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Even though the ink is the main color tool used for traditional Chinese & Japanese painting, artists often like to create effects by means of colors. In this category which we name "Colors" we listed all kinds of colors be it ink or traditional Chinese colors to make it easier to find them. Strictly speaking though, Chinese colors and colored Chinese inks are two different things with different characteristics which needs to be kept in mind.

When it comes to traditional Chinese colors we decided to only add Marie's Colors which we think has the best quality and the biggest selection of shadings. For your convenience we added Economy and Premiums versions of Marie's Colors as well as different pack sizes ranging from only 12 to 24 tubes.

Marie's colors have been produced in Shanghai since the early twenties of the last century and since then continuously improved in quality making them the tool of choice of most Chinese painters. When buying these colors, please keep in mind that even though, they are sometimes compared with Western watercolors there is a big difference, not only in the ingredients used for each but also in the characteristics of the color. Chinese colors are mostly made of natural materials which can be categorized in two classes - plant and vegetable dyes and mineral dyes whereas Western watercolors contain more chemicals.
The other main difference is that Chinese colors are extremely long lasting, which results in a painting not losing its color intensity even after many years. Then, Chinese paintings are often mounted after the artwork is finished. Would you be using watercolors, applying the mounting paper on the back of the artwork would result in the colors to bleed, to run or to break. For Marie's colors however, another type of glue is used as a binding material preventing this from happening since this binding material is more stable.
Other reasons of opting for Chinese colors when working on rice or shuen paper is the fact that Western watercolors to not work well with Chinese types of paper and do not blend and mix with Sumi Ink that nicely.