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Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sets

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Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sets

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sets

Winsor and Newton Cotman Water Colours are a range of water colours that are made to Winsor & Newton's high-quality standards, but costs are reduced by substituting traditional pigments with less expensive modern pigments. The range offers excellent lightfastness, good tinting strength, good transparency and true optical working properties. Cotman Water Colours come in 40 beautiful tones. They're affordable but uncompromising on quality - they have excellent tinting strength and are easy to work with.

The range offers a balanced spectrum of 40 colours which are available in Half Pans, 8ml tubes and 21ml tubes

Colour Range

The range of 40 colours are chosen according to mass tone (colour from tube), undertone (bias of colour when in a thin film), colour strength, relative opacity and the character of the pigment itself. The resultant colour spectrum ensures the largest number of colours can be mixed.

The Cotman Water Colour range has a more uniform consistency than the Professional Water Colour range and this benefits beginners as there is less to learn about each individual pigment. The Cotman Water Colour range also relates to the Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour range, e.g. Burnt Sienna in both ranges has the same hue. This enables artists to use colours from both ranges with minimal adjustment to their technique.

White in the Range

Traditionally the white of the paper provides the brilliance to water colour and can be used as highlights. However, some artists utilize Chinese White for highlights at the end of their painting or in dulling some colour mixtures down.


Costs are kept to an economical level by replacing some of the more costly pigments with less expensive alternatives. Pigments derive from a number of sources: Some are natural products, notably the earths, eg. umbers, ochres; others come from metal compounds and are sometimes termed 'traditional' or 'genuine', eg. ultramarine.

The distillation of petroleum yields an ever widening range of organic pigments which are often termed as 'modern'. Many of the pigments used in Cotman are organic.


As water colour films are so thin all colours appear more or less transparent when painted onto paper. The pigments used in Cotman are also predominantly transparent.


The modern organic pigments, e.g. Cotman hue colours, are made of very fine particles which cause them to stain the paper. The traditional colours e.g. earths, tend to lift from the paper more easily.

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