What colors do I have in my watercolor box?

I mostly use colors in a tube, but I have a box that I take with me when I can not or do not want to bring a lot of tubes. The box contains the most important colors for me.I will describe what colors I have in the box, and give a brief explanation of why I have chosen them.

We start with the top row from the left.

Winsor Lemon – Winsor & Newton (PY175) It is the perfect primary yellow color, a must in every watercolor box I think.
Winsor Yellow – Winsor & Newton (PY 154) Slightly warmer than Winsor Lemon otherwise similar properties, nothing you really need, but there was room in the box.
Aureolin – Winsor & Newton (PY 40) An incredibly beautiful cold yellow color, unfortunately not very lightfast.
New Gamboge – Winsor & Newton (PY 153) NOTE the old Nickel Dioxin, not the new mixed paint. As it is, I have some extras that I bought when colors were still available.
Transparent Pyrrol Orange – Daniel Smith (PO71). The perfect warm red for me, in addition, it is a complementary color to phthalo blue.
Quinacridone Red – Winsor & Newton (PR209) Another very nice warm red color.
Permanent Rose – Winsor & Newton (PV19) Quinacridone rose is a must, perfect primary red.

Row in the middle – from left:

Indanthrone Blue – Winsor & Newton (PB60) One of the few warm blue pigments, nothing you have to have, but nice.
French Ultramarine – Winsor & Newton (PB29) This one is a must have! For me, it is the most important blue color.
Phthalo blue – Daniel Smith (PB15:6) As it is the only primary blue color, it is good to have.
Cobalt Blue – Winsor & Newton (PB28). Just like French ultramarine a must in every watercolor box.
Manganese Blue Winsor & Newton (PB33) This is genuine, the color is no longer available. A very nice, but unnecessary color in my watercolor box.
Viridian – Winsor & Newton (PG18) A granulating color with character.
Phthalo green Yellow Shade – Rembrandt, Royal Talens (PG36) Complementary color to primary red, a must.

Bottom row – left

Quinacridone Gold – Winsor & Newton (PO 49) Genuine. The last one I have left in a pan, then it’s over
Raw Sienna – Daniel Smith (Monte Amiata Natural Sienna PBr7) You should have some raw sienna or yellow ocher in the box. In my opinion, this is by far the best.
Burnt Sienna – Winsor & Newton (PR101) Synthetic but beautiful, you should have some kind of burnt sienna.
Raw Umber– Winsor & Newton (PBr7) You do not have to have the color but it is nice.
Ivory Black – Winsor & Newton (PBk9) Do You Really Need a Black? Yes, in my opinion.
Iron oxide black – Daniel Smith (PBk11) Just because it’s so fun!

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11 months ago

It was very informative to see your palette. I was going to ask you about it as I was very curious that you’re only the second artist I see painting with a limited palette of three colors

Reply to  Erik
11 months ago

Five colors isn’t too much for other watercolorists, though who often ask from beginners to use 10 to 15 colors for a level 1 tutorial! That’s when mixing from 3 primary colors becomes too difficult and just can’t go on. Cerulean? How am I going to get that color??

11 months ago

Lol, I mentioned cerulean because a former tutor of mine had it as part of the exercise or panting I was supposed to do. So my point was rather sarcastic as to why would I have such a color in my palette much less if I’m sticking to primary colors

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