Boku-Undo Gansai Japan Watercolor Review and Lightfast Test for Black Sumi-e and Aurora iridescent mica 6 pan sets

Boku-Undo makes beautiful traditional gansai style paints in large pans from Japan. They have a professional level pigment load, re-wet easily, and dry more velvety matte than other gansai paints you may have seen in the past. (They do not perform the same way as Kuretake Gansai, a modern vegan binder alternative to traditional animal-glue, which has a shiny residue when applied thickly.) These colors have a low flow/disperse rate, which can be urged to flow in very wet washes. The dark set has two colors using ultramarine blue as a base which provides color separation and granulation texture.


The 6 interference mica based watercolors in their "aurora" set are ideal for use on dark paper, or over their black ink-like colors in the Japanesque set. All 6 of these iridescent colors are lightfast. In the black-ish color set, it appears that a fugitive red color was used in the reddish-black. They seem to have mixed this same color with the blue to create the purplish-black (labeled E03 and E07 in newer sets), resulting in 2 fugitive colors in this 6 set.

Boku undo watercolor review shadow black lightfast test fugitive color fading

Two colors fade in the Shadow Black set. No colors have faded in the Aurora mica set. These tests were allowed to run for 7 months in window lighting, and this suggests that most of these colors are LFI / BW7-8 equivalent. I did notice some minor color shift in pan 4 that implies it may be LFII over more time.

Boku-Undo gansai japanese watercolor review and lightfast test aurora mica shimmer set

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