Art Supply Testing: Watercolour Paints

After last year’s attempt at running watercolour lightfastness tests fell to pieces, I’m starting anew this year, with larger swatches, more colours and better quality paper.

Once again, the swatches will be placed in a north-facing window for a year so they’ll get the most exposure to the sun in Melbourne, Australia. I will re-scan them at 1 month, 4 months, 8 months and 12 months.  The top half of each colour swatch will be kept covered with a strip of paper so it will be easy to compare the level of deterioration at each checkpoint. Images provided will be as large as possible for better quality, but given the load time this would create, I will be posting the scans at each checkpoint in their own separate posts.

AS = Art Spectrum
DR = Daler Rowney
HWC = Holbein
L = Lukas
MB = Maimeri Blu
MG = M Graham
REM = Rembrandt
SCH = Schmincke
SEN = Sennelier
WN = Winsor and Newton

Paper: Daler Rowney Aquafine

Start Date: 9th January, 2014

Please click image for full-sized version.

Yellows and Yellow Earths
WCT Yellows

Reds and Oranges
WCT Reds

Violets, Pinks and Pale Skin Tones
WCT Violets

WCT Blues

WCT Greens

Earths, Red Earths and Med-Dark Skin Tones
WCT Earths

WCT Shades


About Rebecca J Fleming

Some random geek on the Internet who likes playing with coloured things. Also, I like to put Easter eggs in the microwave.
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2 Responses to Art Supply Testing: Watercolour Paints

  1. It’s amazing to see the level of deterioration in these products. Are these examples only after one month of being exposed to sunlight?

    • These images show the swatches as they were when I first painted them (before being exposed to any sunlight). I have since scanned them again at the 1 month mark (still need to put the scans up on this post), but so far there has been little to no fading for the majority of the paints.

      I should point out that the right side of the swatches were painted after the colour was diluted a lot more with water, which is why they are fainter; I wanted to be able to test the effect of the sunlight on diluted colour as well as on pure, strong colour 🙂

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