Sunday 27 November 2022

A. Gallo Hand Made Watercolours

A. Gallo watercolours come from Assisi, Italy. This is a honey-based range, created to be highly lightfast and free of mercury, lead, arsenic, cobalt and cadmium. I originally tried the full range in September 2021. As of 2022, these hand-made colours are available in individual half pans in 86 colours, or a range of interesting sets. 

The Signature set from 2021 is shown below. There are also various collections and some lovely wooden palettes as part of a limited edition range. This is a range created with passion. A new brick and mortar shop has opened in Assisi for those travelling. They are also available from Jacksonsart (affiliate link) who ship world wide.
Signature set of 24, 2021

Dot card from September 2021

The pans are wrapped in watercolour paper with the colour sample brushed over it and the presentation is gorgeous. The website is very clear and the printouts in the colour chart are so well done that I almost felt I didn't need to add the swatches here. There are some lovely primary colours and interesting purple mixes. Interestingly, about half the range is made up of realistic greens and earth colours. I've updated these swatches to include the new colours added, and removed those that have been discontinued.

A.Gallo watercolours: Buff Titanium, Lemon Yellow PY3 (not shown), Lemon Yellow Permanent, 
Azo Yellow gold, Royal Yellow, Indian yellow.

Oranges and orange-reds are difficult to capture accurately, but these oranges are very close. I have also loaded these swatches onto my website and balanced each colour carefully. The Vermilion Red is actually warmer and the Medici Red a little more coral.
A.Gallo watercolours: Arancione, Hokkaido Orange, Vermilion Red, Medici Red, 
Scarlet Red, Ruby Red.

Permanent Carmine was one of the most lovely to paint out - a beautiful example of this really useful primary red.

A.Gallo watercolours: Alizarin Crimson Hue, Permanent Carmine, Quinacridone Magenta (was Opera),
Ultramarine Pink PR259 (not shown), Pietra Rosa, Potter's Pink

Not many companies include genuine Rose Madder. This is an earthy coral-pink version. Dragon's Blood looks a little like Perylene Maroon.
A.Gallo watercolours: Rose Madder (not shown), Dragon's Blood (not shown), Quinacridone Violet,
Mineral Violet, 
Tyrian Purple, Ultramarine Violet. 

A.Gallo watercolours: Dioxazine Violet, Notturno, Zirconium Blue,
Cerulean Hue (not shown), Translucent Cerulean, 

It is wonderful to see YInMn Blue and Lapis Lazuli in this range. YInMn Blue is the newest pigment to have been discovered - in 2009 - and Lapis is often a very washed-out colour - a far cry from its original form. 
A.Gallo watercolours: YInMn Blue, Lapis Lazuli, Ultramarine Blue Dark, Periwinkle,
Midnight Blue, Indanthrone Blue

A.Gallo watercolours: Copper Blue, Teal Blue, Aquamarine, Harbor Blue, 
Dark Forest (not shown), Forest Green.

A.Gallo watercolours: Viridian Hue, Deep Sea Green, Green Earth - Cool, Malachite Hue,
Spring Green (not shown), Phthalo Green Light (not shown).

A.Gallo watercolours: Fig Green, Green Gold, Sap Green, Chromium Oxide,
Olive Green Deep,
 Green Earth - Warm.

A.Gallo watercolours: French Ochre Sahara, Verdaccio, Green Umber, Jarosite, 
Gold Ochre, Moroccan Yellow Ochre.

I found some colours were best used in a very liquid state - painting with a 'cream' consistency lost some of the glow.
A.Gallo watercolours: Raw Sienna, Raw Sienna Badia, Yellow Ochre - Burgundy (not shown), Quinacridone Gold,
Transparent Red Oxide (not shown), 
Castile Orange.

A.Gallo watercolours: Ercolano Red, Burnt Sienna, Sartorio Red,
Venetian Red, Hematite, 

A.Gallo watercolours: Perylene Maroon (not shown), Quinacridone Chestnut, Burnt Umber - Cyprus,
Burnt Umber - Brownish, 
Chromite Brown, Burnt Umber - Dark.

A.Gallo watercolours: Sepia, Indigo, Payne's Gray, Roman Black Earth, Ivory Black, Slate Gray. 

A.Gallo watercolours: Titanium White, Antique Gold,
Buckthorn Green (
discontinued), Quinacridone Red Gold (discontinued).

I've added all these painted swatches to my website, arranged by colour and pigment.

Happy painting!


  1. I was intrigued and thought of ordering some to try.. but their choice of sales method is a real turn off. I understand they produce a limited amount of product but who has time to wait for a single day of availability and jump on a purchase while fighting a ton of other customers for the same product? Not me. They really should release product as it becomes available.

    1. I waited and it was worth it. They are lovely paints. They also sell out so I don’t think they have issues here.

    2. If they were to release products as they become available, you would find yourself doing what you don't want to do in the first place, but instead of doing it once a month, you'd be doing it every time they'd release a product or a new batch of one colour. I think the way they go about it fine. I've bought a few palettes from them, and I missed out on a few; at least, they are not limited editions, so there is always the next time. What kills me is the shipping and then the customs et al. My pans are brand new now, but eventually, I'll run out of a pan or two, and paying 30 euros for 9 or 18 euros worth of paint, well, ouch!

  2. That's a really gorgeous spread of swatches Jane, thank you for your diligence and for sharing! It's settled, I'm going back to Italy.

  3. Because of your blog plus the amazing swatches, I am anxiously awaiting delivery of the 48 half pan set plus a half pan of Notturno. I reached out to the company and was so pleased with their swift & very kind response. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, Jane I just received my signature 2 and cherry wood palatte. Can’t wait to try them urban sketching..the brushes seem nice too.

  5. Thank Jane you for all the wonderful swatches. These paints are just fabulous to work with and handled / packed / designed so thoughtful, bought mine in Italy on my holiday. And to be honest, for me the wait is actually quite nice and a reminder, we are so used to instantly be able to buy what we see and want, the once in a month availablity makes it extra special and you really can ponder about what you want and why. : )

  6. Thanks Jane for this swatching of the A.Gallo range of artist watercolor paints. I discovered them after a trip to Italy in 2019 and was intrigued. I now have many of their paints and accessories, all of which are superb to use! Their presentation is a wonderful bonus! Can't wait for the next release - and If you get on their mailing list you will be sent an email of when their next release is to be.

  7. Thanks Jane for this swatching of the A.Gallo range of artist watercolor paints. I discovered them after a trip to Italy in 2019 and was intrigued. I now have many of their paints and accessories, all of which are superb to use! Their presentation is a wonderful bonus! Can't wait for the next release - and If you get on their mailing list you will be sent an email of when their next release is to be.

  8. I got lucky and ordered some as a Christmas present for ME. Didn't get all of the colors I wanted (carmine was sold out as was ultramarine) but I got a palette and five additional half pans that should see me through. I already had the Tintoretto wooden palette from a previous purchase when it first came out but since it was empty I've been waiting for something special to put in it. A. Gallo fits the bill. Merry Christmas to ME!

    Depending on how they work out, I may or may not try for the few colors that were sold out that I was hoping for. As for availability, that is how it is with hand made artisan watercolors. I've been buying Greenleaf and Blueberry for a few years now and that is just how it is. I can also buy a tube for the price of a half pan but again, hand made artisan watercolors.

  9. They are now sold at Jackson’s Art Supply in England as well

  10. I am rather new to watercolor, and read in a comment on the A Gallo Instagram that these are too granular and do not layer well. Has that been your experience?

    1. I haven’t not found them to be granular at all, and they layer like the diff. pro watercolors I’ve used. They wet easily and have lots of pigment. They are a joy to paint with and I have found myself using them a lot more than some of my other brands. @rosieinsd

  11. I love this whole range, not least of all because they smell like rosemary. They are pure pleasure to paint with. I only wish they came in tubes. I hope they continue to grow.

  12. How do I get the the wrapper off of the pans in a new palettes?