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 - this is one of the best versions.
Update August 2019 - Viridian seems it has been discontinued - now called Viridian Hue #382 and made with PG36 and PG7. If you love the original PG18 version I'd be searching for them now!
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...


  1. How timely.

    My home was broken into this morning and my laptop, iPhone, purse/wallet,cards and tote bag were stolen among other things.

    In my tote bag was that exact Daler Rowney little bijou sketcher’s box. I had it in a hard drive case with a pigma pen a water brush and some Arches cut down to size and two paper towels.

    You are lucky to get it on sale. I did too, several years ago on eBay. I think I paid less than $20 for it. Now it will cost me almost $100 to replace it as I’ll have to send to the U.K.

    I’m glad I only lost this little Rowney bijou box and not a more valuable and irreplaceable watercolor box. I had popped out all of the Rowney colors and replaced them with Daniel Smith. I didn’t really find any fault with the watercolors per se, they just didn’t include many I prefer to work with. I did save the little quarter pans and glued them to a card in case I wanted to replace them back in the box or use them. While I love having a palette of 18 colors I think in the future I’ll go with the small Whiskey Painter’s box that holds 12 half pans. That is easier and cheaper to replace as is the Pentel water brush. The little brush that comes with the bijou box isn’t truly awful but it isn’t great either. Thankfully I opted for a cheap water brush rather than put one of my better travel brushes in there.

    1. How awful for you :-( It's just the worst feeling of violation.

      I don't know if I'll actually use mine - I'd also have to change a number of colours to make it my preferences. I just thought it would be a good way to try a bunch of DR paints! I often get sent samples (and thank you to all who do that) but sometimes I need to buy them myself to get this plan to show the full range of every watercolour completed. And it's a cute tin!

      My car was broken into many years ago and a little Cotman travel kit was stolen, among other things, that I'd had since I was about 15, refilling many times. They took my travel brushes, makeup kit and all sorts of items that I kept in my glovebox, but fortunately decided to leave the sketchbooks behind. I don't keep anything in my glovebox any more.

      Good luck replacing your precious items. I hope your insurance company is helpful.

    2. Thank you. The dog has actually been more upset about it. Today he is locked in the bedroom while the locksmith changes the locks. I don’t know about violated but I am extremely angry at the loss, what it is costing me and the time I am spending dealing with it all.

      The car is the worst. They stole pitiful things like a CD holder, flashlight, umbrella and the Santa slippers I just bought half price. Thankfully they did NOT get into the cargo area where my watercolor supplies are. The supplies not great but I have a rolling chair and two umbrellas from guerilla painter that would cost hundreds to replace. I intentionally don’t put irreplaceables in the car and usually not in the tote. The mittens should have been removed but it’s winter.

      My purse, wallet and tote are ten years old and long discontinued so that is very sad.

      I urge you to try the Rowney sketcher’s palette as it is first, then pop a few colors to replace. I eventually put in your 18 color suggestions from one of your palette posts and when I get my replacement palette (at the insurance company’s expense) I’ll probably do the same with a bit of tweaking.

      I’m pleased they put their artist line in this little palette rather than like Winsor Newton whose small travel palettes always seem to have Cotman.

      I’m thinking I might even be able to fit some of the watercolor sticks in as they are about the size of quarter pans if I square them off a bit. I do like the size and the way it fits in my hand. I did my watercolor sketching in Yosemite with this little palette. The mixing area is small and flat but I still make it work for me, doing most of my mixing on the paper.

  2. Thanks for all the work you've put into this, Jane. May I ask how easy the Daler Rowney Viridian is to rewet? Viridian is a favorite of mine, but those I've tried have been either been disappointing once dried or too weak to be worth the effort and the tried tubes are piling up.

    1. This was painted from the dried pan colour and rewet easily. It's one of the better viridian watercolours I've tired - apparently only made with PG18. With your others, try adding a drop of glycerine (or tow?) to each half pan and it may help it to re-wet. If it's already dried out in a pan you can reactivate it by adding distilled water and let it soak in, then stir in the glycerine.

  3. Hi Jane, I’m so exciting about your swatching for DR & been waiting for this. I’ve got a tube of Viridian, it’s not made of PG18 but PG36 & PG7 and it’s a hue with the number 382. Does it mean they changed the formulation? Another question: what are the colors to form a good 12 basic palette?

    1. As Viridian (number 381) no longer appears on their colour chart, and the new colour is Viridian Hue (382) I guess they have dropped the genuine pigment. It's a shame as it is a special pigment for its granulation and non-staining properties. PG36 and PG7 are both staining and non-granulating so won't behave in the same way.
      However PG18 is a tricky pigment to make as a watercolour I suspect as most dry quite hard. The DR version was one of the better viridian watercolours.

  4. Hello Jane..
    I have many of missing DR colors in your page.. And I'll be happy to send you samples..


  5. That would be great Kamal. Please email me at jane@janeblundellart.com and I'll send you details :-)

  6. Hi Jane your work is awe inspiring and time your have taken to do too.
    I recently came across this beatiful small handmade watercolor brand - Greenleaf anf Blueberry and was hoping if you have checked them out.Do let us know your inputs as they have impressing muted colors. Its USA brand more info are on there website.

    1. I have only tried a few of the Greenleaf and Blueberry range - where people have sent me a sample. While I'd be happy to do a full review, they are quite difficult to get hold of and I don't expect smaller companies to be able to put together sample dot cards.

  7. hi Jane can i ask how is the permanent rose and even cobalt magenta rewet ability from dry and even how do the colours compare to winsor and newton? are they comparable? these daler rowney are easily accessible locally and wondering if to give them a try over the more expensive daniel smith?