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Horadam Naturals, Botanical Colors Set of 5

List Price: $110.50

Our Price: $88.40

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About This Product

Horadam Naturals, Botanical Colors Set of 5

The Botanical Colors Set of 5 is exclusively made with plant-based colorants, like turmeric, indigo, and madder root. Very rare in today's art studios, these historically-important colors are lovely and distinctive. These all-natural watercolors offer a closer connection to the history of painting and to the lush colors of the living world.

Five full-size, 15 mL tubes of Horadam Naturals are included in this set. Learn more about the color stories below:

#250 Curcuma

#250 Curcuma is a familiar color to experienced cooks—it's the bright yellow dye that's naturally produced by turmeric rhizomes. Primarily harvested in South Asia, turmeric has an intense appearance and flavor that have made it a culturally significant plant for billions of people across many generations.

As a dye, turmeric is semi-transparent and fairly uniform, with a bright, warm yellow color that is highly staining. It's a lovely color for painting warm light, and among the Naturals range it is one of the strongest mixing colors.

#360 Madder Lake

#360 Madder Lake is one of the most important colors in art history. This is the original alizarin crimson, derived from the madder root and bound to an inorganic white powder (typically a metallic salt) to produce pigment. Organic alizarin was replaced by synthetic alizarin in the 19th century, and both types of alizarin are now quite rare in comparison with industrially-produced, more permanent quinacridone pigments.

This color was extremely popular in 17th and 18th century art, and it's especially identified with the delicate glazing techniques used by Vermeer.

#470 Indigofera

#470 Indigofera is made from genuine indigo leaves. Plants from the Indigofera genus—primarily Indigofera tinctoria—produce the only natural blue colorant known to humankind. The process for making indigo dye has been known since antiquity: the leaves are soaked in water and fermented, turning the naturally-occurring indican into indigotin, which precipitates out of the solution as it oxidizes.

Today, most indigo is synthetically produced, but Schmincke has selected a genuine, plant-derived indigo for this special Naturals color. Deep and greyish, natural indigo has a gravitas and complexity that's unmatched by synthetic alternatives. It is also made without the petrochemical precursors that are required for synthetic indigo.

#510 Dyers' Green

#510 Dyers' Green is the only pre-mixed color included in the Horadam Naturals line. It's a potent combination of indigo and turmeric, two traditional colors in fabric dying that work beautifully together.

Perfect for painting plants and grassy fields, Dyers' Green is a semi-transparent shade that tends toward bluish tones. It can easily be adjusted with a touch of #470 Indigofera or #250 Curcuma for cooler or warmer shades, respectively.

#610 Stil de Grain

#610 Stil de Grain is a brownish-yellow watercolor made from buckthorn berries. Schmincke's formulation relies on an 1873 recipe by the chemist Paul Schützenberger. This color was popular in art between the 16th and 19th century, before synthetic alternatives were invented for the range of yellow, brown, and green colors that had originally derived from buckthorn.

Highly transparent and the most fugitive of the Horadam Naturals range, Stil de Grain is an elusive color that is not often seen in fine art. Historical examples survive mainly in illuminated manuscripts, which are protected from light exposure by the closed book.

About Horadam Naturals:

New for 2024, Schmincke Horadam Naturals are a unique range of vegan and naturally-derived watercolors. The colorants used in Naturals all come from plants, earth, and rocks, including a few classic colors (like the gorgeous Yellow Ochre included in this line) and several colors that are quite rare in professional paint.

The plant-based colors included in Naturals, like turmeric, indigo, and madder, have been known to artists and craftspeople for centuries. They are not often seen in artist colors today because they have been replaced by synthetic alternatives, like azo yellows, phthalo blues, and quinacridone reds. Natural colors are typically not as lightfast as modern synthetics, but they have a unique and subtle beauty that is irreplaceable. It's lovely to see them in such an artist-friendly format.

The mineral colors in Naturals are more familiar: yellow ochre, green earth, white chalk, vine black, etc. But these are actually not the same as the earth pigments typically found in artist colors. Normally, art materials manufacturers prefer to use highly processed and standardized earth pigments, so that there is complete uniformity between batches and more predictable application in the studio. For the Naturals line, Schmincke has selected less-processed, single-origin pigments that retain more of their original character. Subtle variations of color and texture are waiting inside each tube.

Unlike many traditional watercolors, Horadam Naturals do not contain any animal products (like oxgall and bone black, both frequently found in artist colors.) The binder is simple, time-tested gum arabic, which dilutes beautifully and re-activates easily with water after it dries.

Available in 15 mL tubes. Made in Germany.