Super Vision Watercolor Review Lightfast Test

SuperVision is a watercolor brand based in China. These paints seem to have a relationship with the CAAM (China Art Academy Museum) and often feature famous artists on their packaging. Many of these sets attempt to offer colors similar to those found in historical paintings, but many are undesirably opaque mixtures using white and chalk - limiting their usefulness in layering/glazing. I would personally rather add a more versatile single tube of white gouache PW6 to my palette for mixing these types of pastel-like colors on demand, which they are calling "grey mixtures".

Alphonse Mucha supervision super vision caam watercolor china grey color set historical artists famous

Most of their paints are marketed to professional artists, with only several sets being properly noted as for "designer" (print reproduction, not long term wall hung art) due to their heavy use of bright fugitive dyes and pigments prone to fading. Most of the paints otherwise perform well (a decent quality pigment load and flow/disperse). You'll have to watch out for fugitive ingredients if planning to use these in art to sell/wall hung paintings, similarly to ShinHan's watercolor catalog. These paints are not vegan friendly. There are colors that use Carmine (bugs that are farmed for the red dye they produce when crushed up). The binder ingredients are not fully disclosed (uncertain if these include animal hide glue), but they are definitely not just pigment/gum arabic like western watercolors. These paints dry matte and hard as a rock in the pan - some taking extra effort to re-wet even in the above average humidity of Florida. Some tube colors include chemically unstable dyes which fade in storage (inside sealed tubes in climate controlled rooms) - resulting in drastic hue shifts between refilling your half pans. This was most dramatic in Rose Ash and Red Green, both of which were slightly more stable when stored dry in pans.

There are two "layered" sets, a 10 half pan and a 10 x 15ml tube set, which focus on multi pigment mixtures that color separate in wet washes. These special multi-colored effects can be achieved by mixing your own single pigments with better control of lightfastness. For the half pan set almost all of the colors are simply common ones mixed with PB29 Ultramarine Blue. If you already own a decent collection of watercolors, but lightfastness is NOT important to you, I would still advise mixing your own. You may be able to find dye inks to mix with a standard set of watercolors more affordably than buying the 10 tube set (get a red/magenta, yellow and blue primary mixing trio of Ecoline on Jackson's here). Adding Ecoline onto my mixing palette with any cheap watercolor such as Miya, Pretty Excellent or Paul Rubens resulted in some degree of "layered" color separation.

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The image above shows how the red dye included in Red-Blue and Rose Ash faded away leaving only the underlying Cobalt Green/Turquoise PB36 behind. This color change happens away from UV light, in the tube during storage, after about 6-12 months. Considering you can't be sure how long a seller had the tube before a sale, the potentially long shipping from China, there is no guarantee your tube will be good for more than a few months. Dramatic colors like "Rose Ash" can be replicated extremely convincingly using a Cobalt Teal and a drop of red dye ink (like fountain pen inks and liquid watercolors such as Ecoline or PH Martin's Radiant). For a decently close match that won't fade, I prefer Daniel Smith's Cobalt Teal PG50 and Quin Coral PR209.

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You can find some of these sets on Amazon USA below, or worldwide through Ali Express.

 

Here's the result of a 1 year window lightfast test for these sets:

Super Vision watercolor lightfast test fugitive fading rose ash plant animal dyes carmine bug 

They offer a handful of rare mineral paints at a high price averaging about 11-15USD per 8ml tube. Some of these colors can be found in other brands, such as Malachite in Paul Rubens or Roman Szmal. Be aware that Malachite is chemically unstable since it can yellow when intermixed with honey based paints or certain environmental conditions (brands like R.Szmal or Kremer will also harden with yellow streaks in the pan). Lapis Lazuli is also available in Paul Rubens, Daniel Smith or Roman Szmal, but essentially functions like a weak version of Ultramarine Blue PB29 which is cheaper and easier to re-wet. There are highly toxic pigments (mercury, arsenic) colors that SV and Rubens offer - such as Realgar, Oripment (but Rubens also adds Chinese Vermilion/Cinnabar). Schorl (tourmaline), Red Jade (Red Jasper) and Hematite are all colors available from Daniel Smith - though I do not consider any to be palette necessities to justify the steep cost.

Swatch card color chart with pigment and lightfastness information:

Layered 10 color half pan set:

PB29 PR122 Supervision Royal Purple pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PR122 PBr6 Supervision Crimson Purple pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PW6 PR122 PB29 Supervision Lavender pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PG7 Supervision Dark Green pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB17 Supervision Sky Ink pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PY65 Supervision Cathedral Glass pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PY43 PY12 Supervision Tang Kiln pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PY43 Supervision Warbler Brown pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PBr6 PY43 Supervision Evening Moon pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color PB29 PBr6 PY43 Supervision Black Blue pigment swatch card super vision watercolor acrylic gouache review art color 

Layered 10 color 15ml tube set:

PR3 Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Red Yellow super vision 1718 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PG50 PR122 Supervision Tube Set Red Green super vision 1732 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PB36 Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Rose Ash super vision 1722 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PV23 Mineral Mix Supervision Tube Set Green Purple super vision 1724 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PV14 Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Purple Orchid super vision 1719 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PB28 Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Blue Gradient super vision 1721 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PB36 Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Red Blue super vision 1717 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift Mineral Lake Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Golden Green super vision 1720 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift PB17 Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Yellow Green super vision 1723 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift Mineral Dye Mix Supervision Tube Set Brown Green super vision 1733 fugitive lightfast pigment color art swatch compare stain lift 

These cards have been added to the pigment database pages, where you can see how they compare to the same pigments from other brands of paint. I use affiliate links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases, thank you.