Articles, Blog

My Top 10 Favorite Watercolor Brands | Professional & Student Grade Recommendations

November 5, 2019


[Music] Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the channel. Today we are finally going to be taking a look at my Top 10 Favorite Watercolor Brands. Now, the format for this video has flip-flopped a bunch of times, and that is part of the reason why it is coming to you a little bit later than planned. It is that I haven’t been able to decide on the way I want to present these watercolor brands to you. Originally, my plan was to do a Top 5 Favorite Professional Watercolors and a Top 5 Favorite Student Watercolor segments into one video for you. But the more and more that I looked at my paint, the more of the professional brands that I wanted to be able to include In my list, and I realized that I actually didn’t have enough favorites in the student watercolor category to go ahead and round out this list. So, instead, what I’ve done is I’ve broken it down into a Top 3 of my favorite student watercolor paints and affordable watercolor paints in one list, and then I also have a separate Top 7 for my professional watercolor favorites. I do want to go ahead and mention that if you are new to the channel, or new to this series, that this is just my personal preference for my watercolors. This whole series is based around the things that I like and being able to share those with you, so it by no means means that these are the best or only brands of paints that I can use, and if I didn’t mention a brand here that it means that it’s not good, because everyone has their own personal preferences, and throughout this video I’m going to tell you a little bit about why each of these made my Top 10 list. So, even given everything that I just told you about narrowing it down and having this Top 3 and Top 7 list, I still had one brand of paint that didn’t really fit the mold of either of these categories that I did want to include in this list. So, as an honorable mention as we move into student brands of watercolor paint, I want to go ahead and feature Schmincke Akademie. Now, this is a student brand of watercolor paints, and they are my favorite student brand of watercolor paints that I have used so far. “So, Denise, why aren’t they in your number one spot for this category?” Well, the reason for that is I am a California-based artist, and these paints are almost impossible to find here in the United States. You can sometimes find them on eBay, but they are by no means affordable when you do that. I got my set on Jackson’s, I believe, when they were running a Christmas sale, so if you’re able to pick them up in that fashion, or if you are in Europe, and these are commonly available to you, I would absolutely recommend this brand of paint. However, if you have to pay an arm and a leg for it, I don’t want you feeling like I’m recommending this to you and that you have to go out of your way to acquire it. So, officially moving on to my favorite and recommended brands of student and affordable watercolor paints, in number three is the Grumbacher Academy. Now, again, this list is me being based out of California, and just the paints that I have experience working with. These paints are really, really ubiquitous, and you can find them in just about any art store here, at least in my area of the United States. They’re very, very affordable, and they come in tubes. So, if you are looking to start with your watercolor journey and want a little bit of an upgrade from a Cotman set, or a Prang, or maybe Reeves, or something like that, I think these are a really good buy. Now, there are some cracking issues, and they don’t sit beautifully in your pan, and it varies a lot based on the specific paint, some of them are more juicy than others, but, all in all, I think this is a really great brand to start off with. There might be some issues with some brighteners in the paints, but that also means that they’re very, very vivid. And as long as lightfastness isn’t at the top of your importance list, these, I think, could be a really great addition to your collection. Moving into our number two spot, I have the Van Gogh watercolors. Now these watercolors are made by the Royal Talens company, which is the same company that has Rembrandt watercolor paints. The Van Gogh line is not super common in the United States, but you can still find it on our web sites in tubes for very, very reasonable prices, and from my understanding, and my brief experience, when I took a trip over to Budapest, is that they are pretty ubiquitous in Europe. I was able to pick up some pans for myself, and instantly I knew that I loved these watercolor paints. The vibrancy, and the re-wet-ability, and the flow on the paper just felt so much better to me than the Cotman watercolor paints, and if you’d like to see a comparison directly with these two brands of paints, I’ll put a link in the description below, so you can go ahead and check that out. But these are a very, very highly recommended brand of paint, in my opinion, for people who are just starting off with watercolors. So, if Van Gogh and Schmincke Akademie are my favorite brands of student watercolor paints, what on earth did I put in the number one spot? Well, that would be White Nights. Now, please, don’t get mad at me, hear me out before you go ahead and tell me, “Denise, wait! Those are professional watercolors!” I know! I know they are professional watercolors. The reason I put them in this category is because the price is so comparable to the other watercolors in the student grade area that I wanted to go ahead and put this option in there that if you are looking in this price range specifically because you need affordable paints, I would recommend looking into these White Nights as well. You can find these paints very, very commonly throughout Europe, and, in the U.S., we have availability with sets and some places even sell open stock. I have a full review that I just did here on the channel, and I had so much fun painting with them. There are a couple of things that you’ll want to keep in mind with the White Nights, like if you buy the entire sets that some of the colors, particularly in the warm range of yellows, oranges, and reds, are quite opaque, and some of them also have some lightfastness issues. But, if you are specifically hand-picking out colors open stock, like I did, you can absolutely ensure that you have a lightfast, beautiful, artist quality pigments at a very affordable price. All right, everyone, so we are going to be moving into my top seven favorite brands of professional watercolor paints, and this list was really difficult to put together for me, because I realized that I actually sincerely enjoy working with a very wide range of brands. So, in order to help me narrow this down, rather than say, like, “Oh, what’s my favorite watercolor paint?” because it’s such an open-ended question, and can vary on so many different things, I went ahead and instead asked myself, “If I could only paint with one brand of watercolors for the rest of my life, which brand would I pick?” So this list is going to be answering that question from my number seven answer to my number one answer, and, I should have mentioned this at the top of the video, but, if you want more information on any of these brands, I have reviews on each of them, so, please, go ahead and check description for more information. Coming in at number seven is QoR Watercolors by Golden. Now, this is the only brand of watercolor paints on this list that does not use the traditional gum arabic binder. They use their own, called Aquazol, which makes them handle just a little bit differently. So, here, I’m swatching out the paint and starting with the water from the back end of the swatch all the way to the front so you can see how much this paint jumps and leaps across the page. Now, the reason this beautiful, vibrant, luscious brand of paint is in my number one [sic] spot instead of higher up on the list is because, if I was only working with one brand of paint for the rest of my life, I might want something a little bit more predictable. But this brand is so much fun to play with and to work with, in my opinion, I know there’s some people who don’t like this loose flow, and, if you are someone who wants controlled watercolors, I cannot recommend this brand to you, but if you love that reckless abandon, free watercolor flow that just jumps across the page and creates big beautiful washes, this might be the brand for you. Coming in at number six is Sennelier. And this one was actually kind of a last-minute add when I really, really thought about this question of, “If I had to only paint with one brand,” yes, Sennelier would be on that list, but it’s not up a little bit higher only because, even though these are a really beautiful brand of paint, I don’t find myself reaching for them right away. There are many other brands that I reach for before I reach for this one, and I’m not sure why that is. These are paints that really benefit from layering them, rather than putting down one coat and being done with it so, if you like doing your paintings in layers, which I do, I would recommend this brand of paint. Another reason why it is lower down on my list is that their earth tones are really, really weak, in my opinion, and because I paint so many animals and love my earth tones so much, it does make it harder for me to put this higher up on the list. Overall, Sennelier is a beautiful, delicate watercolor that I know suits floral painters really well, and, if you are someone who might benefit from the ability to glaze lots of layers on top of each other, and build really luminous paintings, then this might be a good brand for you. Now, officially, moving into our top five list in number five is Mission Gold. Now, this is a brand that I wasn’t quite sure where to place on my list, but, as I thought about it, I knew that it needed to be somewhere in the top. This is a brand that I really, really enjoy. I think it was the first set of watercolors I purchased. I got the 36 set of these 7 mL tubes, and they are so vibrant and beautiful to work with. Unlike QoR, though, which is also beautifully vibrant, the Mission Gold does not have a synthetic ox gall in it, or ox gall at all, so it’s really going to stay where you put it on your paper. And there are some watercolorists who do not like it when the pigment stays and doesn’t really flow too much, but, especially for new painters who might not like the unpredictability of a lot of watercolors that kind of jump across the page, a paint like Mission Gold might be really helpful to get you started, so that you know where you are putting your paint is kind of where it’s going to stay. The colors, as I mentioned, are incredibly vibrant. They’re not highly granulating, which is another factor that I think a lot of early-on watercolorists really enjoy, I know I did, and it wasn’t until later that I really started appreciating more of the granulating colors. In the United States, you can pick up predetermined sets of these watercolors for very affordable prices on places like Amazon, which I will put some links of in the description for you, and open stock is a little bit trickier, a lot more expensive, but Jackson’s Art did just start carrying them where you can find them affordably priced. One area that this brand of paint does lose a couple of points in, once again, is their earth tone range, which I am not a huge fan of. I do love their Burnt Umber, but their Burnt Sienna is basically useless. Although they do have a couple of really great colors, including Permanent Brown, which is the first color on this swatch, as well as their Van Dyke Brown which is made from a PBr7. [Correction: they call “Permanent Brown” Red Brown (PBr25).] Coming in at number four is a smaller watercolor company based out of California, actually, which makes me pretty happy, and they are called Da Vinci. Da Vinci Watercolors might not be as ubiquitous as some of the other ones, but I really, really love the way that these paints handle. They are predictable, vibrant, the colors that are supposed to granulate do granulate, and they’re just a joy to work with overall. Their company also gets major kudo points, in my book, for having a wonderful customer service, and I have had nothing but good interactions with this company. These paints do dry a little bit harder than I prefer in the pans, but with a tiny, little spritz of water they’re going to reactivate just beautifully for you. Unlike the previous brands that we have looked at, the earth tones in this selection are absolutely gorgeous, and I really, really enjoy working with them, so much in fact that their Burnt Sienna just made its way onto my permanent palette in my Burnt Sienna spot. Coming in at number three, and possibly a little bit lower than some of you might have expected from me, is Schmincke Horadam. I really love these watercolors quite a lot. They are beautiful to re-wet out of the pan. The company uses the same formula both in their pans and in their tubes, so there’s no gimmick about having to purchase one over the other, or not being able to replace one over the other, and I just find them such a joy to work with. They are a little bit different than the other paints that I do typically tend to favor, in that they are a little bit less vibrant on their first pass, however, they are one of those paints that is beautiful when you start glazing them and layering them together, and they just have a gorgeous, soft range of colors that is just dreamy to work with. In addition to being slightly less vibrant than some of the other watercolor brands that I prefer to favor, these are quite unaffordable for me, so, going back to the question of, “If I could only paint with one brand of paint for the rest of my life, what would it be?” These ones do rank a little bit lower because I would be able to afford so much less paint than I would to use some other brands. However, if I lived in Germany, perhaps, and this paint was at my back door, there is no question that this would be one of my favorite brands to paint to paint with and use on a regular basis. So, if you’ve been around the channel for a while you probably already know my number one spot, but, with Schmincke at number three, what is my number two? Well, we’re gonna turn back to the west coast of the United States to find the M. Graham Watercolors. This company is one of the first major, professional brands of watercolors that I reviewed here on the channel, and they are based out of Oregon. They are a smaller watercolor company, and I’m not sure how available they are outside of the United States, but they are beautiful paints to work with. They are incredibly affordable here in the United States, and they have amazing customer service to boot. I love everything about this paint, from their incredibly high pigment payoff, to the fact that they have honey in them, so, when they are in their pans, they don’t fully set up, and they are incredibly easy to re-wet. Some people may not like that about the M. Grahams, because, if you are in a tropical or humid environment, it means that they don’t travel as well, since they don’t set up, but here in arid regions of California, that means that they are completely, at a moment’s notice, easy to re-wet out of the pans. So, you probably don’t even need me to tell you what my number one choice is, but, for formality’s sake, my favorite watercolor brand is Daniel Smith. Now, I find myself incredibly lucky because, in addition to M. Graham and Da Vinci, Daniel Smith is also relatively local, being based out of Seattle, which is also on the west coast of the United States. They are a little bit pricier than some of the other brands on this list, but, here, in my area, they are still very much affordable with the other professional lines of paint. They’re actually even cheaper than Winsor & Newton. I know that a lot of people think that Daniel Smith is over-hyped, and, while that might be true for some people’s painting styles, I find that their paints work so well with how I paint, they flow the absolute perfect amount, like, not too much, not too little, the colors are vibrant, and beautiful, and the longer I go on painting, the more I appreciate the gorgeous textures that are found in Daniel Smith watercolors. I do agree that having over 250 colors in the line is a little bit excessive, but, if I am picking a brand to use for the rest of my life, I’d rather have too many choices than not enough, and, even though I won’t find myself ever using, like, the duochrome colors or the iridescent colors, the range of pigments that they have for me to choose from in all of their other categories are just absolutely gorgeous. They also house, of course, the PrimaTek Watercolors, which I don’t use often, but it’s nice to have those there, and I find that their earth tones are absolutely stunning across their entire range. So, that is going to do it for my Top 10 Favorite Watercolor Brands, with maybe a little bit of fudging here or there, and I hope that this list was useful. Again, this isn’t meant to be recommendations for every single painter, but I just wanted to share some of my insights about the paints that I like to use based on the subjects that I paint. There is one more brand of paint that I do want to mention in this video. It doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the format, as they have a limited range of colors, being that they produce only earth tones, but I’m going to give a shout out to the Colors of Nature Vegan Watercolors here. They have a gorgeous range of earth tones that I have featured here on the channel in other videos, and they have offered to do something really, really special for us. If you haven’t already noticed, I just hit 15,000 subscribers, which is insane and awesome, and I absolutely love you all for your support. Based on all of your responses to the review that I did, and how much you all seem to enjoy their paints and the little mini giveaway that I did here on the channel by myself, they offered to go ahead and supply a baker’s dozen of watercolors as a prize for another giveaway here on the channel. I asked if we could hold off until my 15k giveaway, and they very kindly obliged to do that. So, to celebrate reaching 15,000 subscribers here on the channel, as well as featuring some of my favorite specialty watercolors, they are going to be giving away a baker’s dozen, so, that’s 13, of their watercolors to one of my viewers. This is an international giveaway, and they’re going to drop-ship the baker’s dozen of paints to anyone anywhere in the world. They are shipping out of Canada, so they can only offer tracking within Canada, but they have agreed to go ahead and send those out for us. So I want to give a huge, huge thank you to Colors of Nature, in addition to all of you amazing people who are helping support this channel. And, if you would like to go ahead and enter that giveaway, make sure you are subscribed to this channel, go ahead and give the video a like, and I’d like you to comment below with what your favorite video of mine has been over the course of the channel. I can’t wait to hear what all of you have to say about your favorite videos here on the channel, so, I can continue making more content that you are going to enjoy, focused on your favorite types of things. Also, real quickly, before I go, right before I started recording the audio for this video, we got our final pledge to push us over our $500 goal on Patreon, which means that the Color Spotlight series is going to be returning to the channel. So, I want to thank all of my incredible patrons for their support over on Patreon. They are going to get to vote on the colors that I am going to be highlighting in the Color Spotlight series, and I want you to go ahead and keep an eye out for that starting around the beginning of April. This has been a huge, emotional week, hitting both the 15k milestone here on YouTube, as well as the $500 goal on Patreon to help make this more of my permanent job. I couldn’t be more appreciative. I’m so, so, so excited for what is going to be coming up. So, thank you guys for watching. I will see you in the next video, and, until next time, happy painting. [Music]

100 Comments

  • Reply Alexpro 18 August 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    ?

  • Reply EunBin Taerin August 9, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    All of the watercolors that are mention in the video sell in my country (online) cost more than 100

  • Reply Prasi laa August 14, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Will i get any of these in India??????,????

  • Reply Elizabeth Eddy August 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks Denise! Could u tell me if it’s expensive shipping from Jackson’s??? I’ve never heard of them?! Lol! I’ve been addicted to cardmaking videos lately. Lol But bought the mission gold awhile back when I decided I’d give watercolor a try! Thank you again! Liz?

  • Reply Milana Thomas August 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    i personally think the grumbacher academy paints are a huge downgrade from cotman. i've found my experience with cotman rather pleasant, since i think their only issue is the vibrancy. the grumbachers are too chalky for my taste.

  • Reply Safia Kabiri August 21, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    I don't think you'll answer me, but what did you get your schminke akademie for (price)?

  • Reply Debra Moss August 23, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    M. Graham girl here, too, DS's range is hard to beat!

  • Reply Jewell Dean Herbrandson-Stokes August 24, 2018 at 3:10 am

    And I’ve been watching you now for a year it’s amazing I love your reviews they are precise and you seem to dig in the plea to what is important to those of us who are starting out so I just want to appreciate and I’m so glad you’re making your goals and I will be interested in this nature color because I like all the earth colors when I paint since I’m a landscaper up artist although I’m trying to broaden my base thank you I appreciate your in-depth

  • Reply linda robinson August 27, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Thank you for explaining why you like the pain brands.

  • Reply T-Zay August 28, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    I'm liking #7 professional

  • Reply Ergastiri Petra August 31, 2018 at 8:52 am

    this video is really really helpful…thank you

  • Reply Grapieuwu c: September 1, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I came back here to say that I've watched this video for like, 20 times xD I'm never bored of it

  • Reply Blue Mountain September 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    What is it you don’t like about Windsor and Newton? Are they not a good brand?

  • Reply Zimrian Zimrian September 12, 2018 at 5:17 am

    I'm really enjoying your videos. <(^_^)>

  • Reply Manali September 18, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    What do you use for mic..?? Voiceover?

  • Reply bybesy September 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Good to know, that White Nights Watercolors are for professional? I got them from my grandma (the 30 years old ones)

  • Reply Artisticbreeze September 22, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Huge congratulations! Yay! I'm so happy for you.
    I love all your animals and I also love all the information you provide us like this.
    Hugs and happiness,
    Briana C. ??

  • Reply Weedus September 24, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Winsor and Newton Profesional is very decent Watercolor too,i use them together with Schmincke and a few white Nights ( Russian Green PG8 is amazing i think,and their Cobalt Blue is so affordable)

  • Reply Renee L. Marks September 27, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    You made me smile! I have had the exact same dilemma, trying to have a favorite brand. Every time I think I have it I cannot leave out a favorite pigment from another brand. I love something about all the brands. As for a least favorite artist grade, Id rule out M Graham for me simply because they have lousy selection of cool reds and pinks that look slightly dirty to me once dried. Excellent Choice! I love Daniel Smith also. My only pet peeve with them is that they use cheap caps that easily split open. I have had over two dozen caps split and leak all over within a 6 month period. If they upgraded their splitting caps. But I dumped the cap-less tubes into cute little dishes and I have an amazing set of huge pans of Daniel Smith watercolors.

  • Reply Moadja Hendriks October 1, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    So i live in The Netherlands… and i ordered a 12 tubes set of 10ml Van Gogh… for 10 euro's!!! (11.60 USD) Yay me!

  • Reply Betty Chen October 10, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    you can get shminke watercolors on amazon

  • Reply Sonya Pina October 20, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Are u going to review Dan Smith half pans that just came out? Please!!!!!!! I ordered some on Blicks website. I hope too get them soon.

    The only professional watercolor paints I have available in Wichita Kansas are Winsor Newton. But they always go on sale at Michaels and Hobby lobby. I like Cotman but switched to the WN professional half pans (never used watercolor tubes from them) since I can buy them here one at a time and with coupons. I notice you never recommend them though. I LOVE M Graham I only buy one tube at a time since they are so expensive. I want to try the sets they have. Those are more expensive for me because of shipping ext. I need opaque paint I can put in pans that don't get hard which is why I like Graham's watercolors. I bought Grumbacher and Jane Davenport once but hated them and donated them to a local middle School art teacher. I just don't have access to so many brands like you to try out. Basically it isn't worth it for me.

  • Reply Susan Filer October 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Really enjoy all of your videos and look forward to the next. I got a lot out of the Daniel Smith full range dot card swatch as these paints are expensive here in Australia and it was good to see the colours ‘live’ before ordering some extra colours.

  • Reply Chilly Studios October 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    This was very useful. I loved how you highlighted how each type of watercolor is different and how it could be useful in certain cases but perhaps not in others. I have pretty much only used Cotman in my very short watercolor journey and it is so helpful to know the properties of these different brands. Being a noob seeing so many brands out there can be pretty daunting.

  • Reply Crafty Tamara October 31, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    I have added almost all your videos to my watch later list so I can watch them one after the other. Thanks! Do you know if some of these companies have free samples to try out. My budget is extremely tight but I am dying to have a high quality set instead of just using crayola. I want to know which brand would suit me best before investing a lot of money.

  • Reply annette fournier November 1, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Great Denise ! QUESTION: when ordering from Jackson's, do import taxes negate the good price on their US website pricing? It is prohibitive if customs charges inflate the overall price.

  • Reply TheDemethar November 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    you are so lucky to have daniel smith paints dealers nearby 🙂

  • Reply Kat Skinner Art November 15, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Wow Denise this video was SO incredibly helpful. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I am a professional artist working mostly in watercolor, and I’ve only ever used one brand (Daniel Smith). After years, I am thinking of splashing out and trying other brands. Not because I’m unhappy with DS, I just have some extra cash and want to experiment a bit. Your video has been so helpful to me. I was thinking QoR tubes, but I paint in a controlled style and didn’t realise it flowed so easily. I would have wasted all that money! Thank you!
    I really appreciate how you mentioned your preference for brands you can easily get ahold of. That obviously will have bias for your own needs. And yet you still talked about brands that were not so readily available in USA. I am an Aussie now living in the Middle East, and my choice now is non-existent. I have to definitely ship products, and thankfully it is possible to do more easily now. If someone can’t ship direct from a company, or its expensive, they should look up Forward Shipping companies. They are so much cheaper for shipping internationally, usually with a courier too! They have been my salvation, and could really help others get access to quality products.
    And thank you!

  • Reply aartadventure November 20, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Once you try Holbein watercolours, you'll have to change your top 3 🙂

  • Reply shirley arcuino November 24, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Schminke akademie

    Grumbacher
    Van gogh
    White nights

    qor
    Sennelier
    Mission gold
    Da vinci
    Schminke
    M.graham
    ds

  • Reply ce ce November 25, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    i live in germany and I have never ever seen schmincke in stores lol

  • Reply Sandi Riemann November 27, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    RATS!!!!………………. March!!!

  • Reply teenamarie23art November 29, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Great video

  • Reply Nat Ford November 29, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    My favourite video of yours is the one about your favourite brushes.

  • Reply Pipsa R November 29, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    White Nights are the best watercolors I have ever painted with so thumbs up

  • Reply DiMoNico1981Swe December 3, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Nice video =) Have you seen Art from Swedish Artist call "Lars Lerin?? :=)

  • Reply Awenda December 7, 2018 at 4:32 am

    I heard the full list for Daniel smith was $30.00. Now I’m really turned off of him forever.

  • Reply kotugirl Weerasekare December 12, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you very much for this and it's so well structured too! I just watched another persons hour long beginners palette video that sent me reeling…So I'm a brand new SUB 🙂
    Could you do a list of 12 single pigment beginners palette from DANIEL SMITH please, with which we could mix up the most range of other colours please?
    Thank you so much!

  • Reply Alessandro Di Sciascio December 17, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Would the following be a correct statement: Assuming that the relatively insignificant (well compared to buying individual tubes of M Graham or DS anyway) price difference isn't a concern I'd recommend a beginner buy a set of 24 Mission Gold over Smincke's Akademy set of 12? Or if that makes the comparison more fair (though for $10 more I'd definitely buy the 24 rather than 12) would "12 set of 7ml mission gold > 12 set of Akademie" be an agreeable statement?

  • Reply Paige Hermann December 20, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I was wondering what the difference is between Professional paints and Student paints. Is it the pigments? Are they harder to work with? Please, someone help!! :0

  • Reply Amira December 21, 2018 at 4:01 am

    I enjoyed this video so much! I'm curious though where would you put White Nights in the professional grade category?

  • Reply peachyy December 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    What about the Winsor and Newton watercolours? ;-

  • Reply Cris ARTS December 22, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Why so expensive?!
    Here in the Philippines its so friggin expensive

  • Reply Jessica Rainal December 23, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I'm a beginner but I've been saving up for the one nice watercolor set. My top two choices are between Sennelier and Holbein ( 24 half pans/tubes). Would you have a recommendation for the same since I'm absolutely confused

  • Reply RenTen January 3, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful list, Denise! 😀 there are so many wonderful paints to try!! Anyway, my favorite video of yours (that I have seen so far) is actually TWO videos. I have watched and re-watched part one and two of your Daniel Smith swatching videos. Because lately I have been obsessed with learning as much as I can about Daniel Smith paints.

  • Reply vhalix January 4, 2019 at 4:32 am

    im, like almost a year late but schmincke is sold on dickblicks, however its like 250 for a set of 12

  • Reply Adie Elizabeth January 8, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I love the color spotlight series!

  • Reply Watercolors by Allan Jay Quesada January 9, 2019 at 11:49 am

    I have watched this video. Dozen times. And i am still wondering why Winsor and Newton Pro did not make it. Haha. Not that I am a fan of it, but i am just surprised because always see w and n in fvorites of other artists especilly artists from US. ?

  • Reply Stephen Bailey January 16, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Could you please tell me what GORGEOUS yellow color you’re using is at 15:05

  • Reply qaz wsx January 17, 2019 at 2:46 am

    have you ever used art spectrum watercolours and if you have are they any good??

  • Reply Daphinie C January 17, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I really enjoy coming back to this video to watch how each brand behaves before I go shopping so thank you! Also, this will be a little macabre but I’ve been on a serious quest for the perfect ‘fresh blood red’ and that Da Vinci Quinachronome Red looks so promising! ❤️

  • Reply Shiloh Arnett January 20, 2019 at 12:21 am

    because i have really limited funds, i have to keep myself to a very small palette. it took a lot of deliberating, but i finally have a permanent palette of 6 – five of which are Daniel Smith, and one is Winsor and Newton because i'm just a big fan of Winsor Yellow. the other colors I have are Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Gold, Anthraquanoid Scarlet, Quinacridone Rose, Ultramarine Blue, and Prussian Blue. I'd be interested in replacing Winsor Yellow with a similar DS color, but I have to order online or go to Chicago to pick them up. But I also really love painting animals and nature, so with what I have, I can usually mix exactly what I need, and they layer up so nicely that I've had no complaints since I started using them.

  • Reply mjpete27 January 30, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    You always give such good commentary on your videos I enjoy listening to you, your well informed and easy to understand. I may disagree with your opinion but I feel that I can respect your process and see how you came to your conclusion. Thank you for posting such wonderful content, Please continue to share your art journey with us and Thanks!

  • Reply 1827 Handmade January 31, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    What a fantastic video, thank you so much! What is the dispersion/whooshing like of the white nights? Thanks!

  • Reply JG Alegria February 2, 2019 at 4:17 am

    So where did you rank Winsor & Newton? Most of the brands you reviewed are not available in Australia, except for VanGogh

  • Reply ladeirose S February 4, 2019 at 7:24 am

    They are very pricey (Daniel Smith) and I actually find them hard to work with. Not my favorite, but probably perfect for you.

  • Reply Marsden MSP February 9, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    My first video of your channel and I've learned so much already.

  • Reply Ifra sketches February 10, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    This video was great! I've been painting with watercolours for around 2 years and I think I'm ready to upgrade from my cotman set. Do you have a recommendation for a relatively cheap but professional brand?

  • Reply Marianne February 12, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    First time seeing your video…very helpful as I needed help in deciding on brand and colours! Thanks much!

  • Reply Lonita Fraser February 18, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Just out of curiosity, in the area of non-traditional binders, do you know any other paints than the Kuretake Gansai that use hide glue as a binder?

  • Reply Kelli Kline February 20, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Yo does anyone know what that senellier green is called cause that is the prettiest green I have ever seen.

  • Reply Kelli Kline February 20, 2019 at 1:40 am

    I was today years old when I discovered that I live 20 minutes from the Daniel smith store

  • Reply Tony Richengod February 21, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Great video. I found Schminke to be my favorite because of how well and evenly they flow. And I'll guess that left Holbein out because of affordability?

  • Reply Hằng Phan February 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    What about winsor and newton and holbein i think that holbein is better than mission gold

  • Reply Teresa Zimmermann February 23, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Excelente vídeo. Algumas marcas eu não conhecia. Aqui no Brasil temos alguma dificuldade em encontrar algumas delas. Obrigada pelas explicações. Abraço.

  • Reply Machine Fack February 25, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Cool video, thanks. I have a question for anyone that may know. Can I mix grumbacher artist finest watercolors with grumbacher academy. I don't mean use the two in the same painting I mean literally mix them to create more colors? I scored some artist finest for cheap(2 bucks a tube) but it's only 11 colors and I have many academy tubes so it'd be nice if mixing the two could work out fine. I'll have the 3 primaries in artist finest so I reckon I could use those to mix anything I want but I'm not really good at that yet and don't want to waste them. Thanks to anyone that can help.

  • Reply tascha _designing31 March 8, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Since this is the first video of yours I've ever seen, this will have to be my favorite. But I really enjoyed your take on all these brands. I'm very new to watercolor and only have a very (very) cheap set from a craft store, but since they are so cheap I felt free to let my children play with them too and now they are almost gone… I've been watching paint reviews from watercolorists to see what step-up brand I might get next, so thank you for such an in-depth discussion of your most favorite brands!!

  • Reply Jennifer Wells March 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    New sub, new to watercolors. This has been my favorite video. I didn't realize how differently the different brands behave. Now I understand why I've been frustrated with the sennelier and white nights brands–what I really wanted was Qor for movement in my abstract paintings. So, thank you for being the first expert to review these qualities and clue me in to that difference. I'm shopping for Qor now! Great review!

  • Reply Никол March 16, 2019 at 11:20 am

    One question, it's good to mix diffrent brand of watercolors? I mean, make my own pallet with 3 (for example) diffrend brands of wathercolor. Do they mix well and work well together? Because I tried and the watercolors that I mixed up didn't worked really well. Searching I discovered that one brand of watercors can make you diffrent tones and mixtures of colors, for example Sennelier makes earthy tones.

  • Reply gryaj March 16, 2019 at 11:45 am

    omg. i have been saying “se nil yer” in my whole entire life and no one’s been correcting me

  • Reply Jade Schafer March 18, 2019 at 1:13 am

    For the cracking issue, I mix a small dot of honey with my paint before it dries, it keeps then nice and juicy and makes them flow a lot easier

  • Reply C March 19, 2019 at 5:35 am

    What does light fastness mean?

  • Reply Cajun Sunshine Crafts March 21, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Denise… I know you must have TONS of questions to answer but I am a VERY small you tuber with a wide variety of watercolors minus M. Graham and Daniel Smith and was wondering if you can answer a (fairly) simple one. What tubes of DS would you recommend for someone who has none, must haves for someone just starting a collection. Same with M. Graham… or can you steer me to one of your videos? I've looked but you have so many I thought that I would just ask… Thank you and Thank you for being such an inspiration! I'm sure you hear this alot but not only about WCs but also animal facts and such! Your passion really shines through. 🙂 PS.. I would like to start with 12 colors of the Daniel Smith tubes first… 😉

  • Reply In Liquid Color March 29, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I updated this list for 2019! https://youtu.be/h0k4LVZkRzk

  • Reply Stephen J March 30, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    I love Daniel smith but totally ADORE Mgraham paints

  • Reply Kathleen Schaubhut March 31, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Great video and helpful, as I am looking for watercolors. Your information was very helpful. Thanks

  • Reply Marjorie Johnson April 11, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Agree with every thing but van Gogh..dont like them at all. Other than that Every thing that you review is spot on.

  • Reply Tiago D'Agostini April 25, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Sorry to inform you but horadam is expensive even in germany 😛

  • Reply MR PEEVES May 1, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    I am a cotman artist myself. I just can't see myself using any other brand. Very underrated watercolours. Seems to be a backlash on cotmans nowadays.

  • Reply Thomas Spiroch May 1, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    The m.graham and davinci colors are really beautiful but in europe really hard or more impossible to get… only online to buy ?

  • Reply Leslie Cox May 3, 2019 at 8:04 am

    This one is my favorite:)

  • Reply Maricela Hinojosa May 10, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Denise, I am learning so much about the different paints. I recently discovered your channel and I'm a big fan. I am super new to watercolors and looking to upgrade from what I am currently using and this is helping make my decision. Still torn between QOR and MGraham.

  • Reply Johanne Rémillard June 2, 2019 at 12:32 am

    I love all your reviews, thank you for all that great work it’s very helpful ???

  • Reply Shane Marris June 3, 2019 at 12:46 am

    What watercolor paper did you use?

  • Reply Bev V June 23, 2019 at 12:31 am

    I love Daniel Smith watercolors. I would say 90% of my watercolors are Daniel Smith. BUT their lids suck big time! After a while, it’s often impossible to get them screwed back onto the tubes straight. Grrrrr!

  • Reply Jessica Sanders June 26, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    I may have to get the Schminke just for that tin!!!❤?

  • Reply Very Okay June 27, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Subscribing bc the watercolor king Steve stans

  • Reply Blizy Art July 7, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    what paper you use ?

  • Reply Puffy Jo July 10, 2019 at 9:15 am

    what a shame I was excited to a canadian company for watercolors and poof as of june of this year , they are closed down =( whaaaaa

  • Reply maritza machuca August 2, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    when you blend 2 animals into one

  • Reply willie cheng August 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks …what do you think of this study: http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/pigmt2.html#doak

  • Reply Faze Arpit September 2, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Hi you should really try kokuyo Camlin artists wayercolor they are really good for a cheap price and also its and Indian brand which watercolor artist Nitin Singh uses. I recommend them?

  • Reply Amithist Rock October 3, 2019 at 12:17 am

    This is my first vidio I have seen of yours I would like to be in the give away so I subscribed and I wonder if u have tried the pretty excellent water colors I just got mine this week and love them for many reasons ,price being under 20 bucks for 36 pans great pigments I was interested in who you love to paint with .please enter me in your contest I am always looking for good paints ??????

  • Reply Instinctsscreaming October 8, 2019 at 12:35 am

    I’d like to thank you for being honest in your reviews. Also, for giving your reasons as to why you prefer or don’t prefer a particular brand. I’d also like to applaud the companies who choose to allow you to review their products, knowing that you are not afraid to say what is good or not so good about their paint.. it shows me that the company has a great deal of integrity and that they may actually care about the customers wishes and needs.
    Thank you

  • Reply 65blan October 28, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Hello Denise thank you so much to share your experience with us. I would like to test DS paints but I afraid to find them too granulate. Do all Colors have same granulates inside ? or maybe it depends on their family ? Thank you in advance for your help if it’s possible 🙂

  • Reply Лена Зверь October 28, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    I was surprised to learn that Van Gogh are student quality paints for in my area they cost more than White Nights. I thought they were “more professional” because of their price ?

  • Reply R E N October 29, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Wow the mission gold peacock blue is so beautiful

  • Reply Michael Basler October 30, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    I like this video but I miss WINSOR & NEWTON!!!

  • Reply Sigrún Oddgeirsdóttir November 2, 2019 at 3:37 am

    Did Winsor & Newton not even make it to the list?
    They are literally the only professional paints sold in my country.
    I did find a small store with very good brand from Australia (Art Spectrum) but it´s canceling them due to low sales so quickly bought some before they are gone to me forever!

  • Reply Gürkan Draman November 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    if you are american citizen,the best Daniel Smith,if you are german citizen,the best Schmincke

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