Testing QoR watercolor’s lifting and staining qualities.

I’ve been discussing some of QoR watercolor’s qualities with someone in the comments section of a previous post, and he mentioned that someone had said QoR doesn’t lift well. So I decided to do a quick (and messy) test to see how they do and found… QoR paints don’t lift well. On this page I used my QoR mini pan set and made one swatch of each color. I lifted some paint on the left side of the swatch while the sample was still wet. I waited for each area to dry, then rewet the surface with a paintbrush and tried to lift it again with a paper towel.


The only one to really lift cleanly was ultramarine. All of the others left the paper tinted, but did lift somewhat. Once dry, you can see some refused to budge at all.

I also tried comparing my Schmincke to my QoR… it isn’t a good comparison because I don’t have the same colors. And we know that some colors simply lift better than others, like ultramarine, and some colors are more staining, like phthalo blue. I pushed ahead and made this very messy page with colors having the same pigments: yellow ochre, ultramarine, Quinacridone red/permanent carmine (both PV19), and phthalo green (PG7).


Confusing, I know. The far left bit was an after thought. I wanted to try a color I didn’t expect to lift well, so tried a phthalo blue in both sets (one is PB15:6, one is PB15:3) For the phthalo blues, the top two samples I lifted with a dry paper towel as soon as I put the paint on the paper. The bottom two I allowed to dry, then tried to remove some color with a wet paper towel. Neither wanted to come away, but Schmincke did better. Below that is  schmincke quinacridone purple PV55 (lifted wet and also mostly lifted dry).

To the right of all that I have four columns going down… in this order: Schmincke, then QoR, both of which I lifted wet with a dry paper towel; then Schmincke, and Qor, both of which I allowed to dry a then lift with a wet paper towel.

Down the middle I used a bit of extra space when I found another which I had in both sets, PR101 (venetian red). Left side Schmincke, right side QoR… top is wet lifted, bottom is dry lifted.

As you can see (if you can figure out my “charts”)… my reader is correct! QoR isn’t great at lifting. Or, more positively spoken… one of QoR’s strengths is staining. (I’ve also read that because of Qor’s unique binder, it does not play so well with other brands. I haven’t really tried to mix my brands much yet. I generally make pans out of my tube watercolors and use them dry… I’ll get one set out and use that for a full project, so until I make one giant palette with all of my colors, I can’t speak to that concern yet.)

I love the unique crazy DISPERSION of QoR paints (finally learned the word for the lovely tendrilly habit the QoR paint has!!), and HERE you can see a very detailed youtube review of the introductory set of QoR paints.

All brands have some pigments that are very staining and others that lift well, that’s just the way watercolor behaves. But definitely try Schmincke, or maybe Daniel Smith, if you’d like an easily liftable paint more frequently, and try QoR if you want staining colors or that wacky fun dispersion. Either way, with any brand you choose, you’ll need to play with each color and learn what its qualities are. Most importantly… have fun!


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