Review: Shinhan PWC Extra Fine Artists' Watercolor

I get suggestions to review ShinHan watercolour occasionally so here I am with four tubes that I bought. I didn't want to buy too many colours because I have too many other brands and tubes I have yet to finish using.

ShinHan is a Korean company that makes various types of artist paints and the TOUCH markers. I'm not sure if they are well known in the west but in Asia, their products can be found quite easily.

PWC Extra Fine Artists' Watercolor (84 colours) is one of three watercolour products from Shinhan. PWC is their highest grade watercolour product. The P stands for Premium. The next grade is called ShinHan Professional Water Color (30 colours). Please do not mistake PWC with their Professional line.. The student grade paint is SHAMI.

The pricing of ShinHan's PWC is very competitive. It's surprisingly affordable when you consider the quality.

These are the prices on Amazon USA at the time of these review:

The colours that I bought are Peacock Blue, Cerulean Blue, Permanent Yellow Light and Permanent Red.

Peacock Blue (PB15:3): Some companies call their Phthalo Blue Peacock Blue and ShinHan is one of those companies. This is a vibrant colour with strong tinting strength. The quality is similar to other brands I've used.

Cerulean Blue (PB35): Cerulean Blue looks quite close to Peacock Blue in terms of hue so there's probably no need to get both colours unless you want the granulation of Cerulean Blue. This tube that I have has been with me for months and I'm surprised that the gum arabic has not separated from the pigment like most other brands, or maybe it's just Daniel Smith's Cerulean Blue Chromium that has that problem.

Permanent Yellow Light (PY1): Label says that it's transparent but it looks semi-transparent to me. It also looks like neutral or slightly warm yellow that can mix with warm reds to get a nice orange.

Permanent Red (PR209): Strong intense warm red. Mixes with Peacock Blue to produce dull purples and dark shades.

The overall quality of the paint is high. These are vibrant intense colours. They mix well and easily with one another.


The quality is comparable to other brands such as Daniel Smith or Schmincke. When you consider the attractive pricing — each Daniel Smith tube is US $10 or more usually — you get terrific bang for the buck with ShinHan's PWC.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to test for the lightfastness so I can't say anything about that. If you want to use the paints for permanent archival work, do test for lightfastness before painting with them.

Overall, for the price, it's highly recommended.


ShinHan products may not be easily found in the west, but you can visit these links below to see their availability: | | | | | | | | Jackson's Art (UK)



Thank you for all your hard

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to giving people your honest opinion about the products you try it is very helpful to someone like me trying to get set up to learn how to watercolor. Is there any books you can recommend. Enjoy your new apartment and time with your family.

Yup, the price is right, and

Yup, the price is right, and the colours are nice and vibrant.
But there are two things about Shinhan that people should be careful about.
1) They use some very odd choices of pigments. Some of these are known to be less lightfast (check them at Others may just be uncommon choices, but ok.
And their naming conventions are a mishmash of common paint names, sometimes applied to the weirdest combo of pigments.
2) Look for 'PWC'; don't accidentally buy their so-called 'Professional' line of watercolours, which uses even more oddball, suspect pigments, combined with dyes & fillers. (The 'Pro' line is a decent Student-grade paint – if you know that's what you want.) The name 'Professional' is misleading marketing.
However, if you research pigments, and carefully buy single-pigment tubes with pigments you trust, there are some bargains within their top, PWC line (the one reviewed here). I have around 5 tubes, and am happy with them; and there are another half dozen that I would consider buying.
Only buy the multi-tube sets if you don't care about long term fade-resistance, or will keep your images light-free inside sketchbooks. For that purpose, these paints are more than fine.

Hi Teoh,

Hi Teoh,
I would like to ask the difference between PWC and SWC in the market. PWC seems to have a blue packaging and SWC has white. Can you tell the difference? SWC seems to be more expensive though. Thanks!

I noticed same issue when I

I noticed same issue when I was buying my ones. To me it seems to be the issue of packaging and branding. 32 color sets with SWC name are not Shamy watercolors, it is same set as PWC but meant to be sold on Korean Market. The boxes with PWC logo are meant for International market customers.

'Oddball' is the right word.

'Oddball' is the right word. I have an old collection of ShinHan Professional Artist's Colors, bought many years ago, in 20ml tubes, and each color is identified only by a number. None of the familiar Naples Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, etc., to give at least some idea what kind of red or yellow is inside the tube. Just a number. And I've tried finding a catalog of colors to match against the numbers. No luck so far. I need to do a spread of them in the next few days, to see what's what for myself. If they are the slightest bit muddy, out they go and that's it for ShinHan.

Edit: It turns out that what

Edit: It turns out that what I have is, according to ShinHan, not strictly watercolor, but "Professional Korean Color', and they suggest using their own 'Painting glue' for mixing colors. They also recommend the color for use on "hanji" Korean Rice paper. So I will proceed carefully. I don't want to risk dipping a $20 Escoda brush into paint that isn't water-soluble, and I still don't know what exactly this stuff is. The ShinHan Custie Service person just identified them as "Professional Korean Colors", and supplied no more information than that. Not an approach that inspires confidence in me.

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