A few months ago I purchased a few of the German Lukas paints to try. I had read some good reports about them and they are very well priced, although the standard tube size, a large 24ml, might put some artists off - but they also have pans. Great Art are currently running a `special' on the pans. With quality watercolour paints now excruciatingly expensive, a more economical alternative is welcome. This is the price situation with Lukas in Europe but prices may be higher elsewhere, certainly in Australia, according to my friend John Softly. I did cover the Lukas range in general recently (January 2013) so if interested you might refer to that. There are certainly colours worth buying as you can mix paints from several manufacturers whatever may be said to the contrary.
PB16 is one of the phthalocyanine pigments epitomised by the popular PB15, which appears in all ranges and comes in several versions. PB16 is described by Handprint as "a lightfast, transparent, heavily staining pigment, moderately dark to very dark valued". Bruce also rates it as a `Top Forty' pigment. It has been slowly gaining popularity and is available from seven manufacturers. Winsor & Newton call it `Phthalo Turquoise', Maimeri `Turquoise Green', Lukas `Turquoise', Old Holland `Caribbean Blue', Schminke `Helio Turquoise' , Holbein `Marine Blue' and Da Vinci `Phthalo Turquoise'. When Winsor & Newton introduced it Bruce McEvoy said Daniel Smith were sure to follow. So far they haven't but do have the superb Cobalt Teal Blue (PG50) which many prefer. A criticism of the Phalo pigments is that they are heavily staining and the colours can appear harsh and unnatural. On the plus side they are very lightfast and transparent. I used to think the colours were harsh but have changed my mind somewhat. They are also excellent for mixing with several other paints
The top left and middle paint are both PB16, the Lukas and Maimeri versions. I don't see much difference, the Maimeri perhaps slightly darker but that may be down to my mixing not the paint. For comparison purposes I have added the Maimeri Primary Blue Cyan PB15:3 (Green Shade) which looks very similar and is the PB15 version most often offered. When you do swatches like this it does make one think and perhaps alter the existing perceptions you have. For example is there any point in not just having the PB15:3? Incidentally Lukas have several versions of PB15 (PB15:1 to PB15:6) in different blues as well as PB16. Names vary with Phalo Blue, Cyan Blue as examples. I recommend always check pigments numbers and don't be seduced by names.
I gave both Yvonne Harry and Jan Weeks of Avon Valley Artists blobs of the Lukas colour to try. Yvonne liked it but is resisting buying any more colours as she has so many, and dreads me coming along - again - saying try this one! Jan much prefers Cobalt Teal Blue from Daniel Smith. I think there is room for both as the shades are distinct but certainly only in an extended palette of 20 plus colours. Look however at the W & N Cobalt Turquoise and compare it to the Daniel Smith Cobalt Teal Blue.
Just out of interest I have included a swatch of Rowney Cobalt Magenta (PV14) more for my friend John as anything else. He has been trying to find one that suits him and appears to be settling on the Graham version. John has tried Rowney, but his is the old version called Cobalt Violet while that above is from the current Rowney range. It granulates beautifully, although a rather weak colour which is a feature of PV14. I did have some little trouble with it which I related in the piece I wrote on the problems with the Graham Mineral Violet PV16 (October 2012 Problem Pigments). Compared to most other PV14 paints the Rowney and Lukas are the most economical price wise, but they are not consistent across makes, as a swatch John put on Wetcanvas of several PV14s showed a wide variation.
The compliment to PB16 Turquoise is orange, Handprint say Perinone Orange (PO43). I think it great with the Schminke Transparent Orange or Lukas Permanent Orange, both PO71.
Lukas is available from Atlantis Art in London who do mail order www.atlantisart.co.uk/ but the website seems well out of date, Great Art www.greatart.co.uk/ and W.E Lawrence www.lawrence.co.uk/. In the USA and Canada it appears Jerry's Artarama www.lukasamerica.com/ have the franchise If anyone has any information to add to the above or other comments I'd be pleased to hear them.