Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Review 109 Color Chart Swatch Cards Lightfast Test

Brand overview for Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolors. These paints are made in France (with the company headquarters in the UK). The watercolors come on a 109 color dot card, in 5 or 14ml tubes, half or full pans and various tin sets. This brand focuses on mainly lightfast pigments, with over 90% of their catalog being "permanent" and 80 colors being single-pigment paints. I'll be sharing details about my experience, good and bad, over the past 5 years of using their watercolors. The full range complete catalog has been swatched, you can view it in the video or at the bottom of this page.

 

Where to buy? These items were used in the video above. The color wheel palette can be found in my shop here. USA buyers - Individual tubes, pans or dot card available at Blick here. UK buyers - available at Jacksons here.

 

 

Unlike their popular student grade line called Cotman, these professional quality paints have a very high pigment load and vibrancy. There is none of the odd textures or dullness (likely lack of pigment load / extra binders) that you may have noticed in Cotman. The professional colors also have flow additives (animal based ox gall) and are not vegan like all but 3 colors in the Cotman range are. These professional paints offer more expensive pigment options as well as slightly toxic options like Cobalts and Cadmiums. Though, this line is overall limited in regards to unique pigments. They do not carry as many granulating or rare earth browns, like Roman Szmal paints, nor do they have an extensive mineral or gemstone selection like those found in Daniel Smith.

 

If you have a large paint collection, or have ever gotten a general pan set with basic mixing colors, you may not find it worthwhile to buy too many individual colors from this brand. A huge portion of their catalog is repetitive, similar looking pigments for you to pick and choose from. With a general lack of unique colors, and a fairly high price tag... I'll be selecting only a handful of favorites. After all, there are only so many shades of yellow I need to fulfill my color mixing needs. I personally can't see wanting to collect each and every color, as only one or two per dozen of a similar color really spoke to me. I've detail swatched all 109 colors towards the bottom of this page, and hope that it will help you decide if there are any specific colors that call to you.

 

winsor and newton professional potters pink watercolor paint granulating

My personal favorites: They do have some colors I feel are worth checking out. While some of these pigments can be found in a few other brands, these versions are notable. Their version of Potter's Pink (shown above) which is pretty rare (only Daniel Smith and Schmincke have a similar version). This color makes really visually interesting mixes with other granulating paints, such as Cobalt Teal.

 

The Cobalt Green Deep (shown below) and Cobalt Blue Deep are remarkably deep, dark and granulating. They also offer a few colors that, while also found in the top dozen or so other top pro-grade paint brands, are unique overall in the watercolor world. Rarely would you find certain pigments in student or general pan set selections. These pigments are typically a little unique between brands, with subtle variations due to the part of the world they were mined and manufactured: Ultramarine purple, Permanent Mauve (Manganese Violet), Cobalt Violet or the fugitive but well-loved Rose Madder Genuine. Rose Madder is a historical pigment created by grinding and laking the roots of the Madder Plant. It has a color that artists over the centuries have appreciated for being similar to rose petals. Winsor and Newton is one of the last companies to still offer it in watercolor form.

 

Winsor and newton watercolor professional pro grade cadmium green deep granulate

Changes over the years: The labels on tubes, pans and color charts have been changed several times in the past 5 years. There seemed to be some disruption to the way this brand was produced about 10 years ago when manufacturing moved from the UK to France. The Cotman student line also moved to China. Afterwards the paints got a new appearance, and several new marketing strategies that I think may have backfired judging by the general negative press this brand gets at times. Overall, there seems to be an opinion that manufacturing is not what it used to be, and that the formula has suffered.

 

The tube and pan formula is not the same for Winsor & Newton Professional watercolors.  The company has stated that their pans will re-activate easier with a damp brush than the paint from a tube would, after dry. It was not clear if this is purely because of a more dense pigment load in their intentionally dry version. This can cause trouble when a certain type of pigment requires more or less binder, water, fillers or re-wetting agent to not become brittle in the pan. I've also had an issue where Indigo developed this odd white surface texture (I assume a type of mold?) when using the tube paints dry in pans. This happens soon after pouring it, after it dries, without any contamination of brushes/water. (Though, in general I use purified water when I paint anyway to limit mold exposure from tap water into my supplies.) I can't rule out that this is some sort of patina like reaction, there is copper in phthalo pigments, but this has never happened in any of the other paints I own. Even in the same palette container, no other colors I own have this speckled white affliction.

 

 

Typically most brands use the same formula in their pans as their tubes. Thus creating products that customers can freely decide how to use - such as deciding to squeeze out a little tube paint into a travel palette for use from dry. This is the economical way to buy watercolors in the long run. The tubes are more of an investment up front, but typically go a long way. For instance I can get a roughly 3ml full pan for just under the cost of a 14ml tube. Even considering shrinkage from drying, you can typically fill 3 full pans from a single tube. Other artists have told me that their tube filled pans have over time cracked and become hard to re-wet, after repeatedly being wet and dried over painting sessions. Again, this is not something I have experienced in other brands. If that's a concern for you, Mission Gold may be the easiest to re-wet paints I own, fresh as the day I poured them even over 5 years and dozens of uses later.

 

Aqua green winsor and newton phthalo blue automotive pigment unique teal watercolor paint swatch

Aqua Green is a phthalo based color called "Palomar Turquoise" created for the automotive industry. Because it is not widely available as an artists pigment, no pigment code has yet been assigned to it. To be clear about what it contains, Winsor & Newton's labels do say "Ingredient: Phthalo". Unlike most Phthalo colors in other brands, this version has a nice subtle granulation. Fun fact - Phthalos have a natural tendency to granulate, but typically manufacturing efforts are made to smooth them out including grinding the particles very small. This version likely granulates because the automotive paint manufacturer did not create this pigment with thin applications like watercolor painting in mind.

 

Misleading names: Smalt and Cadmium Orange are not the pigments their names imply. I was frustrated to find out that Smalt lacked the word "hue" on the label. Smalt genuine (PB32) is a toxic ingredient common in historical paintings. W&N's version is actually a version of Ultramarine Purple (PV15), a blue-shade fairly close to regular Ultramarine Blue. Cadmium Orange also does not say hue, but is actually Cadmium Red and Yellow mixed. Technically it's still Cadmium based, and I assume that may be a reason they don't consider it a Cadmium hue/look-a-like, though it's still misleading. I had assumed that Cadmium Orange would be pure PO20, since they plainly do have that ingredient since it's mixed into one of their yellows. Their are also colors with names like "Winsor Yellow" that force you to look at the pigment ingredient for clarification.

 

winsor and newton cadmium free watercolor yellow orange red non toxic alternatives

Regarding the great "CADMIUM-FREE" marketing disaster, frustrating artists worldwide: You may notice a handful of colors without pigment information - the CADMIUM-FREE line. These colors mimic genuine Cadmium colors, though it's not really clear why they aren't just labeled "hue" (AKA the standard wording for a look-a-like). I found that they dried slightly less opaque than their genuine counterparts, felt a bit less thick and creamy, but that the color was overall very similar. Since no pigment ingredient is given for them, you can't really be sure that they are a totally lightfast or non-toxic alternative to regular Cadmium. It's very unclear if these paints are just mixtures, such as a similar looking red with some chalk filler to help it be more opaque (or even ground to a thicker particle size) like gouache.

 

You won't have to look far online to find a slew of reviews questioning the secrecy behind these paints. While it's possible that they wanted to keep the formula a trade secret, or that their chemists truly came up with something new that just doesn't have a pigment code assigned to it yet... the problem is the vague marketing and lack of clarity provided by the company. Along with the fact that these cadmium-free colors are priced just as high as their genuine cadmium counterparts, without us knowing if they are just charging us a premium for a generic "hue" or being certain the ingredients are safe. Considering a huge part of what sets pro grade paint apart from lower cost brands, is reputable lightfast ratings with a full disclosure of pigment ingredients, this hurts the company's image. I would have respected it more had they been transparent about it, even if it was just a note of "ingredients: trade secret mixture" on the tube.

 

Swatch Card Color Chart for all 109 Winsor and Newton professional watercolors:

 

PY53 Pigment Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Lemon Yellow Nickel Titianate PY159 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Lemon Yellow Deep Swatch Card PY Pigment Yellow Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium-Free Lemon PY35 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium Lemon Swatch Card PY184 Pigment Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Bismuth Yellow Swatch PY175 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Winsor Lemon Yellow Swatch Card PY154 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Winsor Yellow Swatch Card PY40 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Aureolin Fugitive LFII Fading Lightfast Test PY35 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium Yellow Pale Swatch Card PY150 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Transparent Yellow Swatch Card PY216 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Turners Yellow Rutile Solaplex Pigment Database PY Pigment Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium-Free Yellow PALE Swatch PY Pigment Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium-Free Yellow Swatch PY35 PO20 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium Yellow Pigment Swatch Card PY150 PR209 Pigment Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor New Gamboge Color Database PY35 PR108 HUE Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium-Free Yellow Deep Swatch PY35 PR108 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium Orange Pigment Color Chart PY35 PR108 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium Yellow Deep Color Chart PY65 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Winsor Yellow Deep Hansa Swatch Pigment Database PO62 PY139 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Indian Yellow Swatch Card Database Handprint Jane Blundell Art of Pigment Winsor and Newton Professional Cadmium Free Orange Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PO62 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Orange Watercolor Swatch Card PO107 Winsor and Newton Professional Transparent Orange Watercolor Swatch Card PV19 PY97 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Rose Dore Color Chart Swatch Card PO73 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Orange Red Shade Watercolor Swatch Card Winsor and Newton Professional Cadmium Free Scarlet Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart Winsor and Newton Professional Cadmium Free Red Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR108 Winsor and Newton Professional Cadmium Scarlet Watercolor Swatch Card PR108 Winsor and Newton Professional Cadmium Red Watercolor Swatch Card PR108 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Cadmium Red Deep Professional Pigment Database PR188 Winsor and Newton Professional Scarlet Lake Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Cadmium Free Red Deep Color Chart Swatch Card PR254 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Red Watercolor Swatch Card PR264 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Red Deep Watercolor Swatch Card PV19 PR206 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Permanent Alizarin Crimson Color Chart Swatch Card PR83 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Alizarin Crimson Color Chart Swatch Card PR209 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Quinacridone Red Color Chart Swatch Card pv19 winsor newton watercolor professional permanent carmine lightfast staining red pink color winsor and newton professional watercolor permanent rose primary mixing red magenta pigment color chart NR19 Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolor Rose Madder Genuine Color Chart Swatch Card PR122 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Opera Rose Neon Pink Fugitive Fluorescent Dye Swatch Card PR122 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Quinacridone Magenta Swatch Card Color Chart PV19 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Permanent Magenta Swatch Card Color Chart PV14 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Cobalt Violet Swatch Card Color Chart PV16 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Permanent Mauve Swatch Card Color Chart PV55 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Quinacridone Violet Swatch Card Color Chart PV23 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Dioxazine Violet Swatch Card Color Chart PV15 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Ultramarine Violet Swatch Card Color Chart PB60 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Indanthrene Blue Swatch Card Color Chart PB74 Winsor and Newton Watercolor Professional Cobalt Blue Deep Swatch Card Color Chart PB29 Winsor and Newton Professional Ultramarine Blue GS Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PV15 Winsor and Newton Professional Smalt Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB15 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Blue RS Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB29 Winsor and Newton Professional French Ultramarine Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB15 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Blue GS Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB27 Winsor and Newton Professional Antwerp Blue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB27 Winsor and Newton Professional Prussian Blue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB28 Winsor and Newton Professional Cobalt Blue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB35 Winsor and Newton Professional Cerulean Blue RSF Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB35 Winsor and Newton Professional Cerulean Blue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB15 Winsor and Newton Professional Manganese Blue Hue Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB16 Winsor and Newton Professional Phthalo Turquoise Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG50 Winsor and Newton Professional Cobalt Turquoise Light Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart Winsor and Newton Professional Aqua Green Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PB28 PB36 Winsor and Newton Professional Cobalt Turquoise Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG18 Winsor and Newton Professional Viridian Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG50 Winsor and Newton Professional Cobalt Green Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG7 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Green BS Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG36 Winsor and Newton Professional Winsor Green YS Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG26 Winsor and Newton Professional Cobalt Green Deep Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk31 Winsor and Newton Perylene Green pigment Professional Watercolor Paint Swatch PG17 Winsor and Newton Professional Oxide of Chromium Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY110 PG36 Winsor and Newton Professional Hooker's Green Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG36 PY110 Winsor and Newton Professional Permanent Sap Green Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG23 PG18 PB28 Winsor and Newton Professional Terre Verte Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY65 PB15:6 PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Olive Green Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG23 Winsor and Newton Professional Terre Verte YS Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY129 Winsor and Newton Professional Green Gold Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBr24 PW6 Winsor and Newton Professional Naples Yellow Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBr24 Winsor and Newton Professional Naples Yellow Deep Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR206 PV19 PY150 Winsor and Newton Professional Quinacridone Gold Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY43 Winsor and Newton Professional Yellow Ochre Light Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY42 PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Raw Sienna Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY43 Winsor and Newton Professional Yellow Ochre Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY42 Winsor and Newton Professional Gold Ochre Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBr7 Winsor and Newton Professional Brown Ochre Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR102 Winsor and Newton Professional Light Red Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PY119 Winsor and Newton Professional Magnesium Brown Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Burnt Sienna Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Venitian Red Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR233 Winsor and Newton Professional Potter's Pink Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR206 Winsor and Newton Professional Brown Madder Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR179 Winsor and Newton Professional Perylene Maroon Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Indian Red Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBr7 PR101 PY42 Winsor and Newton Professional Burnt Umber Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBr7 Winsor and Newton Professional Raw Umber Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR101 PBk6 Winsor and Newton Professional Van Dyke Brown Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PV29 Winsor and Newton Professional Perylene Violet Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Caput Mortuum Violet Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk7 PR101 Winsor and Newton Professional Sepia Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PG17 PBk6 PBk19 PW5 Winsor and Newton Professional Davy's Gray Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk6 PV19 PB15 Winsor and Newton Professional Indigo Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk6 PV19 PB15 Winsor and Newton Professional Payne's Gray Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk9 Winsor and Newton Professional Ivory Black Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk11 Winsor and Newton Professional Mars Black Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk6 PV19 PB15 Winsor and Newton Professional Neutral Tint Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PBk6 PBk7 Winsor and Newton Professional Lamp Black Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PW4 Winsor and Newton Professional Chinese White Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart PW6 Winsor and Newton Professional Titanium White Watercolor Swatch Card Color Chart

  

Want to see how each color compares to the same pigment in another brand? Check out the color you want to compare on the pigment database pages.

 

Where to buy? I bought the full range dot card, sets or individual tubes and pans from the following online stores. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

 

USA - Blick carries individual tubes and pans for both Cotman student and Professional version:

 

https://www.dickblick.com

 

UK / EURO - Jackson's is a great place to shop: