Monday, 12 October 2015

Adding more watercolour swatches to my website.

I have been busy painting out another 100 or so watercolour swatches and am gradually cropping the scans to add them to my website.

I'd really like to eventually have a swatch of each of the watercolours currently available - a rather ambitious plan but it would be a helpful resource for those wanting to compare the different colours available. They are arranged by colour, with single pigment colours together and mixed pigment colours together.

Many thanks to the people who have sent me samples from various places around the world - manufacturers and fellow artists. It's a huge help :-) Thank you to those who point out any errors or missed information!

If your favourite brand or colour is not represented, please get in touch if you would like to send me a sample to add.

The website now has all of the Daniel Smith watercolours, the complete Blockx range, most of Winsor & Newton, and many from Da Vinci, Schmincke, Sennelier, Art Spectrum, Holbein, Old Holland, Rembrandt, White Nights, M. Graham, Maimeri Blu, Daler Rowney, Lukas and QoR. There are a couple from Turner, Stephen Quiller, Mission Gold, Permanent Pigments, American Journey and other lesser known manufacturers, but so far none from Kremer, Utrecht, Grumbacher or Lefranc & Bourgeois.

You can see the links to them all here.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Jane, for your comprehensive and tireless work on these paint swatches - they are so interesting and useful!

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  2. All your color information here and on your website is an amazing resource, Jane! Thank you!

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  3. Hi Jane
    when i try the link, it does not work?

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    1. Sorry about that - I changed the name of the tab so needed to update the link. Fixed now. Thanks for letting me know :-)

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  4. This is wonderful. I love color theory and have a few sketchbooks devoted to it. I never thought to add them to my blog. It will never be as extensive as yours, but I am going to use you as inspiration for a few posts. Great job.

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  5. I'm from Belgium and I was wondering what you think about Blockx vs Daniel smith. How do they compare? Which one would you recommend?

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    1. Dries if you can use the watercolour made locally, they are usually cheaper and easier to find. Blockx is a good brand with a lot of great colours. They are available in large and small pans as well as tubes so very versatile. My problem with them is that some are much more difficult to rewet from dry paint than D.S.

      Daniel Smith will be more expensive and only available in 15ml tubes and some 5ml perhaps.

      To answer you question, it does depend how you are using your watercolours. If you are starting out, there is something to be said for buy pans of colour to be able to spend less but test them out. If buying tubes then you really want to get the best colours as the will last for a long time.

      I have used Daniel Smith for 20 years. They were very new to the market back then but have come up with a type of paint that dries nicely in the palette and rewets well - a very important criteria if you are using them from a palette rather than straight from tubes.

      Daniel Smith also have some colours that no one else makes. Blockx makes gorgeous Cadmium colours and great 'bright' colours generally, but their earth colours are not as strong.

      So you may end up looking at a mixture of the two brands? Perhaps try the Blockx pans where they have the colours you want and buy the DS tubes for the others?

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  6. So using this site as example (http://www.janeblundellart.com/building-your-palette-of-colours.html). I would buy all colors from blockx except the last 6 ones?

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  7. If you were to set up with my Ultimate Mixing Set using Blockx, you would get Blockx yellow or Primary yellow (as you prefer - depending whether you want a cool yellow or a mid) with Gamboge as the warm yellow instead of Quin Gold (or buy Daniel Smith Quin Gold). You'd get Pyrrolo red, Rose Pale Lake or Rose Lake (look the same to me) and Crimson Lake as the reds. You'd get French Ultramarine light, Primary blue and Cerulean blue or Turquoise blue (which is more different and a lovely Blockx pigment) for the blues. Phthalo green is Blockx green. Then you'd get Italian earth or Transparent mars yellow instead of Goethite or gold ochre or yellow ochre if you prefer. Burnt Sienna Light, Light red and Van Dijck brown instead of Burnt Sienna, Indian Red and Raw Umber. Get buff titanium from Daniel Smith if you like the look of it. Finally mix Jane's Grey from Burnt Sienna light + French Ultramarine Light.

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    1. I'm a bit Confused. You said Blockx didn't have good earth colors. Shouldn't I buy this from Daniel smith instead?
      Excuse me to keep on going about this one topic btw.
      Thanks!

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    2. It depends on your budget and how much paint you expect to get through. The hues are similar, which is why you might choose to start with Blockx half pans and try them out. Daniel Smith is definitely easier to re-wet, but I don't know how much more expensive they are in Belgium or whether you may, like many, spray your watercolours with water to 'activate' them before you start. I don't ever do that with DS, but you'd want to with Blockx. Anyway, while I do prefer the DS earth colours Goethite, Burnt Sienna, Indian red and Raw Umber, whether you'd find the (assumed) extra cost worth it I can't answer :-) It just seems a shame not to try your local brand first - you may be very perfectly happy with them. Over to you to decide!

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  8. You continue to be a terrific resource. I see that Rembrandt appears in many of the different samples you show. I know many of their colors are combination mixes, but long ago I bought a small 18 halfpan box in Switzerland and have found the colors vibrant and useful.I go back to it again and again, although I have replaced some colors with filled pans. I have begun to work more at home using tube paints, and have experimented with Daniel Smith and M Graham and enjoyed both. But I still really like my Rembrandt colors. I hope someday Royal Talens will send you a full set so you can show them all in a test as you are doing with some other brands. Thank you again for all your work.

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    1. Thank you Lynn. I'm glad you find it all helpful.
      It's not often that a manufacturer offers to send their full range - it is normally people anywhere in the world who notice gaps in my website who offer to send samples. I certainly can't buy all the available watercolours to try them, even though my ideal goal is to have the whole range shown. I have rather liked many of the Rembrandt colours.

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    2. I just wrote to Royal Talens, describing the value of your site and its wide reach, and praising their watercolor paints, and suggested they send you a wide range. We will see what they reply.

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