Watercolour Paints
This page contains details of the paints, watercolour pallets along with the colours I use in my watercolour paintings.
I have only used the Winsor & Newton Artists Range (which I have yet to find fault with and highly recommend) and as there is a wide range of watercolour paints available from different manufacturers, which as I haven't used, it would be unfair to pass comment.
Winsor & Newton Artist Quality Watercolour Paints

Winsor & Newton has, for a long time, been the standard for which most watercolour paints are judged and is the brand I would recommend to other artists. The Winsor & Newton's range of 'Artists' quality paints is widely reputed to be the highest quality brand of watercolour paint you can buy. They are also readily available in art shops that stock Winsor & Newton products or via mail order and the Internet.

The complete range of colours (about 90) is I think the most comprehensive of the brands available. Winsor & Newton pigments are amongst the most saturated watercolour paints available.

The paint (from a tube) has a uniformly dense, cream like texture and a little paint goes a long way while 'some' colour's within the range can stain more than other brands. On paper the dried colours are bright and clear from deep transparent darks to faint tints and where applicable transparency is superb (note: not all colours are).

The paint tubes are made from metal, the only problem encountered, be it small, is when paint is left to dry on the screw thread, the hard plastic cap sticks. Wiping the paint tube thread with a tissue or cloth before closing the cap helps. I recommend tubes over pans for a number of reasons. The main ones being: more cost effective in the long run, easy to refresh, the paint is wet to start (less damage to brush), easy to add/remove colours from the range you use.

You 'do not' need every colour in the range. But a 'select few' from the range which will be dictated by the subject matter that you paint e.g. someone painting flowers (more reds, violets, greens) to someone painting landscapes (more browns, blues, yellows).


Shown right is the range of colours I use daily, some additions are made for marine paintings, as some of the modern brightly painted boats and buoy colours cannot be reproduced from my stock range. A Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paint colour chart, (from stockists) gives full details of light fastness, staining, tube/pan sizes available, etc for of each of the colours.

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I use two paint pallets for watercolour painting. The first is a metal one and the second a plastic one. Both are filled as required from 14ml tubes of watercolour paint. The metal pallets range in price and can take either 1/2 pan or whole pans.

Should you wish to purchase a pallet the first objective is to work out the number of colours you wish it to hold (usually it's more colours equals bigger pallet therefore more expensive), secondly how much of a mixing area do you require (they vary in size and arrangement), do you need it attached to the pallet or can you use something else, for example a white plate.

The mixing of the paint (before being applied to the paper) is done on a large white plate or the wells on the metal pallet. A plate is very easy to keep clean (being wiped clean with a paper towel) so that subsequent washes are clean. Alternatives to a plate are the wide variety of mixing trays available from art shops etc.

The colours I use are all from the Winsor & Newton Artist range. I buy the 14ml size tubes which working daily (depending on colour) last from months to years, so the paint goes a long way.

The colours I use are:
Cadmium Red,
Cobalt Blue,
Indian Yellow,
Raw Sienna,
Burnt Sienna,
Cadmium Yellow,
Cobalt Violet,
Lemon Yellow,
Yellow Ochre,
Cadmium Orange,
Cerulean Blue,
French Ultramarine,
Naples Yellow.