Watercolor painting gained immense popularity in the 18th century and still continues to be a favorite of amateur and professional artists alike. Packed with rich pigments and bingers, watercolor tubes are convenient, beautiful, and provide the desired color saturation to the users.
You can conveniently use the paint right from the tube for optimal color saturation. You can also mix them with water for washes and lighter hues. As the pigment load is quite high in these paints, they appear quite vibrant.
Watercolor tube paints mix well and allow you to create a spectrum of colors. It is easier to reactivate them even after drying completely after you left the tube uncapped. These portable tubes are perfect for artists who are on the move.
But what are the best watercolor tubes? While you may like different paints for different looks/uses, in general the best watercolor tubes will offer a vibrancy of color, variety, and the ability to layer well. Flow, coverage, and smooth texture and spread are also likely factors you will want.
The major issue is that with plenty of brands available, how would you decide which is the best watercolor tube in the market. You need to look into the technical aspects which purchasing any watercolor tube. This will help you determine its suitability in your application.
Best Watercolor Tubes
We have done the meticulous work on your behalf and have reviewed some of the best options available. You can look into their specifications and applications in detail before deciding whether you need to go ahead with the product purchase or not.
|1.||Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor- Moon Glow||3-pigment blend, granulating effect|
|2.||Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Paint||High performance, layers well|
|3.||Grumbacher Academy Watercolor Paint-Chinese White||Great transparency, pigment, and flow|
|4.||M.Graham Tube Watercolor Paint||Richly pigmented, even washes|
|5.||Van Gogh Watercolor Paint||Tints well, even and easy to work with|
1. Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor- Moon Glow
Daniel Smith has a reputation for being an innovative manufacturer of watercolors for artists. The company is the leading manufacturer of watercolors selling over 240 colors. This extra fine watercolor tube is available in unique colors which you will hardly find anywhere else.
If you always had this desire to create an artwork with unique hues, then Daniel Smith watercolor tube will give you the perfect opportunity that you desire. These allow artists to capture luminescent colors that can be found in nature.
This watercolor tube promises excellent lightfastness, low staining, granulating, and transparency. The product conforms to ASTM D4236. Water can be used to release the three-pigment blend for creating a masterpiece.
You can include luminescent interference pigments to areas of damp, wet, or dry Moonglow. You can try this shade for the sky, sunset snow scenes, and long shadows. Of course, you can always try a different hue, too.
Daniel Smith watercolor tubes are a favorite of professional artists all over the world. The colors are simply beautiful and promise consistent performance.
- Luminescent watercolors allow artists to capture colors of nature
- Low staining and excellent lightfastness
- Conforms to ASTM D4236
- Three-pigment blend
- Offers selection of truly unique colors
- Formulated to meet highest industry standards
- Every batch is tested and analyzed for its performance qualities
- Available in 240+ beautiful colors
- 15ml paint in the tube
- Consists of traditional colors that are truly unique
- Made from minerals and semi-precious minerals
- A mixture of pigments and Arabic gum
- Colors have beautiful granulating effects
- Have special optical effects such as reflective glow, sheen, and sparkle
- Raw materials sourced from specific locations
- Free from fillers
- Paint crumbles a little upon drying but can be reactivated with water
2. Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Paint
This professional watercolor tube offers artists a balanced and the widest choice of pigments that promise the greatest permanence possible. It has incredible transparency and brilliance. The purity of color in the Winsor & Newton professional watercolor tube remains unparalleled since its launch in 1832.
You have the option to choose from 109 colors and each color has been chosen and formulated to offer a unique palette to an artist. This watercolor tube Opera Rose has a vivid magenta rose color.
Winsor & Newton watercolor tubes offer great flexibility to the artists. Watercolors are entirely dependent on the variable characteristics of pigments used. The pigment formulations in this product are purer in hue. These provide a large number of color mixes.
The transparency in these watercolors has been achieved using a unique process of pigment dispersion while manufacturing. The natural characteristic of each pigment is highlighted with the transparency level in the paint. You can apply thin washes to reflect through the wash.
106 out of the 109 watercolor tubes offered by Winsor & Newton have been classified as permanent for artists’ use. These have been rated A or AA for their archival permanence. This ensures that these colors will appear the same in generations to come.
- Finest watercolor offering available
- Widest choice of pigments
- Available in 109 colors
- Includes 5ml tube of Winsor & Newton Professional Water Color
- Conforms to ASTM D4236
- Highest possible permanence
- Color is vibrant
- Paint rewets beautifully
- Layers beautifully
- Quantity of paint offered is too less in comparison to other brands
3. Grumbacher Academy Watercolor Paint-Chinese White
This watercolor paint from Grumbacher Academy was launched in 1834 as a brighter alternative for toxic white lead. This formulation uses a titanium dioxide pigment.
Only finely ground pigments have been used for making this rich, smooth paint. This product is available in 60 colors and comes at an affordable rate.
You can use these paints straight from the tube or mix them with water. The washes and strokes with this watercolor paint come out luminescent and vibrant for a truly beautiful look to your finished works.
The tube holds 7.5mL of paint and has been made in the USA. Grumbacher is a brand trusted by professional artists, professors, and students since 1905 throughout the United States.
- Introduced in 1834 as a brighter alternative to toxic lead white
- Part of a range of 60 watercolor paints
- Made in the USA
- Comes at an affordable price
- Made from high chroma titanium dioxide pigment
- Wonderful transparency, pigment, and flow
- Can be used directly from the tube or upon mixing with water
- Washes and strokes are luminescent and vibrant
- Finely ground pigments have been used in making this rich, smooth paint
- Quantity offered is less in comparison to other popular watercolor tube offerings
4. M.Graham Tube Watercolor Paint
If you are on a hunt for an economic, richly pigmented watercolor paint tube, then you cannot go wrong with M.Graham tube watercolor paint. The colors offered by M.Graham are rich, brilliant, and suitable for traditional techniques.
The paint is beautiful and gives even washes with no hard outlines. This paint has been formulated by loading the pigment with natural binding media – blackberry honey and pure Arabic gum.
As the watercolor tube consists partly of honey, it absorbs moisture from the air thereby preventing a quick hardening of the paint on the palette or within the tube.
You can just mix in some water and the color will be ready to use. These colors have extraordinary strength and can also be diluted for smooth, controlled washes.
- Artist quality water paint
- Deeply pigmented watercolor paint
- Rich and brilliant colors
- A mixture of pigment, blackberry honey, and Arabic gum
- Made in the USA
- Suitable for use with traditional techniques
- Beautiful paint offering even washes
- Honey prevents hardening of paint within the tube
- Can be diluted for smooth controlled washes
- Requires a few applications for covering already dried paint
5. Van Gogh Watercolor Paint
Van Gogh watercolors don’t just sound great for their name. They are suitable for students and professional artists alike.
If you are looking for paints easier to work with, then you will be delighted using Van Gogh watercolor paints.
These colors are quite intense, transparent, and brilliant. The pigment is pure and the paint is of uniform viscosity. They have a high tinting strength as well.
These paint tubes have been produced in Holland under stringent quality control requirements. Tubes hold 10mL of paint and have a lightfastness rating of +++. This rating means they should remain lightfast for 100 years under museum conditions.
- Intense, transparent and brilliant colors
- High tinting strength
- Suitable for both artists and students
- Produced in Holland
- Has lightfastness rating of +++
- Is pure and of uniform viscosity
- Easy to work with and mix
- The product adheres to stringent quality standards
- Is quite consistent
- Available in a range of 72 colors
- The reds tend to bleed
Are These Paints Student Or Professional Grade?
Some are student grade and some are suitable for both. You can check the manufacturer’s label to identify if it would fit for your use or not.
How Intense Is The Granulation In Moonglow?
It is quite intense but this is not a particularly strong color. The granulation varies from color to color in this series. Dark shades typically have a much better granulation effect when compared to the lighter ones.
Can These Paints Be Washed Off?
Watercolor paints can typically be washed off conveniently from brushes, skin, and clothes. If you want to wash it from canvas or paper, then you will have to gently wipe it with a soft sponge.
Trying to wash off dried painting that has not been coated with any sealing agent will cause runs and spots. Washing from canvas or paper can also result in smears. So you need to be careful when it comes to removing paint.
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