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Schmincke Horadam Watercolors, Genuine Cochineal Red (Limited Edition)

List Price: $32.50

Our Price: $26.50

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About This Product

Schmincke Retro Line: Cochineal Red

Cochineal red is an historical color that is nearly extinct today. Made from a dye found in scale insects and produced by a highly labor-intensive process, cochineal red was the only bright red available to many artists and craftspeople for centuries.

Used by the Aztec and Maya civilizations as early as 200 BCE, cochineal was a major industry until it was replaced by synthetic alizarin in the late 19th century. Synthetic pigments offered much better lightfastness and a much cheaper production process, so this beautiful color is almost never seen today in the artist's studio.

This unique color has not been manufactured at Schmincke for many years—until now. Time-travel back to Schmincke's founding in 1881 with this Retro Line release, made with genuine, insect-derived cochineal dye and packaged with the original H. Schmincke & Co. brand and design.

The color itself is incredible—and has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Very deep and purplish in masstone, cochineal red opens up and becomes bright reddish-pink in dilution. The color moves fluidly across watercolor paper, staining and intensely coloring every fiber it touches.

Because cochineal is fugitive and will darken over time, we recommend taking photographs of any work you create with it. In this way, you can have the best of both worlds: you'll get to enjoy this very rare color while also preserving your work for the long term.

15 mL tube in Schmincke Retro box. Made in Germany.


About Schmincke Horadam Watercolors:

Schmincke Horadam watercolors are among the world's finest professional-grade colors. First patented in 1892 by Schmincke co-founder Josef Horadam and continuously improved over more than a century of effort, Horadam watercolors are vibrant, smooth, and easy to apply to any kind of watercolor paper. Only the best artist pigments are used for the 140 colors that make up today's Horadam lineup. They're milled until the paint becomes creamy and utterly consistent, and each color shines in its pan when water is applied.

Even the process of filling Horadam pans is special. Each pan is liquid-filled from the same watercolor that's in Horadam tubes, then allowed to dry four times in a process that takes several weeks from start to finish. The result is an incredibly concentrated dry pan that reactivates instantly when you touch it with a wet brush. Scrub a little bit and you'll have intense color, ready to apply to your notebook or pad.