Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Rockwell Self-Evolving Watercolours from Canada.


Rockwell is a high quality pigment supplier, with 32 years of experience. They have recently created a number of ranges of watercolours. I was given dot-samples of these 'Magic' self-evolving watercolours to try. They contain a mixture of pigments, minerals and plant colours. They claim to be lightfast 'under museum conditions', which requires thinking about if you plan to use them for work to be framed and hung in normal household conditions.

On rough paper, they create some amazing effects - as do most granulating watercolours of course. That is one of the joys of this medium. These are painted on medium watercolour paper so show less of what is possible.

I haven't explored these in depth, but have heard that many people enjoy working with them.

Rockwell also make a set of 35 Classical watercolours, a Natural Beauty range and a Masters G12 range that includes China Red Mirror Cinnabar, made 'using the highest grade cinnabar', and a lovely looking Cajun Lapis Lazuli, along with acrylics and oils. You can read more about Rockwell Art Supplies, Canada, here.

I don't know what the F7 and F5 refer to, but have copied them from the website information.

Rockwell self-evolving Mineral Watercolour - Alexandria Diamond Purple, Palaiba Diamond Blue, 
Royal Purple and Onat Diamond Yellow.

Rockwell self-evolving Mineral Watercolour - Limugreen Brown, Valentine Purple, 
Cleopatra Green, Obsidian Brown

Rockwell self-evolving Mineral Watercolour - Lapis Brown, Opal Yellow, 
Magic Wizard, Morai Witch.


I find it fascinating exploring granulating pigments. What is also interesting is that sometimes, even if you mix the same single pigment colours, you don't get the same effects as is possible with commercial pre-mixed paints. Watercolour has a mind of its own :-)


Happy painting.


11 comments:

  1. Jane- these are very rich beautiful colors. I love the way they show such lovely granulation. I may just have to try them out!

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  2. I am a Canadian Watercolour painter and mostly use Winsor Newton paints. I did not even know we had a company that creates a wonderful shades of watercolour paints. Thank you Jane Blundell !!!

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  3. What I'm bummed out about is how unavailable it is for fellow Canadian residents. They're not in any art stores & their website is not in local currency & charge CAD$20 for shipping (though their official address is a 45 min drive from my place)! I wanna try these colours too but it's not easily available :(

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    1. have you tried emailing them?

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    2. Yes, I did. They said I should mail them what colours I'm interested in & they will give me the Canadian price and then I can place an order via email but there's still no free shipping. Not a convenient process at all.

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  4. Also make sure that you add that on their website it states that the lightfastness is "under museum conditions". I bought these September 2021 and did a window light-fast test. Just took them down a couple weeks at 8 months in and the opal yellow and diamond yellow faded and changed colors drastically!! The yellow almost completely gone. Contacted them and basically said you should have read the fine print about the lightfastness. Of course colors won't fade under UV glass and indoors with no natural light.

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    1. Jane here - comments noted. Plant-based pigments are rarely (never?) lightfast so I'd always treat those with care. For use in a sketchbook there would be not problem as they are protected.

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    2. That is unusual! I thought PY65 was lightfast. By the way, all paints are lightfast under museum conditions. The lightfastness ratings are not meant for everyday environments, only for museum conditions.

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  5. Thanks Jane! I’ve ordered a handful of their regular and “magic” colors for fun!

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  6. Isn't cinnabar highly toxic to handle even very diluted? It is mercury ore.

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  7. Dear Jane,
    I noticed this brand two or three years ago, it was quite suspicious that I couldn't find any proper bio or they stores or something. I may be mistaken but according my investigation and thoughts of Chinese art youtube I'm going to believe that this Rockwell brand has tight relationship with Chinese CAAM SuperVision brand. Some of their colours are look like plus they sell paint in a plastic pallette, it is a very common thing for paints from AliExpress. Also, I saw a comment about one of their colour: "The use of PB17 is usually indicative of a Chinese white label product."

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