Tuesday, 13 August 2019

White Nights 2019 full range

White Nights, also known as St Petersburg, has been one of the many generous sponsors of the Urban Sketchers Symposium for the last few years now. They have been expanding their range, moving from just full pans to the addition of 10ml tubes for many colours, and expanding their range with 9 extra colours in 2017 and another 9 new colours in 2019. They have also added 7 metallics. I am grateful that they have given me samples to try to keep up, though somehow Venetian Red slipped through the cracks. 

The colours that have been added increase the range to 75 colours and the new colours are mostly lightfast and largely single pigment additions. I've updated my previous post but decided to create a new post of the full range here, this time with most colours scanned rather than photographed, where possible.

These are very reasonably priced watercolours that perform well. Setting up with full pans is simple and gives easy brush access so they suit beginners, though of course many professional artist use them as well. They are made with genuine pigments though some feel to have some sort of filler? And some of the pigments are not lightfast, such as PY1, PV3, PR2, PR4, PO13, PG8 and others. As far as I know the colours with less lightfast ratings have remained in the range so do check pigment numbers if you are working on paintings for sale or exhibition. In a sketchbook, watercolours are protected from light. 

I'll add the full range below.

As always, yellows, oranges and reds are difficult to represent accurately. I've scanned all the swatches but I needed to use a couple of photos for better accuracy for the oranges. As I haven't yet found an updated colour chart, I've used my own system to arrange the colour swatches.

The new Aureolin gives an even better primary yellow option.

White Nights Watercolour - Zinc White, Lemon, Cadmium Lemon, Aureolin (new 2019), Hansa Yellow.

PY216 used in the new Naples Yellow Light and Naples Orange is also known as Turner's Yellow. I haven't seen he orange version before. Both are more opaque colours. I like the Indian Gold as a warm yellow option as it will mix interesting greens.
White Nights Watercolour - Indian Yellow (new 2017), Cadmium Yellow Medium, Naples Yellow Light (new 2019),
Indian Gold (new 2017), Naples Orange (new 2019).

White Nights Watercolour -Golden, Golden Deep, Cadmium Orange, Orange Lake, Orange (new 2019)

Geranium Red is interesting as it looks like a warm red but has a rose undertone in a wash so I suspect it might mix purples too - I'll check that out.
White Nights Watercolour - Titan Red, Cadmium Red Light, Vermilion (Hue), Geranium Red (new 2019), Scarlet.

White Nights Watercolour -Ruby, Madder Lake Red Light, Venice Purple (new 2019), Claret, Carmine.

White Nights Watercolour - Quinacridone Red (new 2017), Quinacridone Violet Rose (new 2017), Quinacridone Rose, Rose, Quinacridone Lilac.

White Nights Watercolour -Violet-Rose, Quinacridone Violet (new 2017), Ultramarine Violet (new 2017), Violet,
Blue Lake.

White Nights Watercolour - Indanthrone Blue, Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Azure, Blue (Russian. New 2017).

PB36 used in Cobalt Azure Blue is my favourite choice for a cerulean pigment. A good addition to the range.
White Nights Watercolour - Bright Blue (Brilliant), Indigo, Prussian Blue, Ceruleum Blue,
Cobalt Azure Blue (new 2019).

Cobalt Turquoise is an incredibly popular watercolour.
White Nights Watercolour -Azure Blue, Cobalt Turquoise (new 2019), Turquoise Blue, Green Light, Emerald Green.

White Nights Watercolour - Green Original, Yellowish Green, Sap Green (new 2017), Green Earth, Olive Green.

I love yellow ochre as a colour but shy away from this mix with PY1.
White Nights Watercolour - Chromium Oxide, Green (Russian), May Green (new 2019), Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow.

White Nights Watercolour - Raw Sienna, Red Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Shakhnazarskaya Red, English Red.

White Nights Watercolour - Venetian Red (New 2017, not shown), Burnt Umber, Mars Red, Umber, Sepia.

White Nights Watercolour - Voronezhkaya Black, Payne's Grey, Neutral Black.

The new metallic colours...
White Nights Watercolour - Silver Light, Inca Gold, Bronze, Aztec Gold.
White Nights Watercolour - Antique Gold, Silver Deep, Copper.

With all these new colours, my suggestions for a White Nights 12-colour plein air sketching palette has changed.

I'd look at Aureolin, Indian yellow, Cadmium Red Light or the new Geranium Red (I need to test that in mixes), Quinacridone Red, Ultramarine, Cobalt Azure Blue, Emerald Green (for mixing only), Sap Green, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, English Red (or Sepia) and Payne's Grey. That would now be a lightfast set except for the PV3 in the Payne's Grey. 

I wonder if the Voronezhkaya Black is nice as a neutral tint and grey. It's very soft as a black...has anyone tried it?

Happy painting :-)


  1. My swatches seem to look much darker than yours, probably because the scanner lights them up brightly. Especially blues, except for Prussian Blue, what's up with it? I couldn't get that Prussian blue dark at all and it kept trying to slip off the paper back onto the brush and felt kinda glueish and too many big particles

    1. I agree Prussian Blue was very strange. The other that is difficult as it runs all over the place is Cerulean so I'm glad they have added the PB36 version.
      But PB27 is not a pigment I use as I tested one once and it failed my lightfast tests. It's an easy hue to mix from phthalo blue GS and a touch of a warm red such as a PR255.

    2. Maybe they use too much gum arabic for it or even glycerin, since it's poured into pans instead of being chopped from dry like with Sennelier. I've ordered Jackson's version of Prussian Blue to test it and also Raw Umber together with it, because for some reason Raw Umber in White Nights has three pigments... I've noticed that tip you gave about mixing cold phthalo with warm red earlier (Thank you for it), when I was disappointed in Prussian Blue when I bought it a few months ago, I didn't have a cold blue at that moment, I've had their "Blue" which I think is closer to Phthalo RS and after mixing with red I got something like a very dark Indanthrene Blue with a touch of Indigo which I was satisfied with for the time being :) I want to try their new Cobalt Turquise because it looks like a nice blue for the ocean... I feel like I will be switching to Daniel Smith after I finish all the White Night pans, though, You've converted me lol ... I'm not sure about travelling to hot countries with WN due to honey in their contents... And I fell in love with that Teal color in DS...

  2. Some really lovely colors here. Thanks again for you thorough review.

    And guess what? I can comment again and I know exactly why.

    Blogspot no longer works with Safari. I'm using Firefox and it works just fine. Go figure.

    So now I'll have to use two different browsers but not that big a deal. Have to do it for a few other blogs I subscribe to that have stopped allowing my to comment. Just catching up today.

    1. safari is terrible so no wonder things don't work with it! Apple.... BLEH!

  3. Thanks for sharing so much information, it has helped me rethink my color purchases, although at the moment I seem to have almost all of the single pigment lightfast red, blue & yellows. Question about Voronezhkaya Black - you have it as PBk10 but nevskayapalitra.ru & Jackson's Art have it as PBk8, which one is correct? Handprints information on PBk10 says it's graphite, I wonder if that is the same as the graphite in my water soluble graphite pencils?

    1. The pan I received was a Jack Richardson branded St Petersburg package, with PBk10 on it. It doesn't have the sheen of the Daniel Smith graphite watercolour but is more grey than black. So I don't know if it is correct, if it was correct and has now been changed, or was a typo. My sample doesn't look like the Nevskaya Palitra website version so perhaps it's been changed?

  4. Hi,
    Sorry to bother but can you give me a 21 color palette recommendation? I would really appreciate!