Color Mixing Watercolor Paint Characteristics

Burnt Sienna Watercolor – Paint Characteristics & Color Mixing

Burnt Sienna watercolor is a warm, earth color that has a tonal value darker than the other browns in the semi-transparent category, Raw Sienna and Quinacridone Gold.

It is the “reddish brown” in the semi-transparent non-staining watercolor palette used for the glazing technique and mixing with other colors.

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Measured against a gray scale value finder, semi-transparent non-staining watercolors are generally mid-light in value ranging from 20% to a maximum of 80% value.

So, the colors in the semi-transparent non-staining category are adequate for a mid-tone palette, except for where darker passages require colors with values higher on the gray scale.


Burnt Sienna is slightly more opaque than transparent non-staining watercolors and requires more restraint to remain luminous when mixing with other colors.

Semi-transparent non-staining watercolors have similar characteristics to transparent non-staining watercolors, but with a wider range of colors to add to a palette.

Burnt Sienna can be layered in several glazes using other semi-transparent non-staining watercolors if each layer is allowed to dry thoroughly before applying the next layer.


Add Aureolin or New Gamboge to Burnt Sienna to mix a variety of lighter value, warmer, more transparent brown colors that resemble colors in nature.

Mix Burnt Sienna with French Ultramarine to create interesting mid-value transparent gray colors. For a darker gray, add a touch of Prussian Blue to the mix.

Burnt Sienna can also be successfully mixed with watercolors in both the transparent and semi-transparent non-staining categories.

It also makes beautiful, luminous washes when glazed with the other watercolors in the transparent non-staining category.

Mixed with semi-opaque or opaque colors, it will create a combination that is cleaner and more transparent than using only opaque colors.

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… and the recommended semi-transparent non-staining watercolor for mixing grays with Burnt Sienna

… also the transparent non-staining category of watercolors for glazing or color mixing with Burnt Sienna

To learn more about transparent watercolors, click the link to my blog post “Which watercolor paints are transparent.”

See my YouTube playlist “Watercolor Paint Characteristics & Color Mixing” for more videos. And, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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