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War of the Roses, Part I: Schmincke Watercolor Review

Schmincke Rose Saga #1, ink & watercolor
Schmincke Rose Saga #1, ink & watercolor

On the next test run of my new Schmincke palette that Roz introduced here, I painted some roses on a tablecloth in the sun on the deck. While the Schmincke pan paint is lovely to use, and the palette a good size and design, the colors frustrated me. Their version of rose called Permanent Carmine (PV19) is much redder than the Winsor Newton (PV19) Permanent Rose I rely on for pinks and several other colors didn’t appeal to me.

In the color chart below, the top and bottom rows are the original Schmincke colors that came with the set. I added the colors in the center row by filling empty half-pans from tube paint in the space designed for adding extra pans.

Schmincke palette original colors plus added middle row
Schmincke palette original colors plus added middle row

The colors (abbreviated above) are:

Schmincke Top Row: Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light (both lovely and surprisingly transparent but almost identical–why not a Cad Yellow Medium!), Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Carmine, Ultramarine Blue and Prussian Blue. (Ultramarine is nice, Prussian a little dull compared to Thalo Blue).

Middle Row: Winsor Transparent Yellow (a color I enjoy), Daniel Smith New Gamboge (a mainstay of my palette), Winsor Violet (handy for mixing darks), Winsor Cobalt Blue, Daniel Smith Indanthrone Blue (Roz’s beloved PB60), Daniel Smith Indigo (a convenience color, and like most indigos a mixture of PB 60 and black).

Schmincke bottom row: Thalo Green, Permanent Olive (a dull mixture of Thalo Green and orange), Yellow Ochre (very nice), Indian Red (too overpoweringand opaque to be a good mixer or a standalone color), Sepia (Raw Umber and Black…kinda icky, but might be nice for monochrome studies), and Ivory Black (dead, ugly, and already included in Sepia and Indigo).

Schmincke Rose #2, ink & watercolor
Schmincke Rose #2, ink & watercolor

Above, another try, still not happy with the colors, and I was finding it confusing the way the colors were arranged in the palette. That night I made one more attempt with the original palette:

Wildly Overworked Roses, ink, watercolor, colored pencil, absorbent ground, gel pen
Wildly Overworked Roses, ink, watercolor, colored pencil, Golden Absorbent Ground, white gel pen

The two rear roses went down easy and I left them as is. But the front rose frustrated me and the more I fussed the worse my rendering of it became. At one point I washed it off with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and applied a couple layers of Golden Absorbent Ground and tried again, failed again, added white colored pencil, fail, more paint, thicker ink lines, some cross hatching, gave up and went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning I was even more determined. Tomorrow I’ll post what I did to win this battle in the War of the Roses and how I changed around the colors in the palette.

3 replies on “War of the Roses, Part I: Schmincke Watercolor Review”

I appreciate your feedback on this palette. And I appreciate your honesty in the War of the Roses! That fight sounds so familiar to me. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how it resolves.


I had somewhat the same reaction to the colours in the Schmincke palette, especially the red (Carmine), a rather dead colour compared to the PV19 of Permanent Rose. And I can’t understand pre-stocked palettes inclusion of Black.

But I think you did a good job with the palette.


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