Pigment Guide: Cadmium Red

Pigment code: PR.108

Cadmium Red is a relatively new natural pigment discovered in 1912. Cadmium Red has a variety of colours from warm Cadmium orange through bright Cadmium Red Medium to cool Cadmium Red Deep. A proportion between cadmium selenide and cadmium sulphide in cadmiums determines the actual shade. The more cadmium selenide the deeper the shade of red.

Cadmium red has high last-fastness, keep their brightness after drying, are opaque and provide high coverage. However, they may fade if you use turpentine or other strong mediums. Cadmiums look especially vivid in oil paintings that makes cadmium red look even brighter than pure pigment.

There are some colours that don’t work with cadmiums very well. Avoid using ultramarine, Violet and Van Dyke with Cadmium Red.

All cadmiums are considered to be toxic and can cause cancer and birth defects.

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