Big thanks to Nevskaya Palitra for sending over the paint for me for this review.
Nevskaya Palitra has just added 9 new colours to their White Nights watercolour series in 2018. They've also updated some of their sets with new packaging and colour selection for the sets. More specifically, they have new colour selection for the 12-tube set, the 12 and 36 pan set.
Nevskaya Palitra have been selling White Nights in pans for the longest time and they've finally released their paint in tubes. And that's great because tubes are more convenient for painting larger pieces.
The paints that I've received are the 9 new colours and the 12-tube set.
This is the new 12-tube set with the packaging art from Russian artist Igor Sava. Each tube is only 10ml which is quite surprising because other brands usually have their paint in 5 and 15 ml tubes.
White Nights is actually one of three series of watercolour paint made by Nevskaya Palitra. There's Sonnet, which is considered student grade paint. And there's Ladoga which is above Sonnet in quality but below the professional grade White Nights. Both Sonnet and Ladoga has very limited colour selection while the White Nights have the widest colour selection with 75 colours with the recent additional of the 9 new colours.
These are the colours in the 12-tube set.
- Zinc White (PW 4) - semi transparent
- Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY 35) - opaque
- Golden Deep (PO 62) - transparent
- Red Ochre (PR 102) - semi transparent
- Cadmium Red Light (PR 108) - opaque
- Madder Lake Red Light (PR 187) - transparent
- Quinacridone Violet (PV 55) - transparent
- Ceruleum Blue (PB 35) - semi transparent
- Ultramarine (PB 29) - semi transparent
- Green (PG 8) - transparent - LF2
- Burnt Umber (PBr 7) - semi transparent
- Payne's Gray (PBk 7, PB 15, PV 3) - semi transparent - LF2
White Nights uses a 3 star rating for lightfast quality, with 3 stars being the most lightfast. Out of the 12 colours in this set, the two colours Green and Payne's Gray have a two-star rating.
Another thing to note about White Nights is, there are quite a few opaque semi-transparent colours. Having those colours around may be challenging for colour mixing as they will affect the transparency of other colours.
I'll test out the 12-tube set more thoroughly before I put out my detailed review.
This is the colour chart painted with the tubes. The colours are vibrant. They aren't particularly granulating, even the earth tones. Click here for a larger watercolour chart.
These are the 9 new colours that I've swatched out on the dot card provided. The colours are
- Aureolin (PY 151) - transparent
- Naples Yellow Light (PY 216) - opaque
- Naples Orange (PY 216) - opaque
- Orange (PO 64)- semi transparent
- Geranium Red (PR 242) - semi transparent
- Venice Purple (PR 179) - semi transparent
- May Green (PY 3, PG 36) - transparent
- Cobalt Turquoise (PB 28) - semi transparent
- Cerulean Azure Blue (PB 36) - semi transparent
All these colours are supposed to have good lightfast quality.
Aureolin looks almost like Lemon Yellow except it's just slightly warmer in hue. Interestingly, the pigment PY 151 that's used here is the same as Daniel Smith's Azo Yellow. Same pigment, different names. According to handprint.com, "
Benzimidazolone yellow PY151 is a very lightfast, semitransparent, staining, very light valued, intense yellow pigment".
Naples Yellow Light and Naples Orange both use PY 216 which according to handprint is "a complex of tin, antimony, zinc and titanium oxides, is a lightfast, semiopaque, moderately staining, light valued, dull orange yellow pigment". When I first started using watercolour, I love using Naples Yellow. But the lack of transparency makes it challenging to mix with. I like to use it to mix skin tones. When diluted, it's transparent enough.
Orange uses PO 64 and is Benzimidazolone Orange, a bright reddish orange. This orange is so bright that my scanner wasn't able to scan and capture the colour accurately (see below). This is the type of orange reminds me of the orange colour of soft drinks. If you use it straight form the pan without mixing, it's just too glaring and attention grabbing.
Geranium Red is made with PR 242, aka disazo scarlet, "a very lightfast, semitransparent, heavily staining, moderately dark valued, very intense orange red pigment". Sennelier French Vermilion uses PR 242 as well. This colour also looks quite similar to Daniel Smith Organic Vermilion (PR 188) but is slightly cooler in hue.
Venice Purple is made with PR 179 which is Perylene maroon, "a lightfast, transparent, highly staining, very dark valued, moderately intense deep red pigment". This colour looks like a muted dark purple/red. It's a colour that you can use straight from the pan and it won't look out of place in your painting.
May Green is electrifying bright. It's a yellow green, more yellow than green. It reminds me of the inks used in highlighters. It looks almost florescent to me. PY 3 is arylide yellow and is "marginally lightfast" which is not surprisingly because when I see such bright colours, I don't really expect it to be that lightfast. PY 3 is used by some manufacturers to make Lemon Yellow or Hansa Yellow Light. PG 36 is Chlorobrominated Copper Phthalocyanine, aka Phthalo Green (Yellow shade).
Cobalt Turqoise is made with PB 28, Cobalt Aluminium Oxide, the pigment that's used commonly to make Cobalt Blue. Here, the pigment is treated to produce a bright turquoise colour. It's a nice vibrant pastel like blue.
Cobalt Blue Azure is made with PB36 which is the pigment commonly used to make Cerulean Blue. White Nights version looks more Cobalt than Cerulean. It looks like a good mid blue.
Here are the scanned swatches. The colour Orange is way off so please use the photos above instead of the scan to get a more accurate impression of the colour.
From what I've tested so far, the colours look beautiful. I would be cautious about the semi transparent and opaque colours though. Anyway, I'll need to test these colours further before I can make a proper review. I'll get a better idea at how good or versatile these colours are after I paint with them.
You can find White Nights watercolour paint on Amazon (direct affiliate links below) and eBay. The quality of White Nights paint is top notch and their pricing is incredibly competitive. I'm glad that they are now also available in tubes. It's just more economic to refill your pans when they run out. The downside is, White Nights sets can be found easily online but buying individual colours is more challenging. Here in Singapore, Straits Commercial stocks them.
To get individual colours, you can try Jackson's Art (UK). They are selling 10ml tubes for £2.50 which to me is a really good price.