DOODLEWASH REVIEW: Rembrandt Professional + Ecoline Watercolors

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush

Today we take a look at a couple of Royal Talens products- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set– 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush, tube watercolors, and Ecoline liquid watercolors.  This post is heavy on the pan set, with a quick look at the tubes and Ecoline. I started off just writing about the box set, but then the other stuff showed up, so I added those in- it’s not a short post. I’ve used Rembrandt soft pastels, which are lovely, this is my first experience with their watercolors. Rembrandt is one of our sponsors for World Watercolor Month, and they provided really nice prizes. Today we start off with a little about the company and then move on to the paints.

Sometimes reviewing art supplies is like going on a virtual trip around the world.  Some people find that part interesting.  If that’s not you, skip down to the paint part.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush

Royal Talens was founded in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn in 1899.

“Royal Talens is a household name among artists. We are the team behind the well-known brandsRembrandtandVan Gogh, as well as new innovations such as Cobra.  Our company has been manufacturing professional-grade artist’s materials since 1899. But did you know that we weren’t always Royal?

That’s right! It wasn’t until 1949, thanks to The Netherlands’ Queen Wilhelmina, that we became Royal Talens. So what exactly does that mean?  In order for a Dutch company or manufacturer to receive the Royal designation, it must be at least 100 years old and hold a position of importance in its field and in the nation.

Queen Wilhelmina, monarch of The Netherlands from 1890-1948, was an artist and a known fan of Talens, and used our products on a daily basis. This made her feel closely connected to Talens, a company that represented her two greatest joys: art and her nation.

She wanted to share this love with the rest of the world. So, in 1949, she made Talens Royal, because Royal Talens has the same passion artists have… not to create the most beautiful work, but to produce and develop the best paint and artists’ materials. Thanks to this great Queen, we are proudly known around the world as Royal Talens.”

Paint part-

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush

Bravo- this is a smart set!  The packaging the set came in is simple and elegant.  The whole set has a quality feel to it.  It came with a real red sable size 6 pointed round brush.  It’s a nice brush.  A common complaint of many a watercolorist is that most sets include a white and a black- which most of us don’t use. No white or black in this set- all usable colors!  There are a lot of bright cadmiums.  Every color in the box has their highest lightfast rating. The inside tray is removable.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush

Both swatch samples done on  90lb Arches cold press paper.

Regular swatch-

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush, watercolour swatch

Cadmium Yellow Lemon (207), Cadmium Yellow (208), Gamboge (238), Cadmium Yellow Dark (210), Cadmium Orange (211), Cadmium Red Light (303), Cadmium Red (306), Permanent Madder Lake (336), Mauve (532), Ultramarine Dark (506), Cobalt Blue (511), Cerulean Blue (534), Prussian Blue (508), Permanent Green (662), Viridian (616), Hooker Green Dark (645), Sap Green (623), Yellow Ochre (227), Burnt Sienna (411), Burnt Umber (409), Raw Umber (408), Sepia (416), and Payne’s Grey (708).

Odd little swatch- dry paper on the left wet in wet on the right. The Cadmium pigments are rated as semi- transparent, along with the Cobalt and Cerulean Blues and Payne’s Grey.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush, watercolour swatch

Pigments are listed- tiny like, on the half pan wax paper wrappers.  I wrote the color names on the half pans with a Sharpie. The three +++ signs on the wrappers are the lightfast rating.  There are 80 colors in the Rembrandt line, and all but two have the highest lightfast rating. Those two are the usual culprits- Madder Lake Deep and Alizarin Crimson.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush

Rembrandt watercolor chart here.  From the Royal Talens North America site:

“For a binder, we use only the best, purified natural gum arabic dissolved in water.  This binder gives the colors a creamy feel and superb color release.  It also provides a slow, easy flow which deters backwash, penetrating the fibers of paper slowly and evenly.  A fluent transition from full-bodied color is virtually guaranteed.

Our color palette is known for a wide range of saturated earth oxides, which provide a striking warmth and are superior for building tones in transparent washes.  Also remarkable are the strong, robust true cadmium and cobalt colors, as well as a breadth of greens which will cover all of what is seen in nature, or that inspires your imagination.”

At first I thought the Viridian PG18 a little on the weak side, maybe because I’ve heard/read other people make that comment. Many pan sets that I’ve come across have Viridian Hue, which I don’t like- it often looks synthetic.  PG18 is the same pigment used by Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton for their Viridian.  Below I did a comparison with Daniel Smith and couldn’t tell difference between the two.  I found the Viridian to be lovely.  Viridian is a slightly granulating pigment.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush. Veridian, raw umber, daniel smith, schmincke

I’ve read comments where some people consider the Raw Umber to be on the weak side. I also did a comparison between Rembrandt, Daniel Smith and Schmincke.  They all use the same PBr7 pigment.  The Rembrandt has a more golden tone.

One quick example on Arches 140 lb cold press.  The Sepia is an intense lovely color.  I used that in the mountains. Because the Sepia is an intense brown, I appreciated that the Raw Umber has a golden tone, they seem to balance each other out in the set.  The five earth tones in this set are distinct from one another and all very usable.  I used some gold in the sample painting that was not included in this set.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush, watercolour painting by jessica seacrest

I found this brand to be vibrant and transparent, and very nice to paint with.  The fact that it has 24 usable colors- no black or white, is a plus.  I really like this set.  I feel like I finally have a travel palette that I like, and can grab and go and not worry about fiddling with and switching things out.  It also minimizes the need for mixing for some colors, which I consider a plus.  I’d rather spend my time painting than mixing for colors, I also like to let them mix on the page.

Royal Talens Rembrandt professional watercolor tubes

The Rembrandt watercolor line comes in 5 ml, and 20 ml tubes (that’s a lot of paint), individual half pans, and tube sets. Half pan sets come in 12, 24 and 48, in tins and some lovely wooden boxed sets.  I’ve seen the pan sets range from $54 for the set of 12 up to $376 for the set of 48.  Do an internet search to find the best deals- you know how it is, some retailers are better at pricing than others.  I found some stellar deals in the UK, as well as some of the really nice wooden box sets. If you are not in the UK, it might still be worth ordering from there, depending on the conversion rate.  Shipping is so expensive in the US these days, that I haven’t paid much more, if at all, ordering from the UK.  Here is a link to all the Rembrandt sets and products.

In the photo below I filled a little tin with their tube watercolors.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional watercolors in travel tin with swatch

The tiny swatch is 16 of their colors. Click to enlarge and eyeball.  In order of appearance on swatch:

Permanent Lemon Yellow, Gamboge, Azo Yellow Deep, Quinacridone Rose, Perm Madder Lake, Permanent Red Light, Permanent Red Deep, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Deep, Permanent Green, Hooker’s Green Deep, Transparent Oxide Red, Yellow Ochre, Vandyke Brown.


Royal Talens Ecoline watercolors

A quick exploration of Ecoline– super vibrant dye based liquid watercolors that come in jars and brush pens. A blender brush pen is sold.  They can also be blended or diluted with water. The brush pens are juicy with springy pointed tips. Because they aren’t lightfast, they are marketed to be used in product design, illustrations, fashion design, and calligraphy- so basically things that will be reproduced and not hanging on a wall. Ecoline comes in brush pens in 29 colors, and 30 ml bottles in 48 colors. Click here to see the line and here to see a color chart.

The three primaries- lemon yellow (205), magenta (337) and sky blue cyan (578) from this line would be great to have. This color triad is often referred to as CMY.

I shared this article from the John Muir Laws site some time back and it’s worth sharing again: Reinventing the Wheel: Why Red is not a primary color.  Here is another article that looks further into the same theory- from Doodlewash Guest Artist Jane Blundell has a bunch of watercolor triad examples here.

Sometimes the muse just isn’t there, so I’ve got these quickies on a few varieties of paper- Strathmore mixed media paper.  I wet the paper first, they blended beautifully.

Royal Talens ecoline watercolors on strathmore mixed media paper, painting by jessica seacrest

Tomoe River paper, and Arches cold press watercolor paper in the next examples. I will continue to use these in my art journals because they look super vibrant and lovely, and lightfastness in a journal isn’t an issue.  If you have a Hobonichi…these are great in that and are much more vibrant than how they showed up in that photo on the left. If you like to sketch and then wash the lines out, the brush pens work for that.

Royal Talens- Rembrandt Professional Deluxe Watercolor Box Set- 24 half pans with red sable size 6 brush

This is printed on the bottom of the pan set box:

“Looking at the world behind the reality.  Feeling how the elements adapt to a single will. Working with colours and techniques that give shape to this deepest of inspiration.  That is art.”

Click the photo to enlarge.

I want to thank Royal Talens for the opportunity to review their watercolors.

July has been an incredible month of celebrating watercolor!  This will be my last review for a few weeks. My plan is to be back at the end of August with one more review.  I usually have sneak peeks, or additional photos on my Instagram account- @jessicaseacrest.

One thought I’d like to sign off with- if you are new to painting, new to watercolor- you can so do this!!!  Just get in there and start painting 🙂

Happy painting.

Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews
  1. Ann Grasso 6 years ago

    Especially like this set for its inclusion of both warm and cool primaries, plus a number of my favorite greens. It is a great grab and go set. Thanks for another helpful review, Jessica. Will miss your blogs until the end of August, smile. Enjoy!

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Hi Ann! Thanks so much for all of your support and lovely comments. 🙂 <3

  2. Carol Hartmann 6 years ago

    Jessica, thanks for this terrific review on these lux, vibrant products! Your reviews are so informative, and I appreciate the time and effort that go into them!

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Hiya Carol! Thanks for reading them and for always being so supportive!

  3. June Hadaway 6 years ago

    Thank you Jessica. Very informative.

  4. Laura Hale 6 years ago

    Thank you Jessica for another excellent review! We really appreciate all of your work that goes into each post, including the back story of the company. Plus your doodlewashes make my day. Have a great weekend.

  5. nkvorka 6 years ago

    Thanks Jessica, another great review!

  6. krishnakumarsinghblog 6 years ago


  7. Shannon 6 years ago

    This is awesome. I’m so new to watercolor that I’m not even familiar with the options out there. That’s why I love your blog. Thank you.😊

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Hi Shannon! Are you the Shannon in World Watercolor Group that’s been posting lately?

  8. Jean Marmo 6 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful information!

  9. Martha Keim 6 years ago

    Thanks, as always for your reviews

  10. Cathy Inzer 6 years ago

    Thanks Jessica for your reviews! I look forward to them and appreciate the time it takes for you to pull all this together!

  11. eve 6 years ago

    Great post Jessica, thank you! 🙂 I love that this pan set has no white and no black!! Yay! I’ll have to add it to the wishlist 😉 Did you notice if the pan paints had a smell to them? I find Rembrandt’s tube paints to be a bit smelly.
    That mini tin palette you have is great, is it one by Peggy Wong?

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Hi Eve! The pan set didn’t smell, but I know what you mean about the tubes. I’ve noticed in this brand and in Mission Gold, it was the reds that had a stronger smell. The mini palette came from 🙂

      • eve bolt 6 years ago

        Hi Jessica! Thank you! Maybe I shouldn’t have gone and looked at those mini-palettes but I’ve been wanting one for a looong time 🙂
        Good to know about Mission Gold! I wish the smell would fade after a while; I have dried tube paint from Rembrandt that still smells months and years later.

  12. Jessica chaves 6 years ago

    Thanks again for a thorough enjoyable review. Personal and professional. I used to do pastels with Rembrandt before I switched to watercolor.

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Thanks so much for your comment Jessica. Seems a few of us hit up the pastels in the brand 🙂

  13. ladylucki 6 years ago

    Glad to see another great Talens product. My first set of oils almost 50 years ago were Talens. Now do more than one medium. Quite enjoyed the review. And sad that I cant find the paints here. Pastels yes, paints no. Their quality always shows through.

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      I’ve found pastels where I live, but no paints either. I think you are in Canada? Perhaps an online art store there will carry them? Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      • ladylucki 6 years ago

        Thanks. I will look next time I am at Opus Framing and Art Supplies in Langley. Yes I am in Canada, more specifically Abbotsford, BC

  14. ladylucki 6 years ago

    Forgot to mention… In the list of colours for the box of pans, you have Paynes Green (708). Just a typo that plagues us all.

  15. Teri Casper 6 years ago

    Another fabulous post! I love your tone and words of encouragement. Thanks for all you do Jessica.

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Thank you for all of your support Teri! I truly appreciate it and your friendship 🙂 <3

      • Teri Casper 6 years ago

        As do I Jessica. Can’t wait to get and do a Starbucks visit 😊

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    Jessica, I always enjoy reading the history of paints, artists, other supplies, so this post was terrific. The Rembrandt colors look gorgeous and versatile, and your swatches are truly informative. Thanks for a great post.

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

      Thanks so much Sharon. I truly appreciate that you take the time to read them and all the comments you have left. You have enriched this experience for me. <3

  17. […] I will use it. I really do not have a favorite brand. I’ve used Winsor & Newton, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Holbein, Daniel Smith, etc. I’m of the belief it’s the “archer not the […]

  18. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    How do those Ecoline markers compare with other water soluble markers, do you think? (Like Tombows or Clean Color.)

    • littraturekarima 5 years ago

      Bonjour vraiment c’et un bon article merci

    • Author
      Jessica Seacrest 5 years ago

      I’ve never used Clean Color, but I’ve used Tombows and other Japanese brands. The Ecoline are beefy compared to those, and more juicy.

  19. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    Well, there goes that money I saved on watercolor ground… 😀

  20. Susan Cuss 5 years ago

    Great information. Thank you.

  21. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Thanks for this review. I’ve always wondered about these paints.

  22. […] Rembrandt and Winsor & Newton watercolors for mixed media and watercolor sketches in sketchbooks and smaller formats. Daniel Smith watercolors for the bigger, large formats. Neef and Escoda brushes. Fabriano and Saunders Waterford watercolor paper for larger formats and recently using Baohong and Arches. […]

  23. […] are some of the watercolors that I use: Winsor and Newton, Turner, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Lukas 1862, Sennelier, Schminke, Sakura Koi and other brands that I like to test.  It all depends […]

  24. Mireya 1 year ago

    love these reviews. I am looig for good brushes.

  25. […] mostly use Royal Talens Van Gogh and Rembrandt watercolor and sometimes White Nights watercolor. I love quality synthetic and red sable brushes […]

  26. […] mostly use Royal Talens Van Gogh and Rembrandt watercolor and sometimes White Nights watercolor. I love quality synthetic and red sable brushes […]

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