September 21, 2023


How Art Works

Overview of Holbein Artists’ Watercolour Paint Set of 30

8 min read

Holbein’s Watercolour vary was first dropped at sale over 100 years in the past and this legacy has developed to a present assortment of 108 colors. The paints are manufactured in Japan, so are formulated with the comb dealing with qualities of a conventional Japanese watercolour, the place they dry with brush stroke marks and are very gradual transferring. They’re made to be positioned with intention, however nonetheless have the European high quality of transparency of their formulation. I used to be glad to check the Holbein Artists’ Watercolour Set of 30 to see how this paint handles with its distinctive components.



Packaging and Labelling of Holbein Artists’ Watercolour Set of 30

The set is available in an extended cardboard field with a plastic slip holding it collectively, which is aesthetically pleasing, however maybe not so sensible for carrying these tubes on the go. They’ll have to be decanted into one other container for outside use. I favored that the paints are divided into little detachable cardboard trays in teams of six. I might see this being helpful within the studio for curating the palette you need to work with.



Contained in the field there’s a small leaflet explaining the labelling system on the tubes which I feel is a useful addition should you’re not sure how one can learn the assorted symbols on paint packaging. The transparency and lightfastness varies between colors, and I’ve famous these within the following swatches.



Swatching the Paints

In these first three sheets I swatched the entire colors within the Holbein Watercolour Set of 30, to indicate how they seem when utilized in a gradient, after which painted extra strongly with only a dab of water on the column down the aspect. I examined all of my swatches on the Jackson’s Watercolour Paper Block 300 gsm. This paper is clean and scorching pressed so the end of those paints could seem barely in another way on a chilly pressed, tough paper for instance. The tubes are 5 ml which is pretty customary for watercolour tubes, however are additionally obtainable individually as 15 ml tubes.



I discovered the colors total to be top quality of their saturation and end. The one colors that I used to be disenchanted by had been the Cobalt Violet and the Ivory Black. By way of consistency and dealing with the Cobalt Violet was tackier to maneuver round than the opposite colors, and I discovered it onerous to disperse with out streakiness. The Ivory Black doesn’t have a really robust pay-off when diluted with water, and really shortly turns into a lightweight gray. To realize a robust black you’d have to make use of it largely straight from the tube with just a little water, which might use it up in a short time. It’s a lot better used blended with the opposite colors within the set to create shades.



The set additionally accommodates numerous greens which is probably not essential for each artist. I discover seven greens to be extreme when there are simply 5 blues, 5 yellows and three reds. Additionally with the 5 blues and yellows obtainable, this enables for loads of choices for mixing fascinating greens anyway. Nevertheless if you’re a panorama painter, or notably keen on inexperienced, this is probably not a downside for you. Particular person colors, and smaller units of 12 and 24 are additionally obtainable if a extra particular palette appeals to you extra, although I feel this broad vary does give you numerous to work with.



Contemplating the Color Vary and Worth of the Holbein Artists’ Watercolour Set

Nearly all of the paints within the set are from Sequence A (probably the most reasonably priced of their assortment), with eight exceptions: Aureolin (D), Cobalt Inexperienced (D), Emerald Inexperienced Nova (B), Sap Inexperienced (B), Cerulean Blue (D), Mineral Violet (B), Cobalt Violet Mild (F), and Opera (B). It’s particularly good for any units like this to include larger Sequence paints to allow them to be accessible to a larger variety of folks to check out. By way of worth for cash, the Holbein Watercolour Set is on the costly aspect altogether, however I feel that is justified by the variety of paints, high quality of pigment and management you’re getting. At its regular retail worth, the set works out to be £3.43 per tube, however to purchase the identical colors individually would price between £4.60 to £11.10 every. General this makes this explicit set an important deal on top quality supplies.



There are additionally just a few ‘hue’ colors on this set, the place their real counterparts are included inside the expanded Holbein Watercolour vary obtainable as particular person tubes, as an illustration – Vermillion Hue (Sequence A) versus Vermillion (Sequence F). Should you take pleasure in utilizing the Hue variations of those colors, I’d advocate attempting the real article, because the pigment high quality and payoff might be even larger.



Components and Dispersion

Holbein Watercolours include gum arabic, top quality pigments, and a small quantity of surfactants, with out artificial polymers. They intend this to present the artist larger management over the motion of the paint, with excessive color depth and permanency scores. Many watercolour merchandise include an ingredient referred to as ox-gall which is an animal byproduct, taken from bile and blended with alcohol. Holbein Watercolours don’t include this agent, which makes the vast majority of their colors on this set cruelty-free other than the Ivory Black which accommodates the normal ingredient of carbonised bone. That is one thing to concentrate on with watercolours if it issues you, for instance, Sennelier and Michael Harding Watercolour Paint include honey making them non-vegan.



Together with ox-gall, Holbein Watercolours include no dispersing brokers. Dispersion total is after all affected by having no dispersing agent current, however it’s the goal of this product to be harder to maneuver. I additionally discover that with out these components the brushstrokes are extra evident than in another watercolours. This permits for larger management over brushstroke impact and placement. The paints can nonetheless be utilized in washes, however are lighter as a consequence. I discovered that they’re greatest utilized in a extra concentrated type. Should you wished so as to add further fluidity again into this paint, you would strive including watercolour mediums.



These paints include numerous refined variation, even when a flat wash software is used, however they don’t bleed outdoors of the place they’re positioned until full of numerous water. In all of my exams I discovered that not one of the colors had granulation. I’ve made a check sheet right here which demonstrates an tried “flat” software, the management and impact you may make with quite a lot of paintbrushes, versus loosely dropping the pigment onto moist paper to indicate the way it disperses.



Mixing and Layering the Holbein Artists’ Watercolour Set Colors

On this check sheet I attempted layering and mixing two of the colors – WO13 Opera (Quinacridone Opera) and WO94 Ultramarine Deep – to check their color mixing high quality. The vary of purples you may obtain with these two is gorgeous, and so they blended seamlessly. Layered on prime of one another I did discover that the color under lifts even when absolutely dry while you wash over it, which is as a result of these paints are so simply reactivated. Due to this fact layering completely different colors doesn’t simply work for optical mixing, however bodily mixes to a level too. I subsequent did swatches of the tints and shades you may make with each of those colors blended with the white and black from the set (W138 Ivory Black and W002 Chinese language White). The colors weren’t simply diluted by the white, and also you want only a very tiny dab of color to create a robust pale tint.




On this subsequent check sheet I dabbed collectively quite a lot of colors on wetted paper to permit them to bleed along with a lot of water. This extra flushed impact may be very good however from my testing you want rather more paint on the comb to attain it than you’ll with a watercolour that accommodates dispersing brokers.



Rewetting the Paint on the Paper and Palette

For this check sheet, I attempted rewetting the paint at completely different levels, on the paper and from the palette. I did this with three colors: WO66 Everlasting Inexperienced No. 1, WO34 Yellow Ochre and W122 Mineral Violet. For the primary stage, I painted small rectangles of the colors and allowed them to dry down for quarter-hour earlier than reactivating them. They had been utterly contact dry at this stage, however instantly rewetted with little or no effort, and unfold out simply. For the following check I left the identical colors to dry for an hour earlier than reactivating them on the web page. The color repay was barely decrease however nonetheless unfold out.



Subsequent I examined rewetting the dried colors on my palette as a substitute of on the web page. I left the primary swatch of the dried palette for an hour, for a complete day, after which three days. As you may see there isn’t any distinction between these swatches, as this paint is so simply rewetted you may nearly fortunately abandon your palette with out the worry of losing paint realizing that it’s versatile sufficient to work with sooner or later. On this method, the Holbein Watercolours can be utilized very like pan watercolour paints. You can even use these paints to fill the pans of a palette, enable them to dry, and deal with them as materials for a customisable, refillable pan watercolour set.

I additionally wished to check wiping a dry portray made with quite a lot of blended colors with a moist material to see how a lot I might take away with out damaging the paper under. As you may see the vast majority of the paint lifted off utterly, leaving only a ghost impression of the tree under. This could be so helpful for altering errors or utterly transforming a portray.



The Holbein Watercolour Set of 30 is top quality, versatile, and good worth for cash. I’d advocate it to each newcomers and consultants of the medium alike searching for a broad vary of paints to check out. The Holbein Firm states that these watercolours are “extra finely floor than every other artist watercolour” and while I can’t confirm this declare globally, it’s true that in all of my swatches I discovered the paints to be very straightforward to use, wash, combine, layer and mix, with excessive color pay-off. I feel this explicit palette of colors makes probably the most sense for observational en plein air portray, with the small tubes being straightforward to hold and largely pure color choice. General I’d advocate Holbein to any painter wanting so as to add top quality watercolours to their assortment.




Additional Studying

Artwork Phrases Defined: Watercolour Portray

A Information to Watercolour Portray

Is Watercolour Higher in Pans or Tubes?

Your Complete Information to Watercolour Mediums


Store Holbein Watercolour Units on


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