Earth Watercolours

Pigments in this group owe their name to the fact that most of them are made (or were made historically) of clay and earth minerals. The most common designation for these pigments is “PBrXX“, meaning “Pigment Brown”, but there are some yellow and red pigments in this group too. The Xs in the designation are digits which correspond to a certain chemical substance (or range of similar substances).

Naples Yellow usually ends up in this group, but I refuse to include it here, because it was a synthetic pigment originally (in fact, it’s one of the oldest synthetic pigments, as it dates back to 17th century; the real deal is no longer being made because it is toxic). I also don’t include sepia here, because it was historically made out of ink of some oceanic cephalopods (like squids or cuttlefish). Quinacridones are also absent, obviously.

Below, you will find the swatches of all the various earths that I have or had in my possession, imitations included. Swatches have two areas, the upper one to demonstrate the range of tints (diluted paint), and the lower one to show the mass-tone (the paint taken straight from the tube without diluting or, in case of the pans, the thickest concentration I could get). On each swatch you will notice a black line – I made it to give the idea about the transparency of the paint.

Single Pigment Paints

Mixed Pigment Paints

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Lightfastness Tests: Nevskaya Palitra White Nights

Here is the second report from my lightfastness tests conducted during the summer of 2015 in Ukraine. This time we will look at White Nights, artist’s grade watercolor from Saint-Petersburg manufacturer Nevskaya Palitra.

The tests were run in precisely the same manner as described here in this post. Nevskaya Palitra makes 57 colors, of which I own 46 and a half. 🙂 A “half” is one color which was recently reformulated: in ye olde times, Ivory Black used to be made with a genuine ivory black pigment PBk9, and that is the one that I own and tested here. Now their Ivory Black is a cheaper hue composed of a red earth pigment PR102 mixed with lamp black PBk7 (lamp black is basically burnt wood, while ivory black is burnt bones, so they differ in price, color and texture). I never tried the new version, but theoretically I don’t see why it should present any problems as far as lightfastness goes.

WNpans

The rest of Nevskaya Palitra’s repertoire are either mixtures of the pigments tested here, or are so glaringly fugitive that require no tests or, indeed, purchasing (such as PY1 or PB1).

As a general comment before I start: in 9 cases out of 47, the manufacturer’s ratings turned to be inaccurate. These paints are very worth using, but if you do use them, make sure you run your own tests. (It’s a good practice with any brand, in fact.)

OK, so let’s look how really lightfast is this cheap watercolor! Continue reading “Lightfastness Tests: Nevskaya Palitra White Nights”

Red and Purple Watercolors

Red pigments usually have a “PRXX” designation, where “PR” means “Pigment Red”, and the Xs are digits which correspond to a certain chemical substance (or range of similar substances). Purple colors can have “PR” or “PV” (“Pigment Violet”) designation.

Below, you will find the swatches of all the various reds that I have or had in my possession. Swatches have two areas, the upper one to demonstrate the range of tints (diluted paint), and the lower one to show the mass-tone (the paint taken straight from the tube without diluting or, in case of the pans, the thickest concentration I could get). On each swatch you will notice a black line – I made it to give the idea about the transparency of the paint.

Single Pigment Paints

Mixed Pigment Paints

Yellow and Orange Watercolors

Yellow and orange pigments usually have a “PYXX” or “POXX” designation, where “PY” means “Pigment Yellow” and “Pigment Orange” respectively, and the Xs are digits which correspond to a certain chemical substance (or range of similar substances).

Below, you will find the swatches of all the various yellows and oranges that I have or had in my possession. Swatches have two areas, the upper one to demonstrate the range of tints (diluted paint), and the lower one to show the mass-tone (the paint taken straight from the tube without diluting or, in case of the pans, the thickest concentration I could get). On each swatch you will notice a black line – I made it to give the idea about the transparency of the paint.

Single Pigment Paints

Mixed Pigment Paints

Green Watercolors

Green pigments usually have a “PGXX” designation, where “PG” means “Pigment Green”, and the Xs are digits which correspond to a certain chemical substance (or range of similar substances). For example, PG7 is copper phthalocyanine, a bright blueish-green substance usually called phtalo green.

The list of available green pigments isn’t excessively large. Many green paints are, in fact, so-called “convenience mixtures” – pre-mixed shades of green, the purpose of which is to free the artist from the tedious task of mixing his or her favorite green again and again every day. Interestingly enough, you will not find a green paint consisting of a yellow and a blue pigment. All green mixtures are based on green pigments, to achieve the highest chroma possible. This is also why having a green paint on your palette is so useful.

Below, you will find the swatches of all the various greens that I have or had in my possession. Swatches have two areas, the upper one to demonstrate the range of tints (diluted paint), and the lower one to show the mass-tone (the paint taken straight from the tube without diluting or, in case of the pans, the thickest concentration I could get). On each swatch you will notice a black line – I made it to give the idea about the transparency of the paint.

Single Pigment Paints

Mixed Pigment Paints

Blue and Violet Watercolors

Blue pigments usually have a “PBXX” designation, where “PB” means “Pigment Blue”, and the Xs are digits which correspond to a certain chemical substance (or range of similar substances). For example, PB35 is cobalt and/or copper oxides, substances of a distinctive shade of blue called cerulean.

Below, you will find the swatches of all the various blues and violets that I have or had in my possession. Swatches have two areas, the upper one to demonstrate the range of tints (diluted paint), and the lower one to show the mass-tone (the paint taken straight from the tube without diluting or, in case of the pans, the thickest concentration I could get). On each swatch you will notice a black line – I made it to give the idea about the transparency of the paint.

Single Pigment Paints

Mixed Pigment Paints

White Nights Watercolor Review

WN1

White Nights is an inexpensive Russian brand of watercolor produced by Nevskaya Palitra, Saint-Petersburg. In Russia, only three manufacturers make watercolors for professional use (the other two being Aqua-Color, Saint-Petersburg, and Gamma, Moscow).

I can assure you that you will never find a single artist in any former USSR country who learned the art of watercolor without using this brand. During the USSR era, every art student dreamed of having a set of this paint. Even today, with so many other brands available on the market, this line retains its leading position in Russia and neighboring countries, and it’s easy to see why.
Continue reading “White Nights Watercolor Review”