Saturday 30 December 2017

Wallace Seymour Artists' Watercolours

It's my final post for 2017 as it is already 31st December in Australia. I have many ideas for future posts, including hopefully completing my project to post the full range of every professional watercolour available in the world! Maybe I'll achieve that one in 2018, and add all the swatches to my website. Here's a newish addition.

Wallace Seymour, formerly Pip Seymour but now renamed after his partner Rebecca Wallace, are relatively new to the watercolour world, from the UK. For their Artists Watercolours range they focus on the very traditional pigments - they are largely cobalts, cadmiums, earth pigments and a couple of phthalos, rather than the newer quinacridones, pyrrols and perylenes. They are formulated with 'a special emulsion of honey and Kordofan Gum Arabic'. They are lovely to paint with - very beautiful with wonderful granulation.

They make a range of 20ml tubes colours called Vintage Watercolours which I will post about separately, but this is a completely different range of full pan colours called Artists' Watercolours that I will look at here. Unlike many brands, the tube colours are far from being the same pigments, names or handling characteristics as the pan colours.

There is also a set of 4 called The Four Humours, which I will show as a separate post here, and some other Ancient Drawing Materials that I haven't tried. Wallace Seymour also make Oils and acrylics but I haven't tried them at all.

The full pan Artists Watercolours are available in Australia from Pigment Lab in Newtown. I haven't tried all of them yet, but will show some here and update over time. They granulate beautifully and rewet with ease.

The full range of 58 Artists Watercolours full pans can be seen here.

There are many beautiful cadmium colours in this range, which I appreciate, even though I don't tend to use them very often. They are excellent pigments with gorgeous granulation but can be too opaque for working with pen lines as I often do. However in this tradition range they really dominate and are excellent versions of cadmium colours.

I'll was curious to try the Body Colour and see how opaque it is. Nickel Titanium Yellow is a very weak pigment and not one I bother with. Permanent Yellow Light is a good choice for a more transparent lemon yellow.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Body Colour solid white, Nickel titanium Yellow (not shown), Permanent Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Lemon (not shown), Cadmium Yellow Light.

 Many more to try here...
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Cadmium Yellow Middle, Cobalt Yellow Aureolin (not shown), Cadmium Yellow Deep (not shown), Cadmium Orange Light (not shown), Cadmium Orange Deep (not shown).

Cadmium Red Light is a lovely warm red. It is a lovely rich version of Alizarin Crimson but being made from the traditional PR83 it will fade with exposure to light. I'd like to see a modern alternative added here, such as PR264. However in a sketchbook this is a very rich version to try.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Middle (not shown), Cadmium Red Deep (not shown), Cadmium Bordeaux (not shown), Alizarin Crimson.

Quinacridone Magenta is PV19 and often known as Quinacridone Rose or Permanent Rose - a lovely pigment and great primary red. This was weaker than I expected but apparently it gets stronger as you use the pan... This is the only Quinacridone colour in the range. There are many interesting and granulating purples to try...
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Quinacridone Magenta, Cobalt Violet Light (not shown), Ultramarine Pink (not shown), Manganese Violet (not shown), Cobalt Violet Deep (not shown).

The Ultramarine and cobalt colours are also gorgeous. I love the Cobalt Blue Middle (also known as Cerulean Chromium in Daniel Smith or Cobalt Cerulean in Schmincke - a gorgeous colour) and Cobalt Turquoise (see below). The Ultramarine Blue Deep and Cobalt Blue Middle are gorgeous as a basic pair of blues.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Ultramarine Red (not shown), Ultramarine Blue Deep, Cobalt Blue Deep (not shown), Cobalt Blue Light (not shown), Cobalt Blue Middle.

Many to try here too.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Cerulean Blue (not shown), Paris Blue - Prussian Blue (not shown), Indigo (Hue) (not shown), Seymour Blue (not shown), Phthalocyanine Blue.

I really love PB36 whether as the bluer version or this more turquoise version. Phthalo Green is always a useful mixing colour. I tested the green on the right in Pigment Lab store and didn't see the pigment information - it looks like cobalt and cadmium colours so I assume it is Cobalt Green Light.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green Deep, Viridian (Hue) Phthalo Green, Emerald Green (Hue) (not shown), Cobalt Green Light (I think - this was tested in a shop!)

PG23 is never a strong tinting pigment but has interesting granulation.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Permanent Green Middle (not shown), Permanent Green Very Light (not shown), Chrome Oxide Green (not shown), Verona Green Earth, Bohemian Green Earth (not shown).

I like the single pigment earth colours best. I also like it when the 'correct' pigments are used - PBr7 for raw Sienna, PY43 for yellow ochre, as seen here.The earth pigments are really lovely in this range. Varied in hue and interesting in characteristics.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Naples Yellow Light (not shown), Naples Yellow Deep (not shown), Cinabrese - Flesh Tint (not shown), Yellow Ochre Light (Provence), Gold Ochre.

I am always glad to see Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna made from PBr7 as they should be. The raw is heated to produce the burnt sienna. Pozzuolii earth is also a lively earth red.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Brown Ochre (not shown), Burnt Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Pozzuolii Earth.

It's an interesting and different version of Indian Red than most - rather lovely. Burnt and Raw Umber are also made from PBr7, the raw heated to produce the burnt.
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Indian Red, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Van Dyke Brown, Sepia (not shown).

Payne's Grey Light wins the (dubious) prize for the most pigments I have eve seen in a watercolour - 7!!! I haven't tried it yet, but one is PR83 which is the fugitive Alizarin Crimson...
Wallace Seymour Extra Fine Artists' Watercolours - Violet Grey (not shown), Payne's Grey Light (not shown), Payne's Grey, Ivory Black (not shown).

There are a lot more to try before I can show the full range, but the pigment information is not included on the website (though has now been added to the labelling in 2018) so I will add that here for all the colours. Payne's Grey Light wins the prize for the most pigments in any watercolour I have tried - 7!! But it also includes PR83 which is the fugitive Alizarin Crimson pigment.

Body Colour - Solid White PW 6 PW 5 Series 1 

Permanent Yellow Light PY 3 Series 1 (shown above)

Cobalt Yellow (Aureolin) PY 40 Series 4 

Nickel Titanium Yellow PY 53 Series 2 

Cadmium Yellow Lemon PY 35 Series 3 

Cadmium Yellow Light PY 35 Series 3 (shown above)

Cadmium Yellow Middle PY 35 Series 3 

Cadmium Yellow Deep PO 20 Series 3 

Cadmium Orange Light PO 20 Series 3

Cadmium Orange Deep PO 20 Series 3 

Cadmium Red Light PO 20  Series 3 (shown above)

Cadmium Red Middle PR 108  Series 3 

Cadmium Red Deep PR 108 Series 3 

Cadmium Bordeaux PR 108 Series 3 

Alizarin Crimson PR 83 Series 2 (shown) 

Quinacridone Magenta PV 19  Series 2 (shown above)

Naples Yellow Light PW 4 PY 43 PY 35 Series 1 

Naples Yellow Deep PW 4 PY 43 PY 35 Series 1 

Cinabrese - flesh tint PW 4 PY 43 PR 83 Series 1 

Yellow Ochre Light PY 43 Series 1 (shown above)

Gold Ochre PY 43 Series 1

Brown Ochre PBr 7 Series 1 

Burnt Yellow Ochre PY 43 Series 2 

Raw Sienna PBr 7 Series 1 (shown above)

Burnt Sienna PBr 7 Series 1 (shown above)

Pozzuolii Earth PR 101 Series1 (shown above)

Indian Red PR 101 Series 1 (shown above)

Raw Umber PBr 7 Series 1 (shown above)

Burnt Umber PBr 7 Series 1 (shown above)

Van Dyke Brown PBr 7 PB 29 Series 1 

Sepia PBr 7 PBk 7 PBk 9  Series 1 

Verona Green Earth PBr 7 PG 7  Series 1 (shown above)

Bohemian Green Earth PG 23 Series 2

Permanent Green Very Light PY 3 PG 7 Series 2 

Permanent Green Middle PY3 PG 7 Series 2 

Emerald Green (hue) PY3 PG 7 PW 4 Series 2 

Viridian (hue) - Phthalo Green PG 7 Series 2 (shown above)

Chrome Oxide Green PG 17 Series 2 

Cobalt Green Light PG 50 PY 35 Series 3 (shown above?)

Cobalt green Deep PB 36 PG 50 Series 3 (shown above)

Cobalt Turquoise PB 36 series 3 (shown above)

Cerulean Blue PB 35 series 4

Seymour Blue PB 15 PW 4 Series 1 
Cobalt Blue Light PB 28 PB 36  Series 3

Cobalt Blue Middle PB 36 PB36 Series 3
Cobalt Blue Deep PB 28 Series 3
Ultramarine Blue Deep PB 29 Series 2

Phthalocyanine Blue PB 15 Series 2
Paris blue - Prussian Blue PB 27 Series 2
Indigo (hue) PB29PB15 PBk7 PBk9 Series 2
Cobalt violet Light PV 14 Series 4
Cobalt violet Deep PV 14 Series 4
Manganese Violet PV 16 Series 2
Ultramarine Pink PR 259 Series 2
Ultramarine Red PV 15 Series 2
Violet Grey PG7 PW4 PB29 PV23 Series 2
Payne's GreyLight PW 4 PW 6 PB 27 PBk 7 PBk 9 PR 83 PV 15 (seven pigments!!!) Series 1 
Payne's Grey PB 27 PBk 7 PBk 9 PR 83 PV15 Series 1
Ivory Black PBk 7 PBk 9 Series 1

Happy painting and the very best wishes for 2018 :-)
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
Holbein 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

(updated March 2018)


  1. To be specific, they have 3 lines on sale and 1 discontinued. This review is the Artist’s Line of full pans. The Vintage Line is the tubes which are not in an identical base and have a different range of colours. The 18th Century line are rounds made to an 18th C recipe and using ancient pigments and both that and the Vintage line can be obtained from Turners in the UK. There used to be an Ancient Line that Cornellisen sold but it is now gone - it was half pans and same pigments as the 18th Century line. I have videos for all 4 lines on YouTube:

    The Artist’s line I really enjoy using - the basic primaries are very good but the earths are what I love the most - particularly the green earth single pigments, and the various PR102. They are economical (in the UK anyway!) and I found the quality to remind me a lot of Schmincke.

    The Vintage line of tubes I have had issues of quality with BUT they replaced them very quickly which was good. Some of the ground minerals ones they make themselves were quite gritty however - Oxford Bluestone and Thulite (they mis-spell it as Thiulite on the tube) are like sandpaper once dry.

    The Ancient rounds ARE excellent and unusual and since the little Four Humours life drawing set has an Earth Yellow (Ochre), Earth Red (Venetian) and an Earth Blue (Vine Black), you can get some interesting use out of it not just mixing flesh tones.

    They sell acrylics too but tbh I don’t get on with them very well - soft bodies, though they say “heavy body” in literature.

    1. Thanks so much. I went to their site and couldn’t find any available for me to purchase. I’m in the U.S. so would have to buy from the UK. I have an account with Jackson’s and have purchased from them before but couldn’t find any at all. Couldn’t at Cornellisen either. While the full pans are what I was interested in initially, now that I know about the 18th century rounds I’d like to take a look at them. I’ll have to check on Turner’s and see if it is feasible or economical to have them sent to the U.S.

    2. Thanks Rich. I have updated with post with more detailed information to make it clearer which lines I have tried. I've also added a post about the Four Humours.

  2. i bought my set of the 18th century rounds from the online store 'write here' in the UK. shipping was prompt and the set was well packed. i live in the U.S. and had a hard time finding someone who was willing to ship the set outside the UK. the paints are truly unique...

    1. I have just added a blog post about the Four Humours - so far I'd prefer to use my normal earth colours but I'd be delighted to hear how you use them :-)

    2. i bought the 18th century 'turner set' with 12 colors... i've used it for real and imagined landscapes. the colors are a lot harder to rewet than modern commercial watercolors, but i love their earthiness! there's something about them that i find very satisfying...

      really appreciate what you do, jane!

    3. I understand these also need to be wet with hot water before use. Would you like to send some photos of the set and the painted out colours?

    4. just seeing this, jane... on my IG (lynne.hoppe) scroll down to a nov. 28, 2016 post and there's a pic of the paint set and a couple of paintings. also the sept. 28, 2016 post shows paintings done with the 18th century set.