QoR Watercolors, a first impression
At the April meeting I gave a comparative overview of my first impressions from the new QoR watercolor brand introduced by the company Golden.
Golden is emphasizing the fact that they have switched to the synthetic binder Aquazol, instead of the traditional Gum Arabic that is deemed the best binder by other brands. QoR offers a sampling palette of 6 colors, giving a taste of their full range.
The sample palette contains a couple of pigments that become more and more popular. Cobalt Teal is a granulating pure hue close to a primary cyan, quite opaque but that doesn't hurt in this case.
The QoR paint is very similar to the Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith paints of the same hue. We convinced ourselves that with French
Ultramarine it is possible to mix a very close match to Cerulean blue. With Cobalt blue, even more intense cerulean tones can be achieved. This pigment, from either of the brands above, is a good pick when stocking up next in that hue range.
QoR also offers a nice buttery Transparent Pyrrole Orange (PO 71). This pigment is well known from the Schmincke brand, who offered it first.
This is a very pleasing pigment to use because of its transparency.
We also discussed Dioxazine Violet (PV23), a very strong and gorgeous dark violet. In good brands such as Winsor & Newton it is very lightfast, one of the most lightfast purple pigments
available, contrary to some prejudices. I was underwhelmed with the QoR Dioxazine violet, which is duller than many other brands.
The QoR Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Transparent Red Iron Oxide (here TYIO and TRIO for short) can be used in place of Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna. The QoR TYIO is duller, but appears more
transparent and is very close in appearance to the equally transparent Daniel Smith's TYIO. However, while the Daniel Smith paint is low-staining just as the Winsor & Newton Raw and Burnt Sienna,
the two QoR paints are some of the most staining paints I have seen. We looked at results of a staining test, shown above, which everyone can do at home by painting a swatch, let it dry properly, rewet and apply a fixed number of scrubs with a stiff brush to each swatch, then dab off. The QoR paint hardly comes off, while the other ones can be removed quite well.
Finally a pigment that I love very much, Ultramarine Pink. It is the most versatile granulating, nonstaining Magenta paint I know, and completely transparent.
It is a natural mixer for French Ultramarine, and nice for very delicate pink touches in landscape and portraiture, and of course for florals.
However the QoR Ultramarine Pink is less saturated than the M.Graham Ultramarine Pink, and it left a worrying whitish residue where paint had puddled, visible to the left in the image. Dried paint dollops are whitish as well - at best this could just mean Golden haven't quite worked out the use of their Aquazol binder in this paint. The M.Graham Ultramarine Pink or the Daniel Smith Ultramarine Red seem to me to be the superior choices for now.
QoR paints seem to mix without problem with other brands as far as my experiences go for now.
Overall, we should enjoy the choice we have nowadays and it is good to keep an open mind and a keen eye.