How To Make Alizarin Crimson Paint At Home!

The various crimson colors have always been a staple in the palettes of many artists due to the versatility that they are able to add to your palette when mixed with various other colors as well as being a solid stand-alone color. With the various crimsons seeing a spike in popularity, more and more people have been reaching out to ask how to make alizarin crimson paint at home.

Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over the various ways that you are able to make your own alizarin crimson at home. We will be covering the two main methods that you are able to take advantage of by first taking a look at the various colors you are able to mix to make alizarin crimson before we move on to how you are able to add pigment to a wide range of different paint mediums to make different types of alizarin crimson paint using pigments.

We know that a some people within the arts and crafts community do like to make their own paints, dyes, and inks as they see it as a part of the whole process, some of our readers will still simply be better off by going with some pre-made alizarin crimson paint. This is due to it usually working out cheaper than any pigment-based homemade paints while often offering a better end result.

What Is Alizarin Crimson?

Alizarin crimson is a synthetic deep yet cool red that also has a high tinting strength making it a very popular and cheap paint to hold in your palette. As we touched on above, alizarin crimson offers you a ton of versatility so carrying a tube of it in your palette or being able to make it quickly from existing paints in your palette can be an excellent addition as you can then mix it to achieve a huge range of other colors too.

Unlike the majority of other synthetic pigments, alizarin crimson can have issues with being lightfast and will often fade when used in arts and crafts to be displayed under gallery standard lighting. Although some brands do now offer a lightfast alizarin crimson paint that will hold up well under gallery conditions, it does tend to be more expensive than regular alizarin crimson paints.

What Colors Do You Mix To Make Alizarin Crimson?

You are able to mix a cadmium red paint with a ultramarine blue paint and get very close to alizarin crimson without much additional effort being required. We would usually recommend that you start with three quarters cadmium red and one quater ultramarine blue, mix the paint throughly and then add more red or blue as required to lighten or darken your alizarin crimson.

If the paints that you are mixing start to look more like a purple than a crimson we would recommend that you start again from scratch and add half of the ultramarine blue that you did on your first attempt. This is a common problem and is actually down to the pigment density used by different brands for their ultramarine blue pigment graph. You can often use the exact same ratios with the same cadmium red but two different brands of ultramarine with one looking crimson and one looking more purple.

Some people do also like to add a very small amount of green with kelly green paint or any other moderate to light green usually doing the trick but this is not essential. If you are new to mixing paints then we would recommend that you avoid adding the green as getting the ratios correct for three colors is considerably more difficult than getting the color ratios right when only mixing two colors.

What Colors Are Close To Alizarin Crimson!

Alizarin crimson has two colors that are similar to use it and can be used in its place, these are Quinacridone Magenta and Permanent Rose with Quinacridone Magenta usually being the better option. Depending on the specific brand that you use for each color, you may still have to darken or lighten the color slightly to get it to meet your needs.

If you do carry either of these colors in your paint palette then they can offer a quick and easy way to produce a similar result to alizarin crimson if you don’t have either of the colors listed earlier to mix to make your own alizarin crimson. That said though, if you don’t have any and would need to purchase a new tube of paint, it will almost always be better to just go with a tube of alizarin crimson paint and be done with it.

How To Make Alizarin Crimson Oil Paint!

You are able to make your own alizarin crimson oil paint by adding some alizarin crimson pigment to any decent oil based paint medium. Although you can buy an expensive, commercially produced oil paint medium if you wish, many people use linseed oil as their paint medium with great effect. If you are on a budget or you already have some linseed oil in your home then this can be a quick, easy, and cheap way to make your own alizarin crimson paint without hiking the prices up.

Making your own oil based paints does tend to be the easiest option, especially if you are new to making your own paint and on a budget so it is usually the option that we recommend that our users start with. Commercially produced pigments tend to be fine enough to suspend well in all oil based paint mediums offering you a good, consistent spread across your canvas or paper during use.

One common mistake that we often see people make who are new to making their own paints is that they add way too much pigment to their paint medium. We would highly recommend that you start with small amounts of pigment that you then mix into your paint medium thoroughly as it usually takes much less pigment than most people initially think to get a solid looking alizarin crimson paint.

How To Make Alizarin Crimson Acrylic Paint!

You are able to make your own alizarin crimson acrylic paint by adding some alizarin crimson pigment to a white or clear gesso acrylic to get a solid end result. Although some people do use a white gesso, it will require more pigment than if you are using a clear gesso with the clear gesso often performing ever so slightly better anyway. Due to this, we recommend that our readers do opt for a clear gesso if they don’t currently have one at home but if you already do have a white gesso then this can be used.

Unlike making your own oil paint, the gesso tends to have a much higher density than an oil based paint medium. Due to this you do have to take extra care when mixing your homemade paint to ensure that the pigment and gesso are mixed together correctly. Thankfully though, this is very simple and easy to do. We would recommend that you start with small amounts of pigment and keep pushing your mixing tool to the bottom of your container to drag gesso up from the very bottom when possible.

This will ensure that your pigment is mixed all the way through your gesso prior to use offering your a much better end result for your homemade alizarin crimson paint. A common mistake we see people make with acrylic paints is just to mix it without pulling the gesso up from the bottom of their container only to find that the density of the gesso has prevented any pigment getting to the bottom of your contain.

Although making your own acrylic paint is still relatively easy, if you don’t currently have some gesso at home and only need small amounts then just going with a pre-made alizarin crimson acrylic paint will usually work out to be cheaper and easier. On the flipside of this though, if you do need larger amounts of alizarin crimson paint then making your own can end up working out to be much cheaper in the long run.

How To Make Alizarin Crimson Watercolor Paint!

You can make your own alizarin crimson watercolor paint by adding some alizarin crimson pigment to a watercolor medium such as gum Arabic and mixing it together. The main issue with making your own homemade watercolor paint is that the gum Arabic can be an absolute pain to keep at the right consistency for use as a watercolor medium.

You are able to pick up better mediums for watercolor paint but this does end up sky rocketing your costs meaning that just going with a pre-made alizarin crimson watercolor paint will workout to be much cheaper. If you so prefer to make your own paints for your arts and crafts and will be going through the process on a regular basis then you can definitely give it a try as the more you make your own watercolor paints the better the end result tends to be.


That brings our article going over how you are able to make your own alizarin crimson paint at home to a close. Thankfully, there is a quick and easy option of mixing existing paints in your palette that we would usually recommend that our readers try first. If you are wanting to make your own pigment based oil or acrylic paints then this also can be easy but will hike your budget up but if you need a watercolor paint we usually recommend that you just purchase some alizarin crimson watercolor from your local arts and crafts store as it is much easier and often cheaper.

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