My W&N Watercolour Palette

I hope I am not the only one who is a bit obsessed with making swatches of my watercolour palettes.  Here is my current “studio” palette of Winsor & Newton colours.

2015-03-05 12.07.56

From top to bottom: Lemon Yellow, Cotman Cadmium Yellow (hue), Quinacridone Gold, Cotman Cadmium Red (hue), Permanent Rose, Cotman Alizarin Crimson, Cotman Burnt Sienna, Cotman Paynes Grey, Cotman Indigo, Winsor Blue (Red Shade), Cotman Cerulean Blue.

You may notice this is a mishmash of Cotman and Artist colours, and to be honest some of these paints are old.  I mean really old.  40 years or more old.  All of the Artist colours are fairly new, but I found some Cotmans (Burnt Sienna, Cadmiums, Cerulean, Indigo) from my husband’s saved A-level art supplies.  This morning he told me that he got those from his mother from when she was just a teenager!  No wonder the consistency of these particular paints verges on dry toothpaste.  The burnt sienna in particular loves to flake and go funny on me.  I also dislike the cadmiums, they are super opaque and make everything look muddy.  My poor quinacridones (gold and rose) seem to get lost in the mix.  I bought the Alizarin Crimson and Paynes Grey thinking they’d be a nice addition to my palette, but to be honest I very rarely use either.

I’m posting my colours because I have just made a ridiculous order of Daniel Smith paints to replace these.  I have used almost all of my Artist grade paints and nearly done with the ancient ones as well.  I have heard nothing but rave reviews of Daniel Smith paints so am thinking of them as an investment, look forward to reviewing the colours once they arrive.

To be honest, anything will be better than using old toothpaste.


4 thoughts on “My W&N Watercolour Palette

  1. Hi Mel, I highly recommend the DSmith quinacridone gold, and also their Hanza yellow. And their raw umber is brilliantly dull, great for making greys with french ultramarine! Their paints tend to be runnier from the tide than W+N, and take longer to dry in the pan. I had great fun whittling about 20 paints down to 6. is an excellent resource for really getting into this area. You can find out which are the single pigments, best for lightfastness, translucency etc. Ed


  2. Thanks Ed! I just made a (rather major) order of Daniel Smith paints. I will probably write a post about it but the colours I got were more or less the same as recommended by Jane Blundell: hansa yellow med, quin gold, quin rose, transparent pyrrol orange (nicked that off of Liz Steel), ultramarine, pthalo blue, goethite, burnt sienna, and titanium buff. Loving them so far, and interesting seeing how they mix and behave differently from my W&N.


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