Review: Grumbacher Academy Watercolors

Hi friends! Today I am reviewing a paint which might be the best student watercolors on the market in my opinion: Grumbacher Academy. I have had many of these colors in my stash for over a decade bought on clearance and I grabbed a couple extra to do the review. Watch the video to see how they fared.


Price: $3-$5 per tube
good transparency
high pigment load
stable artist pigments used
rewets well when dry in palette

Can’t think of any:)

I don’t want to think that if you have watercolors you like that you need to run out and get these two. I still find them quite comparable to Van Gogh and my beloved Cotmans. I also recommend Prima and Koi (but I wish I could know what pigments are in them) and Sonnet (I know the pigments and some are shady but most are good!) 😉  Mostly I want you to be able to make informed decisions and not waste money on junk. Since we all live in different countries with different products available affordably I want to help as many people as I can.

Programming note: The next two weeks are a bit crazy, the kids have short school weeks and I have some videos I am working on for you that might take a bit longer to produce than usual so if there is a day without a video that is why:) Luckily I have over 1400 videos in my archive if you need a crafty fix. I have them organized by type on my playlist page so poke around and find something new to you! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


14 Responses

  1. You are so cool – thank you!


    • I am finally getting around to swatching out my large Art Bin box of well over 100 tubes of paint and am swatching them by color. So, I’m into my reds and come across a tube of Grumbacher red with a price if $1.89 so you can imagine how old it is. And the tube is split in 3 places that requires tape to prevent nasty leaking, but the paint is still fine. Since I am writing this the beginning of Nov. and am beginning to think of Xmas cards, I have to say that the Grumbacher Red is the BEST Xmas red of the lot–couldn’t be better and most all the others are artist quality paints. My Grumbacher’s are so good and have been such staples for so many years, I didn’t realize they were student grade until watching this review. Out of 9 red reds, the two that are the best Xmas reds are both Grumbacher’s–the one mentioned and a second that’s just a bit warmer is Cadmium Red, Light. Winsor & Newton’s Quinacridone Red is the next nicest Xmas red, but also more expensive. Hope this is helpful!


  2. Great video. I have just purchased the Daniel Smith Essential set of small tubes and they are expensive. Nice to know about these other paints also. Can you please tell me the best pan to buy to put my tube paints in, also do I just squeeze some in and wait until they are dry??? The fear of a newbie with paint.
    Thank you Lindsay for all you do.


    • You can use the paint wet or dry but I like to work from dry paint as you will not waste any that way. A palette is a personal choice. When painting at home I prefer a large plastic palette with wells along the sides and a large mixing area in the middle. My main palette with my M Graham paints is in one of thoses, I recommend the Pike or Jones palettes. The palette I demo with a lot has rows of wells and mixing areas and that is fine too that is a Zolton Zhabo palette. When I add new paints to my collection I usually put them in small plastic pans which I ordered from Jackson Art Supply via Amazon because I can move the pans to the pallete I wish to work on or I can pop them in a travel paint box. I don’t recommend this for a beginner without a lot of paint. Keep it simple:) Get a palette with wells along the edge. put your paint in the wells in the order of the rainbow or color where and leave spaces between them for when you eventually add new colors and learn to mix from your 6 DS Essentails


      • Thank you Lindsay for such a prompt reply. I forgot to ask you if you would recommend using one palette for two different brands of paint or keep each in its own palette. I just got the 12 piece QOR set, so I have two different ones to work from. I am enjoying the paint and process of learning (and mistakes–lots) but I want to use them in the palette so I don’t waste any. Should I buy two of the palettes you recommended and keep them each in their own palette???
        Thank you, sorry for the added question. I just worry about mixing them up and forgetting.


        • I’d put them together if you have enough wells. Just rn a strip of masking tape along the side of the palette and write the names on it. They will work fine together:)


          • Thank you so much Lindsay for letting me know about storing my paints and the types of boxes to use. I have mine on order now and am just waiting for it to come in the mail. Thank you so much for your videos because they are so helpful and informative. You make me feel like I really can paint. I am a newbie and I really love everything you are teaching, cannot begin to think I would be trying the things I am, but I am having fun. Thank you.


  3. I have learned so much from your videos. You’ve saved me some money & much time. Thank you bunches.


  4. Thanks Lindsay!! You are one of the only uTube art women who don’t bore me or waste my time…you know your stuff & make it interesting & to the point!! We do have attention problems when people make them so LONG!!! You’re the best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Lindsay. It helps so much when you review things for us:-)


  6. I have painted for 25 years, but am not very familiar with acrylics. What brand would you recommend? Also, what paper or board should I Use? Thank you.


    • Grumbacher academy makes a good acrylic too, also Liquatex and Turner I like but there are others I have not used that should be good. I don’t paint in acrylics much.


  7. Thanks Lindsay I need help in that area. I loved your video always so informative and learn a lot. Will look into some Grumbacher academy.


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