Sunday, 2 June 2013

Testing Watercolours.

I have spent a lot of time in the last couple of months comparing watercolour paints made by a number of manufacturers. I have done a painted swatch of each one in a wash on damp paper and in a 'juicy' wash to see how they look nice and strong.
Painted samples of watercolours.
I tested them all from dried samples since that is how I use them in my palette, rather than straight from the tube. There are so many beautiful colours available that it can be difficult to choose the ones that are right for you, but I have made some adjustments to my palette as a consequence of my explorations, which I'll share shortly. I very much doubt that any two artists would choose the same palette but I think it is interesting to see what others do and why.

What I am looking for is a range of paints that re-wet well, that are permanent (i.e. rate I or II on the ASTM or equivalent), that look lovely in diluted washes or full strength, and that mix well with the other colours in my palette. I prefer transparent colours in general, but love the granulation that is possible with watercolours. While I prefer single pigment colours, there are some mixtures that are so useful that I buy them in a tube or make them myself.