Product Review: Paul Rubens Watercolors

We recently got to try out Paul Rubens’ brand new line of 4th generation watercolors and I’m excited to get to review them for you! These professional, artist-grade paints have the highest quality pigments of any watercolors that Paul Rubens has produced. They have excellent transparency and are lightfast. Currently you can purchase them in the US and Canada and they will be available soon in the UK. 

Overall, I was really impressed with these watercolors. You can get them in a set of 24 or 36 5ml tubes. We tried out the set of 24. They arrived in a matte black box with gold detailing with the paint tubes nestled in a velvet-like lined tray. Truly a treat to unwrap! There are a nice variety of colors included although a few colors are very close to one another. For example, the two yellows included, Lemon Yellow and Cadmium Yellow Light, are very similar. I would have liked to see another warmer yellow instead. 

The colors themselves are rich and vibrant. Most of the colors in the set are made with single pigments. I was really pleased with how easy it was to get an intense color on the paper right away. The colors dispersed beautifully through the water on paper. There was no chalkiness noted for any of the colors. I also felt that they reactivated more easily with water after they dried in the palette than some other brands. I read another review that said they got flaky after drying but I didn’t have that experience.  

The texture of the paints straight out of the tube was slightly looser than other professional watercolors I have worked with, with the exception of the Burnt Sienna and Berlin blue which were pretty thick but still painted nicely.  The paints also mixed together well and I didn’t have issues with separation.

There’s a color chart included that lists the pigments, transparency/opacity and lightfastness for each color. Because this is a Chinese-based company, the descriptions are listed in both Chinese and English. The color chart itself is in Chinese but since the symbols for transparency/opacity are pretty standard, I was still able to understand them. They don’t disclose which paints are granulating, but I found that some of the usual were: French Blue, Cobalt Turquoise Dark, and Burnt Sienna. A few others appeared to be slightly granulating.

Bottom line, I think these Paul Rubens watercolors are a great value for professional level paints. One downside is that you can’t buy them in single tubes if you run out of a favorite color but their affordability outweighs that inconvenience. They are significantly less expensive than most other professional level watercolors. This would be a great set for someone who wants to make the jump from student grade paints to professional but cost has held them back.

Have you tried Paul Rubens watercolors? We’d love to hear what you think!

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We received this set of 24 watercolors from Paul Rubens for free in exchange for our review. The opinions stated here are our own.

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