Doodlewash had a giveaway that I won in the World Watercolor Month celebration. My Van Gogh watercolor palette arrived a few days ago and I wanted to put the paint through it’s paces to see how it performs in relation to my normal Daniel Smith watercolors.
The palette is plastic and has a removable mixing tray so you can use the lid and also the six well tray for mixing. It also makes the mixing tray easier to clean as it detaches from the lid. This set also comes with a travel brush. It says it’s a size six, the other end is tapered and is used to pry the mixing tray and the half pans out of their position. It’s really an adorable palette.
|Click to Enlarge|
The colors included are:
- Chinese White PW4
- Payne’s Grey PB6/PV19
- Yellow Ochre PY42
- Burnt Sienna PR101/PBk11
- Viridian PG 7
- Sap Green PY29/PG7
- Ultramarine Deep PB29
- Cerulean Blue PB15/PW6
- Madder Lake Deep PR264
- Perm. Red Light PR254
- Perm. Lemon Yellow PY184
- Azo Yellow Med PY154/PO62
As you can see in the swatches, the colors are bright and vibrant, surprisingly so for student watercolors. I can see a slight difference when I compare these swatches to my Artist quality paint but I have to admit, it’s slight. I’d say they have a little less depth and saturation, but as I said, not much. Let’s see how they are to paint with. Oh, the swatches were done in my Stillman & Birn Beta soft cover sketchbook. The comparison paintings were done on Arches 300gsm hot pressed paper. In fact, I cut one piece of paper in half so it was the same piece of paper too!
Now let’s get painting a pair of pears!
The first painting is the one using the Van Gogh watercolors. I used the Madder Lake, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, Azo Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Sap Green, Viridian, Yellow Ochre and Payne’s Grey. So, all but three colors were used.
|Van Gogh Pear (Click to Enlarge)|
I was thrilled to see how well these paints performed. Yes, I did have to work against a little ashiness. I pretty much conquered that problem by glazing problem areas with the lemon yellow or a mix of sap and lemon. I found when I used the ultramarine or the Payne’s over the green would add a little bit of dullness. You can see remnants of this on the right lower side where I decided adding yet another layer of paint to battle the ashiness back was ill-advised.
Now for the Professional Watercolors. I use nearly the exact same colors as were in the Van Gogh set. I had to substitute the Madder Lake for Alizarin Crimson and instead of lemon yellow I used Schmincke’s Pure Yellow. Other than that, the colors are nearly identical.
|Professional watercolor Pear (Click to Enlarge)|
Ok, yes I can see a slight difference. The professional watercolors (Schmincke, Daniel Smith, Winsor & Newton) are cleaner and brighter. BUT… seriously, there isn’t that much of a difference! I noticed a difference but for any beginner I would whole heartedly recommend these paints. That’s a 180 degree turn from what I would have said a week ago. I believe that saddling a student with sub-par supplies just sets them up for failure. But this set of 12 Van Gogh Watercolors (18 half pan set) is truly beautiful. The colors re-wet well, they’re vibrant and lay down well. As a student learns they can upgrade but until then this set truly does fit the bill. I’m thrilled to be able to say that.
The only negative I can see with this palette is that the half pans can too easily come out of their position. If one were to drop one’s palette or push it inadvertently onto the floor while using it there would be pans of paint everywhere. This is a minor thing though as I fixed it with tiny pieces of double sided tape on the bottom of each half pan. I’m sure I’ll have to pry them out when I want to change a color but I don’t think it’s much of a problem in the long run. *Please note that W&N half pans are smaller than most other half pans you CANNOT switch them out for other half pans, you have to use W&N half pans.*
Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think of Van Gogh paints. Do you agree that students should start with good quality supplies or is it ok to save money and practice with anything?
Dreading: A very busy week!
Dreaming: About winning lots of money to I can go art supply shopping!
Planning: To review Toned Paper sketchbooks. Several companies have agreed to participate.
Purchasing: Dip pens & ink (hopefully!)