Grumbacher Finest Artists’ Watercolor is one of our sponsors for World Watercolor Month and they sent a set of tubes for review. Today I present a little bit about the company, a couple of different swatches, and a couple simple sample paintings, with helpful links along the way.
First a little about Grumbacher:
“Since 1905, Grumbacher has been a brand trusted by students, professors, art conservationists, and professional artists throughout the US. Max Grumbacher established his company’s humble beginnings by hand making brushes at his kitchen table in New York City. By the 1960s Grumbacher became an art materials empire offering artists nearly every supply imaginable. Today, the Grumbacher brand is owned by Chartpak, Inc., a creative products company committed to adhering to the impeccable standards set by Max Grumbacher. Chartpak Inc. welcomes the responsibility for ensuring Grumbacher’s continued legacy as an American tradition. We lead the way by setting strict standards of exemplary quality and consistent performance for our materials. Our standards of quality and excellence have resulted in the Grumbacher brand becoming an American tradition.”
I believe this brand is sold in tubes only- 14 ml and I came across a set of 7.5ml.
“63 professional watercolors developed for the demanding artist. Formulated with premium grade pigments uniformly combined in a balanced medium ensures fluid, even washes and make Finest® the signature line of this traditional medium. Made in the USA.”
This page links to a color chart page where you can look up the pigments and light fast ratings. There is also a store locator, I found four stores in my area that carry this brand.
They sell a student grade line also- Academy, which comes in 7.5ml tubes.
Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, Thalo Blue, French Ultramarine, Hooker’s Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Payne’s Gray, Ivory Black.
In this swatch- dry paper on the left, wet in wet on the right.
With the exception of Yellow Ochre, and the two convenience colors- Hooker’s Green and Payne’s Gray, they are all single pigment paints. So good to mix clean colors with. They are vibrant with good tinting strength. If you are someone that likes more control over your paint, this would be a brand to consider. This might seem like a small thing, but I like how the lids worked with the tubes, they were easy to get off and back on. I found them to be a little less transparent and not as fine a consistency as a brand like Schmincke.
Alizarin Crimson- Anthraquinone PR83, has a light fast rating of IV fugitive, like all Alizarin Crimson are no matter the brand, unless they are of the permanent variety- which this brand also sells. An interesting tidbit about Alizarin Crimson-
“Alizarin Crimson was the first synthetic organic color. Invented in 1869, it has the exact masstone and chemical formula of the original Madder Lake derived from the root of the Madder plant.”
It certainly is a pretty color and I used it here along with a couple other colors. Since this is in an art journal, I’m not too worried about lightfastness. These flowers remind me of red and white Starlight Mints. To get the “puff” look, I dropped rubbing alcohol into the wet paint using a pipette dropper. Thanks for the inspiration Bekki! If you are interested in this technique, here is a demo video by Sumiyo Toribe.
I didn’t find a lot of info out there on this brand. This is my first experience with it. One of our World Watercolor Month sponsors- Cheap Joe’s, sells the 14 ml tubes from about $9-$15 per tube. From the product ratings and reviews that I’ve gone over, people that use Grumbacher’s Finest love it.
My friends over at Wet Paint art store in Minnesota also sell this brand.
I found this 7.5 ml eight tube set on Amazon – Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine (Light), Grumbacher Red Light, Lemon Yellow, Viridian, Yellow Ochre.
Jerry’s Artarama announced this past Thursday, that they are having a sale on Grumbacher.
Here’s a link to a short 4:47 minute video of a guy painting with this brand.
Thank you Grumbacher, for the opportunity to try your watercolors.
I’ll be back next week with another watercolor review! 🙂
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