Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Van Gogh watercolours.

When I was in Amsterdam for the Urban Sketchers Symposium in 2019, the faculty was taken on a fabulous tour of the Royal Talens factory. Royal Talens has been creating art materials since 1899. 

We also had the chance to 'play' with many of the products created there or under the Royal Talens umbrella - Sakura, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Bruynzeel, Ecoline and others.

I have shown many of the 120 colour professional Rembrandt watercolour range here, but we were given a dot card sampler of the Van Gogh student range. While I don't usually write about student ranges, as they don't have all the characteristics that I so enjoy about professional watercolours, I decided this one may be helpful since so much work went into producing it. However changes have been made in the formulations since this was produced so the latest product information is best seen on the website.

Van Gogh sample dot card 2019


Student ranges are often less-highly pigmented than professional ranges, and many contain more binders or fillers. While it as more difficult to get a strong wash with many of these colours, others painted out very nicely. 

Van Gogh student watercolours 2019

Van Gogh student watercolours 2019

The information on these charts was based on the dot-card, but some was incorrect. Dusk Yellow is PBk11/PY128, and the PBk101 pigments listed for the gold and metallics should be PBk11.
Van Gogh student watercolours 2019


Happy painting!

6 comments:

  1. Too many PW6 mixing colors. I think...

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  2. Hey Jane! It's my first time commenting but I follow you for a long time, love all your work and consult your swatches and mixes like it's my religion hahah! I am an watercolorist on a veeeery tight budget but I am trying to use the best I can get for my money, in my country (brazil)the only 2 brands affordable to me are Van Gogh and white Nights(and even then, I can't buy a lot of colors at once and not often).
    I mostly use Van Gogh tubes but recently started to paint with White nights too. Between the two brands, which one has the best quality in your opinion? I paint in a very precise manner, and I like to use the boldest, strongest, most transparent colors possible. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I suspect you could mix thee brands and choose based on the colours you wish to use. I have only painted with a tiny dot sample of these so can't answer for painting larger works with them. Look at the colours and pigment information in both my blog posts and decide which work best for you.

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    2. thank you, that's what I've been doing. I'll try to get me some Roman Szmals next

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    3. I have many Van Gogh's, I find them perfectly fine to paint with. They have a good selection of single pigments, and a lot of transparent shades. I've painted with professional grade paints as well of many brands and I honestly see little difference in performance, perhaps a slight decrease in vibrancy but not enough to be an issue. I've tried just about all of the student level brands and Van Gogh is my favorite, they are far superior to most of them. In fact I recently put together a twenty shade single pigment transparent palette and I chose Van Gogh to do it with... they had the best cost/performance ratio to me. I also enjoy Grumbacher Academy however they have fewer single pigment shades, and fewer shades in total. They do have a couple Van Gogh does not however such as chrome oxide green and perylene maroon. White Nights has more colors.. but they also have more fugitive shades. You need to be careful with them, if lightfastness is important to you. I think the original White Nights has less of them than the US version, especially in sets. Both Van Gogh and White Nights have very well made palettes, but I prefer Van Gogh's they really put some thought into the design and made them painter friendly. I've only tried three pans of Roman Szmal and they were lovely. They, and White Nights, are both professional paints.. so it's really not fair to put them head to head against Van Gogh.

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    4. I ended up putting together a fairly large palette with like 35 colors, most single pigment with good lightfastness. I kept just the best of my van goghs, the rest are White Nights and Roman Szmal. I have used some other student grade paints before and you are right, some van gogh colors are almost as good as the professional ones, but some of them have a strange texture. I've got 14 Roman Szmal's, couldn't recommend more.

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