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Water-mixable colours

Water-mixable colours

Though you’re probably familiar with water colours in tubes or pans, did you know there are other types of colours you can use with water as well? In this blog, we will discuss these different products and show you some examples of their effects when used with water. Let’s get into it!


Even colour blocks and smooth blending

Talens Gouache Extra Fine is an opaque paint that you can thin, mix and blend using water. The colours are popular amongst artists and designers for being super intense, but they can be made slightly more transparent by adding water. The paint will never become as transparent as water colours, however, since its main characteristic is to be very opaque. Besides this, the main difference between gouache and water colour is their binder. Our water colours are based on gum arabic, while gouache is based on dextrin, which gives the paint a smooth consistency and reduces surface gloss.

You can use gouache to create even, matt colour blocks without visible brush strokes. Mix the colours with water to thin, mix, blend and create smooth colour transitions. Gouache is not waterproof when dry, which means you can still rework the colours with water after they have dried.

View all Talens Gouache colours


Water-mixable oil colours

Enjoy solvent-free oil painting

Cobra is our line of water-mixable oil colours. These oil paints have the same high-quality pigments and viscosity as regular oil paints but can be mixed and cleaned with water instead of solvents like odourless white spirit. Even though oil naturally repels water, Cobra oil colours contain an emulsifier that allows the oil paint to be mixed with water. You can even clean your hands and brushes using just water and soap, which makes it much easier to use as well.

If you’ve always loved the idea of painting with traditional oil colours, but aren’t too keen on the smells and health issues that can come with the solvents necessary to work with these paints, Cobra is the solution for you!

Find out more about Cobra

Water-mixable oil colours

Water-soluble oil pastels

Paint with pastels

Talens Art Creation water-soluble oil pastels are creamy oil pastels that apply smoothly and blend easily, just like regular oil pastels. The difference, though, is that you can mix these pastels with water to create even smoother colour transitions and to make the intense colours more transparent for a water colour effect.

You can do this by simply applying water to (parts of) your paper using a wet brush, wetting the pastels before applying them or by using a wet brush to deposit colour right from the pastel to the paper. Create even colours by smoothing the texture of already applied dry oil pastel marks with a wet brush for seamless colour blending and transitions.

View all water-soluble oil pastels

Water-soluble oil pastels

Water colour brush pens

Sharp lines and seamless colour transitions

Ecoline is a brilliant liquid water colour available in bottles and pens. The main difference between Ecoline and regular water colours is their colouring agent. Water colours are based on finely milled pigments, while Ecoline is based on dyestuff. The dyes make the colours beautifully transparent, astonishingly bright and very easy to work with, but they do have the tendency to fade quicker in sunlight than pigment-based paints. This is why we recommend keeping your finished works in a binder to preserve the colour.

It may seem like a given that you can mix liquid water colours with water, but have you tried using the famous Ecoline brush pens with water? After using the brush pen, you can go in with a water colour brush and some water to blend the colours and to create beautiful water colour effects. This means you can use the brush pens to create sharp lines as well as soft, seamless colour transitions.

Go to the Ecoline Brush Pen collection

Water colour brush pens

Water colour pencils

Draw, colour and paint with just one product

Are you always trying to layer coloured pencil marks to create smooth, even colours in your drawings without all the pencil strokes showing? Unwanted pencil lines are a thing of the past with Bruynzeel Expression water colour pencils. These pencils are made with high-quality pigments for excellent colour intensity and transfer, while also being completely water soluble. This allows you to use a brush dipped in water for even colour blocks without pencil lines, seamless blending and smooth colour transitions. Create wonderful water colour effects without paint with these vivid water colours in pencil format!

View the Bruynzeel water colour pencil sets

Water colour pencils

Have you tried any of these water-mixable colours before? If so, show us your work online with #RoyalTalens to inspire us and others to try out these alternative water colours. Have fun experimenting!