Dear Marten: Primary Colors in van Gogh Watercolors

Dear Marten,

 I am new to your watercolors. Can you tell me which colors in your van Gogh line of watercolors you consider to be the primary colors?

Thank you for your help,


Dear Judi,

Below are what I recommend as the primary colors in the van Gogh watercolor line:

I have given you two options in the yellows. To most people these two colors are indistinguishable, but the undertones can vary. The permanent lemon yellow 254 uses PY184, and has more of a greenish undertone, where the transparent medium yellow uses pigment PY128, and varies between red and greenish undertones. I prefer the permanent lemon yellow, but would recommend trying each to see what mixes best to your liking. Below is a link to the van Gogh color chart where you can take a look at these as well as at all of the new colors in the assortment.

  • Permanent Red Violet 567

  • Cerulean Blue (phthalo) 535

  • Permanent Lemon Yellow 254 (or Transparent Yellow Medium 272)

Met vriendelijke groet, With kind regards,

Marten Talens

Marten Talens founded Royal Talens, the Dutch Factory for Paints, Lacquers and Inks, in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands) in 1899.

Dear MartenRoyal Talens