Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Rosemary & Co Travel Brushes

I've written about Rosemary&Co brushes before here, but wanted to update the Travel brushes, also called Reversible or Pocket brushes.

I caught up with Rosemary at the Amsterdam Urban Sketchers Symposium in July, where, once again, she was one of the sponsors. I was able to see some of the new brushes they have created, as well as some that have changed a bit. Here is the almost complete range, including the old and new versions of a couple of them. The full range is mostly natural hair, with some a mix and one a full synthetic. As I love natural hair brushes I haven't actually tried the synthetic! But as you can see, most of these are well loved.

Rosemary&Co Travel (or Pocket or Reversible) brushes - R0, R1, R2, R3, R3 (new version), R4, R5, R7, R8, R8 (new version), R9, R12, R13, R14, R14 (new version), R15, R16 (new).

Here they are a little larger. This first photo shows the Kolinsky sable pointed rounds. From bottom to top you can see the R0 pointed sable round, the R1 pointed sable round and the R2 pointed sable round. Next is the original R3 pointed sable round, and above that the new larger case version of the R3. They equate approximately to a size 4, 6, 8 and 10. They are great sable brushes with a good point.



From the bottom you can see the R4 1/4" sable flat, the R5 sable rigger, (I don't have the R6, which is a kolinsky filbert), the R7 Sable comber, the old version of the R8 sable mop followed by the new larger case version, with the top one being the R9 squirrel mop.



From the bottom here, since I don't have the R10 synthetic pointed or R11 red sable mix size 10 round, you see the R12 1/4" red sable dagger, the R13 extra pointed sable mix round, the old version of the R14 small squirrel mop then the new version of the R14 small squirrel mop. Next is the R15 oval squirrel and the newest to the range the the R16 3/8" red sable dagger in the new larger case.


I've used Rosemary & Co travel brushes a lot over the years. It's quite a remarkable range and as a company they are prepared to listen to feedback and improve the brushes or add to the range, which is terrific.

They are exploring different ways to add labels, different handle types, different hair shapes. Getting the larger cases took some research and effort but was requested by the artists who are using the brushes. I'm particularly enjoying the larger dagger and the new larger case R8. My previous old version was almost worn out!


Happy painting.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

White Nights 2019 full range

White Nights, also known as St Petersburg, has been one of the many generous sponsors of the Urban Sketchers Symposium for the last few years now. They have been expanding their range, moving from just full pans to the addition of 10ml tubes for many colours, and expanding their range with 9 extra colours in 2017 and another 9 new colours in 2019. They have also added 7 metallics. I am grateful that they have given me samples to try to keep up, though somehow Venetian Red slipped through the cracks. 

The colours that have been added increase the range to 75 colours and the new colours are mostly lightfast and largely single pigment additions. I've updated my previous post but decided to create a new post of the full range here, this time with most colours scanned rather than photographed, where possible.

These are very reasonably priced watercolours that perform well. Setting up with full pans is simple and gives easy brush access so they suit beginners, though of course many professional artist use them as well. They are made with genuine pigments though some feel to have some sort of filler? And some of the pigments are not lightfast, such as PY1, PV3, PR2, PR4, PO13, PG8 and others. As far as I know the colours with less lightfast ratings have remained in the range so do check pigment numbers if you are working on paintings for sale or exhibition. In a sketchbook, watercolours are protected from light. 

I'll add the full range below.



As always, yellows, oranges and reds are difficult to represent accurately. I've scanned all the swatches but I needed to use a couple of photos for better accuracy for the oranges. As I haven't yet found an updated colour chart, I've used my own system to arrange the colour swatches.

The new Aureolin gives an even better primary yellow option.

White Nights Watercolour - Zinc White, Lemon, Cadmium Lemon, Aureolin (new 2019), Hansa Yellow.

PY216 used in the new Naples Yellow Light and Naples Orange is also known as Turner's Yellow. I haven't seen he orange version before. Both are more opaque colours. I like the Indian Gold as a warm yellow option as it will mix interesting greens.
White Nights Watercolour - Indian Yellow (new 2017), Cadmium Yellow Medium, Naples Yellow Light (new 2019),
Indian Gold (new 2017), Naples Orange (new 2019).

White Nights Watercolour -Golden, Golden Deep, Cadmium Orange, Orange Lake, Orange (new 2019)

Geranium Red is interesting as it looks like a warm red but has a rose undertone in a wash so I suspect it might mix purples too - I'll check that out.
White Nights Watercolour - Titan Red, Cadmium Red Light, Vermilion (Hue), Geranium Red (new 2019), Scarlet.


White Nights Watercolour -Ruby, Madder Lake Red Light, Venice Purple (new 2019), Claret, Carmine.

White Nights Watercolour - Quinacridone Red (new 2017), Quinacridone Violet Rose (new 2017), Quinacridone Rose, Rose, Quinacridone Lilac.

White Nights Watercolour -Violet-Rose, Quinacridone Violet (new 2017), Ultramarine Violet (new 2017), Violet,
Blue Lake.

White Nights Watercolour - Indanthrone Blue, Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Azure, Blue (Russian. New 2017).

PB36 used in Cobalt Azure Blue is my favourite choice for a cerulean pigment. A good addition to the range.
White Nights Watercolour - Bright Blue (Brilliant), Indigo, Prussian Blue, Ceruleum Blue,
Cobalt Azure Blue (new 2019).

Cobalt Turquoise is an incredibly popular watercolour.
White Nights Watercolour -Azure Blue, Cobalt Turquoise (new 2019), Turquoise Blue, Green Light, Emerald Green.

White Nights Watercolour - Green Original, Yellowish Green, Sap Green (new 2017), Green Earth, Olive Green.

I love yellow ochre as a colour but shy away from this mix with PY1.
White Nights Watercolour - Chromium Oxide, Green (Russian), May Green (new 2019), Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow.

White Nights Watercolour - Raw Sienna, Red Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Shakhnazarskaya Red, English Red.

White Nights Watercolour - Venetian Red (New 2017, not shown), Burnt Umber, Mars Red, Umber, Sepia.

White Nights Watercolour - Voronezhkaya Black, Payne's Grey, Neutral Black.

The new metallic colours...
White Nights Watercolour - Silver Light, Inca Gold, Bronze, Aztec Gold.
White Nights Watercolour - Antique Gold, Silver Deep, Copper.

With all these new colours, my suggestions for a White Nights 12-colour plein air sketching palette has changed.

I'd look at Aureolin, Indian yellow, Cadmium Red Light or the new Geranium Red (I need to test that in mixes), Quinacridone Red, Ultramarine, Cobalt Azure Blue, Emerald Green (for mixing only), Sap Green, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, English Red (or Sepia) and Payne's Grey. That would now be a lightfast set except for the PV3 in the Payne's Grey. 

I wonder if the Voronezhkaya Black is nice as a neutral tint and grey. It's very soft as a black...has anyone tried it?

Happy painting :-)

Friday, 2 August 2019

Rembrandt Artist Watercolours by Royal Talens

I have just returned home from Amsterdam, home of the Urban Sketchers Symposium for 2019. It was a pleasure and an honour to be part of the faculty, and we were treated to a tour of the Royal Talens factory. It was an hour outside of the city but well worth visiting. Of course, no photos were allowed. We saw parts of the processes of many of their large range of paints and colours. We were also able to try the Van Gogh (student range) watercolours and the pencils and other tools.

I've posted a blog about the previous 80 colour Rembrandt watercolour range here, but it has been updated this year to celebrate the 120th anniversary of these professional watercolour paints. Is is now a range of 120 colours. 18 colours have been reformulated and 40 new ones added in this complete overhaul. I was able to try many of the new colours at the factory experience centre, but they were not able to find all the colours so there are still some missing.

Having tried to work out all that had been done, I then found a very useful brochure here.

I'll make a note of the discontinued colours in case you particularly love any and want to stock up before they are gone.

Once again, they painted out very nicely. They tend to be on the runny side straight from the tube but dry smoothly and rewet with ease.


The number of cadmium colours has been reduced so Cadmium Yellow Light is discontinued.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Chinese White, Transparent Titanium White (not shown), Opaque White (new - not shown), Cadmium Yellow Lemon (improved formula), Permanent Lemon Yellow (not shown).


 The yellows are almost all single pigment now.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Transparent Yellow Medium (new), Azo Yellow Light (changed in number from 268), Cadmium Yellow (new name and was 271), Azo Yellow Medium (new formula and number - was 269), Azo Yellow Deep (not shown - new number and new formula was 270)

Rembrandt Watercolours - Indian yellow (not shown), Aureoline, Gamboge, Naples Yellow Deep (not shown),
Titanium Buff (new).
 Three new oranges have been added, with the mixed pigment 266 Permanent Orange removed and replaced with Brilliant Orange. I've used a photo here and for the next reds, rather than a scan, to try to show the brilliance of these oranges and reds. I just love the oranges made with PO71 and PO72.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Naples Yellow Red (not shown), Benzimidazolone Orange (new), Pyrrole Orange (new), Brilliant Orange (new). 

303 Cadmium Red Light and 370 Permanent Red Light were removed and a number of single pigment reds added.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Vermilion, Permanent Red Medium (not shown, but a lovely warm red pigment).
Cadmium Red (replaces 413 Cadmium Red Medium), Permanent Red Deep, Perylene Red Deep (new).

Rembrandt Watercolours - Cadmium Red Deep, Quinacridone Red (new), Perylene Red (new),
Naphtol Red Bluish (new). Alizarin Crimson (not shown).
Rembrandt Watercolours - Madder Lake Deep (not shown), Permanent Madder Lake (new formula),
Carmine (new formula), Permanent Madder Brown, Permanent Madder Purple (not shown).


Rembrandt Watercolours - Venetian Red, Indian red, Permanent Madder Light (not shown), Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Rose Reddish (new)
Many new rose reds nave been added.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Quinacridone Rose Magenta (new), Rose (new), Permanent Red Violet,
Quinacridone Red Violet (new), Benzimiazolone Violet (new)


568 Permanent Blue Violet has been removed, a number of other purples added.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Mauve, Quinacridone Purple bluish (new), Manganese Violet (new), Blue Violet (new), Ultramarine Violet (not shown)

Rembrandt Watercolours - cobalt Violet, Lavender (new), Ultramarine Deep, French Ultramarine
(now from a new source so very granulating), Cobalt Blue (Ultramarine) (not shown).

Rembrandt Watercolours - Cobalt Blue, Phthalo Blue Red, Phthalo Blue Green, Prussian Blue,
Indanthrene Blue.

Rembrandt Watercolours - Indigo (not shown), Cerulean Blue, Cerulean Blue Greenish (new - with PB36),
Crerulean Blue (Phthalo) (improved), Cobalt Turquoise Blue (new).
 Cobalt Green has been removed and replaced with a more brilliant pigment.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Turquoise Blue, Cerulean Blue Deep (new), Cobalt Turquoise Green (new),
Bluish Green (not shown), Viridian.

Rembrandt Watercolours - Phthalo Green, Emerald Green, Phthalo Green Yellow (new), Permanent Green.


Rembrandt Watercolours - Permanent Yellow Green (not shown), Sap Green, Hooker Green Light (not shown),
Hooker Green Deep, Chromium Oxide Green.

Rembrandt Watercolours - Green Earth (not shown), Olive Green (not shown), Azomethine Green Yellow (new),
Yellow Ochre, Gold Ochre (improved).

Rembrandt Watercolours - Transparent Oxide Yellow, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Orange (new), Transparent Red Oxide, Burnt Sienna.
 408 Raw Umber was removed, as was 426 Transparent Oxide Brown.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Burnt Umber, Greenish Umber (new), Transparent Oxide Umber (new), Sepia,
Vandyke Brown.

The Spinal Grey is made with a newly developed synthetic grey pigment - I'll be interested in exploring this further.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Spinal Grey (new), Neutral Tint, Payne's Grey, Davy's Grey (new), Oxide Black (new).

Rembrandt Watercolours - Ivory Black (improved), Lamp Black (improved), Dusk Yellow (new), Dusk Pink (new),
Dusk Green (new).
 The new Metallic colours are best seen on black watercolour paper or over dark pigments.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Silver (new), Light Gold (new), Copper (new), Graphite (new).
 The subtle sparkle of Interference colours doesn't show up in a scan but I'll include them for reference.
Rembrandt Watercolours - Interference White, Blue, Violet and Green. Chameleon Gold/Red/Violet, Chameleon Red/ Violet/Blue

Rembrandt Watercolours - Chameleon Violet/Blue/Green, Chameleon Blue/Green/Gold, Spark Green, Spark Blue, Spark Violet, Spark Pink.

Index to symbols used:
+++ means will last for at leat 100 years under museum conditions.
++ 25 - 100 years under museum conditions.
+ 10 - 25 years under museum conditions.
G = granulation
Empty box = transparent
Diagonal line in box is semi-transparent
Half filled box = semi opaque
Filled box = opaque

These lovely Dutch watercolours are available in half pans, 10ml tubes, 20ml tubes and a range of sets.

Happy painting!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Winsor & Newton Water Colour Markers.

I had the chance to try out the full range of Winsor & Newton Water Colour Markers a few weekends ago, as part of a great day with the Sydney Urban Sketchers. We met at the Jasco offices and had a play with paints and pens. Thanks to Carla and the team :-)






This is not a tool I've used a lot, so it was good to see how it performed. The markers have a broad pointed tip and a brush tip. If you wash over them soon after drawing/colouring with them, they wash out as watercolour would. Leave them longer and the marks will be more distinct.






The pigments used are largely the phthalo pigments and other small particle sizes, so they can flow through the marker pen. Consequently many of the colours have been accurately named 'hue'. All but two are given an 'A' rating (Permanent) for lightfast, with Burnt Sienna and Lamp Black receiving AA rating.

Most are made from a relatively small number of pigments, so colour harmony should be easy to achieve.


Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Cadmium Yellow Hue, Gamboge Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue,
Cadmium Red Hue, Cadmium Red deep Hue, Pale Rose.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Lemon Yellow Hue, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Cadmium Red Hue,
Alizarin Crimson Hue, Permanent Rose, Quinacridone Magenta.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Mauve, Dioxazine Violet (whoops - miss-spelt), Mid Blue,
Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), Prussian Blue Hue, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade).

I have a few markers to explore more with, so added a line with the 'fine' end of the pen to some of the swatches.
Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Cerulean Blue Hue, Turquoise, Phthalo Green, Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade), Hooker's Green Dark, Hooker's Green.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Red, Raw Umber.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Burnt Umber, Sepia, Indigo, Payne's Grey, Ivory Black, Lamp Black.

These swatches were painted out in a Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook and there was no bleed-through.