Hello and welcome back to another one of my blog reviews. Here are my thoughts on the "Paul Rubens Opaque Watercolours". I am not being sponsored and this review is solely my own opinions.
These are intended to work like watercolours and gouache combined in one medium. I purchased the 36 colour set, that came in a large silver box, and the tubes are 15ml. A 24-tube set is also available. I was surprised to see a great colour selection and some were unique. I was not sure, when l started using these if l was going to use them as watercolours or gouache but l used them as both. As watercolours, you do have to water them down quite a bit, and l found they dry fast. What l found weird, normally with watercolours they usually dry lighter, but with these l found they dried darker, so having all the colours swatched ahead of time will come in useful. They were not flowy like most watercolours are, but they layer well. They are bright and vibrant and the texture was smooth, it will allow you to create delicate paintings, but you will need to use a lot of water. They have strong coverage, but if you are looking for a gentle transparent look then l don’t think these are a good choice. I must admit that l did love the convenience of all the different colours.
The biggest con, the pigment information is not written on the tubes. l consider these designer gouache as many of the colours do have dyes in them. The light-fast ratings on the amazon listing are confusing to me, as l do not know how they made an "Opera Rose" a 5-star rating, light-fast. l would not use these in commission work, or any sellable artwork. I think they would be great for sketchbook use or to practice with.
They did have binder separation in most of the tubes but l was able to mix them well. They re-wet like a dream, so no wasting but l will warn you that l did have cracking, and shrinkage when they dried, so l would use them out of the tube, instead of pouring them and storing them in half or full pan palettes.
I wish Paul Rubens, were more transparent about the light-fast information. I did enjoy working with them but l will for sure only keep them for sketchbook work, and not sellable originals. I can't find enough information or evidence that proves them to be a professional grade medium.
Personally, l don’t think they work as well as some of the gouache or poster colours l have used in other brands, and they definitely did not work as well as my other watercolour brands. On a plus side they did blend well wet into wet, (used as a watercolour) and they blended well on the page. Colours also blended well on the palette. You can paint very thickly but it does dry quickly and the colours are very opaque. These were not see through when used as a gouache (little water) so that was a plus if you are looking for an opaque look. You can sufficiently layer this paint on top of itself, just make sure that you are using minimal water so you don’t pull up the lower layers.
Overall l thought they were good, as you have a warm and a cool primary and some fun colours added to the sets. If you are someone who wants to use both watercolours and gouache, then these would be a decent option.
Personally, if you are a beginner to watercolours or gouache l would not recommend these, as there is definitely a learning curve when first using them, and this could put you off both watercolours and gouache. To be completely honest, l don’t think these are a must have, but if you want a hybrid paint then give them a try. I am not sure how often l will reach for these, but its always fun to add unique art mediums to your collection, especially to have some creative fun.
If you have given these a try l would love to hear your thoughts on them, so please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Happy creating and have a beautiful day.
Alice Melo is a realistic professional artist, who loves all the fussy details.
5/7/2023 07:43:11 pm
I appreciate reading your opinion on these watercolours. You’re so knowledgeable!
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I am hoping that l can be inspirational and informative. I feel that paying it forward is a great way to live.