Review: Stephen Quiller Watercolor

I bought a few tubes of Stephen Quiller Watercolor from Amazon recently during a sale.

The colours I've bought are

  • Transparent Yellow (PY154)
  • Pyrrole Red (PR254)
  • Quinacridone Red (PR202)
  • Quinacridone Magenta (PR122)
  • Cobalt Blue (PB28, PB15:1)
  • Cobalt Blue Deep (PB74)
  • Hooker's Green (PG42, PG7)
  • Venetian Red (PR102)

You can download the Stephen Quiller watercolour chart here (PDF, 3MB).

Stephen Quiller Watercolor is imported and sold by Jack Richeson & Company. The company that actually makes the paint is an "European company that has been making paint since the 1860s". No name was given for that company. Labels on the tubes state that they were made in Belgium so they are likely made by Blockx, a company founded in 1865.

SQ Watercolor is made with stone mill grounded pigment mixed with gum arabic and honey.

These paints are very soft and fluid. Be careful when squeezing the tubes because the paint can flow out really easily.

Among the tubes I have, two had too much binder. More specifically Venetian Red (shown above) and Quinacridone Magenta. Almost half the Venetian Red tube was filled with binder. No kidding. So with a 15ml tube, you're actually getting much less paint.

While you can certainly stir the pigment and binder, there's just too much binder to begin with, especially when you compare with other brands.

So when painting from the tubes, expect to use up these paint fast.

Also, when you squeeze the paint into pans, there is significant shrinkage. So it takes several pouring sessions to fill the pan to the brim. The pans will take days to dry but when dry, they are no longer fluid and don't run. And they rewet fine.

The quality of the paint is good. Colours are vibrant.

The colours I've used here are Transparent Yellow PR154, Quinacridone Magenta PR122 and Cobalt Blue Deep PB74. These are transparent and semi transparent colours that mix well together.

Cobalt Blue Deep is a weird one because this is suppose to be an incredibly granulating colour but Stephen Quiller's version looks like a non-granulating version. How can that be?

Quinacridone Magenta PR122 uses the same pigment as Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Lilac. It's a slightly less intense magenta compared to Daniel Smith Quinacridone Magenta PR202.

Transparent Yellow Medium is PR154, Benzimidazolone Yellow or Azo Yellow. This is vibrant, semi-transparent yellow. You can think of it as an even more vibrant version of Daniel Smith's Hansa Yellow Medium PY97. But PY154 is expensive so PY97 is a more value-for-money option.

Transparent Yellow Medium, Quin Red and Richeson Blue (Phthalo).

Overall, the quality is definitely there but the only thing I didn't like was how much binder there was in some of the tubes. I'm not the only one complaining about the binder.

Stephen Quiller Watercolor isn't widely stocked compared to other brands so finding them may be difficult. Pricing is average to above average, relatively speaking compared to Daniel Smith.


You can find Stephen Quiller Watercolor and more reviews on Amazon. Stephen Quiller's website also stocks them. Anyway, just compare the prices and check out more reviews before you buy.

Here's another review I found online.

For more art product reviews, visit



Always great reading your

Always great reading your take on things. Thanks.
And it is always disappointing when someone whose teaching I respect--Quiller--promotes bad products. Did he even inspect the product when it hit the shelves?
I can believe the samples he approved were probably well made. But the end results are absurd.

Aha! i KNEW there had to be

Aha! i KNEW there had to be honey in it! Couldn't find mention of it, except for here. The blue I got definitely remained sticky like MGraham so I figured it had to be the honey thing.

(I'm not aware of anything else that keeps the paints from drying out. Unless maybe too much binder can do that?)

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