Layered watercolor? What — like a layered cake or something? Not exactly. Today, I’m reviewing the Super Vision Layered Watercolor Paint Set.
Layered Watercolor – So What’s the Difference?
‘Layered’ means each paint in this 10-color tube paint set separates into more than one color. Layered means more than one color in each tube, not that they are stacked next to each other.
In some cases, the layers are simply the same color from lightest tint to darkest value. Blue Gradient is one example of that. That’s not so uncommon. Most watercolors go from a light tint to a much darker color, depending on how much water you use.
But most of the colors in this set layer into entirely different colors, sometimes more than one. Yellow to orange to red, gray to pink, blue to purple to pink, etc.
In the color chart above, my color swatches are only around an inch, but even at that small size the color layering is apparent. In larger areas, the effect can be more dramatic.
Granulation — that pebbly effect you see in some colors — also occurs with most of these colors though in varying amounts.
The Colors are: Red Yellow, Rose Ash, Red Green, Purple Orchid, Red Blue, Green Purple, Blue Gradient, Brown Green, Golden Green, and Yellow Green
Super Vision Watercolor Packaging
The tube colors give you a rough idea of the layered colors. It isn’t too hard to figure out which tube you’re looking for, though a couple are close enough that you’ll probably want to read the name to be sure you’ve got what you want.
Information on the tube is in both Chinese and English. The color names, tube size, pigment index number and opacity/transparency information are listed for most of the paints. You can see the exceptions on the color chart.
Some of the colors indicate ‘mineral’ or ‘plant’. Many pigments are made from minerals or plant material so that could mean the other pigments are synthetic.
Lightfastness is not rated, and the company recommends keeping both the paints and paintings away from direct light.
The *ASTM/EN71 ratings are also listed on the tubes.
*ASTM/EN71 – American and Europeans rating systems to help you determine toxicity and/or safety of a product. If you have concerns, you can google the rating and see what hazards there might be.
The paint tubes are separated, with a foam padding, to help protect them during shipping. The box and padding are sturdy enough to make good storage for the paints.
Are These Only Good For Abstract?
When you first squeeze the paint out of the tube, and when you first paint the fresh color onto the paper, you only see one color. After a few seconds, the colors begin to separate.
So how do you know what the eventual colors will look like?
You already know part of the answer. Practice. Don’t you hate that answer? It would be so nice to just pick something up and use. And actually you can with these, if you want to create some beautiful abstracts.
Will it help you loosen up?
You do have to give up some control with these paints. The colors are beautiful enough that you can just let them flow and you’ll create beautiful abstracts — it’s a fabulous way to get practice without even realizing it, and to explore ways to paint without trying for exact results (that you don’t usually get anyway!).
Personally, I find doing this kind of painting is a good way to get out of a creative slump.
Is this set only good for loose and abstract effects?
No. You can assert control by the amount of water used, and the texture of the paper you are painting on.
I use a palette with lots of room for each color. I add quite a bit of water, let them separate and then dry. Since the colors are separate, I can choose from areas that are mostly one layer of color.
The abstract way is more fun, but I do like knowing I have control if I want it.
Super Vision Watercolor Examples
I used the wet-into-wet technique for this painting, using a ton of water and a lot of paint. I used a rough paper to really allow granulation and separation. The idea was to encourage the paints to do what they would do.
At first, I just splashed the juicy colors onto an extremely wet paper and let them flow. I soaked up clean water into my brush and splashed even more water on as the paints started to dry.
Then I let it dry.
Notice some of the difference in the colors. The red/yellow doesn’t granulate very much. It hints at yellow in places but also creates a mid-orange and a fiery red. While lifting later, I discovered it’s a pretty staining paint.
That green up top center really granulates though the color layering is less dramatic.
The Red Blue at the bottom center right both layers and granulates beautifully.
Each of these colors has a personality!
Once dried, I painted with a less juicy mix of paint so the colors would be darker. I used the paints that had dried on my palette, and sometimes, I chose which layer of color, I wanted. Other times, I added more water and remixed the paints to get more of a blend.
I overworked this piece, lifting colors and repainting over the areas, scrubbing like I shouldn’t, all so I could see how the colors looked afterwards.
I did get some muddy areas, especially where the colors had PB36. So now I know that in the future, I’ll try to leave that color alone without fussing with it.
For the second painting, I repeated the loose wet-into-wet technique and let it dry. Then I drew on it with technical pen, a black gel pen and a white gel pen.
I used a cold press paper, which has a bit too much texture for the felt-tipped technical pen.
The colors labeled as Mineral, dry with a gritty texture. The gel pens worked well even on the grittier areas, but the felt tipped pen stopped working.
I used the same paper as the last two paintings and the same kind of pen, but I drew first and painted afterward.
The technique was still wet-into-wet but I used less water.
For this last example, I used a smooth hot press and painted wet-onto-dry. My paint to water ratio mix was about the same as above. It was the technique and hot press that made the difference.
No matter the paper or amount of water — with these paints, you’ll always get some separation and dramatic effects, which is good. That’s what these paints are for. If you don’t like those things, this isn’t the set for you.
Super Vision Layered Watercolor – Overall
The Super Vision Layered Watercolor Tube Paint Set is a 10-tube set with paint that separates into different colors or values. Some, such as the Blue Gradient, simply go from light to dark. Others, such as the Red Blue, separate into totally different colors (red and blue). This can be confusing at first, because color might look totally blue when you paint, but then it separates into pink and blue.
Most of the colors granulate.
You can control the amount of separation and granulation with the amount of water you use, and the surface of the paper you are using. It takes a little practice, but it is possible to get both abstract and realistic effects.
There is no information on lightfastness, but the company recommends keeping both paint and paintings out of direct light, so it is safe to assume these paints will fade. They’re great fun to use, though, and great if you want to paint loosely.
- Super Vision Watercolor Tube Paint
- Hahnemühle ‘The Collection’ Rough Watercolor Paper
- Zebra Zensations Technical Pens
- Uniball Signo White gel pen Broad
- Paul Rubens Hot Press Watercolor Block
Disclaimer: I received this Super Vision Watercolor Tube Paint Set from Paul Rubens for purpose of a review. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in