The Lukas 1862 Watercolour range is unique in that along with the standard half pans and full pans, all 70 colours within the range are available in chunky 24ml tubes. The generous size of the tubes are a great option for those artists that get through a lot of paint. Of the 70 colours within the range, 48 have single pigments which means that the colours are intense and allow for clean colour mixing. They are also cruelty free due to their use of synthetic Ox-Gall as a wetting agent. I wanted to find out more about the range in terms of the intensity of pigments, solubility in water and rewetting/lifting colour once applied.
All of the classical and modern pigments used in Lukas 1862 Watercolours conform to the highest possible light fastness rating. None of the pigments fall below a 6 to 7 on the international, standardised 8-step Blue Wool scale; a quality designed to ensure the long-lasting permanence of your valuable artwork. Artworks created with Lukas 1862 Watercolours should not be varnished; simply mount the sheet and frame it behind glass, out of direct sunlight. This provides the best protection for your painting. All but 11 of the colours are rated with the highest level of lightfastness (7-8 on the Blue Wool Scale)
Lukas Watercolours are easy to lift up because of its permanently moist consistency. This is achieved through special wetting agents and a gentle production manner which avoids strong heating of the colour. This makes it possible to lift colour easily without the painter having to scrub the pan or half pan with the brush. Not only does this spare expensive specialist water colour brushes, but also it allows colour once dried up to be re-dissolved easily.
Materials used when testing
Lukas 1862 Watercolour Ruby Red 24ml Tube – PR176; PV23, a transparent, staining colour.
Lukas 1862 Watercolour Prussian Blue 24ml Tube – PB27, a semi-opaque, staining colour
Lukas 1862 Watercolour Phthalo Green 24ml Tube -PG7, a semi-transparent, staining colour.
Lukas 1862 Watercolour Payne’s Grey 24ml Tube – PR176; PB15:1; PBk7, an opaque, staining colour.
Staining/Granulation & Lifting Colours
The 4 colours which I tested were all listed as staining colours which I had to take into account when lifting the colour as I knew they wouldn’t disappear completely. However I was impressed with the amount of colour that could be lifted considering how intense the colour was when first applied. I also layered colour on, again making it more difficult to remove the colour but was impressed with both how the colour lifted without a great deal of effort and how the Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paper held up to a great amount of water and pressure being applied.
Size of Lukas Watercolour Tubes
The image below demonstrates how large the Lukas Watercolour Tubes are when compared with a normal 5ml tube which most leading brands of watercolour offer. Because the paint is so heavily pigmented a little goes a long, long way and so the colours will last even longer.
Rewetting/Solubility in Water
A blend of wetting agents in Lukas 1862 Watercolours provides them with a ‘permanently moist’ consistency. They can be easily re-wetted if dry or lifted with water. This eliminates the need to scrub your brushes into the wet pans and thereby damaging them.
As you can see from the images below, the paint did not completely dry out on the palette even though I used to tiniest amount and left it for three days in a cool room. I was really impressed with how easily they rewetted and dissolved in the water without clumps. The pigment was as intense as if I’d just squeezed it from the tube.
Test of Lukas 1862 Watercolours in a Watercolour Painting
I used only the four colours that I started out with to see how they would layer because of their different qualities – i.e. transparencies, staining etc. I was really impressed with how although they are really dark and heavily pigmented when you first squeeze out the colour into a palette, you can create some really delicate light washes without the colours diluting or looking ‘wishy-washy.’ What also impressed me was the tiny amount I had to squeeze out and the area it covered, I used a pea-sized amount of each colour and could have easily covered an A4 page with a light wash and put in some detail too. The colours did not muddy despite me creating several layers and building the colour up quite heavily in places.
Overall Impression of Lukas 1862 Watercolours
Although not widely available, Lukas Watercolours truly are an impressive range of watercolours. The intense pigments coupled with the extra large size of the tube means that you can be more liberal with your colours, rather than worrying about the expense and cost of a tiny 5ml tube. There are an abundance of useful greens, browns and blues to choose from which is great if you are a landscape/seascape painter and because over half the colours are single pigments, your work can remain vibrant and clean.
Overall Impression of Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Paper Block
Because of the internal and external sizing this paper can really take quite a heavy wash without buckling or warping. I was also impressed when lifting colour that the surface of the paper did not heavily break down and become fluffy. The paper absorbed colour really well without dulling it, the colour remained vibrant and has a really attractive natural white surface. As it is made without the use of optical brighteners, it will remain colour stable for a long time if left in the right condititions.
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offers on Lukas 1862 Watercolours on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.