Moonglow – Nice-to-have or Must-have?

I banned Ultramarine Blue temporary from my pallet. Therefor I have room for an additional colour. This free space irritates me and I have to occupy it. Moonglow by Daniel Smith is a very popular colour and I tried to find out if I can relate to that.
To my astrophysical untrained eye, there is no relationship between the colour of the moon and this colour. It is made of three different pigments:

  • Viridian (PG18)
  • Ultramarin Blue (PB28)
  • Anthraquinoid Red (PR177)

Whenever I mix more than three colours the result is gray-brown, which in this case is a euphemism for "dirt". Fortunately, the people at Daniel Smith know their stuff. The result is difficult to describe. It is a bluish grey with a tendency to violet.

The used pigments have a different specific gravity. Viridian (ca. 2,00 g·cm−3) is the first that thinks into the paper, followed by Ultramarin Blue (ca. 1,62 g·cm−3) while Anthraquinoid Red (ca. 1,47 g·cm−3) nearly stays at the surface. That happens if one puts some drops of Moonglow straight from the tube on the wet paper.

The colour really has a life of its own! It delivers its full potential when used without other colours. The pigments flow in all direction and the granulation is spectacular.

I put a small drop of Quinacridone Rose in this.

Some sketchers use Moonglow for shadowing. I myself would be very cautious in doing so. It is a dominant colour and no matter what I tried, I could not soft the edges.

Moonglow is definitely not a must-have but it is a lot of fun playing with it, so let us call this colour a nice toy.

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