Derivan Artist Watercolor Paint

When Derivan set out to create our first watercolour 
range, we wanted to create a quality product that 
understood both the role of water in using watercolour and the play of Australian light on colour. 
While many watercolours have their genesis in Europe, we looked at the colours around us. 
Australian light is unique in its clarity, and the colours we see around us exemplify this quality

When Derivan set out to create our first watercolour range, we wanted to create a quality product that understood both the role of water in using watercolour and the play of Australian light on colour. While many watercolours have their genesis in Europe, we looked at the colours around us. Australian light is unique in its clarity, and the colours we see around us exemplify this quality.

The satisfaction of a beautifully rewarding watercolour artwork begins with the choice of a colour range with excellent light resistance, unique colour strength, solubility and paint flow. 

Derivan Watercolours have been manufactured using a careful selection of pigments to preserve the characteristic tradition of watercolours’ quality of transparency, excellent light fastness, clean color mixing and intense blends. 


Derivan watercolours are characterized by the use of traditional ingredients like Gum Arabic sourced from a region in Africa and carefully tested for quality and impurities. Derivan Watercolours are the result of precisely selected pigments dispersed in a fluid solution of pure Gum Arabic and the addition, in some cases, of Oxgall, which ensures optimal flow off the brush of the Derivan watercolours. A careful balance is maintained throughout the manufacturing process of Derivan Watercolours in the mixtures of gum and pigment, to avoid hard and differing sheen levels of the resulting colour film. These pigments create colours that blend perfectly when added to water. Finely milled pigments dissolve quickly and flow easily. Our colours are also rated ASTM I, ASTM II or BWS8. Single pigments are used in the range anywhere possible, to make certain the pigment characteristics within the watercolour medium is maintained, such as hue, tint, transparency, brilliance. When a mixture is used, this has been carefully considered when permanency is of utmost importance.

Colour mixing

All the colours may be used independently to create brilliant transparent glazes or intermixed to achieve tonalities or shades depending on the artist intention and subject to the individual quality of the artwork. The formula of Derivan Watercolours makes them perfect for creating tints. In other painting mediums such as gouache and acrylic paints, the addition of white or black is used to create either light or dark tints. However, when using watercolour, tints are created by adding either less or more water. 

As Derivan watercolours are created with quality pigments you can be assured that when creating tints diluting the colour will not bring out any unwanted undertones. You literally get a more transparent version of the colours you have used. 


Wash all utensils, brushes and hands with soap and water to clean up. 

Health & Safety

Derivan Watercolour is a non-toxic and water-based watercolour paint. Derivan Watercolour contains no heavy metals, lead, or toxic solvents. Even though it is non-toxic, it is advisable to keep out of reach of small children. For further information, please download the Safety Data Sheet from the health section of our website -

Removing stains

We advise washing stains out immediately with cold water and household soap, taking care not to spread the stain.Dry stains will need to be soaked overnight in lukewarm soapy water. Do not use hot water, chemical solvents, or thinners. Lightfastness

Lightfastness is best described as the paint’s ability to hold its colour (or not fade) over time due to the actions of light on the paint.

The lightfastness of paint is rated or measured in several different ways, however the most popular methods are:

— ASTM (ASTM International): ASTM 4303(*) is a procedure or standard for rating artist pigments. Ratings range from ASTM I to ASTM V, with pigments that are rated ASTM I being considered to have excellent lightfast qualities (pigments will remain unchanged for more than 100 years) and those rated ASTM III-V being considered impermanent or fugitive (not deemed for artistic use). 

— BWS (Blue Wool Scale): The Blue Wool Scale originated to compare the lighfastness of dyes for treating fabrics. The scale ranges from BWS 8 (excellent lightfastness) to BWS 1 (fugitive). 

For a paint to be considered artist quality, it should be lightfast or permanent, with a rating of ASTM I or ASTM II and/or a BWS rating of 8-7 or BWS 6. 

Derivan Watercolour pigments are all rated ASTM I or II or BWS 8-7

(*)ASTM4303 - Standards test methods for Lightfastness of Colourants Used in Artists’ Materials.


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