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.
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.
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