WATERCOLOR / WATERCOLOR TIPS

Which Watercolor Paints Should I Purchase?

What Paints Should I Buy?

This is a common question I get asked when it comes to my watercolor palette hue of colors. And to be honest, it’s a bit difficult to answer since all of these colors are like my babies, but if I had to rank them – I’d do it according to the color wheel.

MY FAVORITE WATERCOLOR PAINTS

The 6 CORE Primaries

This tends to be a pretty controversial topic in the art world – but I’m in the camp of there are 6 primary colors when it comes to watercolor paints: The Traditional Primaries & The Modern Primaries.

THE TRADITIONAL PRIMARY COLORS FOR WATERCOLOR
The Traditional Primaries

I’m not going to get into a lot of details about this (I’ll save that for an upcoming course ) – but know the traditional primaries are lightfast colors that have been recognized by the art community for years. These Include a Permanent Magenta, Yellow, and Cool Blue. Within my collection, these colors would include…

PERMANENT ROSE – WINSOR & NEWTON
WINSOR YELLOW – WINSOR & NEWTON
WINSOR BLUE (GREEN SHADE) – WINSOR & NEWTON
THE MODERN WATERCOLOR PRIMARY COLORS
The Modern Primaries

Are colors that you would find inside your color printer. These colors are bright and almost neon looking. The biggest flaw when it comes to modern primaries is that one of the main primaries is NOT considered lightfast – meaning it will fade over time when compared to the traditional primaries. These colors from my collection would include…

OPERA ROSE – WINSOR & NEWTON (NOT LIGHTFAST)
CADMIUM YELLOW LEMON – SCHMINCKE
MANGANESE BLUE HUE – WINSOR & NEWTON

These should be your starting base colors. After that I suggest moving on to your secondary colors…

My Secondaries

SCARLET LAKE – WINSOR & NEWTON
WINSOR ORANGE (RED SHADE) – WINSOR & NEWTON
CADMIUM YELLOW – WINSOR & NEWTON
PHTHALO YELLOW GREEN – DANIEL SMITH
PHTHALO GREEN (BLUE SHADE) – DANIEL SMITH
WINSOR BLUE (RED SHADE) – WINSOR & NEWTON
HORIZON BLUE – HOLBEIN
QUINACRIDONE MAGENTA- WINSOR & NEWTON

My Neutrals

Once you have your primaries and secondaries, I’d move on to your neutrals. It is true you can mix most of these colors with your current palette – but sometimes it’s just easier to start with a solid brown or gray tint than having to mix it from scratch.

SHELL PINK – HOLBEIN
JAUNE BRILLIANT NO.2 – HOLBEIN
BURNT UMBER – SCHMINCKE
GOLD BROWN – SCHMINCKE
PAYNE GRAY – WINSOR & NEWTON
NEUTRAL TINT – WINSOR & NEWTON
GREEN GOLD – WINSOR & NEWTON
QUINACRIDONE GOLD – WINSOR & NEWTON
NEW GAMBOGE – WINSOR & NEWTON
NAPPLES YELLOW – WINSOR & NEWTON

My Tertiaries

These colors aren’t necessary – but make it easier to when mixing. So I’d include these last in your collection. I’ve tried to order these in order of importance based on how I mix – starting with my most used tertiary to my least used…

PHTHALO TURQIOISE- WINSOR & NEWTON
COBALT TURQUOISE – SCHMINCKE
INDIAN YELLOW – WINSOR & NEWTON
CADMIUM ORANGE LIGHT – SCHMINCKE
WINSOR RED – WINSOR & NEWTON
BRILLIANT BLUE VIOLET – SCHMINCKE (NOT LIGHTFAST)
LEMON YELLOW – SCHMINCKE

Hope you enjoyed this! If you purchase one of the paints above from the link – I’ll receive a small commission to help support the blog. So thanks in advance!

If you’d like to read more about my watercolor porcelain palette – make sure to check out the blog post below!

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About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?

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