Want a winning new watercolor combination to try?  You’re going to love this one with its  Spectacular Effects!  Creative, fun, imaginative.  Perfect for landscape paintings.  Relaxing, calm, zen. What more could you ask for?!   This duo can just about create a painting by themselves if you let them.

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Lunar Black

Daniel Smith Watercolor Combination

Lunar Black and Quinacridone Sienna are a dynamic duo.  I’ve used this watercolor painting combination for over 20 years and I still am completely fascinated every time I use it.

For a long time, I had a bit of trouble saying  “Quinacridone.”   The secret is fairly simple:     “quin -a- cri-done.”     Easy!



Lunar Black and Quinacridone Sienna

Daniel Smith watercolour paints Lunar Black PBk11   and   Quinacridone Sienna PO49 create a magical effect that I just can’t obtain with other paint combinations.  I absolutely love the colors of both these watercolors,  alone and when mixed together to create new color blendings.

Have a go.  Discover watercolor in a fresh, exciting way and see for yourself what these two colors can get up to together!   Plus, its a great way to practice and have fun at the same time.



A minute tidbit of paint pigment information….


4 categories of paint pigments:   transparent, opaque, staining, granulating


Quinacridone Sienna   is a Staining pigment.

It stains, it is vibrant, it glazes brilliantly,  it shoots and spreads out wildly, it mixes well with others.

The rich Orange color will soften out if needed, when its either diluted with plenty of water or greyed off with its opposite. Or with Lunar Black.

But, it is spectacular to leave snippets of its delicious vibrancy showing through in various places to catch and hold, the viewers’  eyes in your paintings.


Lunar Black   acts like a Granulating pigment as its magnetic micro particles swirl and reticulate and create strangely wonderful textural patterns.

IF,  its handled with plenty of fluid to allow those particles to sink and texturize. Otherwise… it won’t.   Now you know!

Lunar Black will mix fairly well with many other colors. Not so much the Opaques, they are what I call ….”The dirty Mud Makers”  –  well,  they can be.


It mixes like a champ with all the Stainers.  I love all the blends with Stainers, they are fabulous.  Try these… LB + phalo blue,  + Alizarin Crimson,  + phalo green,  + prussian blue,  + Azo yello,  + Quinacridone Magenta, etc.


Lunar Black  is not a full on black.

This black is a softer, more delicate charcoal greyed black.  If you think you’re buying a dense, flat black that is Opaque…. Nope!   That’s not Lunar Black.

It hits its stride in a very fluid wash;    where all the particles are freed to create lovely textural effects.



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Landscape Quinacridone Sienna , Lunar Black


Textural Useful Effects

Lunar Black mixed with Quinacridone Sienna creates some of the most stunning patterns I’ve seen in watercolors.

Painting in watercolors, I know the paints will dry lighter and lose some of their “Pop” – so there are things I do to compensate.

Paint a bit darker in some areas;  use a Stainer like Quinacridone Sienna which normally can retain its intensity better than Transparents;  use textural Granulating paints to help create more visual interest, “Pop.”


The granulation and textural effects from LB  (Lunar Black)   opens up a new realm of possibilities to explore while playing with your watercolor mixes.


Great for tree trunks,   (think banksia, cedar, madrona, etc.)    mountains, hills, escarpments and rocks,  perfect for streets and roads,  animals.

This watercolor combination would be fabulous for creating the patterns of a Calico cat.



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Lunar Black Mountain



Process for this Watercolor Combination

Try to make sure to use a very generous amount of water,  in order to allow the pigment to flow.

This enables the ‘pigment’ to activate.  Insufficient water will  disable the pigment’s ability to achieve the effect.

You could, pre-dampen a specified area on the paper and then drop the colors into that wet area. This would effectively, ‘contain’ the watercolor from going outside the selected area.





I hope you enjoyed this post on Lunar Black and Quinacridone Sienna,  two rather addicting watercolor paints to use in landscapes and creative paintings!


Its the Holidays,  Have Fun with the Paints!