Friday, 29 April 2016

Maimeri Blu watercolours - full range

I had previously tried a number of Maimeri Blu watercolours, but have recently had the opportunity to test out the whole range. These are a popular range of watercolours from Italy. There are a large number of single pigment colours, including the more expensive but lovely cadmiums, cobalts and ceruleans. They are painted out in a fairly random way. Interestingly the colour chart also looks fairly random as they are arranged by number not by colour. 
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. I always prefer to choose single pigment colours and there are some good options here for yellows, oranges and reds.
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches.The Cadmiums are bright and clear and paint out nicely. While I only use cadmiums for special purposes, I do like to have them available and have heard that, while generally considered toxic, in fact the amount you would have to consume to have a toxic effect is enormous as the cadmium is so well bound in the pigment compound that it cannot do any harm.
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. These are all single pigment colours and painted out well. Only the Raw Sienna was a little less rich to work with.

Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. Cupric Green Light is PG36 - usually known as Phthalo Green Yellow Shade. 

Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. These all painted out well, except the tricky PV16 mineral violet pigment though this granulates nicely.

Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. I was less interested in these colours as they are largely mixed pigment colours.

Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. There are two versions of Ultramarine though I preferred the Deep. Faience Blue is more commonly known as Indanthrone Blue. I prefer it to be a darker more powerful version.
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. There are two versions of Cobalt Blue too. Turquoise Green PB16 is not a common watercolour pigment - most this hue are a mix of PB15 and PG7. I didn't like the Sap Green.
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. Cupric Green Deep is more commonly known as Phthalo Green Blue Shade. I didn't like the old version of Sap Green either. 
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. Yellow Ochre and Golden Lake are nice yellow earth colours and I rather like the granulation of Stil de Grain Brown - I prefer the DS Goethite for this sort of colour but this is an interesting hue.
Maimer Blu watercolour swatches. The Burnt Sienna, such an important colour, wa disappointing. A nice hue and made with PBr7 but not so easy to paint out. I was working from a small sample of dried paint though - it may be better fresh from the tube. Transparent Mars Brown may be an interesting Burnt Sienna substitute for those who like a more burnt orange version.
I don't tend to use watercolours with black or white pigments in them, but was interested at how blue the Neutral Tint PBk7 appears. 

It's fun to test out a whole range and these generally paint out nicely. While I will continue to use the Daniel Smith watercolours I have enjoyed for over 20 years now, it's nice to know there are plenty of other well made largely single pigment watercolours available from all over the world.

See also -
Blockx full range here
Daniel Smith new colours 2017 here
Daniel Smith full range here
MaimeriBlu full range here
Mijello Mission Gold full range here
Old Holland full range here
Schmincke new colours 2017 here 
Schmincke full range here
Winsor & Newton full range here

Da Vinci range here
Lukas range here
M.Graham range here
Rembrandt range here
Sennelier range here

I am still working on Hydrus, Daler Rowney, Holbein, QoR, Art Spectrum and ShenHan PWC, though will post up partial ranges of these brands as well.


  1. Interesting as I am working with MaimeriBlu at the moment and I too am disappointed with the Burnt Sienna. For me the colour just misses what I am looking for in a Burnt Sienna... I often mix it with Prussian or Pthalo Turquoise either on my brush or on the paper and it doesn't somehow have the wow of W&N Burnt Sienna... haven#t tried Daniel Smith. I am liking the other colours so far....

    1. So you may prefer to use the Transparent Mars Brown as the MB burnt sienna option - it's the same pigment as W&N Burnt Sienna, PR101 - not actually a burnt sienna at all! Burnt Sienna is PBr7, which is what Daniel Smith, MaimeriBlu, Da Vinici, M.Graham and others use. It is a more earthy and brown version rather than the W&N burnt orange version. If you were to try a DS 'burnt sienna' colour, you may actually prefer the rusty coloured Transparent Red Oxide PR101, though it is rather wild and granulating - I love it but it isn't as predictable as the W&N verson. W&N Burnt Sienna is a lovely colour - warm and transparent and quite bright. The closest in DS is Burnt Sienna Light, that is only available in the Alvaro set of 10 x 5ml tubes, or Quinacridone Burnt Orange PO48 that is very similar in hue.

    2. Thanks for the information Jane... I should have thought to look at the pigment numbers. So I will try the Mars Brown and DS Red Oxide. As I progress I become more specific about colour, the granulation would be an added bonus!!

  2. Thank you for doing this ... very useful.

  3. Interesting info,they used to have the best sap green,now it's been reformulated with 3 pigments,previously it was phthalo green pg7 and quinacridone gold which the label was wrong pv48,daniel smith is the only one that has that.

    1. Daniel Smith has the last of the PO49.
      PO48, which is quinacridone gold deep, is still available and it often used in Quinacridone gold hues with a yellow such as PY150.

  4. Forgot to mention I bought several of the sap green from mb to my horror it was a murky mess,emailed the company several times with no response, customer service is not great. com

    1. Often you can correct a 'murky mess' by vigorously shaking the tube, or even using a needle to stir the contents within the tube. Tubes may sit around for a while before purchase, so they gum and pigment can separate.

  5. MBA burnt sienna pbr7 does work better from the tube,a spot of colour would be very dry.

  6. I love the transparent Mars brown in MBA. Sorry the old sap green was with phthalo green yellow shade and pv19, i think they were scrapping the barrel for this colour,lol

  7. I got my chart from Doodlewash's blog back in September. It has the colors all on one page. Hope it's useful. :)


  8. I saw that there are Maimeri Blue Superior watercolors -- and then I think "professional"? Which one is the best quality?

    1. I think the Superior at their Artist range, the Venezia is there student range.

  9. I just opened my palette for the first time in a few weeks to see that even though I've not even used my maimeri paint it had begun to seep out the back of my palette. Definately not a travel paint :( I think I'm glad I only bought one tube as a tester...

    1. I wonder - did you shake the tube well and allow the paint to dry fully in your palette before you closed it? Sometimes paints separate, so need to be shaken up again, and sometimes if they don't have the chance to dry out fully they can stay soft - just worth thinking about before giving up in the tube you bought.