Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils

I've updated this post from 2018, re-scanning all the swatches and setting them out more clearly.

There are many brands of water-soluble pencils, but Albrecht Dürer, made by Faber Castell, are my favourites of the readily available ranges. They are great colours - very natural - and 'fairly' to 'extremely' lightfast. There is sometimes a shift in colour when you wet them but not as crazy as some pencils. They behave well and dilute nicely. 

I've had a lovely boxed set of 80 Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils for over 30 years and use them mostly in conjunction with other media - watercolours in particular. The current range is 120 pencils and I thought I'd draw and paint them all out to show how they all look since the colour charts can be hard to tell. I've taken screen shots of the colour chart from the Faber-Castell website to enlarge them here. I'll show the colours painted and drawn out below, but in a different order. 

The samples are drawn on Arches 300gsm hot pressed (smooth) paper - not what I usually use as I prefer cold pressed. The right side of each swatch has been brushed over with water then the pencil drawn through the damp section to show its full wet strength.

The Faber Castell Polychomos pencils can be seen in a blog post here. They are also gorgeous to use, and are the same colours with the same numbers, which is very helpful! As are the Pitt pastel colours and even the Pitt artist pens. This makes it really easy to find a favourite colour across the Faber Castell range.

As I have had some colours for 30 years, I've also added the newer versions of these colours next to each swatch. In some cases the colour has changed more than others. I've included the discontinued colours I have for reference.

As always, some colours are very difficult to scan accurately. The new version of #104 is not noticeably different, but the swatch is added here.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - White, Ivory, Cream, Zinc Yellow (old), 
Light Yellow Glaze, Cadmium Yellow Lemon.

A number of these have slightly changed in hue and name so the newer versions are also shown.
Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Lemon Cadmium (old), Light Cadmium Yellow, 
Light Chrome Yellow, Lemon (old), Cadmium Yellow.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Canary Yellow (old), Dark Cadmium Yellow, 
Orange Yellow (old), Dark chrome Yellow, Cadmium Orange.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Light Orange (old), Orange Glaze, Dark Orange (old), 
Dark Cadmium Orange, Light Cadmium (old), Light Cadmium Red.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Scarlet Lake (old), Scarlet Red, Pale Geranium Lake, 
Deep Red, Deep Scarlet Red.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Dark Carmine (old), Permanent Carmine, Middle Cadmium Red, 
Dark Red, Madder, Alizarin Crimson.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Light Carmine (old), Pink Carmine, Rose Carmine,
Rose Mader Lake (old), Light Purple Pink, Fuchsia.

I find the change in 134 a little odd as the Magenta is now called Crimson, though is more of a mauve - perhaps a translation glitch. 
Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Pink Madder Lake, Light Magenta, 
Middle Purple Pink, Magenta (old), Crimson.

There is quite a change between the old Red Violet 136 and the new Red violet 194.
Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Wine Red (old), Magenta, Purple (old), Red Violet, 
Red Violet (old), Light Red Violet.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Manganese Violet, Violet, Dark Violet (old), Purple violet, 
Blue Violet, Light Violet (discontinued).

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Mauve, Delft Blue, Prussian Blue (old), Helioblue Reddish, 
Light Ultramarine, Indanthrone Blue.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Deep Cobalt Blue (old), Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine,
Sky Blue, Light Cobalt Blue (old), Cobalt Blue Greenish

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Dark Indigo, Azure Blue (old), Phthalo Blue, Middle Phthalo Blue,
Light Phthalo Blue, Light Blue (discontinued)

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils- True Blue (discontinued), Oriental Blue (old), Bluish Turquoise,
Prussian Blue, Night Green (old), Helio Turquoise.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Peacock Blue (old), Cobalt Turquoise, Aquamarine (old), 
Light Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Green.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Sea Green (old), Deep Cobalt Green, Hooker's Green, 
Dark Phthalo Green, Chrome Oxide Green Fiery.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Viridian (old), Phthalo Green, Emerald Green, True Green (old), 
Light Phthalo Green, Light Green.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Grass Green, Leaf Green, Permanent Green, Juniper Green, 
Sap Green (old), Permanent Olive Green.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Pine Green, Moss Green (old), Earth Green, 
Apple Green (old), May Green.

I find many of these more natural greens really useful.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Grey Green (old), Earth Green, Olive Green, Cedar Green (old),
Chrmomium Green Opaque, 
Chrome Oxide Green.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Gold Ochre (old), Light Yellow Ochre, Ochre (old),
Dark Naples Ochre, Light Ochre (old), Naples Yellow.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Light Flesh, Medium Flesh, Dark Flesh,
Caput Mortuum Violet, Caput Mortuum, Burnt Sienna.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Bistre, Nougat,
Light Sepia (old), Walnut Brown.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Van Dyke Brown, Sepia (old), Dark Sepia, Green Gold,
Brown Ochre, Terracotta.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils -Burnt Ochre, Sanguine, Cinnamon,
Venetian Red, 
Pompeian Red, Indian red

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Burnt Carmine, Warm Grey 1, Warm Grey II, Warm Grey III,
Warm Grey VI, Warm Grey V.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Warm Grey VI, Cold Grey I, Cold Grey II,
Cold Grey III, Cold 
Grey IV, Cold Grey V.

Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils - Cold Grey VI, Payne's Grey, Black, Silver, Gold, Copper.

I have shown three other pencils from my original 80 colour set that are no longer available - 138 Light Violet, 147 Light Blue and 148 True Blue. There are many numbers that are missing altogether now. Whether they have ever been created or are around somewhere I don't know - please feel free to comment below. Missing numbers are 114, 116, 122, 150, 164, 195-198, 200 - 204, 206 - 216, 218, 220 - 222, 224, 227 - 229, 232 - 234, 236 - 245, 248, 253 - 262, 265, 268 - 270, 272 - 274, 277, 279, 281 and 282.

While there are many sets (affiliate link) available of 12, 24, 36 and so on, they don't necessarily have the most useful selections, often being really bright so less useful for realistic work. 

I'd suggest the following set, bought as individual pencils. This set fairly closely matches my suggested 20-colour watercolour palette colours, along with a convenience purple, orange, black and white. Add your own favourites of course!

There are wonderful storage options available for loose pencils from Derwent, Global (affiliate link) and others that are more portable than a tin or a box. While I have a boxed set of these pencils for my studio, I also have a great Global art pencil roll with my most used 30 colours so I can have them with me when travelling, and a book-style leather pencil holder for my Museum pencils.

101 White
103 Ivory (to approximately match Buff Titanium)
105 Light Cadmium Yellow (to match Hansa Yellow Medium)
108 Dark Cadmium Yellow (as an useful extra)
183 Light Yellow Ochre (to match Quinacridone Gold)
115 Dark Cadmium Orange (as a useful extra)
117 Light Cadmium Red (to match  Pyrrol Scarlet)
225 Dark Red (to match Pyrrol Crimson)
123 Fuchsia (to match Quinacridone Rose)
249 Mauve (as a useful extra)
120 Ultramarine (to match Ultramarine)
144 Cobalt Blue greenish (to match Phthalo Blue and also Cerulean Chromium)
276 Chrome Oxide Green Fiery (to match Phthalo Green)
278 Chrome Oxide Green (to match Perylene Green, though not a great match)
174 Chromium Green Opaque (to match Undersea Green)
168 Earth Green Yellowish or the slightly darker 167 Permanent Olive Green (to match Sap Green)
182 Brown Ochre (to match Goethite)
187 Burnt Ochre (to match Raw Sienna)
188 Sanguine (to match Burnt Sienna)
169 Caput Mortuum or 192 Indian red, which is a bit brighter (to match Indian Red)
283 Burnt Sienna (to match Burnt Umber)
178 Nougat (to match Raw Umber)
181 Payne’s Grey (to match Jane's Grey - not perfect)
199 Black (a useful extra in a pencil)

Here they are as a set.

Monday, 9 August 2021

Special Effects in Watercolour - my newest course

In spite of this being our 7th week of lockdown in Sydney, I am keeping busy and actually having a lot of fun creating the extension course to my huge Mastering Watercolours course. This is a six lesson course with very complex and detailed projects along with some extra challenges to explore.

In Mastering Watercolours, we build a solid foundation in the understanding of colour mixing and watercolour techniques, creating a sketchbook filled with colour charts, wheels and notes along with a number of completed paintings. In Special Effects in Watercolour I introduce more techniques to take these ideas further. 

It's based on natural subjects - four of the lessons are on flowers but we also look carefully at mushrooms and some wonderful stones and pebbles. Each feature special effects that are demonstrated but then put to use. Each lesson contains lots of video content and step by step explanations.

Watercolour is a magical medium and it's great fun to be explaining it in even more depth.

Special Effects in Watercolour is available now. The course begins on the 18th of August, with a new lesson being released each fortnight. 

Mastering Watercolours is available as an open access course - work through at your own pace.

Travel Sketching, my other 12-lesson foundation course, is also available as an open access course.

Prices on these courses will go up at the beginning of October so if yo have been thinking about joining, now's a great time :-)

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Rosemary & Co Travel Brushes (full range) updated July 2021

Some of my collection of Rosemary & Co travel brushes in their roll.

I've written about Rosemary&Co brushes before here, but wanted to update the Travel brushes (affiliate link), also called Reversible or Pocket brushes. 

This is the largest range of travel brush sizes and styles currently available and being a direct-to-artist manufacturer, the prices are very reasonable.

I caught up with Rosemary at the Amsterdam Urban Sketchers Symposium in July 2019, where, once again, she was one of the sponsors. I was able to see some of the new brushes they had created, as well as some that had changed a bit. Here is the complete range at that time, including the old and new versions of a couple of them. The full range was mostly natural hair, with some a mix and one a full synthetic. As I love natural hair brushes I hadn't actually tried the synthetic, but I recently bought it so I had it for my students to try!

As you can see, most of these are well loved. I've been using them a long time! The sables are Kolinsky sable, the mixes are a mix of sable and synthetic and there are a few squirrel brushes as well.

Rosemary&Co Travel (or Pocket or Reversible) brushes - R0, R1, R2, R3, R3 (new larger case version), R4, R5, R6, R7, R8 (new larger case version), R8, R9 (ferrule version), R9, R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15, R16 (new).

Here is a closer view for a comparison of the brush head shapes and sizes.
Close up of Rosemary&Co Travel brushes - R0, R1, R2, R3, R3 (new larger case version), R4, R5, R6, R7,
R8 (new larger case version), R8, R9 (ferrule version), R9, R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15, R16 (new).

And now a bit more detail. The links below are affiliate links.

This first photo shows the Kolinsky Sable Pointed Rounds. From top to bottom you can see - 
R0 - pointed sable round size 4 - this is a lovely delicate brush, great for fine detail.
R1 - pointed sable round size 6 - suitable for smaller sketches or details.
R2 - pointed sable round size 8 - a great size for up to A4 sketches.
R3- the original pointed sable round, size 10. This brush was too large for its case.
R3  - the new larger case version of the R3 pointed round sable. The larger case is a great improvement :-) This brush will easily be used for A4 and above sizes.
These equate approximately to a size 4, 6, 8 and 10. They are great sable brushes with a good point. If you just want one travel brush, I'd recommend considering the R2 (size 8) for smaller sketchbooks or the new R3 (size 10) if you work larger. Add the R1 if you want a smaller brush for detail.

From the top you can see -
R4 - ¼" sable flat is shown. This brush is now made with the 'red dot' synthetic sable hair developed in 2020. 
R5 - sable rigger size 6
R6 - sable filbert size 6
R7 - ¼" sable comber - an interesting brush for special effects in sketches.
R8 - the old version of the sable quill size 2/0 
R8 - the new larger case version of the sable mop size 2/0. This is one of my favourite brushes.
R9 - original quill version of the medium squirrel mop, also seen as a ferrule brush (next photo). 

From the top you can see -
R9 - ferrule version of the R9. The R9 is another excellent choice if you just want to get one brush, and the ferrule version may feel more familiar in your hands. Squirrel brushes are very soft and great for larger washes.
R9 - Previous quill version of the R9. 
R10 - Golden synthetic pointed round in size 8. 
R11 - Red Sable blend designer in size 10. 

From the top - 
R12 - ¼" red sable dagger. This is the brush I requested be added to the range many years ago.
R13 - Red sable blend size 8 round
R14 - Small squirrel mop now made with a ferrule
R15 - Squirrel hair oval point size ¼"
R16 - ⅜" red sable dagger in the new larger case, introduced in 2019. I really like this brush, even though I do most of my paintings using rounds. Some of my students use only the dagger brushes - they also work as a single brush to use for everything.

I've used Rosemary & Co travel brushes a lot over the years. It's quite a remarkable range and as a company they are prepared to listen to feedback and improve the brushes or add to the range, which is terrific.

They are exploring different ways to add labels, different handle types, different hair shapes. Getting the larger cases took some research and effort but was requested by the artists who are using the brushes. I'm particularly enjoying the larger dagger and the new larger case R8. My previous old version was almost worn out!

Update - June 2021 - the range has expanded further.

The new 2020 catalogue includes all the brushes, as seen here, and a new website is about to be launched. I'll add the links to each brush once they are available.

It is well worth getting the 100 page Rosemary & Co brush catalogue as the brushes are shown actual size - something that is difficult to do in digital media.

For a little while, there were three round sable mix brushes designed for students but these have been replaced. These are the newest brushes in the range.

R17 - Pointed Cat's Tongue size 4. This is a golden synthetic hair.
R18 - Triangular point golden sable size 8. This is a three-dimensional dagger brush!
R19 - (not shown) Red Dot pointed Round, size 12, added since the catalogue was produced.
R20 - Red Dot short flat size 6. This replaces the original Kolinsky sable version of this brush, but they look the same.
R21 - Pocket Pure Kolinsky Mop 3/0 size I am really enjoying this as I love the 2/0 sable mop - this is a smaller option.
R22 - (there is no R22)
P23 - Pocket Snowdrop Pointed Rond size 8 (synthetic)
R24 - Pocket Eradicator small (a synthetic brush for erasing and lifting - a watercolour essential!)

There were also a couple of limited edition brushes available for a little while, and more may come up from time to time. One was a ¼" kolinsky sable short flat that is just perfect for my colour charts and another was a limited edition Kolinsky sable mop. 

Happy painting.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Warm or Cool?

One of the questions I get asked often is whether a colour is warm or cool. There is a lot about that on my website but I thought I'd try to explain it here.

The first point is that 'warm' and 'cool' are relative terms. It depends what you are comparing it with. So while in general blues are cool and yellows and reds are seen as warm, when you compare various blues, some will also be warmer or cooler than others.

Why is it important?

Warmer colours appear to come towards you, cooler colours appear to recede. So if you want to make an object appear further away you cool it down for example you might make it more blue or if it is blue, make it a cooler or a more neutralised blue.

The second point is that temperature is only part of the equation. The colour intensity is another. How much light does it reflect? Yellows reflect the most light, purples the least, but yellow is not the warmest colour, nor purple the coolest. Orange is actually the warmest colour - it is made from two warm colours (yellow and red). A cool blue - such as phthalo blue - is the coolest colour. This can cause confusion since phthalo blue is so intense and bright.

How does it work for painting?

A cool yellow (lemon - leans towards green) mixed with a cool blue (such as phthlao blue - leans towrads green) will mix super bright intense greens as there is no red in the mix to dull it down.

A warm blue (ultramarine - leans towards purple) mixed with a warm yellow (Indian yellow/hansa yellow deep etc - leans toward orange) will produce dull greens as both the yellow and blue have some red in them to dull the mix.

Here are some examples.

This is a cool yellow as it leans towards green rather than orange. It will easily mix bright greens, especially with a cool (greenish) blue.

There are many pigments used for cool yellows, including Hansa Yellow light PY3, cadmium yellow light and PY35 and lemon yellow PY175. 

This is a warm yellow, as it leans towards orange. Warm yellow pigments include Hansa Yellow Deep PY65, PY153 (not longer available)

Warm yellows will easily mix bright oranges, especially when mixed with a warm red as there would be no blue in the mix to dull the mix down.

A yellow that is between these two, a mid yellow, doesn't lean towards green or orange so will work as a primary yellow. My favourite is Hansa Yellow Medium PY97 but there are other excellent mid or primary yellow pigments.

This is a warm red. It leans towards orange. My favourite warm red pigment is PR255 - pyrrol scarlet. It will mix bright and clean oranges with a warm yellow.

As there is so much yellow in this red, it won't make purples.

This is a cooler red. It is a crimson red, a really useful mixing red as well as being a lovely colour alone. There is still some yellow in this, as well as some blue, so, while it leans towards purple, it won't make really clean and clear purples. It also won't make clean and clear oranges. This is PR264 - pyrrol crimson.

This is a cool red. It leans towards purple. It is also a primary red as it will mix clean purples and clean oranges. This is PV19 - Quinacridone Rose. 

Mixed with a warm blue such as ultramarine, you can create gorgeous bright purples, however this pigment is so good at mixing purples that you can mix it with almost any blue and create lovely purple and violet hues.

This is a warm blue - Ultramarine. Made with PB29, this blue leans towards purple. It will make duller greens when mixed with a yellow than you'd get with a cool or green-biased blue. 

Mixed with the PV19 above, it will create lovely purples.

Phthalo Blue GS is a cool or green-biased blue. Mix it with a cool yellow for bright greens. This is a very strong and rich version of this PB15:3 pigment. Watered down more, its intense brightness is amazing.
While I don't generally worry too much about whether secondaries are warm or cool, a general rule is that if a green leans towards yellow it is warm; if it leans towards blue it is cool. If a purple leans towards red it is warm; if it leans towards blue it is cool. If an orange leans towards either red or yellow it is still warm, however if it is neutralised by adding a little blue, it can be cooled down. So burnt orange, burnt sienna and burnt umber  - all neutralised oranges - are all warm but less so than a bright orange.

Earth pigments are all more neutralised as they don't have the high chroma of the bright reds, yellows and blues. They may be still considered warm or cool, but they are all 'cooler' than their primary counterparts. so yellow ochre is a neutralised warm yellow; raw umber is a neutralised cool yellow.

Happy painting.

Subscriber changes

I have been reading lately that Feedburner was no longer going to be supported, and have finally made the switch to I hope it will be a smooth transition. 

Those who have verified that they wish to subscribe shouldn't notice much difference, however you will be able to adjust your settings to be able to decide exactly what you want to receive.

If you haven't subscribed before, perhaps you'd like to. 

I've also introduced moderating of this blog so it may take a little longer to see your questions or messages. I was getting too much spam and no one wants that in their email boxes. 

Feel free to contact me and add your comments and questions - I'll get to them as soon as I can :-)

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

New Colours from Schmincke

Granulation is one of the characteristics of some pigments that is best seen in watercolour. You may not notice it in oils or acrylics, and certainly not in pastels and pencils. However in watercolour, granulation is a fabulous characteristic to explore. It is also very important since watercolour is basically a 2-dimensional or flat medium, so granulation is a way of adding texture to the wash.

Granulating pigments show their true nature best on damp cold pressed or rough paper though they will tend to granulate to some degree on any paper. For those new to watercolour, it may look as though something is wrong!

Some of the most granulating pigments have been used to create the 25 new mixes from Schmincke - some released in 2020 and some this year. They are available in boxed sets or individual tubes.

The full range of 25 have been made from quite a limited number of granulating pigments. You can see all the colours used to create them in my blog post here - it may be useful to have that open side-by side on your computer screen.

There are five colours in the newest 'Forest' set. The most useful and realistic greens are often created using two or three pigments so these might be useful colours in foliage paintings. 

Forest Olive contains Viridian, a PBr7, in this case probably Green Umber, and Yellow Ochre, which is interesting as there isn't a PY43 Yellow Ochre in the Schmincke range. 

Forest Green contains Cobalt Green and the brown pigment used in the colour Mahogany Brown (It was also used in the old colour Walnut Brown, which was darker.) 

Forest Blue contains Cobalt Green Turquoise (or possibly Cobalt Cerulean) and the Mars Black pigment. Forest Brown contents Cobalt Green Dark, Cobalt Turquoise and Yellow Ochre.

Forest Brown is not as brown as Forest Olive, and contains the stronger tinting Cobalt Green Dark, a PBr7 earth pigment and Yellow Ochre. 

Forest Grey contains a brown earth pigment along with Cobalt Turquoise and Mars Black.

Schmincke Watercolours - Forest Olive, Forest Green, Forest Blue,
Forest Brown and Forest Grey

There are five colours in the Deep Sea set. Deep Sea Violet is made from French Ultramarine and PBr33, which is used in Mahogany Brown and the Daniel Smith colour Lunar Earth. It is a fantastic pigment that creates gorgeous texture. 

Deep Sea Blue is made using Cobalt Green pigment, Manganese Violet and French Ultramarine. 

Deep Sea Indigo is made from Viridian and PV62, which I haven't seen as a colour though it makes a lovely granulating violet-blue here. The greens and violet don't show up much in my little dot sample. 

Deep Sea Green uses Viridian and French Ultramarine to create this granulating turquoise. 

Deep Sea Black uses the incredibly granulating PBk11 (used in Schmincke Mars Black and Daniel Smith Lunar Black amongst others) with Cobalt Blue Deep and Cerulean pigments (used in Cobalt Azure), to create this deep blue-grey with spots of black.

Schmincke Watercolours - Deep Sea Violet, Deep Sea Indigo, Deep Sea Blue, Deep Sea Green, 
Deep Sea Black.

The Glacier set of 5 does evoke the cool depths of frozen water. Glacier Blue is made with the same pigments as Galaxy Blue, but the other way around - more blue this time. It isn't obvious that the PG50 is doing anything as it is very like French Ultramarine. 

Glacier Turquoise has an intriguing mix of cobalt green and Manganese Violet. A green and a violet can make a blue - as you can see. 

Glacier Green has particles of Potter's Pink floating in a sea of Cobalt Green. 

Glacier Brown has particles of Cobalt Green Dark mixed into the granulating brown oxide. 

Glacer Black has cerulean (Cobalt Azure) mixed into the Mars Black this time for a cooler black.

Schmincke Watercolours - Glacier Blue, Glacier Turquoise, Glacier Green, Glacier Brown, Glacier Black.

The set of 5 Galaxy colours includes Galaxy Violet, made from Potter's Pink and French Ultramarine, creating a rich granulating red-purple. 

Galaxy Pink is made with Manganese Violet and the mahogany brown pigment. 

Galaxy Blue is more subtle - like Deep Sea Blue without the violet. 

Galaxy Brown has specks of violet in the granulating oxide brown. 

Galaxy Black is a mix of French Ultramarine and Mars Black.

Schmincke Watercolours - Galaxy Pink, Galaxy Violet, Galaxy Blue, Galaxy Brown, Galaxy Black.

The set of 5 Tundra colours have some interesting mixes. Tundra Orange contains Yellow Ochre, Potter's Pink and an earth brown - possibly burnt Sienna this time.

Tundra Pink is a granulating violet made with Ultramarine and Potter's Pink. 

Tundra Violet is a dark grey-violet due to the reddish Mars Brown pigment mixed with Ultramarine.

Tundra Blue has a small amount of a brown earth mixed with Ultramarine.

Tundra Green is the Mars Brown mixed with Cobalt Green.

Schmincke Watercolours - Tundra Orange, Tundra Pink, Tundra Violet, Tundra blue and Tundra Green

Often, when making colours, manufacturers are producing 'hues' and blending the pigments into new compounds that effectively behave like a single pigment. Mixtures like these are intended to keep the different pigments in the mix separate, so they can each contribute to the liveliness of the colour. What is interesting is that the mixtures in tubes may behave differently from the mixtures of the same pigments then mixed in your palette in your own studio.

I certainly wouldn't suggest this whole range is necessary, but some granulating watercolour mixtures can be really lovely to explore in watercolour painting.