From Richard Edwards, AOCA NOAA
Here is a list of the good, the bad and the ugly, based on my personal experience and The Wilcox Guide to Best Watercolours. Ask other artists about their favourite brands of colours as there are always new colours coming up, for example, I like the Aurora (yellow) in Winsor Newton and the new quinacridone colours and cobalt blue by DaVinci.
Winsor Newton - Good Quality Paint
Tip! Get Winsor Newton Cotman Watercolours (student series of WN) permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, instead because they are the same qualityt as Windsor Newton professional.
AVOID Winsor Red, Winsor Yellow and Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue.
Grumbacher Finest Watercolour Series are all good quality except Grumbacher Red.
Grumbacher Academy Watercolour Series: Lemon, Thalo Red, Thalo Crimson, Thalo Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Thalo Blue, Thalo Green, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre can be substituted for Grumbacher Finest as they are the same quality pigment.
Van Gogh Paints are good quality and economical in value for watercolours. They have great consistency.
Da Vinci Professional Quality Watercolour Paints are good quality except permanent red.
Holbein Paints are good quality as well.
AVOID all of the following makes of these colours, as they are not permanent:
Alizarin Crimson, Alizarin Madder, Alizarin Madder Lake, Van Dyke Brown, *Vermillion, Carmine, Crimson Lake, Chrome Yellow, New Gamboge,** Hookers Green, Hookers Green Deep
*Best to replace with Grumbacher Cadmium Red Light as alternative
**Best to replace Hookers Green with Hookers Green Da Vinci
For more painting tips, you can "like" the Edwards Studios Facebook Page.
Below is a watercolour painting I did using these colours; Van Gogh Ultramarine Blue, Van Gogh Burnt Sienna, Van Gogh Thalo Blue, Da Vinci Cobalt Blue, Winsor Newton Cadmium Yellow Light, and Da Vinci Rose Deep.
Richard Edwards, Manitoulin Winter Stream, 2015