Is my watercolor paint too old?

Hi everyone
I just bought a few tubes of watercolor paints and my cobalt blue came out separated from the filler. I take it the paint tube has been sitting in that shop for a while and is older than I think. I am new to watercolor and I have listened to many tutorials some of which say that the paint is too old when it separates from the filler. I don’t understand why that is. These pigments are mineral aren’t they? Do they degrade and lose brilliance? Help!

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Yes. They also dry out wehn they are too old. I had the same problem.

Are you not able to get any colors out? I tried (with my oils that were very old) and found that some came out good, others did not. I could still use most of them. But, with watercolors, if you could get them out of the tube and put them in a palette tray you might be able to use them that way. I don’t think you would have any problem to try. What would you lose if you did and it did not work? Just a tube of paint that isn’t good anyway. I ordered watercolors and they came ‘dry’ in a tray so I could use them with water to mix them in another tray. I would be mixing them on something other than regular paper, like palette paper anyway. Maybe this might help. Hope it works for you,
Lenora Andre - formerly ‘lilnora’

Also, I don’t know how long ago you purchased the paint. If in the recent past maybe the store will let you return it and get one that is in better condition. A lot of time they will return it to their source and get a discount for things they got to resell them. Make sure you give the tube a little squeeze. I do this when I purchase oils. I like to check the ones in the back. Like a lot of grocery stores, they might load them from the back so that the ones in the front are the oldest ones. I don’t know if any paints have a date by which they should be bought/used. I know I have seen this done when purchasing paints from Michaels - they pull out the oldest one then add the newest one in the back. I also might buy ones that the display is full. I find them better because the freshest is in the back.
ArtistLittleNora (“Lenora”)

Hi Josee,
Couple of links to check out: