Marie Watercolors 18 Tube Set Lightfastness Test

Marie Watercolors 18 Tube Set Lightfastness

Marie Watercolors are often encountered in many stores, art and general stores.They’re an inexpensive possibility when searching for a starter set of watercolors.

I tried searching for more information about these colors. It’s hard to find. I’ve emailed the company for more information on their watercolor sets, but have thus far received no answer.

As far as I can gather, there is a 12 tube set, and an 18 tube set. Some artists have stated that the 12 tube set is a scholastic/student grade set of paints, while the 18 set is slightly higher quality. Their webpage for the 12 and 18 sets of watercolor paint is blank as of 7/31/18. There is no pigment information, no lightfastness information, no information on opacity, and of course, no Material Data Safety Sheet (indicating if there are hazardous materials in the paint and how to deal with them).

Info I’ve gathered:

Tubes in both the 12 and 18 set are 12ml in size.


Years ago, I bought the 18 tube set and have been using it for a majority of my watercolor paintings. I used it to play around with watercolors, and learn techniques. It is only recently that I have purchased and been using Winsor and Newton Cotman Colors (student grade), Daniel Smith Artist Watercolors (artist grade), and Winsor and Newton Artist Colors (artist grade). I now use the Marie colors as supplements, and am slowly replacing them with artist grade colors.

The colors were great for learning, and mixed decently according to color theory. Sometimes when I layer too much with them, or mix too many colors, I get dull and muddy paints.Years ago, I did a small informal lightfastness test of the paints. After months in my window, the Marie colors showed little to no fading. However, I feel it is time to do a formal test of the colors.



  • Most of the colors are bright and saturated. The Ultramarine is somewhat blue-grey and dull, however.
  • Some tubes, specifically the burnt sienna, burnt umber, black, and white, hardened in the tube and I had a challenge of extracting the color from the tube (I had to open the bottom of the tube and take paint from it that way.)
  • The paints are more opaque than other brands (they are made by a Chinese company, and asian watercolors tend to be more opaque, as per tradition.) When paint on lineart, I have to re-ink the artwork.
  • Some of the paints are chalky in texture (when I put my brush into the freshly squeezed paint to disperse it, AND when I touch the dry paint on the paper)
  • There are multiple reds, yellows, blues, and even greens; a warm and cool of each.
  • All of the colors lift well from the papers I use, at least well enough for me to paint over with another color and have it not be too noticeable.



Marie Watercolors set of 18 tubes.

Strathmore 300 Watercolor paper, 11”x15”


Natural hair brush






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