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Last Summer I began composing my ideal watercolor palette. I needed one very much. I had collected so much paint over the years that I reviewed watercolor on YouTube that I needed that one go-to box of colors I could paint almost anything with. Having a lot of paint is wonderful, but at some point it takes more time to find the right paint than the painting does and then it’s high time to sort your colors out!

It was a tough job. BUT! I did it! In 7 days from sunrise till midnight. In two runs. The first version I made turned out to be a little less ideal than I thought. So I threw myself at the job for another few day sand reached a near ideal palette. Now I’m changing just the one color, or maybe two. But then this set is pretty much definitive and ideal.

I made a video to share the process and choice of colors. And below the video you will find a list of the colors that are in my IDEAL palette with links to the products, should you be interested. None of these links are sponsored. There are no affiliations. I make no money from sharing this with you other than a few dimes for the ads on YouTube (although I also offer my videos ad-free on Patreon). This is simply me sharing my pigment quest and what I’ve found to be the ideal and most versatile set to work with.

List of paints in the IDEAL watercolor palette:

This list is composed after having taken out the Chinese white that you can still see in the photo. You will also find the additional link to my preferred Permanent Alizarin Crimson in the list. It’s not yet in my palette, but it has a good chance of ending up there once I know which of the colors in this palette are not as ideal as I thought they’d be. In other words, as soon as it’s apparent there’s a color I hardly use it can go to make room for this Alizarin Crimson.

Should you like to compose a similar set of watercolor paints, then by no means do you need the exact same paints. Feel free to tweak your color composition to your personal liking. And also, if you have a paint with the same pigment number from another manufacturer, then feel free to use that instead of feeling nudged to buy a new one.

The format of the list will be: brand, color name, color number (if it has one), pigment number(s).

Click for bigger version

Top row of the palette:

Golden Qor, Dioxazine Purple, PV23 (to replace the Chinese White I don’t use)
Daniel Smith, Titan Buff, PW6:1
Sennelier, Cadmium Lemon Yellow, #535, PY 35
Rembrandt, Azo Yellow Light, #246, PY154
Daniel Smith, Nickel Azo Yellow, PY150
Sennelier, Cadmium Yellow Deep, #533, PY35
Golden Qor, Transparent Pyrrole Orange, PO71
Daniel Smith, Pyrrole Orange, PO73
Rembrandt, Permanent Red Medium, #377, PR255
Rembrandt, Permanent Red Deep, #371, PR254
Rembrandt, Perylene Red Deep, #354, PR178
Daniel Smith, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, PR 177, PV 19, PR 149 (- not in the palette YET)
Daniel Smith, Quinacridone Coral, PR209
Rembrandt, Quinacridone Rose Reddish, #367, PV19

Second row from the top:

Schmincke Horadam, Purple Magenta, #267, PR122
Rembrandt, Cobalt Violet, #539, PV14
Rembrandt, Quinacridone Purple bluish, #593, PV55
Schmincke Horadam, Cobalt Violet Hue, #473, PV62
Daniel Smith, Manganese Blue Hue, PB15
Rembrandt, Cerulean Blue, #534, PB35
Golden Qor, Cobalt Blue, PB28
Rembrandt, French Ultamarine, #503, PB29
Rembrandt, Indanthrene Blue, #585, PB60
Rembrandt, Phtalo Blue Reddish, #583, PB15
Winsor & Newton Artists’, Phthalo Turquoise, #526, PB16
Winsor & Newton Artists’, Aqua Green, #697, Palomar Turquoise (This pigment, interestingly enough, has no number)
Schmincke Horadam, Cobalt Turqoise, #509, PG50 (This color is often named ‘cobalt teal’)

Third row from the top:

Sennelier, Cobalt Green, #856, PB36
Golden Qor, Viridian, PG18
Rembrandt, Phthalo Green, #675, PG7
Rembrandt, Phthalo Green Yellow, #681, PG26
Rembrandt, Chromium Oxide Green, #668, PG17
Rembrandt, Sap Green, #623, PY150, PG7
Rembrandt, Azomethine Green Yellow, #296, PY129
Sennelier, Naples Yellow Deep, #566, PBr24
Daniel Smith, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, PBr7
Rembrandt, Transparent Oxide Yellow, #265, PY42
Daniel Smith, Goethite (Brown Ochre), PY43
Rembrandt, Burnt Umber, #409, PBr7
Rembrandt, Burnt Sienna, #411, PBr7

Bottom row:

Rembrandt, Quinacridone Orange, #229, PO48
Daniel Smith, Deep Scarlet, PR175
Daniel Smith, Permanent Brown, PBr25
Daniel Smith, Perylene Maroon, PR179
Daniel Smith, Piemontite Genuine (pigment is genuine piemontite mineral)
Daniel Smith, German Greenish Raw Umber, PBr7
Daniel Smith, Van Dyke Brown, PBr7
Schmincke Horadam, Peryleen Green, #784, PBk 31
Rembrandt, Lamp Black, #702, PBk6
Schmincke Horadam, Mars Black, #791, PBk11
Rembrandt, Opaque White, #106, PW6
Kremer, IRIODIN® 323 ROYAL GOLDSATIN, #501798

None of these links are sponsored!