Being a long time fan of Van Gogh paints manufactured by Royal Talens, I was very excited to hear in late 2018 that they were planning to release new colors. Van Gogh is the affordable, student grade version of their professional quality paint line "Rembrandt". I say "student" pretty loosely because Van Gogh has been known to pop into professional artists palettes for the last decade side by side with the likes of Schmincke and Winsor & Newton Pro. This is for a darn good reason - their tubes are cheap, yet they only use lightfast pigments and some of the highest pigment loads available at the student price point.
I was finally able to get a hold of some of the new colors they released last fall within the USA. This happened to be a pan set, but I'm on the lookout for the tubes and will let you know if I see them pop up anywhere! Luckily, the metallic and interference pan set is here, and it is gorgeous.
The 12 colors include silver, light gold, bronze, graphite, deep gold, copper and interference blue, yellow, violet, white and red. Unlike the metallic colors which are pretty opaque, the interference colors are nearly invisible on white, but are beautiful over other colors especially black. They are great for adding a gentle shimmer over paintings of insects or birds. If you have ever tried Coliro (previously known as Finetec) then you may be familiar with the reflective mica watercolors often used in Calligraphy and decorative accents in watercolor paintings. Recently Paul Rubens brand also put out a mica shimmer "glitter" set too. While that one is less expensive than Coliro or Van Gogh it has some drawbacks.
Paul Rubens uses a variety of pigments mixed with their mica, so when you paint you are not just getting a shimmer you are getting an underlying color. For instance a copper paint from Coliro or Van Gogh would be just that - copper shimmer. You can rely on it being lightfast and mixable with any color of your other watercolor paints. Paul Rubens however may have a copper-red, where the copper shimmer is the 2nd ingredient to an underlying red-pigment. That can be nice when you want a pre-mixed rainbow set, unfortunately that may also fade away over time (and about 7 colors in my Paul Rubens Glitter set have faded so far).
The metallic colors were so opaque, and the interference had a gentle shimmer, when used on dark colors. These would be amazing to paint with starting on a black surface, and Van Gogh also just released BLACK WATERCOLOR PAPER to do just that! I was extremely impressed with these paints and the quality of the box they came in. It was a custom molded plastic box with a high quality travel brush and removable palette tray. For roughly the same price point per-color as Coliro, the case and brush were definitely a better deal with Van Gogh.
My Coliro cases with the clear-acrylic plastic tops have often cracked easily over time and the circular pans are impossible to use with other common watercolor sets you might own. I also noticed that the Van Gogh seems to be more densely packed, vs Coliro's paints that when wet become a paste easy to use too much of at once. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to buy any of the supplies I used in this review, the Amazon links are below.