Watercolor Brands

There are so many watercolor brands out there to choose from. How do you pick the best one for you? There are two types of watercolor paint which are usually labeled "student" grade and "artist" grade. I highly recommend purchasing the artist grade paints only because student grade is just not that good. They give you less pigment load in each tube and more metal fillers. This will result in more paint use but less color intensity achieved from each tube. If you are purchasing student grade, I highly recommend Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors.

However, I never use student grade anymore because they are frustrating and I run out of paint very quickly. My favorite artist grade paints are M. Graham watercolors because of their intense pigment load and are relatively inexpensive compared to other brands - only $6 for 15mL a tube sometimes! I love how easily it re-wets on the palette because they use honey as a humectant so you never have to toss out unused or leftover paint.

My hoard of watercolors. I obviously have a color addiction.

 This is what my stash looks like. As you can see, I have a color obsession.... 

Honestly, I can mix any color I want with just 6 colors but I always seem to have this issue where I feel the need  to have every color of the rainbow. If you're just starting to paint, it is truly not necessary to have more than 12 colors.  Sometimes I do regret buying this much because you never need more than a few colors to a painting (unless you always paint rainbows).

Some Iridescent and Duochrome Daniel Smith Paints

I also like to use glittery watercolors for special effects like the Iridescent, Pearlescent and Duochrome Daniel Smith watercolors. These are insanely expensive though since I can only buy them online and I rather just use a medium to obtain the same effect.  I don't recommend investing in their special effects line but do buy the regular Quinacridone and primary colors. 

In addition to Graham, I use Sennelier paints too.

They are very similar to Graham and also use honey in their paints but they are slightly more expensive per mL than Graham.  Lastly, the famous Winsor and Newton watercolor line (which is quite popular) is just too expensive for my liking so I only have two small 5mL tubes in my stash. They have great pigment load but it doesn't re-wet as easily as Graham or Sennelier does. W&N in the USA also cost a fortune for some reason  with a price tag of $14-$17 per tube! So I just avoid them altogether.

When you finally have all the colors in the world, you can make color charts!

Mostly M. Graham paints on sketchbook paper

Mimics the layout of the Mijello "Bulletproof"  Palette that I use

All my paints on one color chart

Thanks for reading! Tune in next Thursday for a new post! :)