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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Test Driving the new QoR Watercolors from Golden

To see the images larger, just click on them!

I was asked to test the new QoR colors, and I jumped at the chance--what fun!  Golden makes my favorite acrylics, so I really wanted to see what they'd do with this medium--my favorite.  Above is the selection of colors they sent--not always the ones in my normal palette, but it made me stretch a bit.  Here, you can see directly from the tube, pulled down with water, then I allowed the paint to dry for a further test.  In the small two spots above each pigment, the one on the left is lifted from dry pigment, the one on the right is after pre-wetting a bit. (QoR is pronounced "core," by the way!)

You may remember my initial exploration, in this post: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/2014/03/finally-sketching-outdoors-again.html

I didn't have a lot of brands to compare similar colors, and of course that's what's most fair to do...here in the left column are Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton paints (Sorry, don't remember which is which, except the cool red is DS--they were in my reworked Prang palette.)  The middle column is Russian Sonnet, and the column on the right is QoR.

Here, I allowed the paint to dry on the page...the bottom light streak is lifting with one quick stroke and blotting, the next up I scrubbed a bit more, and the soft edge at the top of each swatch was lifting with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Not many colors lifted entirely, but it's useful to soften and define areas if you need to.

The Transparent Red Oxide isn't quite as transparent as I expected (I've used Rembrant's version of that one), and the gray at lower right won't be useful to me, though you may find it so.  It was a bit weak, didn't lift all that well once dry, and I don't use gray from a tube anyway!  (Sorry the pigment names didn't make it, the test sheet was just a bit too big for my scanner!  You can see most of them on the image at the top of the page, though.)

This is the handy little plastic palette I happened to have on hand--just fit the new paints!  I'm good to go.

I tested them out at our sketchcrawl in March...nice!

And as a background to give this ink sketch a bit of snap...

Then, more testing!  Back to the studio...

If you want to know how your colors will glaze, you can make a swatch of one of them, let it dry, then add a quick brushstroke of another color--move fast so you don't lift the undercolor!

I used a band of India ink and then painted over with each of the colors QoR provided, as I do with every new paint I try out.  For the  most part, these are reasonably transparent, and the ones that aren't are the ones I would choose for their opacity anyway...the Pyrrole Red, Venetian Red, and the blues on the far right, especially.

I compared their quin gold with Daniel Smith's...it's quite a bit warmer, and it flows well...

Cobalt Teal and Indian Yellow...a fresh spring green, and isn't that teal gorgeous??

Finally, I did a self portrait of the Watercolor Crone, going for subtlety (and wrinkles, of course, don't forget the wrinkles!)  Nice and delicate!

These are definitely nice paints, that compare very well with other brands I've used...they re-wet nicely for the most part (except that grey!), and seem to hold their color well once dry.  And by the way, I didn't use the grey for my hair, that's a mix of blues and browns, my normal way to get a variety of greys.

I'm definitely going to be turning to that little palette a LOT.  Thank you, QoR and Golden paints!

More info on their web page, here: http://www.goldenpaints.com/company/news/2014/qor-watercolors/


  1. Very thorough testing and super self-portrait (wrinkles and all). :-D

  2. This is a beautiful post Cathy!!!!! Thanks for sharing your explorations!

  3. How wonderful. I enjoyed your post so much.

  4. Wonderful overview. I've been waiting to see & hear about the new paints from Golden. Thanks for sharing your impressions.

  5. Kate! What a great self portrait! You've got that twinkle in your eye just right! Thanks for this comparison! ♥

  6. These paints look very interesting indeed… thanks for sharing this with us.

  7. A beautiful sensitive portrait - and the paints look imteresting. Thanks for the tests.

  8. I'm glad you all enjoyed this one! I'll be testing these further when I get a few more colors--watch for it!

  9. pretty nice blog, following :)

  10. The colors look so brilliant, thanks for sharing.

  11. Kate (Cathy Johnson) Thanks so much for the overview. And I loved the self portrait (wrinkles and all). I am at that age when they are present and I decided I am just glad to be here, wrinkles and all.

  12. Thanks all! And Sharon, I keep trying to paint them all, but I don't think I have the patience!

  13. Thanks again for the review on this new paint product.
    What you have not mentioned THESE PAINTS ARE HORRIBLY EXPENSIVE so I wont even be able to buy one color to try them out. It does interest me though to understand in what way they are a significant 'alternative' to authentic watercolor paints ?


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