Children’s liquid Watercolour School Paint – Is it a dye or a paint?

Children’s liquid Watercolour School Paints
Is it a dye or a paint?

If you look around websites at school paints these days you see Tempera, Poster Paint, Gouache and now in the last 7 years or more there are these watercolours.

Brands like Discount School Supplies “Liquid Watercolor” and Sargent Art “Watercolor Magic” are popping up. What are they?  Are they new?

Is it a Watercolour Paint or a School Dye?
Is it a school watercolour or a Dye
A watercolour or a dye?

Sargent Art “Watercolor Magic”
Sargent Art “Watercolor Magic”

Using waterbased dye in the classroom as an educational painting experience has been around for over 40 years in a lot of countries like Australia, England, New Zealand & Singapore.  But it would seem that it is a relatively new thing in USA. This may be why it is considered it as a magic watercolour.

Is it a Paint or a Dye?

Both these brands of watercolour paints are technically dyes and not paints. Liquid Watercolor and Watercolor Magic are vegetable based dyes but they a labelled as a watercolor paints.  This because you can create watercolour effects with these painting dyes.  It is also a well known fact that dyes stain skin and little hands; so calling products in the US watercolour and not a dye is quite a clever bit of marketing.

The good news is schools looking to use either dyes or watercolours in the classroom can do all the art projects you find online for both the school painting dyes and school watercolours.  They are both the same kind of product. An educational dye.

Painting Dyes:
There are a lot of Painting Dyes around outside USA and they can do all the techniques that these magic liquid watercolours can do.  The most economical around is a powder dyes that you can make up what you need in seconds by simply adding water. A little goes a long way.
FAS Fine Art Suppleis Painting Dye
FAS Fine Art Supplies Painting Dye 

What is the difference between "Real School Watercolours and School Dyes?

In this case just the label. Byt technically a paint sits on top of a surface and a dye will soak in. But with watercolours the paint is watered down to have the look and feel of a dye by soaking into the painting surface.

Mixing Colours:
Dyes have no pigment in the formulation and technically real watercolour paint does.  Real pigmented paint is brilliant for mixing colours together but dyes tend to get dirtier the more you mix two colours together.  Dye tends to blend together rather than mix together to produce a bright new colour.  They do mix but not as well.

Staining Hands:
Dyes also tend to stain skin with a lingering colour.  Sometimes just for hours but other times it is for days.  It could be the level of concentration of the dye. But it makes no difference if you scrub with soap the stain just lingers. We found Watercolor violet purple was the worst.  It took days to go.  Kids can go home looking like a blue smurf.

Super Dye - 

New Formulation technology allows up to 

90% wash-off hands instantly with water

Dyes tend to fade very quickly over time and a quality paint that is not watered down too much can last and be non-fading.  This why we don’t dye our houses we use a pigmented paint. There other diffrences but these are 3 key ones.

Painting Dyes or school watercolour paints like those listed in this blog post have been around for over 40 years and only seem to be newer thing in some countries like USA. 

These School Watercolour Paints and the School dyes are effectively the very same thing. Just branded differently. 

Schools looking to use in the classroom either a school dye or a school watercolour paint for art projects can do all tradional school dye projects or the school watercolour paint projects you find online.  

But If you want to mix colours and traditional way without getting stained hands, then look for Tempera (temporary) Paints. Like FAS Super Tempera or try the new FAS Super Dye that allows up to 90% of the dye to wash-off hands instantly with water.

FAS Super Tempera


Popular posts from this blog

How to thicken School Tempera Paint

What is Tempera Poster Paint?

Face Paint and Face Paint Safety