I've been using Maimeriblu for a few months and it's about time I write something about it. I actually wanted to test it a bit more but I'm actually getting a bit fed up with this particular set.
This is the Try-out or Introductory set of Maimeriblu watercolors that I've bought a few months ago in Tokyo, Japan. The price was quite attractive and I've read good things about the brand so I decided to get a set to try out.
Maimeri is an Italian brand founded in 1923 by Italian impressionist painter, Gianni Maimeri. The whole range has a total of 72 colours, and they are sold in either 15ml tubes or half pans. If you want to check out the swatches for all the colours, Jane Blundell has painted all of them.
The six colours that are included in my set are
- Permanent Lemon Yellow (PY175)
- Primary Red (PV19)
- French Ultramarine (PB29)
- Permanent Green Deep (PY175 + PG7)
- Burnt Umber (PBr7)
- Raw Sienna (PBr7)
My first impression of these colour swatches was they look fine. I've painted the swatches beside some White Nights and Daniel Smith paints to compare. MaimeriBlu watercolors don't look as intense when compared to other brands I've used, such as Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith and Mission Gold.
These are some secondary colour mixes that I painted.
Because of the colour selection, it's actually difficult to get vibrant and intense secondary colours.
Lemon Yellow isn't the right choice to mix a bright orange so I tried Raw Sienna and Primary Red. The result is a rather pastel-like orange.
Greens are muted too. Lemon Yellow mixed with Ultramarine will produce a muted green. Permanent Green Deep is an unnatural yellow green that's too yellow so you need to neutralise it, and doing it will mute it down as well.
You can get a nice deep purple with Primary Red and Ultramarine. You can't compare it with a Ultramarine with Quin Rose mixture but it's not too bad here.
Gray tones look fine.
The paint from the tubes are particularly gooey. Softer than other brands I've used. I've squeezed some paint into pans and when they dried, they still look wet and sticky, but the main thing is they don't move, so you don't have to worry about paint flowing.
Because the paint is gooey, when you use the brush to pick up paint, you can pick up quite a bit because the paint sticks together. Not really a big issue though.
Because the paints aren't as vibrant compared to other brands, the paper that you use becomes more important. Here I was using the 100% cotton Bee Paper Watercolor Journal to test out some early sketches. I felt that something was wrong instantly. The colours seem to lose their vibrancy on the paper. This is not a problem specific to MaimeriBlu because I've tried Daniel Smith on the same journal and the colours appeared a bit washed out too. So there's definitely something not right with the paper here. I've tried the loose sheets of Bee Paper 100% cotton watercolour paper before and those are of better quality.
This sketch and the ones below were painted on Kunst & Papier watercolour sketchbook with 35% cotton paper (160gsm). This paper works slightly better than the Bee Paper watercolour journal.
My favourite mixtures are Raw Sienna and Primary Red. The orange created looks beautiful. French Ultramarine mixed with Burnt Umber also looks quite good. I was able to get some nice looking browns and dark shades.
I used a lot of Raw Sienna straight from the tube for this sketch and it makes the whole sketch look brighter.
Of all the watercolour brands I've used, I just don't feel the excitement of using these. I'm just not feeling the quality. With some other brands, you can sort of tell instantly when you lay down the first wash, but not here with MaimeriBlu in my experience. Maybe it has got to do with the specific colour selection in this set. Maybe if you choose your own colours they may work better. Or maybe it's the paper I'm using. Maybe it's just me.