Watercolor Swatch and Pigment Guide

Where to Find Color Swatches and Pigment Information

Hover over the paint you wish to see a swatch for in “Watercolor Paints “in the “Paints” tab or on the left of product images on product pages.

On the product page for that color, hover over the product image and accompanying swatch to see a magnified version.

Pigment information is located in the “Detail “tab on the product page below product images.

Paint swatches on product pagesPaint swatches on product pages
Paint swatches on product pages
Paint swatches on category pagesPaint swatches on category pages
Paint swatches on category pages

Rublev Colours Watercolor Swatch KeyRublev Colours Watercolor Swatch Key
Rublev Colours Watercolor Swatch Key

 About Our Watercolor Paint Swatches

Watercolor paint swatches consist of five areas: Graded Wash, Wetin-into-Wet Dispersion, Lifting, Blooms/Backruns, and Spattering. In the first area, we applied the color in graduated wash from full strength at the top, mixed with an equal amount of water, and brushed out toward the bottom. 

The second area to the right of the graded wash is the wet-into-wet dispersion of the color. This technique applies wet paint on wet paper. When painting wet into wet, the surface is evenly moist but not so wet that there are puddles. This technique allows the color to bleed or bloom between areas of color, spreading and blending the watercolor paint.

Lifting, removing, or picking up watercolor pigment is a technique for highlighting or adjusting the tone of the color. It is also used to fix mistakes. The third area shows how easily or not the color lifts. The first horizontal bar in the swatch is made by passing a soft round brush containing water twice over the color, blotting between each pass. The bar below shows how the color lifts after several scrubbings with a bristle brush.

To the right of the lifting swatch is Blooms and Backruns. Blooms occur when a drop of water is placed on an almost dry paint surface. The added water lifts the color and pushes pigment particles towards the edges. When the moisture no longer moves the paint, the pigment collects in a pattern that characterizes blooms. Due to their shape, these patterns are often called backruns, or another name, cauliflower.

In the last swatch on the bottom right, we show color patterns made by alternately spattering and then spritzing the color with water.

All images of color swatches on this website approximate the paint's actual color. We have carefully matched the color in these pictures on calibrated color monitors to the actual color. However, your results may vary because of the wide variance in color monitors.

Pigment Information

In addition to color swatches, we’ve gathered detailed pigment information for every color. The pigment information is located in the Color Information table of the “Details” section.

The table indicates the generic name of the pigment for the Single Pigment color or each pigment in a mixture. It also includes the Color, Colour Index, Chemical Name, Chemical Formula, and Properties.

In Properties, you will find the color’s lightfastness category based on ASTM D5067 Standard Specification for Artists’ Watercolor Paints. We also rate the color’s Opacity, Tinting Strength, and Staining properties of the pigment or pigment mixture.

Rublev Colours Pigment InformationRublev Colours Pigment Information
Rublev Colours Pigment Information

Product Information

Product and Technical Help

Our knowledgeable technical specialists are here to help you select the right item for your application. If you have questions about our products, contact us anytime when shopping. Our team is available to help with product-specific assistance, including recommended usage and traditional applications and techniques. Can’t find what you’re looking for? We also help you locate the right product for your specific needs.

Here’s how to contact our Technical Support:

  1. Live Chat—Chat with us for immediate assistance during regular business hours.

  2. Email—Specify your query in the dropdown on this page or email [email protected]

  3. Phone—Call 1-888-361-5900 (U.S.) or 1-707-459-9998 Option 2 (International)
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For assistance with an order that has already shipped, don't hesitate to get in touch with our Customer Service team.

Contact Customer Service:

  1. Live Chat—Chat with us for immediate assistance during regular business hours.

  2. Email—Specify your query in the dropdown on this page or email [email protected]

  3. Phone—Call 1-888-361-5900 (U.S.) or 1-707-459-9998 Option 1 (International)
    Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Pacific Time

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