Which Brand of Watercolour Paint Should You Choose?

The number of watercolour paint brands available in New Zealand has increased and we can now use the internet to purchase from overseas. The wide choice can be confusing. WonderStreet is a London based blog focused on art. On 17 April 2017 the blog published the results of research on watercolour paints. The article compares the brands most frequently used by contributing watercolour artists all around the world, using their feedback and consumer reviews from a number of online retailers. The blog is not connected to any of the brands. The article has three categories – tubes, pans and gouache. Within the tubes category, there are two sub-categories: professional and student grade products.

The brands are presented in alphabetical order. The data gives pros and cons for each brand, covering attributes such as pigment vibrancy, consistency, texture, colour range, cost, range of tube sizes, labelling and packaging. Of course, a “pro” for one artist might be a “con” for another, or vice versa. Tube brands listed are Blick, Da Vinci, Daler-Rowney, Daniel Smith, Grumbacher, Holbein, M. Graham, Maimeri Blu, Mijello MissionGold, Old Holland Classic, QoR Modern, Schmincke, Sennelier and Winsor & Newton. Pan brands are Finetec, Grumbacher, Pelikan, Raphaël, Rembrandt,Sakura Koi, Schmincke, Sennelier, Winsor & Newton and a Russianbrand, Yarka.

The blog draws these conclusions:
“With such a wide selection of products and brands reviewed, it’s a difficult task to narrow down to a handful of favourites, especiallyas painting materials are often a matter of personal preference. However, we’ve done our best to consider the pros and cons for each brand before giving our general recommendations.

For the professional artist who enjoys painting with watercolours from tubes, there seems to be no product more highly rated thanDaniel Smith Watercolours. Other favourites for the watercolourists in our community include: Holbein Watercolours, Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Artist Watercolours and Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Tubes. For the watercolour student, we recommend Blick Artists' Watercolours. This particular product falls under the “professional grade” category, which means that the quality is much higher than
student grade paints, while the price remains accessibly low. The Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Tubes are also an acceptable option because of their affordability and ease of use.

If pans are your preference, Sennelier French Artists' Watercolour Half Pans may be the product for you. They are customizable and our artists were pleased with the lustrous texture provided by the brand’s honey additive. We also think that the Raphaël Watercolour Travel Pan Set is the best option for the watercolourist on the go, because it offers a compact size without making sacrifices with regards to quality.”

You can read the full article and offer your own findings.

Further reading: 'The Watercolor Book by David Dewey'.

Has a comprehensive section on Materials and Tools, which includes a chapter on watercolour paints listing many of the manufacturers whose paints are widely available: Daniel Smith, Da Vinci, Grumbacher, Holbein, Rowney, Schminke, Sennelier, Winsor & Newton and Yarka. Dewey, a professional artist who has used them all, gives his assessment of each brand.

www.handprint.com - This website on watercolour painting has a section on paints focusing on the most common artists’ quality watercolour brands, among them Art Spectrum, Daler Rowney, Daniel Smith, Holbein, Maimeri, M Graham, Schminke, Sennelier and Winsor & Newton.

It includes quite a bit of technical analysis. The conclusion: ‘Winsor & Newton quality is now matched by Daniel Smith, M Graham and Maimeri, and at a lower price.’



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