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Paint Pigments: Lemon Yellow (PY 3)

A profile of lemon yellow paint pigment.

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Paint Pigments -- Lemon Yellow PY3

Paint Pigment: Lemon Yellow PY3

Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc

Characteristics: Lemon yellow is a bright, transparent yellow that's fairly cool and leans towards green.

Common Names: Hansa yellow light, arylide yellow, azo yellow, brilliant yellow.

Color Index Name: PY 3
(Color Index Explained)

Color Index Number: 11770.

Pigment Origin: Organic.

Used for Painting Since: 1900s.

Opacity/Transparency: Transparent.
(Opacity Explained)

Tinting Ability: Weak.
(Tinting explained)

Lightfastness Rating: ASTM II. (Tendency to fade when very diluted.)
(Lightfastness explained)

Oil Paint Drying Speed: Slow.

Specific Notes:

  • A useful color for mixing with blues to create greens, and with reds to create oranges.
  • Sometimes used as a cheap substitute for cadmium yellow.

Quotes About This Pigment:
"Bright lemon yellow hurts the eye after a short time, as a high note on the trumpet hurts the ear. The eye becomes disturbed, cannot bear it any longer, and seeks depth and repose in blue or green." -- Wassily Kandinsky in Concerning the Spiritual in Art.

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