REVIEW: White Nights Pastel Watercolors – Part 1


My first brand of serious watercolor was a set of Yarka St Petersburg pan paints. They are also sold under the name of White Nights. They are a professional grade, though on the lower end of professional*, very nicely priced (for professional). Recently, they came out with a set of six, new pastel colors.

*Not to be confused with the student grade Yarka sets that come with round pans in a long thin palette for about $8. Those are in fact surprisingly decent. Much better than Prang!

This is a set of individual pans – one each of the new colors. They don’t come in a palette. All White Nights paint pans are full size, which are better for your brushes and you get twice the paint than the standard half-pans.

The colors are:

When you talk pastel colors in watercolor, it usually means a pigment mixed with white and that is the case here. The names on this set aren’t standard. The index numbers tell you more – you might recognize the color under these names.

PW6 is Titanium white and all the the colors are mixed with it.

  • Coral is PR242/PW6. PR242 often goes under the names Scarlet, Cadmium Red HUE, French Vermilion Hue
  • Pink Peony is PR122/PW6. PR122 often goes under the names Magenta, Brilliant Red Violet, Brilliant Magenta
  • Rose Quartz – PR170/PW6. PR170 often goes under the names Napthol Red, Permanent Red, Ruby Red
  • Lilac – PV19/PW6. PV19 often goes under the names Quinacridone Rose or Purple, Alizarin Crimson, Red Rose
  • Royal blue – PB29/PW6. PB29 is best known as Ultramarine Blue.
  • Lavender – PV19/PB29/PW6. This is a very common mix and standard name for it.

So what do the colors look like when you paint with them? Pretty nice, really. Watercolors mixed with white are often chalky. These colors could be used for a chalkboard look, but they have a beautiful glow.

You can see how well all the colors co-ordinate.

I would have like to see a yellow in the set, but that would allow you to mix muddy color. You could also mix greens and oranges, so there are pros and cons to adding yellow. As it is, these colors will always work well together.

On black paper, the colors really excel. They are truly opaque colors, but you do need to use more than one layer to get real color. A single layer has a grayish tinge to it. With this painting, I used less water and only a few layers, which allowed the colors to glow.

In this painting, I used more water and built up layers to get more of a graduation of color values. While the added layers give you a wide range of values, it also reduces the glow.

You could mix these colors on your own. But you’d have to experiment with the ratio of color to white, and would never get exactly the same shade twice. You could waste paint trying for the right shade. If you like to experiment, and want to learn the best rations – mix them for yourself. If you like convenience, these colors are a fabulous buy.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you what happens when you try to draw over these paints. Part 2.

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

6 thoughts on “REVIEW: White Nights Pastel Watercolors – Part 1”

  1. Interesting paints. I think I’d have to have a plan for these as experimenting might lead to mush. But I like your review of these paints, especially the “glow” part, and might buy them for my granddaughter who is hard to keep in paint but ready for better quality than Prang.

  2. Thanks for this review! Having cut my teeth ~ and my grade school students teeth~on YARKA paints, these new colors are interesting hues…and your research on their less generic names helps a lot. Will check out part II!

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