REVIEW: FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colors

FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colors

Are you like me? I love me some wonderful color – beautiful, rich and creamy! And that’s exactly what you get with FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colours, a well-known and sought after brand of watercolor crafted in Germany. For the purposes of this review I was given two sets of FINETEC Premium watercolors. They come in a sturdy yet lightweight metal container with several mixing wells in the lid. Each set holds six large pans of beautiful, shimmery color.

FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colors Closeup

See those black pans holding the blocks of beautiful color? Each of those pans easily pop out of the case and are replaceable. You can even move them around or combine colors from the different sets into any combination you wish. Put color families together in one tin, mix and match any way you want to. But be aware. The pans do not have any identifying information printed on them to tell you the color name. The tins come in a cardboard box with a color chart on the back. The color names are listed below each swatch.

FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colors 2 Palettes Photo

All the art you see in this post was made using these twelve colors. Two sets of six colors each, they are stacked in this photo so you can see the colors side by side. FINETEC Premium Colours are made in Germany of the highest quality raw materials and mica pigments. The base is purified with gum Arabic and high quality pearlescent pigments. All materials used are non-toxic and the paints have high light fastness. Preparing for this review I used brushes, a variety of pens, I even tried a glass dip pen since these paints can also be used for hand-lettering and calligraphy. The FINETEC paints played well with all the other media I tried.

FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Color Swatches

To get started I wanted to make some color charts. FINETEC provided me with two pads of Van Gogh Watercolour Paper – one pad was 140 lbs white, the second was 140 lbs black. I have to tell you these beautiful colors are really hard to accurately photograph. The six colors on top are the Antique Tones. Box notes tell us these water-soluble pearlescent colours are highly pigmented and have excellent gloss and opacity. The first color in the swatch set on top – Real Silver – has a special gloss due to the use of real silver in its formulation. Each color glimmers and shimmers. This set has real silver, rich gold, Pharaohs gold, fine gold, pale gold and pewter.

The set of colors on the bottom are called Flip – Flop and these were my favorite. Called “Flip – Flop” because these metallic colors shift or “flip” depending on the angle of the light and position of the viewer, an effect which is enhanced on a toned or dark surface like Van Gogh Black Watercolor Paper. They take on a chameleon effect, are highly pigmented and have excellent gloss and opacity. The Flip – Flop colors are red/gold, pink/orange, turquoise/red, golden green/pink, green/amethyst and blue/violet.

FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Watercolors on Black Paper

Here you can see how the colors change when painted on black. The luminescent properties in FINETEC watercolors change on black paper. And the Van Gogh paper is the perfect choice when painting with the FINETEC colors. The Antique Tones colors are brighter, more shimmery, more creamy when wet and they gave greater coverage on this paper. The Flip – Flop colors performed completely different on the black Van Gogh paper. And this set on black were my absolute favorites to paint with. Both paints and papers worked great together and I could not recommend them any higher. So let’s get started with some paintings using the FINETEC Premium Colours.

Pearlescent Colors Painting Example

For this first piece of art I painted wet into dry with the FINETEC colors. I really loved the way the paint flowed onto the paper. Smooth, creamy, I could see the shimmers vibrating in the wet color! Like it had life! It was awesome! Shimmering, moving, sparkling, being gorgeous! And then the paint dried. Hahahaha! And the color was still shimmering and sparkling and looking gorgeous. The vibrations stopped once the color dried, but I can still see it in my mind right now – plain as day! I used a few other media to add some details and highlights and the FINETEC colours played very well together with them. And then I had this great idea.

Pearlescent Colors Example on Black Paper

The paints are advertised to change colors and look different on white paper or black paper. So I wanted to recreate the same piece of art but on the black Van Gogh Watercolour paper. The Antique Tones colors I used – pharaohs gold, pewter and real silver – stayed mostly the same as they were on white paper. Then I brought in the Flip – Flop colors blue/violet and pink/orange and I could see a big difference! Especially with the pink/orange! I wish you could hold these pages in your hands and turn them to face the light and see the color changes. They are incredible! Pink one way you look at it, orange when you look at a different angle. And every color completely beautiful!

Pearlescent Colors Example Flower

I had recently picked up this 6” square wood block at Walmart to try my hand at flower painting on wood. I began by applying a layer of gesso, then took a set of FINETEC Pearl Colors I had purchased several years ago. From that set I painted a layer of blue-green across the entire surface of the block, then drew my flower. The flower itself is painted with several layers of fine gold, pewter, blue/violet and rich gold. Even though I gessoed the board before I started the paints still wanted to sink into the board. I had to apply five or six layers of color to get good coverage. Not the fault of the paints at all. I should have layered more gesso before I painted. I was able to attain good coverage with the extra layers and the colors are gorgeous! Not sure I want to part with this piece of art!

Finetec Pearlescent Colors Example Flowers on white and black paper

I was still intrigued with the way these FINETEC paints look different depending on the background of white or black paper. In this case the Van Gogh Watercolour paper. Can I just interject that this paper is great! Both colors are 140 lbs. I had no curling, no warping, no pilling. The two papers both work great but I really prefer the black. The white is cold pressed and has a good amount of texture – which is great for granulation. The black has a smoother texture with no bumps and valleys like the white paper has. The FINETEC colors perform differently on the two papers. The two pieces of art in this photo were made using a wet into wet technique. On the left you can see the texture in the paper, and you can really see the granulation. On the right, you see a different kind of texture in the paper but no real granulation. The paint went down smoother and dried more opaquely. I love these FINETEC paints! They are so much fun to paint with! I can see me using these for a long time! The colors I used are fine gold, blue/violet, pink/orange, green/amethyst and blue – green from my old set of Pearl Colors.

Pearlescent Colors Example white and black paper same design

My art journey started in 2012 with Zentangle ®, the art of tangling. These days I like working with a variety of media, but I seem to always bring in a little tangling to most everything I do. So I figured why not. I knew the Antique Tones are supposed to be perfect for calligraphers and hand-lettering artists. I am neither of those. Hahahaha! But I do have a dip pen and thought to try my hand at that. This narwal pattern should be perfect for it but alas, I was not able to make it work. So I did the next best thing and brought out a small detail brush and painted on the rich gold from the Antique Tones set. It worked great! And I was so happy to add a little tangling to my golden framework!

Sketching Journal Finetec watercolor examples

Way back in January of this year I made the decision to journal each day. Not so much my thoughts and activities – although I do add those sometimes – but to journal some kind of art. Some days it doesn’t work out, but most days it does. And a couple days recently I was able to use the FINETEC colors to paint flowers on my daily cards. The paint went on so smoothly and I was able to layer several colors to create some shading. I am very happy with the results in layering. The colors I used are: pharaohs gold, pewter, pink/orange, blue/violet, red/gold and green/amethyst.

finetec Pearlescent watercolor painting

I was going to stop painting here but I really wanted to make just one more! Hahahaha! I just couldn’t stop!!! Recently I learned a new-to-me technique from my friend Tracy Weinzapfel which I have since named the Peek-a-Boo Technique. I am sure most of you have painted this way, I just never had. I usually fill in with color. For this last piece of art I pre-wet the entire background, then started swishing in various colors. I let that layer dry, then did it again. I was happy when I had three layers of various FINETEC colors covering my whole work area. And that is all I did with the paints. The drawing and highlights were done with two pens. All that beautiful color shining through? That is all FINETEC. And that is why I call this technique the Peek-a-Boo. For colors I used: fine gold, pewter, pale gold, red/gold, pink/orange and blue/violet.

So those are the pieces of art I created while trying out the FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colours for the first time. Was I happy with the results? Absolutely! Do I love the application of paint I was able to attain? Absolutely? Do I have any complaints about the way the paints reacted? Not a single one! Would I recommend FINETEC Premium Pearlescent Colours to beginners? or to seasoned painters? In a heart-beat! These gorgeous paints are for every watercolor artist out there! Expect that you will need to work with several layers of color for full coverage. And it is all going to be beautiful. The shimmer! It’s amazing! Will I be ordering some of the other FINETEC premium colors to add to my collection? I already did! Hahahaha! Yep!

Now let’s talk paper for a minute. It’s been mentioned several times already. I worked with Van Gogh 140 lb watercolour paper in white and in black. I preferred working on the black but that is a personal thing. I like smooth and it was smoother. Both papers performed great and I had no issues with either one. I would recommend both papers to you. Thank you for reading to the end. I leave you with these words from FINETEC:

FINETEC pearlescent, iridescent and neon colors are produced by “Reißzeugfabrik Seelig GmbH & Co. KG”. (In the market they are known as ‘”FINETEC colors from Seelig”.) The developer of these colors is Oliver Seelig (the owner of Draw.TEC.) FINETEC watercolors are manufactured by Draw.TEC.

FINETEC is exclusively distributed in the United States by Royal Talens North America.

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews
9 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Alice, what a fantastic review. You make me want to run out and purchase these sets immediately, even though I seldom use mica colors!

    • Author
      Alice Hendon 2 weeks ago

      I was surprised at how creamy and yummy they were to paint with. and I DID run out and buy another set for myself. Hahaha! true story!

  2. Kathy Delumpa Allegri 2 weeks ago

    Alice, what a wonderful and thorough review! I’m “sold”! I also prefer those pearlescent pigments on black paper. You’ve inspired me with your beautiful art!

  3. Mireya 2 weeks ago

    I love the inks over watercolor backgrownd. I have been meaning to try this. What I love about art is that we all have a why. When we trust in that then the rest will take care of itself.

  4. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    Wonderful review, Alice!!!

  5. Marisela Delgado 2 weeks ago

    Hola, Alice! Those colors are gorgeous especially the blue violet. 💜💜💜 I’m not an artist like you (your art work is awesome!). I’m a rubber stamper, who makes cards. I am trying to improve my watercoloring abilities. Like you, I love black paper of any kind, but I am especially big on sparkly shine so these watercolors are right up my alley! 😀 A great review and beautiful artwork. Warm hugs from San Antonio, Texas. 😎😎😎

  6. teresam61 2 weeks ago

    What a nice review and exciting colors! I especially love your last piece and the little purple “monster” on one of your cards.

  7. Phillis 2 weeks ago

    Thank you Alice, you put so much love and enthusiasm into your art and your reviews!
    Hugs Phillis

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    What a detailed and informative review, Alice. I plan to get some of these paints for my granddaughter and myself. They’re so gorgeous, they might become coffee table objets d’art.

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