Choosing the Best Watercolor Paints

If you are confused as to how to pick the best watercolor paints for your painting arsenal, there are a few simple tips that can help you make the best decision for your money.

�· Begin by choosing only a few colors that you like, and adding other colors gradually.
Ã?· Don’t buy all ready-made colors. Remember that colors such as orange and green can be mixed yourself-saving money.
�· Make sure that any paint you buy has a lightfastness rating of at least I or II. This information is found on the back of the tube.
Ã?· Know that “student-grade” watercolors have contain much less pigment than higher grade, making it more difficult (if not
impossible) to create rich, saturated colors.
�· Remember that watercolor paints in pans tend to be of lesser quality than that of paints found in tubes.
�· Ask other artists what brands they prefer and why. Many times, other artists can relay the benefits and drawbacks of specific
paint brands.
�· Know what information to look for on paint labels. Each tube should have the following information:

1. Series number (relates price to cost of ingredients).
2. The ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) lightfastness rating number. Remember, I, is excellent. A rating of II is very good.
3. The color index name, expressed as Pigment Color 000, or PX000, with X representing the first letter of the color family name. For example, PR=red and PY=yellow.
4. The color index number informs you of the precise chemical composition of the paint color-giving a better idea as to the true nature of the paint pigment.
5. The vehicle or binder for the pigment. Gum arabic is commonly used. However, other binders may include honey or glycerin.

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