Renesans Watercolor Review Intense Tubes and Extra Fine Pan Professional Paints
As far as brand identity, this is a very confusing company. Every other major manufacturer has more consistency in their catalogs than Renesans. Some of the color names available in tubes are also available in pans but there are certain colors exclusive to one format or the other and many with a different fomula altogether. Then there are colors that are titled differently (yet seem very similar) such as Cobalt Green "Pale" in a tube versus Cobalt Green in a pan. As of mid 2020 Renesan's website has color charts done in a different style for tubes vs pans, causing even colors using the same pigment in the same hue to appear different (one swatch was clearly using less paint). The USA distributor on Etsy has a different color chart that shows how these paints look when painted out in the same manner. This inconsistency in swatch representation makes decision making on the buyers end needlessly difficult:
This is an entry level professional paint, and I would only get this brand if there is a specific color you want to try and it's more affordable to try Renesans vs any other brand where you live. With other honey based paints like White Nights and Roman Szmal offering full size pans for about $3 - $5 each with low cost worldwide shipping through Jackson's, there are very few colors worth seeking out specifically from Renesans. I can not see buying the whole color catalog because of how hit or miss each color seems to be.
My handmade swatch cards using these paints from dry:
I am intrigued by the unusual offering of two different hues of PBr25 which they called Brown Madder and Polish Brown. The darker, burnt umber-like hue of the Polish Brown version is uncommon compared to the lighter reddish one. I have only seen this darker version available in Art Philosophy (Prima Confetti pan set). However, be cautious of the differences between their swatch representations and reality. The two images above left show their etsy shop's swatches for Brown Madder and Polish Brown. In actuality the Brown Madder is no where near that orange-ish red. (See my swatch card earlier to see a more accurate representation. I make sure to digitally adjust for accuracy when a photo or scanner does odd saturation changes, as this company should have.)
Sadly it appears that the older PR63:1 Bordeaux Madder Lake is either being discontinued OR being changed from a beautiful magenta color to the new "Mineral Violet" purple in pan form... (not to be confused with their Mineral Violet in Tube form which is supposedly PV23)... This seems incorrect. I have a suspicion that this Mineral Violet pan in the center image below is just mis-labled as PR63:1 and is just PV23 as their tube version. Also a good example of how they didn't swatch the pan (middle) the same way as the tube (right).
The Potter's Pink is definitely not made to be re-wet from dry. It may be slightly better from the tube than shown in the swatch done after the tube was allowed to dry. I own a few other brands of Potter's Pink PR233, and none of them are quite this weak despite Potter's Pink always needing more work to reactivate from dry. The pan version of Winsor and Newton seems to be well formulated to work from dry, so I would look to them for this pigment if you like pan sets instead of working directly from a tube.
A special thank you to Kinetic Color Foundry for sending me samples of these paints for my pigment database project (where you can compare any of these colors side by side with other brands). They have an amazing 3d printed color wheel style palette, you can check those out here.
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