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


  1. Jane,

    The red/purple sections appear to have been dropped/left out

    1. thank you for letting me know - I've added them in again.

  2. do you know if the cobalt teal would leak out of a pan in hot weather? i've tried Da Vinci's cobalt teal but ive found it will still gradually leak over the day and gum up everywhere.

    1. That seems to be a common problem with cobalt teal. It's not a colour I use so I can't help you with whether the QoR would be better, except to say that the ones I dried out were very dry.

    2. thank you for you response! the cobalt teals i have are da vinci and m graham, and the paint was a characteristic of the other paints, but more gooey. I feel qor would work better based on my other qor paints, but at the same time, cobalt teal is, as you say, a leaky paint.

    3. I used to have in in DS and had no problem - I made half pans of it for my students with no leakage or running around. It is a colour you have to shake very well though in DS so you really mix the pigment and binder.

    4. Ah! I'll try that. Thank you for your info! and for having such great resources when it comes to paint and paint brands

  3. I think you're missing some reds on here? I don't see Quin. Red Light, Pyrrole Red Medium and Pyyrole Red Deep.

    1. Thank you for pointing that out - I am not sure what happened to them but they are back now!

  4. Diarylide Yellow, seems not belongs to QOR characteristic ....there is really very strange how this color was made.

  5. I just wanted to send a huge THANK YOU for all your work and sharing it with us. It's extremely helpful.
    Kindest regards