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.

my watercolor box

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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3 years 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
3 years 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??

3 years 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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