Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Review Color Chart Lightfast Testing + New Granulating Special Edition 2020

Schmincke Horadam is a professional quality watercolor paint from Germany. They have a huge fan base as one of the leading manufacturers of both watercolor and acrylic paints, metallic powders and mediums. All of the products I've tried by Schmincke have had a very high quality, but also a pretty hefty price tag. Part of this is location, as these paints are quite expensive after importing when compared to other brands here in the USA. When you can find a sale though, they are absolutely lovely paints.

Their watercolor paint is not vegan, it contains ox gall usually obtained from the gallbladder of cows. This is not super common with modern watercolors (some brands like Winsor & Newton and Roman Szmal also do this). It contains cholesterol which is mainly used to increase flow. Even with this additive, I find these paints to be very well behaved, sometimes surprisingly staying where you put them. They are highly pigmented, re-wet easily from tube or pan, and come in a huge range of 140+ colors.

They offer several unique colors, my personal favorite being the heavily granulating Mahogany Brown Pbr33. They have a lovely deep version of Potter's Pink PR233, which I could only find from three other major brands worldwide including Daniel Smith (a more granulating, but harder to re-wet version), Winsor & Newton (who offers a slightly different shade) and MaimeriBlue (which I do not recommend due to poor quality control).

------------ I am currently working on a complete full range brand overview, with all 140+ colors from their catalog swatched, lightfast tested with a breakdown of the most unique colors. Until then, here are several limited-edition release spotlight videos. If a limited release is no longer available, most of the colors should still be obtainable individually or by mixing them yourself (the special edition granulating colors were all convenience mixtures, and I show how to mix them in the video). -----------


You can check to see which colors are currently available to purchase at Jackson's website here.


New colors for 2020 include 15 special edition granulating colors. These are convenience mixtures of pigments prone to color separation and granulation texture. There was some general confusion online about the term "Super Granulating" (as marketed on websites like Jackson's art supplies) from the German description "supergranulierende" which Schmincke explained as meaning "normally granulating colors take on a new appearance when 2 or more are used at once". For example, in glacier green "super" is their way of saying you can see teal and pink, instead of normally only getting one color at once. Some expected this to mean abnormally strong granulation, but it's really normal granulation adding color separation.

Jackson's should have clearly elaborated upon what Schmincke meant in English in a way that didn't set unrealistic expectations. To be fair, these ARE mixtures of Schmincke's most granulating pigments, exactly as if you had mixed them yourself. None of the paint tubes say "super" anywhere, and all of the swatch representations online appear to be accurate.

As anyone who has played with Daniel Smith paints knows, these do not quite compare to the granulation or color separation of some of their colors. I do not believe these are similar enough to be compared to Daniel Smith's rare mineral paints (completely different ingredients available no where else) or their color separating mixtures that contain non-granulating colors (which have strong masstones due to using phthalo blue in cascade green, or the pv19 violet in royal purple). These are different enough to be like comparing apples to oranges in this situation. Instead, appreciate these for what they are - mixtures of mostly opaque cobalts and earth browns. PG50 Cobalt Turquoise, PBr33 Mahogany Brown and PR233 Potters Pink being the real stars of this show. I do wish they hadn't made so many similar blue mixes with ultramarine pb29 though, because these were the most bland, least color separating ones of the bunch:

PR233 PB29 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Galaxy Violet Granulating Special Edition PB29 PBr33 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Deep Sea Violet Granulating Special Edition PBk11 PB29 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Galaxy Black Granulating Special Edition PV62 PG18 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Deep Sea Indigo Granulating Special Edition PG50 PV16 PB29 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Deep Sea Blue Granulating Special Edition PB29 PG50 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Glacier Blue Granulating Special Edition PG50 PB29 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Galaxy Blue Granulating Special Edition PG50 PV16 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Glacier Turquoise Granulating Special Edition PG18 PB29 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Deep Sea Green Granulating Special Edition PR233 PG50 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Glacier Green Granulating Special Edition PV16 PBr33 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Galaxy Pink Granulating Special Edition PV62 PBr6 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Galaxy Brown Granulating Special Edition PBr6 PG26 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Glacier Brown Granulating Special Edition PBk11 PB74 PB35 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Deep Sea Black Granulating Special Edition PBk11 PB35 Schmincke Professional Watercolor Glacier Black Granulating Special Edition


In limited or special edition sets, they often include alternate mica based metallic colors that are not part of their permanent catalog.

PW20 Schmincke Horadam Yellow Gold Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

 ------ Current swatch card progress for their 140+ color catalog below. -----

See details on how these paints perform, including pigment ingredients, wet on wet wash, salt reaction, lifting, opacity, staining, lightfast ratings, masstone to diluted etc. on the following swatch cards:

PY35 Schmincke Horadam Cadmium Light Yellow Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart  PY216 Schmincke Horadam Turner's Yellow Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart  PR108 Schmincke Horadam Cadmium Red Light Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart  PV19 PR179 Schmincke Horadam Madder Red Dark Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PV15 PB29 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Ultramarine Violet Granulating Art Pigment Database PB60 Schmincke Horadam Delft Blue Indanthrene Indanthrone Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB27 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Prussian Blue Swatch Card PB29 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor French Ultramarine Blue Granulating Art Pigment Database PB29 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Cobalt Blue Deep Granulating Art Pigment Database PB29 Schmincke Horadam Ultramarine Finest Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB35 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor French Cobalt Azure Granulating Art Pigment Database PG50 Schmincke Horadam Cobalt Turquoise Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG19 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Cobalt Green Pure Professional Paint Color Chart PG17 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Chromium Oxide Green Professional Paint Color Chart PG26 Schmincke Horadam Cobalt Green Dark Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk31 Schmincke Horadam Perylene Green Watercolor Swatch Color Chart Pigment Database PY42 Schmincke Horadam Transparent Ochre Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY65 PBr41 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Gold Brown Pigment Database Swatch Card PR101 PBk9 Schmincke Horadam Burnt Sienna Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBr41 Schmincke Horadam Watercolor Transparent Brown Professional Paint Color Chart PB15:1 PBr7 PBk9 Schmincke Horadam Sepia Brown Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart 


Where to buy?

Schmincke Horadam individual watercolors in tubes or pans are available worldwide here from Jackson'sor here from Blick USA. 


If you'd like to see the swatch cards organized by color, to compare them to other brands check out the pigment database. I have separated each brand's paints to show them side by side with other examples of the same pigment.