To all the Watercolour Pan lovers!

What everyone loves aboutWhite Nights Artists'watercolours is the vibrancy, transparency and the beautiful pigments of the pan paints. The complete WN's watercolour palette of 55 paints has a balanced selection of traditional artist colours, including Cobalts and Cadmiums, to suit any painting technique, style or subject. It's an extensive choice of colours to satisfy those artists who use a limited palette and colourist artists where all the WN's colour variety is at their disposal. Read more...

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MasterClass Artists' Oils

Up to 30% off


Price Group C, D, E

Gift Sets - Only $5 delivery Australia-wide

Artists' Oil Tubes

St. Petersburg's Paints

Since 1900

Artists' Full Pan Watercolours

ARE YOU STILL LOOKING FOR PAINTS AND COLOURS OF YOUR DREAM ?Lightfast and permanent MasterClass Artists' oils used for art restoration of museum quality paintingsComplete palette includes 64 clean, bright and strong coloursHighly pigmented paints based on top quality pigments18 Earth Colours (28%) incl. 2 unique Green Earths54 single pigment colours - 85% of the rangeTraditional linseed oilsLarge 46 ml tubesAttractive pricesIndividual full pans12/24/36-colour pan sets55 rich, bright, vibrant and pure colours39 single pigment colours (70% of the range)Highly pigmented paints with natural Gum ArabicBest quality modern and traditional lightfast pigmentsPan paints that don't harden or crack and stay usable for yearsFull pan 2.5 ml with a pigment load equal to 8 ml tube of Artists' gradeSoft Pan Watercolours that can be lifted easily without pre-wetting just like tube paintsTHEY ARE HERE IN AUSTRALIA! IT IS TIME TO START PAINTING WITH THEM.

Testimonials - Watercolours

I didn't think I was a "pan" person but White Nights has got me rethinking. My order arrived today, I am pleased with the quality, colours and your prompt service. I will order extra stocks of the pan colours I have fallen in love with. Make sure you have truckloads of turquoise blue.

Bob G. Sydney Australia

I have been using White Nights Artists' Watercolours for two years now and would highly recommend them. They have a lovely rich pigment and I find the mixing pallette in the lid very useful when travelling or plein air painting. They are also very affordable and pans can be replaced easily when necessary.

Christine Griffiths Sydney Australia

Testimonials - Oils

After trying so many different brands of oil colours I found Master Class oil paints from St Petersburg of a very high quality for my work. Master Class paints have a high pigment content of a very high chroma together with the right consistency which allow me to work comfortably both using brushes and painting knife. Without being overly hard, their consistency is excellent if you like to give texture to your paintings. Additional to that the price is also affordable to every artist that wants to create good quality artwork without over spending.

Christopher Vidal Sydney Australia

I have worked with the oil paints called Master Class from St Petersburg and I have found them to be as high a standard as the best known brands that I have used in the past. They are pigment rich, fine in texture, and sufficiently oily to make the paint flow. I have confidence in their lasting properties as the pigments are sourced from classic research. Modern knowledge has been applied to bring these paints into the 21st century. When I restock I will certainly buy more of this product.

Pamela Griffith Sydney Australia

Watercolours - Tube vs. Pan

Tube paints are efficient for mixing up large quantities of paint (for washes, large glazes, or just a really big painting). They are ready for mixing straight from the tube and dissolve quickly in water.

Some artists claim that tube paints have a more vibrant color than pan paints, but I have not found that to be true - even when I measure the color difference digitally. I suspect difference may simply be due to the fact that it is easier to achieve a high concentration of paint and water with tube paints. Indeed, some artists use the paint straight from the tube.

The disadvantages are that it's hard to judge exactly how much paint you need for any painting, so you usually end up with excess paint on your palette, which dries out anyway. And once tube paints are contaminated with other colors (particularly one of the phthalos), they are difficult to retrieve.

Tubes are not a perfect packaging solution. Pigment and vehicle separate if the tube is infrequently used or has spent a long time hanging in the retailer's paint rack. The cap sticks if it is gummed up with paint. The tube can burst or the paint can dry out from prolonged exposure to heat or improper sealing. And tubes are bulky — they contain mostly water and gum arabic, and only 5% to 50% actual pigment.

Dry pan colors have different advantages. They are quick to set up and paint with — just open your paint box and wet the cake - and very easy to clean up. If protected from moisture and extreme temperatures, they will store indefinitely. There is no wasted color, other than what you lose in your rinsing tubs or leave in your mixing areas. They are easy to clean if you pollute them with another color (villain phthalo again). And they are marvellously compact and easy to transport.

The disadvantages of pan colors are that they require more fussing to moisten and mix up.* They yield small quantities of color at first (though more when thoroughly moistened). Some pigments (such as earth pigments, viridian or rose madder genuine) form hard cakes that are more difficult to work with, and sometimes produce streaky color mixtures. The frequent rubbing of the cake required to moisten it or pick up paint can be hard on brushes, especially with the abrasive cobalt pigments. And pans are expensive for the amount of pigment they contain - anywhere from three to five times the cost of tube paints.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that tube paints are for "real" artists and pans are for students or children. David Cox, Winslow Homer, J.S. Sargent, John Marin, Edward Hopper and Philip Pearlstein, to name a few, are among the many artists who preferred pan colors to tube paints, even in the studio.

By Bruce MacEvoy

* White Nights pan watercolours are produced by a different method than dry extrusion. They are much softer than dry cakes and can be easily lift up with a damp brush without any pre-wetting.

Artists who paint with White Nights watercolours:

Sergey Andriyaka, a renowned Russian watercolourist, is the founder and Director of the Sergey Andriyaka Watercolour Academy of more than 1,000 students. He is the Full Member of the Russian Academy of Arts. His works are widely collected by major galleries and museums all over the world. More than 200 solo exhibitions worldwide since 1985.

Sergei Andriyaka has changed a condescending attitude towards watercolour painting and given watercolour a status equal to painting in importance.

Interview with Sergey Andriyaka:

Do you know, that...


...Any pan watercolour paints are in 3-5 times more concentrated than tube ones. The White Nights Artists full pan (2.5 ml) is equal in a pigment load to about 8.5 ml tube of an artists' grade.

... The White Nights Artists' pan paints can be lifted very easily with a damp brush without pre-wetting as they aren't ordinary dry cakes in plastic pans but rather softer pan watercolours.


...MasterClass Artists' Oils are restoration oils and used to restore old paintings from the State Hermitage museum (St.Petersburg), the State Tretyakov gallery (Moscow) and many others.

...About 30% of MasterClass Artists' paints (18 out of 64) are very lightfast and permanent Natural Earths.

... Among MasterClass Artists' Oils there are two unique green Natural Earth paints - transparent Volkonskoite and Glaukonite paints.

...Oil paint has a higher pigment load because it is able to absorb substantially more pigment than acrylic because linseed oil has a smaller molecule than does acrylic binder.

Pigments and the size of the pigment particles

Spectrum colours: infrared->red ->orange->yellow->green<-blue<-dark blue<-violet->ultraviolet

Particle size: bigger -> smaller <-bigger

...The grinding of pigments can lead to the colour shift towards the centre of the visible spectrum (green colour). For example, a pigment may change its colour from red to orange or from blue to green. Sometimes, this is the way to get two different coloured paints out of the same pigment.

...But sometimes, an original lively colour of a pigment can become dull and uninteresting if overground. It happens with lapis lazuli (natural ultramarine) when it loses its brilliant dark blue colour and becomes pale greenish blue.

... Colour would be more pure and intense if a pigment had uniform particles of about the same optimal size.

Pigments vs Dyes

...Pigments are colorants that are insoluble in water and most other solvents used as vehicles and binders (water, gum arabic, linseed oil, acrylic polymer, etc.). Actually, pigments must not be soluble in water at all. Otherwise, they cannot be called 'pigments' but rather 'dyes'.

Vladimir Zhikhartsev is a plein air watercolour artist who lives and works as a painter, ice sculptor and art tutor in Alaska, USA.

Pigments - Lightfastness and Toxicity

Check out Lightfastness and Toxicity of pigments and paints according to their Colour Index Names (pigment code) - The Color of Art Pigment Database:

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