I Refuse to Buy Schmincke’s Supergranulating Paints

Cobalt Turquoise + Ultramarine VIolet
Schmincke Horadam Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + Winsor & Newton Ultramarine Violet (PV15) in an Etchr Perfect Sketchbook

Although I like granulation now, I’m not tempted by the sets everyone in my watercolor friends-list seems to be going gaga for: the Schmincke Supergranulating colors. If you take a look at them, they are generally* not new colors, they’re mixes of other granulating colors that Schmincke (and other brands) offer. You can mix your own!

* The only exceptions are two single pigment colors in the volcano set, Volcano Red (PR108) and Volcano Yellow (PY159), which also appear in several of the mixes. 


Here are your recipes for mixing supergranulating colors with paints you may already have. I already have (and love) several of these single-pigment components, or reasonable equivalents, so I take these as great suggestions for ways to mix them! 

Glacier Series

Potter's Pink + Cobalt Turquoise
MaimeriBlu Potter’s Pink (PR233) + Schmincke Horadam Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) on an Etchr sketchbook

These are mostly based on the wonderful Cobalt Turquoise (PG50), which is personally my favorite Schmincke color. 

  • Glacier Turquoise: Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + Ultramarine Violet (PV15)
  • Glacier Blue: Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + French Ultramarine (PB29)
  • Glacier Green: Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + Potter’s Pink (PR233)
  • Glacier Brown: Mars Brown (PBr6) + Cobalt Green Dark (PG26)
  • Glacier Black: Mars Black (PBk11) + Cobalt Azure (PB35)*

* PB35 is more commonly known as Cerulean.

Galaxy Series

Cobalt Turquoise + French Ultramarine
Schmincke Horadam Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + Holbein Ultramarine Deep (PB29) in an Etchr Perfect Sketchbook

Note Galaxy Blue is the same mix as Glacier Blue; it just appears that the Galaxy Blue has more Ultramarine. 

  • Galaxy Pink: Manganese Violet (PV16) + Mahogany Brown (PBr33)
  • Galaxy Violet: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Potter’s Pink (PR233)
  • Galaxy Blue: Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + French Ultramarine (PB29)
  • Galaxy Brown: Mars Brown (PBr6) + Cobalt Violet Hue (PV62)
  • Galaxy Black: Mars Black (PBk11) + French Ultramarine (PB29)

Deep Sea Series

Viridian + Ultramarine
Winsor & Newton Viridian (PG18) + Holbein Ultramarine Deep (PB29) in a Pentalic Aqua sketchbook

Most of these use French Ultramarine. 

  • Deep Sea Green: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Viridian (PG18)
  • Deep Sea Violet: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Mahogany Brown (PBr33)
  • Deep Sea Blue: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + Ultramarine Violet (PV15)
  • Deep Sea Indigo: Cobalt Violet Hue (PV62) + Viridian (PG18)
  • Deep Sea Black: Mars Black (PBk11) + Cobalt Blue Deep (PB74) + Cobalt Azure (PB35)

Forest Series

Monte Amiata Natural Sienna + Viridian
Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7) + Winsor & Newton Viridian (PG18) in a Pentalic Aqua sketchbook
  • Forest Olive: Viridian (PG18) + Raw Sienna (PBr7, PY43)
  • Forest Green: Cobalt Green Pure (PG19) + Mahogany Brown (PBr33)
  • Forest Blue: Cobalt Green Turquoise (PB36) + Mars Black (PBk11)
  • Forest Brown: Cobalt Green Dark (PG26) + Raw Sienna (PBr7, PY43)
  • Forest Grey: Cobalt Turquoise (PG50) + Raw Umber (PBr7) + Mars Black (PBk11)

Tundra Series

Potter's Pink + Ultramarine
MaimeriBlu Potter’s Pink (PR233) + Holbein Ultramarine Deep (PB29) in a Wonder Forest sketchbook
  • Tundra Orange: Potter’s Pink (PR233) + Raw Sienna (PBr7, PY43)
  • Tundra Pink: Potter’s Pink (PR233) + French Ultramarine (PB29)
  • Tundra Violet: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Mars Brown (PBr6)
  • Tundra Blue: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Raw Umber (PBr7)
  • Tundra Green: Cobalt Green Pure (PG19) + Mars Brown (PBr6)

Haze Series

Potter's Pink + Cerulean
MaimeriBlu Potter’s Pink (PR233) + Da Vinci Cerulean Blue Genuine (PB36) in a Wonder Forest sketchbook
  • Haze Pink: Potter’s Pink (PR233) + Cobalt Green Turquoise (PB36)
  • Haze Blue: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Raw Sienna (PBr7, PY43)
  • Haze Indigo: French Ultramarine (PB29) + Cobalt Green Dark (PG26) + Mahogany Brown (PBr33)
  • Haze Brown: Raw Umber (PBr7) + Mars Black (PBk11)
  • Haze Black: Mars Black (PBk11) + Cobalt Green Turquoise (PB36) + Potter’s Pink (PR233)

Volcano Series

This series actually contains single pigment colors! Volcano Red (PR108) is a more granulating version of Schmincke’s other PR108, Cadmium Red Light. Volcano Yellow (PY159) is a granulating yellow. The only other version of PY159 I’ve ever seen is Winsor & Newton’s Lemon Yellow Deep (PY159).

  • Volcano Yellow (PY159)
  • Volcano Red (PR108)
  • Volcano Orange: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Volcano Red (PR108)
  • Volcan Violet: Cobalt Violet Hue (PV62) + Volcano Red (PR108)
  • Volcano Brown: Volcano Red (PR108) + Mars Black (PBk11)

Desert Series

Many of these are also based on Volcano Yellow and Red.

  • Desert Yellow: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Raw Umber (PBr7)
  • Desert Orange: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Mahogany Brown (PBr33)
  • Desert Brown: Transparent Yellow (PY150) + Volcano Red (PR108) + Mars Black (PBk11)
  • Desert Green: Volcano Red (PR108) + Cobalt Green Dark (PG26) 
  • Desert Grey: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Mars Black (PBk11)

Shire Series

Volcano Yellow is in every one of these!

  • Shire Yellow: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Cobalt Violet Hue (PV62)
  • Shire Olive: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Cobalt Azure (PB35)
  • Shire Green: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Viridian (PG18)
  • Shire Blue: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + French Ultramarine (PB29) + Cobalt Green Dark (PG26) 
  • Shire Grey: Volcano Yellow (PY159) + Cobalt Blue Deep (PB74) + Mars Black (PBk11)


So, if you are hoping to pick up some granulating colors but you want to concentrate on single-pigment colors that are the most useful, which ones should you get? Because I was curious about how it actually breaks down, here are all the single-pigment colors that appear in these mixes, and in how many of the Supergranulating paints they appear.  

  1. French Ultramarine (PB29): 13 
  2. Mars Black (PBk11): 11 – could also use DS Lunar Black
  3. Volcano Yellow (PY159): 10 – could also use WN Lemon Yellow Deep
  4. Volcano Red (PR108): 6
  5. Cobalt Turquoise (PG50): 6  – could also use DS Cobalt Teal among others
  6. Potter’s Pink (PR233): 6 
  7. Cobalt Green Dark (PG26): 5
  8. Mahogany Brown (PBr33): 5
  9. Cobalt Violet Hue (PV62): 4
  10. Viridian (PG18): 4
  11. Mars Brown (PBr6): 4
  12. Raw Umber (PBr7): 4 – could also use DS Van Dyke Brown
  13. Raw Sienna (PY43, PBr7): 4 – could also use Yellow Ochre or DS MANS
  14. Cobalt Azure (PB35): 3 – could also use Cerulean Genuine/Chromium
  15. Cobalt Green Turquoise (PB36): 3 – could also use Cobalt Green
  16. Ultramarine Violet (PV15): 2
  17. Cobalt Blue Deep (PB74): 2
  18. Cobalt Green Pure (PG19): 2
  19. Transparent Yellow (PY150): 1 – could also use Nickel Azo Yellow
  20. Manganese Violet (PV16): 1

It turns out that Schmincke uses only 20 pigments to make 45 different Supergranulating branded paints! Even if you desire every possible Supergranulating combo, you can save a lot of money by only getting the component colors, prioritizing the ones that appear frequently – or that you want anyway. Plus, you’ll have the option of using them alone (you can’t “unmix” the Supergranulating paints to get to the components), mixing in different combinations and balances, mixing on the page, and making your own magic!

1 thought on “I Refuse to Buy Schmincke’s Supergranulating Paints”

  1. Yessss I’m so glad you posted this! When I graduated from my super-beginner watercolors to artist grade I picked Sennelier as my brand of choice, and only a couple of the colors I chose granulate at all. When I was gifted some of the Schmincke super granulating paints it was world changing… But I quickly found the real joy was mixing them with other colors to introduce surprising new granulations. Now I know which baseline Schmincke to go buy to keep experimenting

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