The word ‘garnet’ comes from the Greek word ‘granatum.’
Granatum means pomegranate seed, and if you’ve ever opened a ripe, juicy pomegranate, you immediately see why the Greeks chose this name for the deep red stone.
Garnets are traditionally seen in bright red tones, which were often used in Victorian jewelry.
However, they are also commonly found in shades of pink from pale blush to bright fuchsia.
A number of garnets also lean toward the golden side of the red spectrum, so orange-red pigments are also suitable.
Add Red Garnet To Your Paintings
Painting with the color palette of garnets gives an artist a wide choice in shades from deep Alizarin Crimson to vibrant Quinacridone Rose Red or rich Quinacridone Permanent Magenta.
Cadmium Light, Medium and Dark hues can also be introduced into this palette to capture the orange and amber tones sometimes found in garnets.
These colors are all strong hues that are seldom muddied by complementary hues. Use cool or warm reds to add a pop of color to liven up your painting or to add life to the focal point of your composition. The vibrant pink and red colors are also striking color themes in which to capture the beauty of floral still life compositions or garden landscapes.
Surprising Green Garnet Shades For Your Palette
Far more rare and valuable, demantoid garnets range in color from a soft Sage Green to a vibrant Emerald Green. Although these stones are not commonly seen, the colors of these green garnets range from subtle pastel green like Terre Verte to the vivid lime green of Cadmium Green Pale.
These shades are welcome additions to any landscape painter’s palette, although many purists will contend that green tones are blended from yellow and blue paint, and green should never come directly out of a tube.
If you, too, are a do-it-yourself artist, you’ll need a few tubes of yellow and blue pigments on your tabouret to create some of these lovely green tones.
Start out with yellows that do not have any orange undertones that would muddy your green color. Cadmium Yellow Light and Aureolin Yellow are bright, pure pigments that are good choices to mix green colors.
Blue pigments like French Ultramarine and Phthalo Blue are strong colors, while Cerulean Blue and Manganese Blue will produce softer tones. To give a subtle appearance to your green paint, add a small amount of a complementary color from either the red or orange color group.
Using the garnet family of colors, you can create vibrant and bold or subtle and serene paintings. Garnets may not be the most costly of gemstones, but they contain a wealth of rich and varied color choices. Add a few of the diverse hues of garnets to your paint collection for a well-rounded and energetic palette of colors.