Watercolor Supplies and Materials - Paints
While I'm updating my website several links will take you back to my original "Tips" pages.
I'll get them all moved and updated eventually!
Thanks for your patience!
Excerpt from my Watercolor Basics Class Notebook:
Artist/Professional Grade vs. Student grade
Unfortunately, there are no set standards to guarantee the term 'artist-quality' based on performance. There are some paints labeled 'artist
quality' that are not equivalent to the others, just as some student grade paints that are above average. Manufactures often have two lines of
paint and apply the term 'student quality' to their second or cheaper line. Many of the student grade paints are not ground as finely and/or
have inert filler added to them as extenders. With less color pigment this brings the quality of the paint down a notch or two causing them to
be weaker tinting, chalky or lack luster. Buying artist quality or professional grade paints may cost a little more initially but they will save you
money in the long run. Some of the better brands names that are available include, Windsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Rembrandt, Maimeriblu,  
DaVinci,  Holbein,  Daler-Rowney,  Sennelier,  American Journey, Graham,  Schmincke and Grumbacher. (There are others that are not as
accessible universally.)

Color Index Name (CIN)
Every color has a color index name. (Example: Quinacridone Gold   PO 48) This is a number code
that refers to the specific pigment and it's composition. The color index is the international
standard compiled and published by both The Society of Dyers and Colourists, and the
American Association of Textiles Chemists and Colorists. This number is for identification only
and does not rank the quality of the pigment. Manufacturers are starting to add this
information to their paint labels or at least provide the information upon request. It is helpful
to know what pigments make up a color. The common names given to colors are not always
consistent. A burnt sienna by Windsor & Newton will not be the same as a burnt sienna by
Holbein, even though they carry the same tube name. Each of these will look and act
differently even though they are made from the same pigment. And two colors that may
look and act identical may have totally different names, such as Windsor Blue and Rembrandt Blue.
This list of ten qualities to look for in watercolor paint was given to me in a watercolor
workshop. Unfortunately I don't know who to credit for this list but I think it covers
some great points so I'll share it here.

Ten qualities to look for when buying watercolor paint:

  1. Light fastness, highly rated and marked on the label.
  2. Clean, clear color without added toners
  3. Optimum fineness of pigment particles
  4. Transparency or translucent quality
  5. Maximum intensity
  6. Formulated with a soluble medium to the right consistency
  7. Proper labeling conforming to ASTM standards and health hazards warnings
  8. Contains a single pigment - if possible
  9. Be affordable without compromising standards
Types of Watercolor Paint