Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Wallace Seymour Vintage Watercolours

I have just posted about the Wallace Seymour pan colours known as Artists Watercolours, but to avoid confusion, I've decided to give the Vintage Watercolours their own post.

These are a little bit more tricky to write about since they are not a range that suit my method of painting, but many people have enjoyed them and may wish to comment below.

As I prefer to use watercolours in dried out form in a palette - since part of the joy of watercolour is the convenience of having them always ready to use - I squeezed some of the three tubes I bought in Manchester (while at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in 2016) into half pans and allowed them to dry. They cracked badly and were almost impossible to paint with, so I added distilled water to soak and rewet and then added some glycerine, stirred and fiddled, and allowed to dry again. Here you can see how even with the glycerine added to try to hold them together, the dry pans cracked badly. 

Pip Seymour labelled Vintage Watercolour tubes and squeezed into full pans.

Here you can see my them painted out and fresh from the tube along with two more that a friend had bought. Cerulean and Ultramarine are really lovely and rich with gorgeous granulation but Payne's Grey was a disappointment as it is labelled as PB29 + PR102 so should have been a lovely warm grey, however my tube didn't match the lovely sample colour hand-painted on the tubes. Lemon Titanate is never a strong pigment, though Venetian red usually is.
Pip Seymour Vintage watercolour tube colours painted fresh from the tube. Lemon Titanate, Cerulean, Ultramarine Blue Deep, Venetian Red and Payne's Grey.
Here I have painted the sample from the dry pan (left) and from the wet tube colour (right) and you can see the difference. I've decided these tubes are not for me, but are an option for those who paint with fresh tube paint. Which, like Sennelier and M.Graham, is probably what they were designed for :-)

Pip Seymour Vintage (tube) colours painted out from dry sample (left) then wet sample (right) for each colour.

Edit - I did a search based on a comment below and found the historic colours in full pans from a Canadian art store, as well as the Artists Watercolours range. These don't show up on the Wallace Seymour website. It's complicated trying to keep on top of all these brands and ranges!

Happy painting :-)

Art Spectrum watercolours here
Blockx full range of Watercolours here
Daniel Smith new colours 2017 here
Daniel Smith full range here
Da Vinci range here
Dr PH Hydrus Watercolours here
Lukas watercolours here
M.Graham watercolours here
MaimeriBlu full range here
Mission Blue full range here
Old Holland full range here
Rembrandt Watercolours here
Schmincke new colours 2017 here
Schmincke full range here
Sennelier watercolours here
St Petersburg Watercolours here
Wallace Seymour Artists Watercolours here
White Nights watercolours here
Winsor & Newton Full range here

Still to come - Daler Rowney and Holbein - nearly there!


  1. Could you add gum arabic and a little honey with the glycerin to get them to dry out less and rewet better? Of course, then why buy them at all? Might as well buy another paint.

    I found a distributor that is willing to ship the Wallace Seymour Paints to the U.S. They are out of Canada and carry the entire line.

    When I win the lottery, I'm going to order 18 half pans.

    Select Fine Art Materials, www.selectfineartmaterials.com

    1. I tend to use glycerin rather than honey and yes perhaps you could add both glycerine and more gum Arabic, but I think it is best that you just use these from the tube or get the Artists Watercolour pans for beautifully behaved pan colours. If I explore the tubes further, I'll update...

      Thank you for the Select Fine Art Materials suggestion - they stock the Historic colours in full pans as well as the Artists Watercolour full pans. I wonder how they re-wet?

      Good luck in the lottery :-)