Ready to add a little magic to your watercolor game? Royal Talens just released black watercolor paper as well as opaque, metallic, and interference watercolors that shimmer and shine for their Van Gogh line. Whether you’re hand lettering or painting galaxies, the Royal Talens Van Gogh specialty line opens up a whole new world of possibility.
Van Gogh Black Watercolor Paper
I worked on the A4 (8.3 x 11.7”) 12 sheet pad of 360 gram (140#) fine-grained black cellulose paper. The pad is bound on the 11” side with padding glue. The paper is internally sized and acid free. A glossy foldover cover and heavy cardboard backboard protect and support the interior paper. An A3 sized pad is also available.
Van Gogh black watercolor paper performed to or above the expectations I have for high quality 140# cellulose multi-media paper.
- Did not buckle, even when heavily wet. Paper curls when soaked, but flattens when dried.
- Fast drying, even on drippy, humid days.
- Excellent with pens and pencils, including dip pens for hand lettering.
- Easy lifting of color. I used a Princeton Neptune to soak the area I wanted to lift with clear water, agitated the paint with two or three passes of the brush, and then blotted.
- Only pilled when paper was scrubbed to force failure.
- Easily released both masking tape and fluid (ok, THAT surprised me!).
- Minimal fading when forced (2 x 3 sample taped to dash of my car for 10 days in June)
- Both sides were identical.
Van Gogh Specialty Colors Pocket Box
Van gogh offers a unique black palette box with half pans of all 12 of their metallic and interference colors. The interference colors appear white in the pan, but the drips around the edge onto the black palette reveal their full color. The inner mixing tray is still white, but can be popped out to use the black lid as a mixing area if desired. All colors mixed seamlessly with the series 1 colors. Colors appear strongest when viewed at about a 45 degree angle.
Metallics On Van Gogh Black Watercolor Paper
The Van Gogh metallic paints rewet easily and give the appearance of foil when applied in cream consistency. As I thinned the wash, they changed to a micro-glitter shimmer. Once the paint dried I could not transfer any color or glitter off my paper by rubbing a finger over it. I was impressed with how well the metallics performed in hand lettering tests on both black and white paper. Although listed as semi-opaque, they are fully visible on both black and white paper. I enjoyed each color– Silver, Light & Deep Gold, Bronze, Copper, and Graphite as much as the similar colors from leading competitors like Coliri and Gansai Tambi. All of the paints are four pigment blends including PW 6 (Titanium White),15 (pearlescent tin oxide), and 20 (mica) as well as the coloring pigment (Pbk 11 or PR 101). All six are lightfast and mixable with other Van Gogh series 1 and 2.
Interference Colors On Van Gogh Black Watercolor Paper
The six Royal Talens Van Gogh interference colors have a pastel holographic appearance that only reveals the color on dark surfaces. These paints are also considered semi-opaque, and their formula results in a harder pan consistency than the metallics or Van Gogh Series 1 Half pans. The Van Gogh interference pans also performed well in my hand lettering tests. Fully visible on black paper, the washes disappear almost completely on light or white except for an iridescent shimmer when viewed at an angle. The pigments listed are PW6, 15, and 20, and once again all six are lightfast. Interference colors are available in white, yellow, green, red, blue, and violet. No glitter transfers once the paint is dry.
Royal Talens also popped an open stock half pan of their new Van Gogh Opaque White into my package and I loved it. I’ve kept a dried blob of Designer White Gouache in the brush holder on my palettes for years, and this is every bit as opaque and much easier to rewet.
My box was also filled with several other goodies:
A white Van Gogh watercolor block (cold press fine, cellulose, 140#),
One of the new themed Van Gogh watercolour pocket boxes, Shades of Nature,
A dot card for the entire 72 color Royal Talens Van Gogh watercolor line (not currently available for purchase online),
And a catalogue (you can view it here online) with scanned swatches and pigment info for the complete line as well as a listing of all available Royal Talens Van Gogh products.
The Series 1 Van Gogh paints perform as expected based on my review last year. The three Azo yellows are now semi-opaque rather than transparent, and eight other colors were upgraded to single pigments. Van Gogh has released several themed sets, and individual colors can also be purchased as tubes. The tube formula has less gum arabic and more brightener, but dries down into pans well.
The new white Royal Talens Van Gogh watercolour paper block was intentionally designed for multi-media artists and is suitable for pencil, pen, colored pencil, gouache and watercolor. They also list charcoal and acrylic, which I don’t use and didn’t test. I preferred the paper for ink and watercolor with a touch of colored pencil or additional ink for details and tone. Performance characteristics matched those of the black paper. One of my favorite uses of the specialty paints was to add subtle details or sparkle to traditional paintings on white paper.
So how about you? Do you enjoy colors with a bit of sparkle and shine? Have you used or are you curious about black watercolor paper? Talk to me in the comments!
All of the products mentioned above were provided to me free of charge by Royal Talens North America in exchange for my honest opinion in a Doodlewash review. I did not and will not receive additional compensation or product for this review, although sales from affiliate links will help support the Doodlewash Community!Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in
I’m a science and math educator who has been creating since childhood. I picked up watercolor four years ago and have been on a grand exploration discovering its playful and enigmatic personality. Follow my adventure on Instagram!