Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ShinHan Poster Paint - Part 2 (of 3) "My Review of the Paint."

"Having fun with Zinaida Serebriakova"
2014. Poster Paint

ShinHan Poster Paint - Part 2 (of 3)  "My Review of the Paint." 

So here is post two, my review of ShinHan's poster paint.

When I first received  my set of Shinhan Poster Colours in the mail,  I pulled each color out of the sturdy case, stared at it, and then put it back.  After completing this, I did it again.  The colors are astounding and mesmerizing in the jar, and even more on paper.

The set I received had 24 colors, and I feel that it is more than enough to what I do.  Honestly the hardest part of painting with them is trying to tone done the pure vibrancy!

Below is what Shinhan has on their website for the selection of colors :
Decent selection of vibrant colors!

My first thoughts when painting with Shinhan Poster Paints was...it was like painting with liquid gold. pure, beautiful colors, that paint on so smoothly.

I hardly noticed the difference between Nicker Poster Colour (What Kazuo Oga and Ghibli uses) to Shinhan Poster Colour.  They are both high quality and are extremely EASY to use.  Easy that is, once you learn the basic rules... (as explained below).

My experience wasn't immediately easy. In the past I had succeeded using poster paints, because the paintings had been small (small to conserve paint...since the only way to get Poster paint in america was to fly to Japan or Korea and physically bring it back), but with a full set in hand and prospects of having a US based supplier, I wanted to work LARGE (well larger than 4x5).

Unfortunately, if I had learned anything in school, it is that working larger is also harder as it shows how much you know, or don't know.  So, I tried to treat the paint like acrylics or watercolors (which is my specialty for wet mediums), and then I tried Gouache, but found myself getting frustrated, and the paintings not turning out.

That's where the videos below came into play... After watching them I almost felt like a PRO (now mind you I can't understand what he is saying, but his actions speak louder than words for me. Note how he mixes, paints with the poster paint, and how he sets his studio up, and so on):

After watching the videos I quickly found myself producing better paintings with Poster paint then I ever got with acrylic (and to some extent digital.)


  • I would say one of the strongest points of the paint, is its vibrant colors and mix-ability.  The color options are limitless, while at the same time is also easy to get what you had previously.  If the paint on your palette dries, you can go back in and bring it to life, or add another color to get a variant, etc.
  • Another strong point is that it is very opaque and you can go layer  after layer over iteself.   Be warned however, you can use too many layers (see 4th Weaknesses below).
  • Another strong point is that it has defined edges. This is great for  trees, buildings, basically anything with hard edges. I love using hard edges on everything, so this really speaks to me.
  • It scans REALLY well. Matte finish, and color transferred decently with my Epson V600 scanner. (I only had to  use a few photoshop options.)
  • The paint is very fluid.
  • ...etc. I could go on.

WEAKNESSES(not very many in my book):

  • It is not very good at SMOOTH shifts of value or color.  The paint tends to give everthing a hard edge (as you can tell on the picture above, on her skin.) I was able to get a little scumbling in (look at the background), which is a dry-brush technique, but the paper has to be bone dry and the brush with hardly any paint or water.
  • Another thing it is not good for is glazing.  At several points on a recent painting, I wanted to slightly darken a whole area, but the moment the dried paint is wet, it reactivates the paint and smears and you lose all the details you worked on.  You can do glazing, but once again the paper has to be bone dry and your brush shouldn't have alot of water or paint.
  • Preservation?  I'm not sure the lasting value of using Poster paint. I  know Ghibli puts many of their backgronds on display, so maybe it is ok as long as the pictures are properly framed and humidity leves are kept in check? One thing is it would be good for illustration. Quick paintings that might or might not need to last.
  • Finally, be careful about using too much paint, because this happens:
Keywords: Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli, Poster paint, Color, Kazua Oga, animated movies, japan, anime


  1. Hello Mike! Thanks a lot for your postings! Sorry for my bad English! I'm writing from Brasil. I would like to try Nicker Poster Color, and intent to order it for shipping in http://www.art-supplies-store.com/
    Do you know if it is a good and reliable web shop? Thanks for your attention!

    1. Hello Nizele, thank you for your comment!

      I've never heard of that website, but they SEEM safe. My biggest concern is that overseas shipping is pretty expensive, so if you can find it in your local stores you are better off. However, I know how hard Nicker poster color can be to find...I would give them a try and then maybe you could report back here how it goes?

    2. That website appears to have closed in Dec 2013 so not sure how it was being accessed in 2015.... Has anyone by now found a US market for Nicker Poster paint?

    3. I bought nicker poster paint from that site but that was back in 2013-2014

  2. Thank you for your very informative blogs! I have been wondering what I would do with a dozen poster colors I bought (initially for making my toddler's wood blocks). Now I know I can still use the paint I have provided I find some sturdy paper to work on. I'm also a fan of Studio Ghibli so it was a very pleasant surprise to learn they're using poster colors. Thanks again!

  3. Hi Mike,

    I'm thinking about ordering these from the ShinHan rep next week. I'm primarily a watercolorist, but I love gouache as well. Can you get a wet-on-wet watercolor effect with this? Also have you tried it on fibrous papers like rice paper or very absorbent cotton rag paper? How does it do? Any info would be great. Thank you.

  4. The more I read about it the more it sounds like gouache.

  5. Have you tried adding Gum Arabic? It's the binder in gouache, it would prevent the dried paint from breaking.