Wednesday, 17 October 2018

White Nights Watercolours

I've written about this range before. It is known by a number of different names - White Nights is more common in Europe, St Petersburg in the US, but they are made by Nevskaya Palitra in Russia.

The full range was shown in this post here.

They have now added a number of new colours and changed the names of a couple. They have also added tubes to their range for all 66 colours apart from the silver and gold.

I was given the new colours that have recently been added while at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in July and have finally had a chance to paint out the rest of the swatches. Thank you to Tatiana.

The tube colours paint out very nicely fresh from the tubes and allow more options in setting up custom palettes - whether half pans or into the wells of other palettes. They also make it easier to paint larger washes of course. I normally work from dried paint in a palette but will use tube colours in my studio for larger works.

Here is a link to the Russian colour chart.

These are a very affordable range to use to get started in watercolour as they use real pigments rather than hues for most colours. Just be wary of a few fugitive pigments or only use in a sketchbook where they are protected from light.

White Nights Watercolours - Zinc White, Lemon, Cadmium Lemon, Hansa Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Medium.

Indian yellow and Indian Gold are new - the Indian Gold is an excellent quinacridone gold hue. It would be a good option as a warm yellow in a small palette.
White Nights Watercolours - Indian Yellow (new), Indian Gold (new), Golden, Golden Deep, Cadmium Orange.
I love the PO36 Titan Red colour.
White Nights Watercolours - Orange Lake, Titan's Red, Cadmium Red Light, Vermilion (Hue), Scarlet.

The new Quinacridone Red is a lovely primary red option.
White Nights Watercolours - Ruby, Madder Lake Red Light, Claret, Carmine, Quinacridone Red (new).
As is Quinacridone Violet Rose - also new.
White Nights Watercolours - Quinacridone Violet Rose (new), Quinacridone Rose, Rose, Quinacridone Lilac, Violet-Rose.

Blue Lake is a beautiful blue but I am very wary of PB1.
White Nights Watercolours - Quinacridone Violet (new), Ultramarine Violet (new), Violet, Blue Lake, Indanthrone Blue.

White Nights Watercolours - Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Azure, Blue, Bright Blue (Brilliant).
White Nights Watercolours - Ceruleum Blue, Indigo, Prussian Blue, Azure Blue, Turquoise Blue.

White Nights Watercolours - Emerald Green, Light Green,  Green Original, Yellowing Green, Sap Green (old version).
White Nights Watercolours - Sap Green (new version), Green Earth, Olive Green, Chromium Oxide, Green (Russian).

White Nights Watercolours - Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna, Red Ochre, Shakhnazarskaya Red.

White Nights Watercolours - Burnt Sienna, English Red, Venetian Red (not shown), Burnt Umber, Mars Brown.

White Nights Watercolours - Umber, Sepia, Voronezhskaya Black, Payne's Grey, Neutral Black.

White Nights Watercolours - Antique Gold (not shown), Silver Deep (not shown).

Maimeri Blu revamped range

MaimeriBlu tube and half pan, taken from the website www.maimeri.it.


I was checking the links on my blog and website yesterday and saw that my 2017 paint-out of the full Maimeri Blu range is now totally out of date. They have done a complete revamp of their range, dropping or reformulating about 35 colours and adding a whole lot of new ones to take them to 90.

Here's the link to their website.







But what is quite striking is that the range is now almost totally single pigment colours. As far as I could tell, the only exceptions are Mars Black - a new colour made with PR101 and PBk11, and Brown Madder (Alizarin) which I assume replaced Avignon Orange, but is made with two versions of PR206.

They have added a number of lovely looking PB36 variations, a PB26 Cobalt Green, Potters Pink, my favourite warm red PR255 (257 Pyrrole Red) and a lovely looking PO71 Pyrrole Orange. They have switched to a single pigment Indigo (NB1!), a single pigment Payne's Grey (Vat Blue 1) and a single pigment Neutral Tint (PbK26). Other new additions are the lovely PBr24 as a single pigment Naples Yellow and the rather rare PB74 Cobalt Blue Dark.

They have also marked every colour wiht a lightfast rating of *** which I can't see as being correct, however that was the case in the previous colour chart too.

I haven't tested any of the new colours and don't know when I'll be able to, but here is the link to the old post with the new range shown at the bottom. If you have favourite Maimeri Blu colours that have been dropped, stock up now before they disappear.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Sketching workshop in the Botanic Gardens

There are places left in my upcoming two day workshop Watercolour Sketching in the Sydney Botanic Gardens on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th October. This is such a lovely location to sketch plants, flowers, trees, people or views over Sydney.




We'll have a lovely room as a base - the Maiden Theatre - and will explore various techniques for sketching on location using pencil, pens and watercolour.

Lunch is included and they do a wonderful job :-)

I hope you can join me.

Bookings are directly through the gardens here.


ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan is based in Korea. They have a number of different art materials - oils, acrylics, poster colours, art makers etc - but I'll concentrate on their Extra Fine range of watercolours - the PWC range. They also have a ShinHan range with 30 colours and a student range with 24.

The PWC range originally consisted of 84 colours, with many being single pigment colours. The ones I have tried paint out very brightly and rewet beautifully. However they are a few pigments that don't rate as highly as I'd like on the lightfast scales - notice many of the reds are made with the very fugitive PR83.

I have only tried a small number from this range but will include all the original 84 colour swatches so you can see the other pigment information.

20 new colours have been added and I'll add in the extra colours soon.

There is a full colour chart available from their website as a PDF download.


ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours

ShinHan PWC Watercolours


 Lots of gaps to fill - if you have favourite PWC paints, feel free to comment below.




Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Ultimate Mixing Set

The Ultimate Mixing Set, Daniel Smith half pan palette.
The new Daniel Smith 15 half pan Ultimate Mixing Set is due to be launched in mid October 2018.

I thought I'd put together some of the many mixing diagrams, charts and wheels that I've created over the years I was developing this set. Some have been posted up before, others are new. Note that in my charts I've used Pyrrol Crimson while, for technical reasons,  the pan set contains Permanent Alizarin Crimson - they mix in almost exactly the same manner.



Here is the full DS half pan set painted out.

The Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing Set painted out.

I love Buff Titanium. It is a fabulous pigment for landscape and buildings, marble and some botanicals. It's a unique colour and I love the way it mixes with Goethite to make wonderful sandstone and beach effects.

Mixing with Buff Titanium. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

You can find more on buff titanium here.

Next is Burnt Sienna, which is shown mixed with nearly all the other colours. This version of Burnt Sienna, made with PBr7, is also useful for many skin tones. Find more on mixing with burnt sienna here

Mixing with Burnt Sienna. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Indian red, the most opaque watercolour in the set, is lovely in portraits and landscapes. I'd rarely use it full strength but I love the granulation and the soft dusty rose hues you can create when you dilute it. 

Here is is mixed with most of the other colours. 

Mixing with Indian Red. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Phthalo green is best mixed rather than used alone. Here are some of the many colours it can create. While it is wonderful for mixing a range of greens with the yellows, it is also worth exploring the colours you can create mixing it with the other earth colours and reds.


Mixing with Phthalo Green. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

One of my favourite mixes with Phthalo Green is with its opposite, Pyrrol Crimson/Permanent Alizarin Crimson. You can see the wonderful range of deep greens, aubergine, greys, maroons and a rich black that I often premix, called Jane's Black. The deep green mix can be created with the palette colours, or you could add Perylene Green. 

Fabulous mixing pairs - Pyrrol Crimson/Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Phthalo Green BS. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Another great mix shown here is Phthalo Green and Quinacridone Gold. This makes a really useful range of realistic foliage greens, including the DS Sap Green hue. Mix it yourself or add this great colour to save time as you paint.

Useful realistic greens using Phthalo Green and Quinacridone Gold. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Raw Umber is a deep cool brown - great for shadows of trees and figures, leaf litter and deepening other colours. In some brands it is a rather insipid colour but the DS version is very dark. 

Mixing with Raw Umber. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Another of my favourite or most used mixes is Ultramarine and Quinacridone Gold. This is available as a premixed Daniel Smith colour called Undersea Green - one of my favourite premixed greens, or it can be created as needed from the palette colours. I love this range of olive greens, which are especially useful for the colours of gum trees or distant trees in a landscape.

Quinacridone Gold mixed with Ultramarine, Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Jane's Grey, the new Daniel Smith colour, can be used as a a shadow or sky colour, or as a neutral tint to deepen other colours, as well as being a beautiful granulating and non-staining grey on it's own. As it is made from burnt sienna and ultramarine is contains no black pigments, is transparent and granulating. It won't stain so you can lift it off or soften shadows. Here it is mixed with most of the other colours in the set. See more on this here.

Mixing each colour with Jane's Grey. Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.
Within the set there are also many great primary triads to explore.

The first is a great basic triad - Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Rose and Ultramarine. You can mix lovely oranges and red, purples and realistic greens with ease just by mixing two together.


But it gets really interesting once you mix all three in various ratios. Here are just some of the possible three-colour mixes you can create with this triad.



If you start with the above triad and change Ultramarine to Phthalo Blue (green shade) you'll have a staining triad with no granulation.

Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Rose and Phthalo Blue GS
Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

Change the Hansa Yellow Medium to Quinacridone Gold for another lovely triad with more neutralised greens, and oranges.


I love the earth triad made from Goethite, Indian Red and Cerulean Chromium. You could change the blue to Ultramarine for another variation. I enjoy using a triad like this when painting the southern Californian landscape.

Goethite, Cerulean Chromium and Indian Red Earth triad.
Daniel Smith Watercolours The Ultimate Mixing Set.

My 'Aussie Triad' is Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Gold and Ultramarine - this creates perfect neutralised greens, oranges and purples for the Australian bush, though it also works very well for many landscapes, including the colours of Oregon and Washington State.




There are many other triads you could explore for wonderful colour harmony.

You can paint anything with this set. But feel free to add your own favourites :-)

For more information about mixing the colours I've created a reference book which includes all 105 two-colour mixing combinations and the most useful three-colour mixes. It is available as an eBook, Kindle, hard cover and paperback. For more information see here.

The Ultimate Mixing Palette: a World of Colours - available in paperback or hardcover.


Happy painting!