Dear Marten: Cad Yellow Lemon vs. Cad Yellow Light

Dear Marten,

Both your Rembrandt Oil Colors Cadmium Yellow light and Cadmium Yellow Lemon are described as having the same pigment content (PY35). If they are the same pigment, what makes them noticeably different colors?

Thank you,


Dear John,

Thank you for your question.

Cadmium is an inorganic pigment and the range of cadmium pigments PY35 and PR108, are created using the same base of cadmium nitrate and sodium sulfide (with the addition of selenium for the reds). The variation comes through in the process of heating the solutions. The addition of the selenium and heating times transforms the pigment and creates warmer and warmer yellows and ultimately the oranges and reds. This process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and can include some proprietary formulations.

I’ve included a link to the art pigment database for more information.

Met vriendelijke groet, With kind regards,

Marten Talens

Marten Talens founded Royal Talens, the Dutch Factory for Paints, Lacquers and Inks, in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands) in 1899.

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