Greetings + Cadmium Yellow

Hi all

Glad to have found Mark's tutorials on youtube. I can't remember if I used Geneva paint for these lemons, but I really tried to use the color checking method. Tedious, but taught me a lot. I'm trying to move away from cadmiums. Does anyone have suggestions for alternatives to cadmium yellow?




  • poma

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Nice work.

    Colour checking is about training your eye and brain to be objective and accurate mixing value and hue.
    After five paintings, or so, you can expect many values can be perfectly mixed and applied correctly. Only a few close or tricky values need to be checked.

    Depth, dimension, volume and realism in general depend on value. A short spell of tediousness is well worth it.


  • Nice work! Congrats!
    I too am very happy to have found Mark on YT, almost 8 years ago now. I watched his videos for 2 years before coming to this site and applying myself with everyone else. And I have learned and gained so much more since then, thanks to everyone here.

     I've recently switched to painting with chrome yellow medium & chrome yellow light. These are the yellows that our past masters painted with most frequently, before cadmium yellow was invented. Although these do contain a very small amount of lead, no worries. I am now looking for a replacement for cadmium yellow lemon.
  • Your lemons look good, @poma. Very painterly.

    If you want an alternative yellow try Arylide yellow. It comes in a cooler and a warmer shade. Cheaper than cadmium and quite powerful.

    Colour checking can be tedious but it is fundamental and must be mastered by beginners who want to paint realism because it teaches us to both to see colour and to mix colour accurately. (By colour, I mean both value and hue - the former being the most important.) After a while it gets easier. I've been painting for five years and I now I just match a few basic colours very carefully and the rest I can do on the wing. 

    Keep at it.  :)
  • edited November 2021
    Nice to meet you all (p. here)! Thank you for your advice and perspective.
    I actually just started a new dmp account here, @cabbage

    Going to make a color checker this week.

    So far, I've been checking by holding my paintbrush out in front of me, or testing the color right on the painting. Lots of trial and error.

    Some more lemons below:

  • I like tis one even more.  :)
  • PY184 Bismuth Vanadate is the common alternative to Cadmium Yellow. It's more of a lemon colour, nearly as opaque as a Cadmium and also as expensive (if not more so). 
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