tentacles, while a dispersing color more resembles a distant rainstorm, as is the case with French Red Ochre.

  • Variegation:  Variegation is the tendency for a color's pigment to express itself as more than one hue, usually as a result of a range of pigment particle sizes.  In a Gravity Wash, pigment particles have an opportunity to settle by size a bit, with the smaller particles getting carried further to the edges of where the color travels.  If you only notice one hue in a gravity wash, then it is likely not a variegating color.

  • Tinting Strength:  It can be difficult to determine tinting strength in controlled color swatches.  Because Gravity Washes are less controlled, you can get a more unvarnished look at a color, enabling you to assess characteristics you usually only catch glimpses of when painting.  Colors that appear very dark, intense, and that cover more of the wash area have a more intense tinting strength, while colors that appear more faint and taper out before reaching the bottom of the swatch have a weaker tinting strength.   We have rated French Red Ochre as moderate tinting strength (3/5), though it can be argued that it is closer to a 4.  


Value Scale Swatch:

This swatch is painted in layers, starting with the lightest/least concentrated, and letting each layer dry before the next more concentrated layer is added.  The leftmost and most concentrated layer is applied at a maximum concentration, which is generally not how watercolors are most often used, however this swatch is designed to display the full value range of a color.

This swatch demonstrates:

Value Range:  Value range is a colors range from darkest (most concentrated) to lightest (least concentrated/most diluted).  Value range is arguably one of the most important aspects of any watercolor.  This type of swatch allows you to hold up a magnifying glass to that characteristic.  


Our Pans

We work with metal Eighth-Pans.  They are made of steel, and will therefore stick to magnets.  As described by the name, these pans hold one quarter the volume of paint as a Half-Pan, and one eighth the volume of paint as a Full Pan.

Eighth-Pans measure: Length: 1/2", Width: 1/2", Height: 1/8"

All of the metal pans we work with are designed and manufactured by Art Toolkit, specifically for watercolor painting.

Eighth-Pans are compatible with our Travel Palettes in Pocket Palette and Micro Palette sized, which are Art ToolkitPocket Palettes & Demi Palettes.  These palettes are extremely lightweight and packable palettes (about the size of a business card).  They are an excellent way to justify carrying along a color palette, no matter where your journey will be taking you.  

Eighth Pans are an especially good way to store colors you don't go through as quickly, and they are also a great way to sample new colors.


More Information


Other Items You Might Find Useful For Watercolor Painting

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24-Color Enamel Bijoux Box - Empty
Medium Travel Watercolor Tin (Altoid's Size) - Empty
Watercolor Mister With Clip
Enamel Mixing Palette - Oval
Italian Yellow Ochre - Half-Pan
Da Vinci Cosmotop Spin Watercolor Travel Brush - Round - Various Sizes



Please be aware that every monitor and screen displays colors a little differently.  We have done our very best to show our colors as they appear in person and on paper.


**Please Note**: These colors are NOT intended for children. Half-Pans are small and therefore a choking hazard. Please use only as intended.

All images and descriptions are copyrighted by Greenleaf & Blueberry®
© Greenleaf & Blueberry LLC 2011-2023

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