Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Artist Watercolors

open box of schminke horadam aquarel shades of pink

Posted On January 10, 2020

Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Artist Watercolors are produced in Germany in a company with a century old tradition. Since 1881 the goal of Schmincke company is providing the best artists’ colors for the most demanding artists.

Founders of the company were Josef Horadam and Herman Schmincke. Eleven years after the founding of the company Josef Horadam perfected a line of artists watercolors. Even today Schmincke and Horadam Aquarell Artist Watercolors are considered the finest watercolors.

Schminke Horadam aquarel box

Horadam Artist Watercolors

Watercolors or aquarelles consist of finely triturated pigments, a binder such as gum arabic and a small amount of wetting agent. They are soluble in water. Watercolor painting technique is one of the most popular painting techniques for beginners as well as for professional artists.

Most popular watercolor painting techniques are glazing, wet on wet and mixed media. There are many watercolor mediums which extend the use of watercolor and also there are special watercolor fixatives that preserve your painting and the color strength and brilliance.

It is very easy mixing watercolors with each other and since there are many colors with single and double pigment colors in Hordam Artist watercolors mixture gives you colors of exceptional brilliance and purity.

There are 139 brilliant colors in the Hordam Artist watercolor line. The colors are sold in full and half pans and you can also purchase them in 5ml and 15ml tubes. When it comes to lightfastness 112 tones have the highest possible lightfastness (4 and 5 stars ).

All the pans are poured 4 times in the liquid state for the highest possible yield. As a binding medium especially selected gum arabic is used. You can reuse all your paints after they dry on the palette. Paint is made by the same recipes in tubes and in pans, no difference what so ever.

Schminke Horadam logo in front of an open box of watercolors

Appearance And Performance

Schmincke has a very large and diverse selection of watercolors. In Horadam artist watercolors you can find an overwhelming selection of colors from muted to bright, very light to very saturated, and very transparent to very opaque.

At Schmincke they offer two grades of watercolors, student watercolors labelled Akademie Aquarell and their professional line of 139 watercolors labelled Horadam Aquarell.

Student watercolors come only in full anf half full pans while artist colors come in half full and full pans and in 5ml and 15ml tubes. Be careful when purchasing the colors tho since student and artist color packaging is almost the same so you can easily mistake one for the other.

You can purchase Horadam watercolors in many different sets as half and full pans placed in metal or wooden box and you can also purchase each color individually.

Schmincke Horadam Aquarell half pan paint metal set with 12 open spaces is a set of 12 half pan colors and 12 open spaces in the box so you can add more half pan paints if you wish. It comes in a long metal box which encludes a palette for mixing the paint and space where you can put a few brushes.

The colors that Hordam Aquarell half pan paint 12 set contains are:

  • 215 Lemon Yellow (PY 3) ST, SS, 3/5
  • 224 Cadmium Yellow Light (PY 35) SO, S, 4/5
  • 349 Cadmium Red Light (PR 108) O, SS, 4/5
  • 353 Permanent Carmine (PV 19) SO, SS, 4/5
  • 494 Ultramarine Finest (PB 29) T, SS, 4/5
  • 492 Prussian Blue (PB 27) SO, S, 4/5
  • 519 Phthalo Green (PG 7) T, NS, 4/5
  • 534 Permanent Green Olive (PO 62 + PG 7) SO, SS, 4/5
  • 655 Yellow Ochre (PY 42) SO, S, 5/5
  • 649 English Venetian Red ( PR 101) O, S, 5/5
  • 663 Sepia Brown (PB 15;1 + PBr 7 + Pbk 9) SO, ST, 4/5
  • 780 Ivory Black (PBk 9) SO, SS, 5/5

The number in front of the name is Schmincke color number. Other numbers stand for color properties, for example, T means transparent, St is semi-transparent, SO is semi-opaque, O is opaque, NS is non-staining, SS is semi-staining and S is Staining.

The numbers at the end are markings for lightfastness where 5/5 stars mean that the paint is excellent, extremely lightfast. You will notice that most of the colors in this set are with very high lightfastness only Lemon Yellow has a marking of 3/5 stars.

The colors have this delicate softness that many would compare with Winsor and Newton watercolors but Schminck Horadam Aquarells have better flow and more variance in translucent and opaque colors also they have much more granulation in certain colors. When it comes to the paints you get from tubes the texture varies a lot, form liquid to a very creamy consistency tho all paints dry and rewet with no separation or cracking.

The pigments in Horadam Aquarells are finely milled and these paints are richly colored. The paints dilute easily in water maybe a bit too much so you have to be careful with that since it is easily over diluted which results in blossoming and hard edges that can’t be fixed but stay visible on your painting.

Horadam watercolors are more for those of you with a firm hand that like precise detailed work. They have an amazingly large number of colors and are very well made. If you have in mind the flaws I have mentioned and avoid them you will have an exquisite experience with these paints and create great art work.


  • Very diverse and large selection of watercolors

  • A wide range of different pigments (transparent, opaque, granulating, etc)

  • Several packaging options as pans and two different sizes of tubes 5ml and 15ml

  • Bright pure pigments
  • Very high lightfastness


  • Paint tends to blossom on the edges

  • While painting paint gives hard edges
  • Price is a bit high
  • Not a lot of depth to colors

  • Colors disperse on the page unevenly

  • Finely milled paints which result in blossoms & hard edges

Overall conclusion

Schmincke Horadam Aquarells are of top quality with excellent lightfastness and a vast choice of colors created to suit the needs of the most demanding painters. They are good for beginners as well as for professional artists.

The price is a bit high but they are actually somewhere in the middle of watercolr price range. You can always start small and purchase a basic set like this one of 12 colors just to see if these are the colors that will suit your painting technique. I am sure you will not be disappointed.

If you have any questions regarding the subject you can leave them in the comment section and I will be happy to answer them and try and help in any possible way.

Written by Magdalena

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