Friday, 29 April 2016

Maimeri Blu watercolours - full range updated 2017

I had previously tried a number of Maimeri Blu watercolours, but have recently had the opportunity to test out the whole range with thanks to Winifred. 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. 

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.

When I first wrote this blog, they were set out in a fairly random way. Interestingly the colour chart also looks fairly random as they are arranged by number not by colour. 

January 2017 - Rephotographed and reloaded in my own more logical order. The lightfast ratings on the colour chart are not much help as they are all rated three stars ***, even though many of the pigments are not ASTM I or II. 

The pigment information chart includes staining, granulation and, unusually, diffusion, so I'll add those notes into the captions. If non granulating or non staining I'll omit a comment on that aspect.

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Chinese White (medium Diffusion) , Nickel Titanate Yellow (high diffusion), Permanent Yellow Lemon (medium diffusion), Cadmium Yellow Lemon (hight diffusion),
Cadmium Yellow Light (high diffusion).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Primary Yellow (staining, high diffusion), Indian Yellow (staining, high diffusion), Permanent Yellow Deep (staining, high diffusion), Cadmium Yellow Deep (high diffusion),
Permanent Orange (high diffusion)

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Cadmium Orange (high diffusion), Orange Lake (staining , medium diffusion), Cadmium Red Light (high diffusion), Permanent Red Light (staining, high diffusion),
Cadmium Red Deep (granulating, low diffusion).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Crimson Lake (staining, high diffusion), Sandal Red (staining, high diffusion), Permanent Red Deep (staining, high diffusion), Tiziano Red (staining, high diffusion), Rose Lake (staining, high diffusion).

These all painted out well, except the always tricky PV16 mineral violet pigment though this granulates nicely.
MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours -Primary Red-Magenta (staining, high diffusion), Verzino Red (staining, high diffusion), Garnet Lake (staining, high diffusion), Permanent Violet Reddish (staining, high diffusion),
Mineral Violet (granulating, low dispersion).
 I prefer the Ultramarine Deep in this range.
MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Permanent Violet Blueish (staining, high diffusion), Cobalt Violet (granulating, medium diffusion), Ultramarine Violet (granulating, low diffusion), Ultramarine Deep (granulating, medium diffusion), Ultramarine Light (high diffusion).
 Faience Blue is more commonly known as Indanthrone Blue. 
MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Cobalt Blue Deep (granulating, high diffusion), Cobalt Blue Light (low diffusion), Faience Blue (staining, high diffusion. Made with PB60), Indigo (staining, high diffusion),
Prussian Blue (staining, high diffusion).
 PB16 is not that common - a very lovely colour. The Cerulean looks more like a phthalo blue.
MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Cerulean Blue (low diffusion), Berlin Blue (staining, high diffusion), Primary Blue-Cyan (staining, high diffusion), Turquoise Green (staining, high diffusion), Green Blue (staining, high diffusion).
 Cupric Green Light is PG36 - usually known as Phthalo Green Yellow Shade. Viridian is not a strong pigment but this was very weak. Perhaps it is better fresh from the tube?
MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Cupric Green Deep (staining, granulating, high diffusion), Viridian (granulating, low diffusion), Cupric Green Light (granulating, high diffusion), Cobalt Green Deep (staining, granulating, high diffusion), Hooker's Green staining, medium diffusion).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Permanent Green Deep (staining, medium diffusion), Cobalt Green Light ((staining, high diffusion), Olive Green (low diffusion), Green Earth (low diffusion), Sap Green (staining, low diffusion).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Permanent Green Light (staining, low diffusions), Permanent Green Yellowish (low diffusion), Naples Yellow Light (high diffusion), Naples Yellow Reddish (high diffusion), Yellow Ochre (staining, high diffusion).
Burnt Sienna, such an important colour, was 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.
MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Golden Lake (possibly made with PR101? granulating, medium diffusion), Raw Sienna (medium diffusion), Transparent Mars Red (high diffusion), Burnt Sienna (low diffusion), Transparent Mars Brown (staining, low diffusion).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Dragon's Blood (staining, high diffusion), Avignon Orange (staining, high diffusion), Venetian Red (staining, high diffusion), Stil de Grain Brown (staining, low diffusion), Burnt Umber (granulating).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours - Raw Umber (granulating, low diffusion), Vandyke Brown (low diffusion), Sepia (granulating, low diffusion).

MaimeriBlu Superior Watercolours -Payne's Grey (granulating, low diffusion), Neutral Tint (medium diffusion), Carbon Black (staining, high diffusion), Ivory Black (staining, granulating, low diffusion).

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 -
Art Spectrum watercolours here
Blockx full range of Watercolours here
Daler Rowney Artists' Watercolours here
Daniel Smith new colours 2017 here
Daniel Smith full range here
Da Vinci range here
Dr PH Hydrus Watercolours here
Lukas watercolours here
M.Graham watercolours here
MaimeriBlu full range here
Mission Blue full range here
Old Holland full range here
QoR watercolours here
Rembrandt Watercolours here
Schmincke new colours 2017 here
Schmincke full range here
Sennelier watercolours here
St Petersburg Watercolours here
Wallace Seymour Artists Watercolours here
White Nights watercolours here
Winsor & Newton Full range here

Only Holbein to go...


  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. :)


    1. that was very helpful! Had a hard time getting it on one page - had to take it down to 85% in landscape but it is readable except for the pigments and I can reference that online when I need to.. have needed this.

  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.

  10. Hey, Jane! My name is Yuliya. I use your blog as a main guide in watercolour world, so thank you! :-) I have a question though, which I didn't find among the comments: Is there a chance you accidentally slipped the Mijello Mission Gold swatches into the picture of swatches starting with Indigo? Thank you! :-)

    1. Thanks for pointing that out - yes a couple of Mission Gold swatches have snuck in - I'll edit and fix that up.

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    1. I don't understand the question - do you mean you have found tubes of MB cobalt green Light, for example, marked with two different lightfast ratings? Or different from other brands?
      Lightfast ratings are based on the lowest rating in a mix - so if a colour has two pigments and one is rated I and another II, the paint would be rated II. Within a single pigment, two versions from two sources may have different lightfast ratings - that's why it is so important to do your own lightfast tests if you are selling and hanging works.

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