Sunday, 19 May 2019

Renesans Gouache

I was sent a set of 12 Renesans gouache tubes to try. These come from Poland, and Renesans make an additional three different ranges of watercolours that I have written about here.

There are 26 colours in this range - a smaller number than in most watercolour ranges but that makes sense. I use a much smaller range of colours in gouache than I do in watercolour as I consider gouache to be an opaque medium so I am not looking for transparent or granulating colours.

It's a workable basic set, though I'd switch in a cool red and a cool blue rather than the Cobalt Blue and the four pigment Burnt Umber. I think I'd also use a Raw Sienna more than Flesh Tint.

The full range can be seen here

Renesans Gouache - Titanium White, Chrome Yellow Deep, Scarlet Vermilion (Hue), Cobalt Blue.

Renesans Gouache - Ultramarine, Bright Green, Emerald Green (Hue), Yellow Ochre.

I would rather see a single pigment Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber but they are not opaque pigments...
Renesans Gouache - Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ivory Black, Flesh Tint.

I am gradually adding Gouache samples - use the search button to find other posts.

Happy Painting.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour-gouache

ShinHan is a Korean company. I posted a blog about their watercolours here.

I was also sent a set of 6 ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour/gouache last year and didn't get past painting out some swatches using the fresh paint. The colours were vibrant and strong with various levels of transparency, but at that stage I didn't have a chance to experiment further.

ShinHan Pass Colour set of 6.

ShinHan sent out some sample boxes and on Saturday, the Sydney Urban Sketchers had the chance to play with the full range of 48 colours. 

They are quite a mix, as the set contains some excellent pigments, some fluoro colours, some fugitive pigments and a big range of transparent to opaque paints. They are designed to be able to 'pass' from transparent watercolour through to thicker gouache applications seamlessly.

ShinHan PASS colour - set of 48.

ShinHan PASS colour drying in full pans.
They are not necessarily produced to be used dried, but as a travel/urban sketcher, it's always something I like to be able to do - set up a palette and take them with me. Since I usually work with dried paint, I find it more easy to control that way. However for those who like using acrylics or fresh paint, using them fresh from the tube would be more familiar.

I painted out the full range and include them here in the order they are shown in the colour chart. The pigment and lightfast information is taken from the same chart.
S = series, where A is the least expensive and E is the most expensive.
The empty square = transparent
Diagonal through the square is semi transparent
Half filled square is semi opaque
Black square is opaque.
The stars relate to the lightfast rating where **** is the highest lightfast and * is the lowest. There are  a number of colours with a rating of * and ** that would not be suitable for framed work but could be used in a sketchbook, where they are protected from light. Very few have been given the highest **** rating.

I noticed that the black line that I drew to compare opacity didn't always match the product information, however it should help to see how transparent they are painted very diluted and then in a creaming wash. The swatches are fairly close to original colours.

These reds are fairly close to the original swatches with the Bright Red being really vibrant. Permanent Red was included in my set of 6 though if you were looking for a primary red the Carmine would be a cleaner mixing option. (note - I've not seen PR17 before nor researched its lightfast rating). The Vermilion Hue is a gorgeous orange but only suitable for a sketchbook or reproduction work. I found the paint easier to control in the dried state and the transitions between using it as a watercolour and using it thicker as a gouache were easier to control.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Alizarin Crimson, Carmine, Permanent Red, Bright Red, Vermilion Hue.

The brightness of the Yellow Orange and Lemon Yellow really shows up in these photos. Once again the orange is very pretty but the pigments are all going to fade if exposed to light. The Permanent Yellow was in the set of 6 and is a good choice (hue wise) as a primary yellow.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Orange, Yellow Orange, Permanent Yellow Deep, Permanent Yellow,
Lemon Yellow

I like the realistic mixed greens (pigments aside).

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - June Brilliant, Linden Green, Light Green, Greenish Yellow,
Olive Green.

These green swatches are quite close to the greens I like to include in my watercolour palettes - especially the Sap, Viridian Hue (as a mixing green) and Shadow Green.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Cobalt Green, Sap Green, Hooker's Green, Viridian Hue, Shadow Green.

The lightfast ratings of these blues is lower than I would have expected with these pigments. Cerulean Blue Hue was is the set of 6 and once again was easier to control in the dried form.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Compose Blue, Blue Grey, Peacock Blue, Cerulean Blue Hue, Cobalt Blue.

It's hard to beat Ultramarine as a warm mixing blues and the granulation is lovely in a wash. Permanent Violet was in the set of 6.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Ultramarine Blue Deep, Prussian Blue, Indigo, Permanent Violet, Helioprope.

There are some colours that I just have no interest in - flouro pigments and tints being right up there - but they are pretty and the added white pigment of course makes them more opaque.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Blue Celeste, Red Violet, Lilac, Opera, Brilliant Pink.

I like the yellow ochre - it's one of the most useful gouache colours I find. The Raw Umber is listed as PR101 which is most unusual. It comes in many forms but I've never seen it in this hue before. The Light Red is really vibrant.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Shell Pink, Pink, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Light Red.

Burnt Sienna was in the set of 6 and once again was easier to control in dried form. I really like the PBr25 pigment - a rich reddish brown.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Burnt Sienna, Red Brown, Burnt Umber, Vandyke Brown, Sepia.

Finally Black, Grey and White. These were not as completely opaque as they are listed but would cover a line if a couple of coats were used.

ShinHan PASS hybrid watercolour gouache - Black, Grey,
I have set up a palette of 12 colours that I think will work nicely for urban sketching (in a sketchbook) including 5 of the original 6-colour set - White, Permanent Yellow, Permanent Red (though Carmine would be more versatile), Cobalt Blue Hue (though French Ultramarine Deep would be more versatile), Cerulean Blue Hue, Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Light Red, Vandyke Brown and Black. With Gouache palettes I break all my rules and include black and white! I'll have a play with them and add more comments in time.

Happy painting!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Derwent Pencils from childhood

I have always loved colour, so it is no surprise that all I wanted as a child was coloured pencils, markers, pens, paint and other art and stationary materials. This set of 72 Derwent Pencils was my pride and joy at the age of about 7. I use water-soluble pencils much more often these days, so have created a couple of blog posts about those, but as it was National Pencil Day in the US last week, I thought I'd share these old friends. They have travelled with me to over a dozen different housesin three countries over the years yet here they all are - all 72. They don't have any fancy colour names, just numbers, 1 - 72.

Derwent coloured pencils from the 1970s.
 I like the colours of the Derwent (and Faber Castell) pencils as they are very realistic and usable, with a good range of earth browns and interesting greens.
Derwent coloured pencils from the 1970s drawn out.
Happy drawing :-)

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

CARAN d'ACHE Museum Pencils

Caran d'Ache is a Swiss company that has been making a wonderful range of writing and drawing products since 1915. "Caran d'Ache comes from the word "karandash" that is the Russian term for "pencil" and in turn comes from the Turkish root "kara tash" which refers to black stone - the origins of Graphite" (

They make a range of products for the home as well.

I bought this intriguing set a number of years ago as it looked like a very portable way to carry a number of watercolour pencils. I put the leads into an old cigar package. What I particularly liked was that the pigment information was given - very rare - and the lightfast ratings are excellent. They re-wet well and can easily be used to paint with.

While I believe this set has been discontinued, the new range of traditional wooden watercolour pencils (see here) are probably made using similar pigments though the range of colours is now 80. I haven't tested the new range but they look gorgeous!

Caran d'Ache Museum Watercolour Pencils - Lemon Yellow, Golden Cadmium Yellow (Hue), Orange,
Light Cadmium Red (Hue), Scarlet.
Caran d'Ache Museum Watercolour Pencils - Purplish Red, Violet, Dark Ultramarine, Permanent Blue,
Turquoise Blue.

Caran d'Ache Museum Watercolour Pencils - Phthalocyanine Green, Bright Green, Light Olive,
Yellow Ochre, Brown.

Caran d'Ache Museum Watercolour Pencils - Genuine Umber, Payne's Grey, Black, B graphite, 3B Graphite.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

A fun collaboration

I met Maria of Expeditionary Art when I visited Seattle in 2015, after a few years of chatting online.

She is an avid sketcher and had created a lovely Pocket Palette - a tiny credit card sized palette - that really looked useful for those of us trying to keep our travel kits small and portable. the little metal pans and mini pans are held in place by a magnet so are interchangeable. She also created some really well made Art Tool Kits to hold the palettes and sketching tools. She's made additions and improvements over the years, including and adding more pan sizes, and we've kept in touch and met up again to sketch in 2017.

I'm delighted that she's launching a limited edition of the Pocket Palette filled with my Ultimate Mixing Palette of Daniel Smith watercolours - all 15 of them, including the new Jane's Grey. This range is designed to be able to mix any colour, usually using only two colours, no matter what subject you wish to paint.

The Pocket Palette filled with The Ultimate Mixing Set of Daniel Smith watercolours - a perfect combination :-)
I created a reference book to go with this set of colours to show how versatile they are, which I self-published through I'll be discounting my print books by 15% from now until the end of April in conjunction with this offer so I hope they are just a little easier to pick up if you've been thinking about it. The book is also available as a PDF or eBook.

Here's the link to Maria's blog and store. Here is the link to the Premium Matt version of my book with the 15% discount. It is also available in standard paper here. with a 15% discount.

Happy sketching :-)

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Roman Szmal Aquarius watercolours

Last year I received a number whole pans of watercolour from Poland. They were samples of some of the colours Roman Szmal was working on for his watercolour range. He has now launched them and it was a real pleasure to paint them all out. There are available here or here and are very affordably priced. You can read more about them on his Facebook Page.

This range is 140 full pans with mostly single pigments but also a few rather lovely mixes. They were fairly consistent to rewet though I am sure he is still making adjustments with the exact binder to pigment and honey ratios. I don't know if tube paints are being planned but in many ways I hope not - sometimes it's nice to see a company totally specialise. These are very high quality and full pans are great for brush access.

The pans are individually wrapped with hand-painted watercolour paper labels so there is no mistaking what the colour will look like. I loaded a video of unwrapping one on YouTube here. The colour chart also had hand-painted swatches. Wonderful!

It's great to see one of my favourite colours appear in this range - Buff Titanium. Nickel Titanate Yellow is often a very weak pigment that is difficult to rewet but this version was good to use. The cadmiums are finely ground and very clean.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Chinese White, Titanium White, Buff titanium, Nickel titanate Yellow,
Cadmium Yellow.
This range of cool yellow are all very similar.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Bismuth Yellow, Hansa Yellow Light, Lemon Yellow,
Isoindolinone Yellow Light, Aquarius Yellow.
This range of mid yellow are also very similar.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Aureoline (Hue), Cadmium Yellow Pale, Benzimidazole Yellow,
Hansa Yellow Medium, Indian Yellow (Hue).
These are brighter and more orange than they appear here - lovely warm yellows.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Nickel Azon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Hansa Yellow Deep,
Permanent Yellow, Isindolinone Yellow Deep
These are also brighter than they appear here - the oranges are clean and clear with Benzimidazole being an almost perfect mid orange and Pyrrole Orange just headed to a warm red.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Permanent Orange, Brilliant Orange, Cadmium Orange,
Benzimidazole Orange, Pyrrol Orange.
This range is also similar with some interesting pigments. My favourite is PR255.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Scarlet Lake, Anthraquinoid Scarlet, Pyrrole Scarlet,
Cadmium Vermilion, Scarlet Red,

These are lovely bright mid reds.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Naphthol Red, Pyrrole Red, Azo Red, Permanent Red, Aquarius Red.

Pyrrole Rubine is my favourite pigment for crimson reds.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red Deep, Perylene Maroon, Anthraquinoid Red,
Pyrrole Rubine.

Quinacridone Red is my favourite cool/primary red option.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Cherry Quinacridone Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson,
Naples Yellow Reddish, Flesh Tint, Quinacridone Red.

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Magenta, Quinacridone Pink, Quinacridone Violet, Perylene Violet,
Cobalt Violet Light.

It is good to see very nice versions of these gentle violet pigments. The Dioxazine Violet is not the usual PV23 but PV37.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Ultramarine Pink, Manganese Violet, Ultramarine Violet,
Cobalt Violet Deep, Dioxazine Violet.
Mineral Violet separates in a lovely manner.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Mineral Violet, Lavenda, Shadow Violet, Prussian Blue, Indigo (Hue)
Indanthrone Blue is a bit grainy but deep and rich. The three ultramarines are slightly different.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Indanthrone Blue, Ultramarine (Green Shade), French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Light, Cobalt Blue.

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), Cobalt Coelin Blue, Cobalt Cerulean Blue,
Royal Blue, Sky Blue.

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Ocean Blue, Phthalo Turquoise,
Cobalt Teal, Viridian.

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Cobalt Turquoise, Transparent Turquoise, Green Earth,
Chromium Green Oxide, Phthalo Green (Blue Shade).

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade), Cobalt Green Light,
Permanent Green Light, Sap Green, Hooker's Green.

I really like these neutralised convenience greens.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Aquarius Green, Olive Green Light, Deep Green Gold,
Green Gold,
Olive Green Deep.
These yellow earth colours are very similar so it would be interesting to explore them more in mixes. I like the Transparent Gold Ochre and the Gold Ochre.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Naples Yellow Light, Transparent Gold Ochre, Venetian Yellow Earth,
Natural Sienna Light, Gold Ochre.

There are a lot of yellow earth colours to choose from. I haven't figured out which I prefer...I like the Yellow Ochre and Naples Yellow deep in this set. PBr24 is great fro this colour.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow Deep, Veronese Yellow Earth,
Natural Sienna Mont Amiata, Italian Raw Sienna.
Mummy Transparent Red is a lovely earthy orange.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Ochre Havana, Transparent Yellow Ochre, French Ochre, Red Ochre,
Mummy Transparent Red.
It's a nice version of Quinacridone Gold.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Quinacridone Gold, quinacridone Burnt Sienna, Veronese Red Earth,
Pompeii Red, English Red Light.
Roman had sent a sample of Burnt Sienna that didn't make it into the 140 colour range though I think it is lovely so have shown it here.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Terra Pozzuoli, Italian Burnt Sienna, Burnt Sienna (sample only),
Transparent Oxide Red, Venetian Red, Quinacridone Maroon.
English Red deep is the closest to an Indian Red - not as opaque though.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - English Red Deep, Transparent Brown, Mars Red, Caput Mortuum,
Burnt Umber was also a sample that didn't make it into the range. The many versions of raw umber are not hugely different.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Cyprus Raw Umber Brownish, German Raw Umber Greenish,
Cyprus Raw Umber,  Cyprus Burnt Umber Light, Cyprus Burnt Umber, Burnt Umber (sample only).

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Transparent Oxide Brown, Brown Ochre, Sepia, Cyprus Raw Umber Deep,
Van Dyck Brown.

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Cyprus Burnt Umber Deep, Przybysz's Grey, Payne's Grey,
Perylene Green, Roman Black.

I like the Aquarius Black here more than the Roman Black shown above or the Mars Black. PBk11 is wonderful for granulation.
Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours - Vine Black, Ivory Black, Neutral Tint, Mars Black, Aquarius Black.

These last swatches are of some other samples Roman sent. The Hematite Oxide Red is rather lovely - I assume it is the same pigment used for the 'Hematite' above.
PR88 sample, Special ECWS sample, Natural Sienna from Ardeny Sample, Burnt Umber sample,
Hematite Oxide Red sample.

Happy painting!