Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Holbein Artist Watercolour


Holbein from Japan has been making watercolour since the early1920s. They don't contain any ox-gall, animal products or dispersing agents so are easy to control. They claim that the pigments are more finely ground than in other ranges and describe themselves as " a European style transparent watercolor which preserves the brush handling qulaities inherent in Japanese watercolor techniques". They generally rewet beautifully from the samples I have received so can be used fresh from the tube or dry in the palette.

The 2017 colour chart shows 108 colours, without the pigment information. They are available in 5ml and 15ml tubes and some pan colours. Note in this range there are only a possible three stars for lightfastness. I found a link to the pigment information here so have updated the pigments in the captions. Many of the problem fugitive colours have been reformulated :-) but there are a lot of two and three-pigment mixes.

The colour chart also shows a series of symbols
T = Transparent,
N = Non stain
E = Easy lift
H = hard lift
X = granulating
B = Semi transparent
O = opaque
S = Staining
I = intense.
I've added this information to the swatches, though sometimes it seems contradictory.

2018 update
I was told about these dot cards being available so have been able to update these swatches to include the full current range. These charts also have pigment information so are really helpful. Where I have swatches of the old and the new colour I've included both. The swatches are arranged according to the 2017 colour chart.




I always avoid PR83. The other less lightfast pigment, PT23, has been removed from the range.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Crimson Lake, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Carmine, Rose Madder, 
Quinacridone Red.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Pyrrole Rubin, Perylene Maroon, Pyrrole Red, Quinacridone Scarlet, Scarlet Lake.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Opera, Brilliant Pink, Shell Pink, Cadmium Red Purple,
Cadmium Red Deep.

 This is a really orange version of PR108 in Cadmium Red Orange!
Holbein Artist Watercolour - Vermilion, Vermilion Hue, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Orange, Brilliant Orange.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Permanent Yellow Orange (new version), Cadmium Yellow Orange, Cadmium Yellow Deep,
Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Pale.



Holbein Artist Watercolour - Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Imidazolone Lemon, Imidazolone Yellow, Gamboge Nova, Permanent Yellow Light.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Isoindolinone Yellow Deep, Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Yellow Deep , Aureoline, Permanent Yellow Lemon.



Holbein Artist Watercolour - Lemon Yellow, Naples Yellow (now made with PY35+PY42+PW6), Jaune Brilliant 1, Jaune Brilliant 2, Greenish Yellow.




Holbein Artist Watercolour - Olive Green, Leaf Green, Permanent Green #1 (old version), Permanent Green #2 , Cobalt Green.

The new version made with PY3 instead of PY1 is much brighter. The new version of Olive Green looks darker.
Permanent Green #1 - new version.







Holbein Artist Watercolour - Viridian, Cadmium Green Deep, Cadmium Green Pale, Hooker's Green, Bamboo Green.



Holbein Artist Watercolour - Viridian Hue, Emerald Green Nova, Compose Green,
Sap Green, Terre Verte.

 Marine Blue is very beautiful :-)
Holbein Artist Watercolour - Green Grey,  Shadow Green, Phthalo Blue Red Shade,
Phthalo Blue Yellow Shade, Marine Blue.


Holbein Artist Watercolour - Horizon Blue, Turquoise Blue, Cobalt Turquoise Light, Peacock Blue, Manganese Blue Nova.


Holbein Artist Watercolour - Compose Blue, Verditer Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue,
Cobalt Blue Hue.

 Both ultramarines are rich and gorgeous.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Ultramarine Light, Ultramarine Deep, Prussian Blue, Royal Blue, Indigo.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Lavender, Permanent Violet, Mineral Violet, Cobalt Violet Light, Bright Violet.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Bright Rose, Lilac, Quinacridone Magenta (formally Rose Violet), Quinacridone Violet (formally Permanent Magenta), Mars Violet.


 These earth colours are nice. Less granulating than some brands.
Holbein Artist Watercolour - Indian Red, Imadazolone Brown, Light Red, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Raw Umber, Raw Sienna), Yellow Ochre,
Yellow Grey, Umber.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Sepia, Ivory Black, Lamp Black,
Peach Black (old version - now just PBk1) , Neutral Tint.


Peach black new.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Van Dyke Brown (this is the real vandyke brown pigment), Payne's Grey, Davy's Grey,
Grey of Grey, Chinese White.

Holbein Artist Watercolour - Titanium White, Gold, Silver, Permanent Green #3 (discontinued),
Compose Green 3 (discontinued),


Use the search button to see other watercolour ranges.

Happy painting!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Daler Rowney Artists' Watercolours


Daler Rowney Watercolours - Sketching set of 18 quarter pans. 
Daler Rowney is an English company that began in 1783 selling perfumes and wig powder but moved into artists colours and were the suppliers for Constable and Turner. In 2013 they bought the German companies Lukas and Nerchau. They make a large range of paints, including three watercolour ranges - Aquafine is a student range and Simply Watercolour are affordable basic sets.              As always, I'll concentrate on the Artists' Watercolour range of 80 colours, available in 5ml tubes, 15ml tubes or half pans, and in a number of sets, including the Miniature Pocket Set shown left with 18 quarter pans. I found this at a lovely art store in Bath (Minerva Art Supplies) - it was the last one so was on sale. Very cute. Nice colours generally, though as is often the case, the two yellows are almost the same colour. What's the point of that?
These are not so easy to find outside the UK and Europe (though I do remember finding them in Singapore) so I have only tried just over half of this range. The tube colours were very liquid so shrank a lot as they dried, but they generally re-wet very nicely. I have included the blank swatches for the whole range so the pigment information is also available. I'll update as I try more.

Daler Rowney Watercolours - Naples Yellow (not shown), Nickel Titanate Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Pale,
Bismuth Yellow. (not shown)

Daler Rowney Watercolours - Permanent Yellow, Aureolin (not shown), Cadmium Yellow (not shown), Cadmium Yellow (Hue) (not shown), Cadmium Yellow Deep.
There are a number of colours made using PY153, which is no longer being manufactured. It is a beautiful warm yellow so well worth picking up if you find it.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue, Gamboge Hue, Indian Yellow (not shown), Cadmium Orange (not shown), Cadmium Orange Hue.
Vermilion (Hue) (not shown) is made from PR255, which is my favourite warm red option.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Warm Orange, Permanent Red, Cadmium Red Pale (not shown), Cadmium Red Pale (Hue), Vermilion (Hue) (not shown).
Cadmium Red (Hue) is now made from PR245+PY74 but this is an old sample.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red (Hue), Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red Deep (not shown), Cadmium Red Deep (Hue) (not shown).
 This is one of the nicest Perylene Reds made with PR179 - rich and deep crimson without the harshness of some brands.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Perylene Red, Alizarine Crimson (not shown), Alizarin Crimson (Hue), Carmine (not shown), Permanent Rose.
PV14 used in Cobalt Magenta is never a strong pigment but very granulating.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Quinacridone Magenta, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Magenta, Ultramarine Violet (not shown), Permanent Mauve (not shown).
 The Prussian Blue is very grainy. It's the only colour that just didn't paint out nicely.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Indanthrene Blue (not shown but woudl be PB60), Prussian Blue, Indigo (not shown), Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) (not shown), Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) (not shown).
 Permanent Blue is a traditional ultramarine.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Manganese Blue Hue, Coeruleum (not shown), Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Blue Deep (not shown), Permanent Blue.

Daler Rowney Watercolours - French Ultramarine, Cobalt Turquoise (Red Shade) (not shown), Cobalt Turquoise (Green Shade) (not shown), Transparent Turquoise, Cobalt Green Deep.
 Viridian is lovely and rich. This can be a very weak pigment - one of the best versions.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Phthalo turquoise (not shown),Viridian, Phthalo Green (not shown), Hooker's Green Dark, Terre Verte Hue.

Daler Rowney Watercolours - Oxide of Chromium Green (not shown), Hooker's Green Light, Vivid Green (not shown), Sap Green (not shown), Olive Green (not shown).
 There are some lovely earth colours but I always prefer raw sienna and burnt sienna to be made with PBr7.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Green Gold, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Light Red.
 Transparent Red Brown is also known as Brown Madder and Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Venetian Red (not shown), Transparent Red Brown, Perylene Maroon (not shown), Indian Red (not shown), Mars Violet.
 Vandyke brown (not shown) is worth looking at as it is make without black - could be interesting.
Daler Rowney Watercolours - Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Vandyke Brown (Hue) (not shown), Warm Sepia,
Neutral Tint (not shown).

Daler Rowney Watercolours - Payne's Grey, Ivory Black (not shown), Lamp Black, Chinese White (not shown),
Titanium white (not shown).


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...

Sunday, 7 January 2018

QoR Watercolours full range


I explored some of the QoR colours some years back when they were first released, and wrote about them here. Rather than update that post, I'll show the full range, organised the same as the colour chart, here. I'd like to express my thanks to Golden for sending me samples to be able to test out and show the full range.


QoR are very different from traditional watercolours and feel different to paint with. They need to be used more liquid and will often explode on a damp paper as they must have a lot of oxgall or other dispersing medium. They can be hard to control. On the other hand, they have a very little to no drying shift so remain very bright, and are largely very finely ground pigments so even the cadmiums are less granulating than the same pigments in other ranges. My initial reaction to them was somewhat critical as they didn't work the way I like watercolours to work, but using them again and fresh from the tubes, watching the colours explode onto the wet wash and seeing what they could do if you want to play with them, I think they add another dimension to the watercolour world. I think it is good that all watercolours are not produced the same way. We are then able to pick and choose those that work the way we each wish to.

I really feel that these are best used fresh from the tube. They don't rewet well enough to work as a travel watercolour as far as I have explored, which makes them less portable. But this is true of M.Graham and Sennelier tube colours too and suits the way some watercolour artists work in the studio.


These yellows are similar in hue, apart from Nickel Yellow which is always a very weak pigment. the cadmiums are really finely ground and are very beautiful.

QoR Watercolours - Nickel Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Primrose, Hansa Yellow Light, Bismuth Vandate Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light.

These are the mid to warm yellows. Indian Yellow has the look of some of the Quinacridone Gold hues and is slightly brighter than QoR Quinacridone Gold.
QoR Watercolours - Benzimidazolone Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Aureolin Modern, Nickel Azo Yellow, Indian Yellow.

This is an unusual pigment for Quinacridone Burnt Orange - it's usually called Brown Madder or Quin burnt scarlet. Quin burnt orange is usually more orange - once again it is important to know the pigments when reading a paint name to have a better idea what to expect.

QoR Watercolours - Permanent Gamboge, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Gold Deep, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Cadmium Yellow Deep.

Transparent Pyrrol Orange is gorgeous - though different from the Daniel Smith paint of the same name. Pyrrole Red Light is a lovely pigment for a warm red in a classic split primary palette.

QoR Watercolours - Diarylide Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Transparent Pyrrole Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Pyrrole Red Light (previously made with PR207).

Pyrrole Red Deep is my favourite pigment for a crimson red. I tend to use PR255 as warm, and have PV19 and PR264 as my cool reds.
QoR Watercolours - Quinacridone Red Light, Pyrrole Red Medium, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Deep, Pyrrole Red Deep.
Quinacridone Red makes a great primary red, though I also use it as one of two cool reds in a palette.

QoR Watercolours - Permanent Scarlet, Quinacridone Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Crimson, Quinacridone Magenta.


The violets pigments PV15 and PV49 are always weak, but the Ultramarine Violet PV15 is a nice version of this colour.

QoR Watercolours - Ultramarine Pink, Quinacridone Violet, Cobalt Violet, Ultramarine Violet, Dioxazine Purple.

QoR Watercolours - Indigo, Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Blue Violet, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue Chromium.


These blues all painted out nicely.

QoR Watercolours - Indanthrone Blue, Prussian Blue, PHthalo Blue (Green Shade), French Cerulean Blue, Manganese Blue.

 Viridian is often a weak pigment but is quite strong in the QoR range.

QoR Watercolours - Cobalt Teal, Phthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise, Phthalo Green (Blue Shade), Viridian Green.

The Cobalt Green is made from a lovely PG26 pigment rather than the PG50 - deep and granulating usually. I found it a little hard to get a smooth wash. Terre Verte is always a weak pigment but perhaps would be stronger fresh from the tube? These versions of Sap And Hooker's Green are very usable as convenience colours though I'd prefer two-pigment rather than three-pigment mixes if possible.

QoR Watercolours - Permanent Green Light, Cobalt Green (not shown), Hookers Green Sap Green, Terre Verte.

These convenience greens are also interesting, though have many pigments. Buff Titanium is one of my favourite Daniel Smith colours and QoR is the only other source available commercially. However, this version has little granulation though is a lovely creamy ecru colour.

QoR Watercolours - Chromium Gren Oxide, Olive Green, Bohemian Green Earth, Green Gold, Titan Buff.

Many of these were painted from dry samples which look weaker. I really think QoR colours need to be used fresh. Raw Sienna is ideally made from PBr7 rather than PY43, which is yellow ochre.

QoR Watercolours - Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre (Natural), Transparent Yellow Oxide, Raw Sienna (Natural),
Transparent Red Oxide.

Lots of single pigment earth colours. Transparent Brown Oxide was tested from a small dry sample so may be stronger fresh from the tube. You can really see the difference.

QoR Watercolours - Mars Orange Deep, Venetian Red, Burnt Sienna (Natural), Transparent Brown Oxide,
Burnt Umber (Natural).

I like the use of natural earth pigments - they are not mixed with anything else, and the siennas and umbers are nearly all made with the appropriate PBr7 pigment. Raw Umber Natural is especially dark and rich. Van Dyke Brown is far warmer than usual.

QoR Watercolours - Rae Umber (Natural), Sepia, Van Dyke Brown, Carbon Black, Ivory Black.

I am always delighted to see a mixed grey made without the deadening effect of a black pigment. Neutral Tint contains a yellow (yellow oxide), a magenta (quin magenta) and a blue (phthalo blue) pigment. I think this would be an interesting watercolour for some tonal studies. I last tried Ardoise Gray from a very small sample dot but it is a very gentle colour from the tube too.

QoR Watercolours - Payne's Gray, Neutral Tine, Ardoise Gray, Chinese White, Titanium White.

Update - And here are the three Iridescent colours. They are difficult to show but since I have them it gives an idea. They are not particularly strongly tinting.

QoR Watercolours - Iridescent Pearl Fine, Iridescent Silver (fine) and Iridescent Gold (fine)

2018 update


QoR are now available in a 12 colour palette of standard 1/2 pans. See the website here. The colours include Cadmium Yellow Primrose, Nickel Azo Yellow, Transparent Pyrrole Orange, Pyrrole Red Medium, Quinacridone Magenta, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Sap Green, Transparent Brown Oxide, Burnt Umber (Natural) and Payne’s Gray. The website claims that they are easier to re-wet, which would be a great step.


QoR Mini 1/2 pan palette, from the website www.qorcolors.com