Cotman or Professional? Winsor & Newton Watercolours Compared

2 April 2024

Winsor & Newton, a renowned name in the world of art supplies, offers a diverse selection of watercolour paints tailored to meet the needs of artists at every skill level. At the heart of their offerings are two distinct ranges: Cotman Watercolours and Professional Watercolours. Whether you're a novice seeking quality paints at an affordable price or a seasoned artist in pursuit of the highest standards of colour brilliance and permanence, Winsor & Newton has you covered. Each range is carefully formulated with a unique blend of pigments, catering to a wide spectrum of artistic styles and preferences. Let's dive deeper into the differences between Cotman and Professional watercolours to help you find the perfect fit for your artistic endeavours.



Cotman Watercolours


Cotman Watercolours represent the student-grade or more affordable option, making them ideal for beginners, students, or artists seeking quality paints at a lower price point. Made with less expensive pigments, Cotman paints still provide good quality and colour performance, though they may not have the same level of pigment concentration or lightfastness as the Professional range. Despite this, Cotman watercolours offer a wide range of colours and are a popular choice among artists looking for budget-friendly options.




Fine Art Pigments

Cotman Watercolours uses fine art pigments with a reduced pigment load than the Professional Watercolour range, making them an accessible choice while still uncompromising on quality.

Ideal Transparency


Formulated to create uniform consistency, the transparent quality of Cotman Watercolours are perfect for new users.


Lightfast and Permanent


Rated AA and A for Excellent and Good lightfastness, Cotman Watercolour gives artists the reassurance expected from a quality watercolour range.




Professional Watercolours


Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolours represent the artist-grade or top-of-the-line range. Formulated with high-quality, lightfast pigments, these paints offer superior colour intensity, permanence, and mixing properties. With a higher pigment concentration, Professional watercolours provide more vibrant colours, as well as better transparency for nuanced colour blending and layering. Preferred by professional artists and those who prioritise the highest quality and performance from their paints, Winsor & Newton Professional watercolours are renowned for their exceptional quality and versatility in artistic expression.



Large Range of Single Pigment Colours

The Professional Watercolour range uses only the finest pigments which is why they are known for their brilliance, permanence and strength of colour. With 79 single pigment colours, Winsor & Newton offer the widest range of modern and traditional pigments.

Unrivalled Transparency


Formulated using the highest quality methods to achieve optimal pigment dispersion, unrivalled transparency means every wash will remain vibrant and luminescent.



Lightfast and Permanent

104 out of 108 colours in the Professional Watercolour range are rated AA or A for permanence to ensure that the colours used today will appear the same for generations to come.


If you need further guidance on choosing the right paint or you want to check out our range of paints, brushes and papers, come and see our friendly staff in store. Many of our staff are artists themselves and they are always happy to share their expert knowledge.