Brown Ocher


SKU: PAE06 Categories: , Tags: , ,



Dark, transparent brown often named for Flemish artist Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) who used this natural color for shading, tinting, and glazing. Other artists also used this flat brown for backgrounds and men’s clothing, in watercolors and oils. Made in Germany from natural earth, ocher, iron(III)-oxide, manganese oxide, humus. The original pigment also contained asphaltum (bitumen), but this is no longer used. Mixes with all mediums and pigments; lightfast in watercolors and lime, not in oils. Commercially-made Van Dyke (or Vandyke) Brown varies greatly between brands, but the better manufacturers keep as close as possible to early color charts dating to achieve a good brown.

AKA: Van Dyke brown, Cassel earth, Cologne earth, Rubins brown, [Ger] Kasseler Erde, Kölnische Erde, [Fr] brun, ochre marron, terre de Cologne, terre de Cassel, [It] terra di Colonia, terra di Cassel

Country of origin: Canada
Transparency: Semi-transparent
Compatibility: Paints, fresco
Lightfastness: In watercolor and fresco but not in oil
Composition: Natural / inorganic iron oxide

General protective measures:  Always wear a dust mask, gloves, apron and eye protection.

These dry pigments are not sold for cosmetic, food, pharmaceutical or tattoo use.

Keep away from foodstuffs and drinks. Do not eat, drink or smoke during work. Wash hands before breaks and at the end of work. Do not allow children or pets to contact these art materials.


Additional information

Weight N/A


Pigment Type

Natural Earth


2 oz, 4 oz

Historical Background


Color Family

Earth Tones




  1. Elizabeth (verified owner)

    This is a beautiful chestnut brown color. I’d say it’s a smidgen too reddish for van dyke brown in my opinion, but it’s pretty all the same.

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