When I first started watercolor, I learned from a mentor who works at a local commercial art supply store in my city. I was raised on really great quality watercolor brands, however I could only afford student grade paints.
As I tested out paint after paint, one watercolor brand that stood out to me were the Qor line of watercolors from Golden Paints.
I’ve been painting with these for about two years and I doubt I’ll go for any other brand of watercolor.
If you’ve seen any watercolor illustration from me, then it’s made with Qor.
I love the vibrancy, the clear, deep hues of each paint color. And what I love the most is the sheer mixing power these colors possess. But… how?
The secret is in it’s binder.
When making paints, each watercolor brand and medium has it’s own type of binder to keep pigments together. If you’ve ever noticed with student or lower quality paints, there’s a clear or colored liquid that might come out when you squeeze your paint tube, that’s the binder, and because it’s student quality, there’s more of that instead of the colors.
Golden uses a different kind of binder for their watercolors than the other brands. They use Aquazol, which is a binder similar to very common gum arabic. But what this binder does better than it’s traditional cousin is the ability to be more flexibile when dried as well as provide a brighter hue. Wet and dry.
“What we found in our initial investigations of Aquazol was that it allowed us to create a color with the potential for greater color strength than any other professional watercolor.”
Mark Golden – The Science behind Qor
The thing about this watercolor brand is the paint really does go a long way. I was gifted a 12 tube set two years ago and I still haven’t run out yet. They’re perfect for filling a travel paint tin such as this one for a hassle free plein air painting, or if you just need a tiny tin for on-the-go work.
Because of its intense hue, clarity, and solubility I’m able to make watercolor paintings as bright as this one:
Or as subtle as this one:
My all time favorite color is Quinacridone Magenta. This color makes the most gorgeous purples and pinks I’ve ever painted!
I think… I need to start a series with that color.
Anyway, if you’re looking for the best watercolor brand that’s vibrant, clear, mixable, and absolutely work every stroke of paint, check them out for yourself!
Do you have a favorite watercolor brand? Comment below and let me know!