Would YOU pay 4x the Price for These Paints?

Hi friends! Today I got a chance to try out a student and artist line of paints from the same company. I wondered how different the quality would be between a student line of paints LUKAS Studio Aquarelle and the artist grade LUKAS 1862 that costs 4 times as much. See for yourself in today’s video review:


Here you can see the dry color chart:


Please note: I was not asked or compensated by Lukas or Jerry’s Artarama to post this review. These findings and opinions are my own.

I am comparing the Lukas Aquarelle Studio set of 12 with the LUKAS 1862 artist grade set of 12 half pans:

Price: (12 half pan travel sets)
LUKAS Studio retail: $23.05 (Sale $11.99)
LUKAS 1862 retail: $87.50 (sale: $42.29)

I found both sets of paint comparable. I decided to investigate their lightfastness and both lines of paint had excellent or very good lightfast ratings on their paints. I will post links to the LUKAS info with light-fast/transparency/pigment compisition info below. Please note they use a sale of ***=excellent and **=very lightfast (which if you were there for out thrilling lightfast discussion during last Fridays live stream you would know that equals an American rating of 1-excellent or 2-very good or a 7/8-excellent or 5/6-very good on the British blue wool scale)

Would it be to much to ask for paint companies to adhere to one set of lightfast ratings?

The major difference between the lines is the 1862 has more colors. Also I reckon that the studio line must have more fillers to justify the price difference and I did see a bit more chalkiness on the black on some of the studio colors (magenta, viridian, cad yellow, cad red) but honestly not a lot. Also some of the colors between the sets were a bit different so maybe lesser expensive pigments were used on the studio version, for instance the 1862 lines uses real cadmium pigments in cad. red and cad. yellow but those colors in the studio line are hues (synthetic replications of the pigments.) It does not worry me though with the high lightfast ratings. Upon further investigating I found that both the studio ad the 1862 lines use the same pigments except for the cadmium colors but the pigments used in the hues are the same as the pigments in permanent red and permanent yellow light in the 1862 line respectively.

Both of the LUKAS sets were more opaque than I prefer in a watercolor paint. If you look at the color charts I linked below you will see that few of the colors claim to be a truly transparent color, come are semi transparent, semi-opaque and opaque. You might prefer this, it is personal preference but I generally like a very transparent watercolor. Still, these are a great buy and the next time I need to order watercolors for a class I will buy the studio sets without hesitation.

Reference sheets: LUKAS Studio and Lukas 1862 Artists watercolor have a look and compare the pigments and quality of the paints. Learn to be a paint detective and you will always know what you are buying!

So, what would you buy? Would you get the studio set knowing that the colors are lightfast and strong or would you pay 4 times the price for the artist version? Or would you skip these paints all together? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!


11 Responses

  1. Years ago I needed to replace a half-pan of something like sap green and as my usual brand (Schmincke then) was sold out I just grabbed Lucas (artist quality). That green was so DREADFUL I removed it at ONCE and preferred to go without any green at all until I could buy the green I was used to! It seemed like dragging my brush over sand and the color was so opaque it didn’t even seem like watercolors anymore. I have a prejudice against Lucas ever since. My daughter just started painting then and had a kit with Lucas paints, coming to think of it they must have been student grade because the whole kit with brushes, paper and all only cost 50 DM. But she was happy with them and didn’t think they were bad at all so I guess it depends on what you expect from watercolors. I like mine transparent!


  2. If the two lines are as similar as you mention in your post, I think I would go with the Studio line. Have you ever tried Daniel Smith’s Extra Fine Watercolors? I have some of the tubes and sticks and I like both. I wonder how the Lukas brand compares with the Daniel Smith brand?


  3. I am fairly new to watercolor and do not have a lot of watercolor paint. I would definitely buy these. The price is reasonable and working with different paints helps develop my knowledge. I also purchased the Turner Watercolor set that you critiqued. Thanks Lindsay. I have learned so much from your videos and thoroughly enjoy watching them.


  4. I am fairly new to watercolor and do not have a lot of paint. I would definitely buy these after watching your comparison. I think that using different paints furthers my watercolor knowledge. I am gradually increasing my artist quality paints. I also purchased the Turner set that you critiqued. Thanks Lindsay. I have learned so much from your videos. Thanks to you my casual interest in watercolors has become a serious hobby and I am loving every minute of it!! 😊


  5. No I would not pay 80 some dollar’s for any paints!


  6. I don’t do paintings with my watercolors. I use them for background or adding to a mixed media so I have no desire to invest in something like the artist grade watercolors. I thought the studio/student grade are as expensive as I would desire to go.
    I love these videos because they do help me decide where I should invest my money. At this moment, I’m still using super cheap watercolors but this makes me want to invest in some that are a higher quality.


  7. Wow! I did not expect to see such similarities. Thank you so much for doing this video.🙂


  8. I’d buy the less expensive set. I am making cards!


  9. Exactly! Student grade is fine for cards and paper crafting. But if you are doing gallery type painting, I always go to artists quality. Lindsay, Lucas 1862 oil was highly recommended by a professional painter…and I got it because it has some wax in the formula. It melts very good in my encaustic mixtures. Keep up the reviews!


  10. Oh Lindsay, I always appreciate your reviews of paints. You give your honest opinions and you are knowledgeable. Could you explain more about granulation? Have you ever thought of offering an online watercolor class?
    Thank you.


  11. I have a set of 12 Studio 71 water color tube paints. What is your take on these?

    Also I have some fairly old Dr. P. H. Martin’s Iridescent Calligraphy Ink. Could I use this in my art work?

    Thank you.


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