Friday, 19 October 2018


My Gouache Palette. 
There are two styles of gouache that I have worked with. One has chalk added to make it more opaque. This is really lovely to work with fresh from the tube, but doesn't re-wet well.

The other is really just a very concentrated watercolour  - no added chalk. This is the type I am most interested in. As far as I am aware, the brands that created this sort of gouache are M.Graham, Da Vinci and Schmincke. I've ended up using a mixture of these brands in my gouache palette. I am looking for fairly opaque but re-wettable versions since it is a travel and teaching palette. They will all crack a bit if you fill a pan too fast - it needs to be done in many stages - but I find it is also helpful to add a drop or two of glycerine to help them to rewet. They are designed to work with watercolours or alone. I have shown how it looks if no glycerine is 
added when filling (always bit by bit) - you can see some cracking in the colours along the left side.
I have previously posted a couple of swatches of gouache when setting up a sketching palette -
M.Graham here and painted out here, Schmincke here the Zorn palette here and a photo of a swatch of my gouache palette here.

I will update these individual swatches, but I think it is more helpful to have them altogether.

I had some old gouache from the 1990s - some with no numbers or pigment information so I've included those too.

I used a 6 colour plus black and white set in the Art Spectrum range to create a whole range of colour charts and wheels here, but the Black and White, Deep Yellow, Ultramarine and Vermilion I used have long since dried up so I haven't included a sample of those.

Here are the various tube sizes - the Da Vinci 37ml tubes are enormous! The others range from 14ml for the W&N, 15ml for the Schmincke Horadam, the M.Graham and the smaller Da Vinci, and 22.5 ml for the Art Spectrum.

Here are the whites.
White Gouache - Titanium White Da Vinci) Titanium White Schmincke, Opaque White Schmincke, Permanent White Winsor & Newton, titanium White M.Graham.

Cadmium pigments made a whole lot of sense if you want opaque colours without additives, but they are expensive.
Cool and mid yellow Gouache - Hansa Yellow Light Da Vinci, Cadmium Yellow Light Schmincke, Primary Yellow Winsor & Newton, Azo Yellow M.Graham, Primrose Art Spectrum.

Mid to warm yellow Gouache - Cadmium Yellow Schmincke, Cadmium Yellow Hue Schmicnke, Indian Yellow Schmincke, Cadmium Yellow Deep Schmincke, Gamboge M.Graham.

 I really love the pigment PR255 as a warm red. It's probably not as opaque as a cadmium scarlet would be but it's gorgeous.
War red Gouache - Vermilion Tone Schmincke, Vermilion Red Schmincke, Napthol Red M.Graham.

Though made with PV19 - a transparent pigment - the Schmincke Carmine is a little opaque.
Cool red Gouache - Alizarin Crimson (Quin) Da Vinci, Carmine Schmincke, Madder Red Schmincke, Quinacriodone Rose M.Graham, Crimson Art Spectrum.

Magenta Gouache - Magenta Da Vinci
 I like the depth of the Schmincke Ultramarine Deep.

Ultramarine Gouache - Ultramarine Da Vinci, Ultramarine Deep Schmincke, Ultramarine M.Graham.

Phthalo pigments are not opaque. Good for tinting other colours though.
Cool blue Gouache - Phthalo Blue Da Vinci, Helio Blue Schmincke, Intense Blue Winsor & Newton, Myosis Blue, Winsor & Newton, Asure Blue Winsor & Newton.

 I think the Art Spectrum was a genuine cerulean pigment but the M.Graham certainly is.
Cool blue and cerulean Gouache - Paris Blue Schmincke, Peacock Blue Winsore & Newton,
Cerulean Blue M.Graham, Cerulean Blue Art Spectrum

This is a lovely turquoise colour. I don't use it much but it is a little more opaque than the phthalos and can be used to neutralise a warm red, or to mix greens with the yellows.

Turquoise Gouache - Helio Turquoise Schmincke.

Phthalo green is usually a transparent pigment. 
Green Gouache - Helio Green Bluish Schmincke, Phthalocyaninie Green M.Graham.

I really like PBr24 but only have it in my gouache palette.

Gouache - Naples Yellow Winsor & Newton, Titanium Gold Ochre Schmincke.

The Da Vinci Yellow Ochre is just lovely.

Yellow ochre Gouache - Yellow Ochre Da Vinci, Yellow Ochre Winsor & Newton.

Raw Sienna Gouache - Raw Sienna Winsor & Newton, Raw Sienna M.Graham, Raw Sienna Da Vinci, Raw Sienna Schmincke.

Burnt Sienna Gouache - Burnt Sienna Da Vinci, Burnt Sienna Schmincke, Burnt Sienna Winsor & Newton, Burnt Sienna M.Graham.

Apart from the English Red, these are old Winsor and Newton tubes with no pigment information. They probably pre-date the internet ;-)
Red earth Gouache - English Red Schmincke, Chinese Orange Winsor & Newton, Venetian Red Winsor & Newton, Red Ochre Winsor & Newton.

The Da Vinci Raw Umber is a lovely deep cool brown.
Dark brown Gouache - Raw Umber Da Vinci, Raw Umber Winsor & Newton, Raw Umber M.Graham, Sepia Winsor & Newton.

Schmincke Neutral Grey gouache, like their watercolour, is made from coloured pigments not black or white. I really like that :-). The Winsor & Newton tubes predate pigment information.
Grey Gouache - Neutral Grey Schmincke, Grey No 1 (Light) Winsor & Newton, Grey No 2 Winsor & Newton, Grey No 3, Winsor & Newton, Grey No 4 Winsor & Newton, Grey No 5 (Dark) Winsor & Newton.

I liked the Schmincke best in this range, though I tend to use the grey above.
Black Gouache - Black Da Vinci, Ivory Black Schmincke, Jet Black Schmincke, Ivory Black CMYK Winsor & Newton, Lamp Black M.Graham.

I use some sparkly colours for calligraphy, not for painting. The Silver and Bronze are very old tubes.
Metallic Gouache - Red Pearl Schmincke, Gold Pearl Schmincke, Silver Linel, Bronze Winsor & Newton.

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).
Here is the 12-colour Plein Air palette I suggested.

And here is is open. Full pans are great for brush access!

Maimeri Blu revamped range

MaimeriBlu tube and half pan, taken from the website

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.