Winsor and Newton Artists Water Colours – An Exploration

Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours — the true professional watercolor!

For over 175 years, Winsor & Newton have been creating some of the world’s finest art materials! One of their most popular and well-beloved lines is the classic Artists’ Water Colour range. Made with the finest ingredients and meticulous, time-honored processes, Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours are some of the finest watercolor paints on the planet today. Let’s learn a little about them, shall we?

Primary Color Palettes for Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colours

  • The three Primary Colors in the range are Winsor Lemon, Winsor Blue (Red Shade) and Permanent Rose.
  • When using a 6-color palette, we recommend using Winsor Lemon, Winsor Yellow, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Permanent Rose and Scarlet Lake.

Transparency and Opacity
The varying transparency and opacity of a pigment will affect the optical character of the individual color as well as how the color mixes with other colors. The most transparent colors will enable you to create a pure glazing effect by applying a number of washes on top of one another. The more opaque colours give flatter washes and greater covering over previous washes. Opaque colors are also useful for toning down color mixtures.

On the Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour chart, the transparent colors are marked with â–¡ or T, the semi-transparent colors are marked or ST. The relatively semi-opaque colors are marked with â—© or SO and the opaque colours are marked with â–  or O.

Pigment Choice
Watercolor more than any other medium relies upon the variable characteristics of the pigments used. As it is essentially a staining technique, everything rests on the handling properties of the pigments; whether they can produce a smooth wash or a textured wash; how opaque or transparent they are; the brilliance and strength of their color; and so on.

With this in mind, it has always been — and will continue to be — Winsor & Newton’s aim to provide artists with the widest possible range of pigments to give them the greatest choice and flexibility. It takes a total of 87 different pigments to produce the 96 Artists’ Water Colours.

Today, our Artists’ Water Colours contain an ever-widening range of high performance pigments, which ensure strength of color and excellent brilliance combined with extremely high permanence ratings.

Single Pigments in the Range
Just like people, each and every pigment differs in shape, size, color, and “personality.” Pigments, especially in watercolor, serve as a set of tools or vocabulary to help artists manipulate their work and alter their expression.

Wherever possible, single pigments have been used in Artists’ Water Colour to ensure that we offer the widest choice of colors and pigment characteristics or positions, such as hue, particle size, transparency, tinting strength, etc. This helps broaden the artist’s creative expression.

We use single pigments wherever possible. Single pigment formulations are purer in hue and cleaner in color than mixtures of pigments, providing a larger number of color mixes before resulting in muddy effects. Within the new Artists’ Water Colour range there are 75 single pigments amounting to 78% of the range.

To learn more about Winsor & Newton’s special milling processes and why they’re so important, please watch the video below!

Are you a watercolor artist? Have you ever used (or do you swear by) Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours? Tell us your experiences in the comments below!



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