• Re:Jen Zen

A Review: Rembrandt Watercolors: Swatches and First Impressions

Royal Talens has been making art supplies since the early 1900s. Known for their student-line paints “Van Gogh”, their ink series “Ecoline”, and their “Amsterdam” acrylics; I was excited to make their “Rembrandt” watercolor series my first professional set.


The Specs


24 Half Pans


The Primaries

Yellows:

207 Cadmium Lemon, 208 Cadmium Yellow Light, 238 Gamboge, 210 Cadmium Yellow Dark 227 Yellow Ochre

Reds:

303 Cadmium Red Light, 206 Cadmium Red Dark, 336 Permanent Madder Lake, 366 Quinacridone Rose

Blues:

506 Ultramarine Dark, 511 Cobalt Blue, 534 Cerulean Blue, 508 Prussian Blue


The Secondaries

Oranges: 211 Cadmium Orange

Greens: 662 Permanent Green, 616 Viridian, 645 Hooker Green Dark, 623 Sap Green

Purples: 532 Mauve


The Others:

Browns: 411 Burnt Sienna, 409 Burnt Umber, 408 Raw Umber, 416 Sepia

Grays: 708 Payne Grey


Texture

Fresh out of the box the paints were very syrupy once activated and it was dangerously too easy to load up the brush too quickly. The paint was sticky and clung to the bristles of my brush easily.

Now that I have had a little more time with my palette, I feel that it’s not quite as syrupy as fresh out of the box, but if they are activated all you need is a gentle tap to get plenty of paint.


Pigment

I was overall very happy with the strength of the colors. A few were a bit difficult and I felt mildly frustrated by (namely 211 Cadmium Orange and 534 Cerulean Blue)


Layout and Organization

I think the chosen colors works well for a basic palette. The 24 set provides both a warm and a cool in all the primaries.


In addition, they have plenty of highly pigmented secondary colors (with a whopping four pans for green). I was also pleased to see that they didn’t only give attention to the vibrant show-stoppers, but had plenty of colors in the dimmer and darker color ranges.


Quality

The case is very sturdy. It seems to be made out of tin. I am not sure how this will handle long-term, but for now it works well.


Bonus: Finger hole.


First Impressions and Updates

It’s my first pro palette so I was hit hard by the learning curve. I had more than one panic attack. After doing some swatches and finding it incredibly hard to figure out how to make a proper gradation, I thought maybe I had jumped the gun.


Maybe I wasn’t ready for this?


It took a few paintings, but I eventually figured out how to handle them. I especially had a hard time with layering colors. With my student grade palette I had been able to blend layers slowly, but I was accidentally creating blossoms and lifting paint without intending to with these professional paints.


Thankfully, that is no longer the case!


Don’t judge any art tool on your first impression. That is why I waited so long to write this up. You need to give all new tools a chance.

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