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Watercolour Painting => Watercolour Colour Mixing Questions => Topic started by: Val on August 25, 2013, 09:04:58 AM

Title: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Val on August 25, 2013, 09:04:58 AM
I bought two different brand name paints when I couldn't get my regular brand. I hoped one of them would suffice.... as it turns out, it just confused the issue.
Here are the two brands, both of which are labelled Light Red. If you want colours to mix correctly, I would recommend you stay with one brand.

Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: dennis on August 25, 2013, 09:17:58 AM
Keep them both. The Lukas is more of a mixture of orange and red as opposed to Light Red which has a brown tinge to it.
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Val on August 25, 2013, 09:21:46 AM
Thank you Dennis... was in a bit of a muddle trying to figure out which one would be best for class today.  :)

Had no idea after these two what Light Red was supposed to look like!  :D
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Tousabella on August 25, 2013, 11:05:40 AM
Wow.....Thanks for posting, Val. Good to know!  I had no idea there was such a difference in brands.  I have a "mix" of W & N artist, and D R artist.  I'm short a lot of colors, but will make sure I use the same brand for the missing ones.
Thanks, again.
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Val on August 25, 2013, 11:20:23 AM
Shocked me as well Bella... had no idea what it was supposed to look like  :confused:   I ended up finishing that project with a different colour altogether.
Now I just stick with my W&N Artist.  :)
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Harald on August 25, 2013, 03:45:09 PM
Light red from W&N first Cotman and then Artist.
And by the way W&N says the light red is semi opaque.
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: helena12 on September 07, 2013, 09:52:33 AM
 Hi, all. I am a bad, bad student. I have been veeery lazy and haven't practiced painting a bit since last December. But I did some extensive reading and paint-shopping (in order to force myself back to painting again – I haven't succeeded so far, though)

In an old thread someone gave us a link to ( This site is run by an artist who did various tests with watercolour paints. And there I learnt a little about what's in the paint.

The main ingredient is the pigment and binders. And dependent on what pigment and additives the paint is made of it has a certain hue and other characteristics like transparency, how easy it can be lifted and if it granulating or not.

The name is up to the manufactor. One can call it light blue, the other calls the very same colour peacock blue. If you want to compare the paints you have to go by pigment number which is printed on the tubes or pan covers. At least at Schmincke and Winsor & Newton do. Lukas and White Nights do not. But this is just an approximation. Because the same pigment can be the main ingredients of several paints. For example Winsor & Newton burnt sienna and Venetien red are both made of PR 101= Synthetic Iron Oxid. One colour is transparent, the other opaque.

Then there is my beloved translucent orange of Schmincke. It is made of PO 71. But one day I had a look on the colour chart of Schmincke and noticed that it had only 3 Stars out of 5 in lightfastness. All my other Schmincke colour had 4 stars and the earth colours 5. So what does this mean? How long will my orange stand the normal light conditions in a normal central European room? Is it long enough for my purposes? So I tried another Orange made of PO 71. My requirement was that it was transparent. Lukas had a transparent PO 71 which is called Permanent Orange (see, the other way round - one colour, two names).Permanent sound great, doesn't it. Colourwise is the spitting image of Translucent Orange. So one should imagine that I should be happy now. But no, I am not. It has another feel  to it. Where the Schmincke colour feels rich and soft on the brush the Lukas colour has a more chalky, scrubby qualitiy. It looks the same on the paper. But it also seems that with the Lukas colour I don't get a long graded wash but end up from dark to a very light tint quite soon. Then again, whats the problem?  I use it in mixes and never in pure washes. The Lukas lightfastrating for this paint is three stars out of three. What does this mean. One brand has a total of 3 stars, the other of 5? So a private lightfastnesstest emergered out of this (hey, haven't been all that lazy). The test procedures are described on the handprint site. But as I am lazy I did just a masstone swatch and a somewhat diluted swatch for each paint.The samples have been hanging in my window since April. I want to leave them there for at least a year. If I don't count the 2 Prussian Blues who are a special case, 3 of 39 colours show fading or hue shift.

  I looked around because I was interested in finding out the difference between transparent and opaque colours and how the interact with each other. Thus I needed a set of both.  Hope this is of interest to you. It sure puzzled me.
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Fencepost on September 07, 2013, 10:48:49 AM
Helena, your have procrastinated in the same way I did.  :2funny: i made a color chart of all the paints I own, the researched them as to pigment, staining, lightfastness, transparency, and granularity. i made notations of all this on my color chart. It took days to complete.

I wish someone would classify brands by the likelihood of the lid becoming glued shut. Personally, i have found that Grumbacher is the worst.Grrrr... :tickedoff:

After all this effort, I am finding that I choose primarily by which color I like for the painting and ignore the scientific data.  :crazy2:
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Val on September 07, 2013, 12:00:37 PM
 ;D Helena,  :welcome: back. It's nice to see you back. You can drive yourself crazy trying to sort out all of the data on the paints. I just decided to try a few brands, find the one I like and stick with it! So far it seems to be working out ok.  ::) I think....  :think:    :2funny:

Judie, you're on the right track there! As long as you've got good quality paint I think you're reasonably safe. If it starts to fade in 50 years....I think it's safe to say I won't be worried at that point.  :whistle:
I just wanna paint.  :painting:
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Fencepost on September 07, 2013, 12:27:22 PM
I just wanna paint.  :painting:

I'm with you, Val!

Since I didn't have to buy paints and the ones given to me contained several brands, I had the luxury of comparing.

For me, Holbein is the clear winner...smooth and creamy even after years of storage, lids come off  easily, great colors. W&N a close second, but had gotten sticky-thick.  Grumbacher Academy paint was okay, but tops impossible to remove. (I have the paint all over my hands from bursting tubes when I tried too hard, to prove it)  :2funny: There were a couple of Liquitex in the bunch, which had stayed fairly soft and performed adequately. I purchased a couple of tubes of Cotman which are adequate, and one tube of van Gogh which seems fine. Oh, and one Sennelier for a color I couldn't find elsewhere. I wanted a single-pigment lemon yellow. it's wonderful!

All good paints, but for me, replacements will be Holbein.
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: helena12 on September 08, 2013, 11:32:26 AM
 :2funny: :2funny: Judie, good idea. The brands should label their tubes with one tong respectively two tongs, if two are needed. I have some tubes that I only dare to open with two tongs. The first one is to move the tube lid at all and screw it off the tube neck. The second tong is needed to grip the tube firmly by its shoulders in order not to throttle the tube's body and freckle myself all over.
 :thankyou: Val. Yes, I drive myself crazy a lot just to avoid painting. But a little information now and then is good to keep the brain cells fresh. And the lightfastness test sheet looks quite nice in the window. Its the only work I have exhibited so far :D .
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Val on September 08, 2013, 02:27:27 PM
Helena... have you tried holding the caps under warm running water? That will often loosen them enough to open them......without the implements of destruction!  ;D
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: helena12 on September 09, 2013, 10:15:01 AM
Val, I tried it with a luxurious relaxing warm bath. They chose to withstand all coaxing. So violence it had to be. :death:
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Fencepost on September 09, 2013, 11:10:14 AM
  :hammer: Violence is sometimes necessary Helena!

My process:
Strong stream of warm water aimed at edges of cap
Warm bath
Scrub neck of tube with a stiff brush
Warm bath
Tap around cap with small hammer
Warm bath
Cut off end of tube and squeeze contents into a small container.
(I don't have a set of tongs, or I would try your method)

There's always a way to get at that paint!  :2funny:
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Tony (ASM) on September 09, 2013, 11:45:35 PM
Val! I know just how to get you to see 'red'!  :fight: :fight: ;D
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Leana on September 10, 2013, 11:27:28 AM
Hello my dearest PB friends :wave: ...see, I still check in here :D   The following site 'The Color of Art Pigment Data Base' is a site I have used many times, due to the fact of different names for the same or similar colour. (
When you click on this link, it will give you options of the main colours...when you scroll down you will get the entire colour/pigment database codes as in Pr101, PB 15 etc.  At the top of this page there are the main colour blocks...should you click on say the red block... it will take you to just all the reds... you scroll down, you will find all the different colours of reds...the pigment code and all the different names given by different companies etc.

Hope this helps a bit  ;)
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Fencepost on September 10, 2013, 11:37:54 AM
Leana, I've used that site extensively. Another excellent site is (

Not as extensive, but more specific if you can find your particular color/manufacturer.

I think we're a couple of paint nerds.  :2funny:
Title: Re: By Any Other Name......
Post by: Val on September 10, 2013, 02:09:50 PM
Two very good sights  O0 Thanks guys.  :clap: