Paint Review, ShinHan Watercolor

by 8 comments

ShinHan PWC extra fine watercolor

This is a watercolor paint review of the ShinHan PWC extra fine professional grade watercolor paints. In the article and video below, I will share my thoughts and experiences as I try them for the first time.

I heard of the ShinHan watercolors years ago when I used to paint with a lady from Korea. They were a very popular brand where she was from.  

Since then I have always wanted to try them; I bought some the other day. The set I purchased was the ShinHan Premium PWC extra fine watercolor paint (Main Colors A Set).

The “Main Color A Set” has 15 ml tubes and includes the following colors:

  • Permanent Red
  • Permanent Yellow Light
  • Viridian Hue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Permanent Violet
  • Burnt Sienna

Did I need more paint?  No, but I couldn’t resist he-he-he… I might be an art supply addict.  I am sure I am not the only one (not that I am pointing any fingers).

You can hear my initial thoughts about the paint in the video below.

A closer view of the colors I blended together in the video.
Pictured above is the drying shift of the permanent red. It was so vibrant when wet but dulled once dry.


I also did a color chart. I listed the pigment numbers beside the names. Most of the pigments were very familiar, but two of them I have never used.

You can see from the color chart that you can mix a good range of colors.

ShinHan paints use the ratings below for lightfastness:

  • *** Excellent lightfast
  • ** Normal lightfast
  •  * Poor lightfast

Most of their colors have a *** or ** lightfast rating.

I don’t know why Paint Manufacturers still make colors with poor lightfast ratings.

Their color chart lists the following 4 colors as * (poor) lightfast rating.

  1. Opera
  2. Bright Rose
  3. Bright Violet
  4. Purple Grey

WARNING: Do not use the 4 colors listed above if you are making artwork that you want to last. If you sell your work stick with the *** rated colors.

I emailed ShinHan to see what the ratings meant, and this was their response:


“One means “changeable”, two means “moderately permanent”, three means “permanent”, and four means “absolutely permanent”.

For instance, comparing with other brand WC, their “Excellent” means our “permanent”. Very few colors of any brand carry “absolutely permanent” rating since it requires at least 1,000 hours of 100% UV exposure in fade-o-meter which gives much stronger exposure to UV light than you normally would have in the sun. Roughly to translate 1,000 hours of 100% UV exposure in normal daily lighting condition could mean several decades depending on where you live.

When we do the lightfastness testing, we use a very recent version of fade-o-meter which only few companies utilize for lightfastness testing since it is a very expensive machine. In any case, there is no such thing as “permanently non changing color” for hundreds years. They have to use protective coating or special lighting condition to preserve prolonged period in the museum. Thank you very much.

Hope this helps, if you stick with the 3 rating everything should be good.”

It helps, thank you, ShinHan. What this means for me as a professional artist, I will only use their colors that have a *** rating.

I was happy that the company valued customer service and got back to me quickly.

Color Information

Permanent Yellow Light

Permanent yellow light uses the pigment PY1 and is transparent and has a ** lightfast rating. As far as I knew, the pigment PY1 always rated poor for light fastness and was always opaque. I always stayed away from this pigment.

Permanent Red

Permanent Red uses the pigment PR209, a pigment very familiar to me. (I use it as my cool red for my batik watercolors) it is transparent and has a *** lightfast rating.

PR209 is also used to make Quinacridone Red by Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, and DaVinci watercolors. (See picture below Viridian to see Permanent Red compared to DaVinci Quinacridone Red.

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna uses PR101; is transparent and has a *** lightfast rating. PR101 is the same pigment that Winsor & Newton uses. Therefore, the Winsor & Newton was always my favorite Burnt Sienna; I love the earthy red orange undertones. I did a comparison of the two paints side by side.

There is a slight difference, the Winsor & Newton is a little brighter but unless they were side by side, you would never know the difference.

Cobalt Blue

Cobalt Blue uses the pigment PB28 and is semitransparent with a *** lightfast rating. This pigment is the same one that most of the professional paint brands use.

Why did you have to attach the dreaded Hue to it?

Viridian Hue

Viridian Hue uses the pigment PG7; is transparent and has a *** lightfast rating. 

I always avoid colors that have hue on the end of them as it can mean that they are not true to the color that the name suggests on the tube. I wish they would rename this color. This is a beautiful, clean, single pigment color and the name Viridian Hue does not make it sound appealing; not to me anyway.

The pigment Pg7 is the same one used to make:

  • M. Graham’s Phthalo Green
  • Winsor & Newton’s Winsor Green BS (blue shade)
  • Daniel Smith’s Phthalo Green BS (blue shade)

Permanent Violet

Permanent Violet uses the pigment PV3; is transparent and has a ** lightfast rating. PV3 is a new pigment for me; I have never heard of it until now.  Most manufacturers do not use this pigment.

PR209 and PG7 comparison

First, we have the ShinHan’s Permanent Red which when it is wet it is jewel like and vibrant, when it dried it dulls and doesn’t keep that brightness.

The red I compared it with is DaVinci’s Quinacridone Red, also made from PR209. The DaVinci paint has a cooler pink tone. It is brighter wet, and it keeps some of this brightness after it has dried.

The second comparison is the ShinHan Viridian Hue and the M. Graham Phthalo Green. They are both made from pigment PG7. The only difference is the M. Graham Phthalo green is cooler (has more blue).

My Conclusion

Overall, I like the ShinHan paint; it has a lot going for it. I use a limited split primary palette, but I could see this color palette working well too.

They are all nice transparent single pigment colors, except for Cobalt Blue, which is semitransparent. It would be a good basic or beginner set; it mixes a good range of colors and with the large 15ml tubes it is a good value for your money.

I did a demo painting with my new ShinHan palette. I will share the video with you in my next article.

I hope you have enjoyed this article.



PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below, and if you enjoyed this article, please share!


 Join My FREE Facebook Group:

Creative Watercolor with Krista


Read more articles on painting  HERE 



Written by Krista Hasson

I share because I love to help people. I hope that you can experience the same joy and confidence that painting has given me. My mission is for you to have the tools and the foundation that you need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you, so your journey with art can be a joyful and rewarding one!

Let’s hang out online.


  1. Patti

    A very thorough paint review.
    Your lightfast description Was particularly informative. Thanks for sharing!

    • Krista Hasson

      Thank you Patti, I was glad that the company clarified their ratings 🙂

  2. Rsull

    well my first instinct was , I didn’t pay for a tube of white or black?

    • Krista Hasson

      lol Ruth. I hear you 🙂

  3. Christiane

    Thank you very much. I’m a colour fanatics as well and I truly enjoy your revue. Happy painting ❤️

    • Krista Hasson

      Thank you Christiane 🙂 Isn’t color wonderful!! Happy painting to you as well.

  4. Kurtis Ladner

    Hi Krista,
    As always I really appreciate your in depth reviews. Thanks so much for all the information.

    • Krista Hasson

      Hi Curtis very nice to hear from you 🙂 As always it is my pleaseure!

Pin It on Pinterest