Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Renesans Intense Watercolours - Complete Range

Renesans watercolours come from Poland.  At the time of writing (November 2018), their website was being developed. It now shows a large range of art materials including three watercolour ranges.

The samples I used were from the Intense Watercolour range of tube colours. The Extra Fine Watercolour  range is 54 pan colours, with different names and pigments from the Intense range. The third range is a liquid watercolour called Liquarel, and comes in 32 colours. There are also oils, pastels, acrylics, gouache, brushes and many other items available.

There are 70 colours in the Intense Watercolours range, 50 of them single pigment colours. I have not tried the pans or tubes themselves but just painted out each colour from the dots of paint. They are available in Europe, and in the US from a Maine based Etsy store alittlecreativeme, and I thank April for the dot card. The website mentions changing the formula to add more honey but I don't know if that change pre or post-dates these samples.

I am always very grateful to the generous and thoughtful people who send me paint samples as it has enabled me to get closer to completing my (somewhat crazy) project to swatch out 'every professional watercolour available in the world'. I am also grateful to the companies who put the time and money into creating dot cards of their paints as it is such a perfect way to test out colours and only buy the ones you will actually use.

Renesans Watercolours - full range dot card page 1 

Renesans Watercolours - full range dot card page 2

This dot card has all the information needed printed on it - pigment information, lightfast ratings and how staining each colour is. I've copied the information onto the individual swatches. The filled in triangle is very staining, the empty triangle non-staining and of course the half filled triangle moderately staining. The lightfast ratings were given based on teh blue wool scale where 8 and 7 are excellent. On the new website, however, the lightfast ratings are now given as I, II or III where III is excellent.

They are gentle, well behaved watercolours in a range of 70 colours. They appear not to have any ox gall added as they behave in a predictable manner, but I don't know whether that is true. I have read that they contain honey and a high quality gum Aribac from Kordofan region (Sudan). The dots rewet with ease but the colours are quite gentle - they are not super powerful to paint with like some I've tried that are almost like painting with ink.

Renesans Watercolours - Titanium Opaque White, Permanent Chinese White, Naples Yellow Pale, Naples Yellow Deep, Naples Yellow Reddish.
I appreciate that the labels indicate where a hue is used rather than the genuine pigment.
Renesans Watercolours - Titanium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Chromium Yellow (Hue), Cadmium Yellow Pale, Aureolin Hue
Transparent Gold Ochre is a mix that can also be used to create quinacridone gold hues. The cadmiums painted out very smoothly. this set is actually a little brighter than it appears on my screen.
Renesans Watercolours - Transparent Yellow, Transparent Gold Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Orange, Indian Yellow.

All the cadmiums seem very finely ground. 
Renesans Watercolours - Chromium Ornage (Hue), Cadmium Red Pale, Scarlet Red, Cadmium Red Medium,
Cadmium Red Deep.

I've not come across PR48:4 before. Looks very like Quinacridone Rose PV19. In this range that colour is called Quinacridone Red.
Renesans Watercolours - Permanent Carmine, Cadmium Bordeaux, Quinacridone Red, Purple Magenta, Manganese Violet.

Renesans Watercolours - Ultramarine Violet (Hue), Mineral Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Helio Blue.

Cobalt Blue Deep is the pigment also used in cerulean blues and some turquoises.
Renesans Watercolours - Phthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue Pale, Cobalt Blue Deep, Indanthrone blue, Indigo (Hue).

Renesans Watercolours - Cobalt Turquoise, Prussian Green, Helio Turquoise, Permanent Green, Sap Green.

Renesans Watercolours - Cobalt Green Pale, Phthalo Green, Cobalt Green Deep, Chromium Oxide Green, Olive Green.

Golden Green was a bit of a surprise - made with five pigments! I really loved the Gold and Yellow Ochres.
Renesans Watercolours - Green Earth, Hooker's Green, Golden Green, Gold Ochre, Yellow Ochre.
I also really loved the Orange and Red Ochres and Mars Bordeaux - a great earthy rainbow of warm colours!
Renesans Watercolours - Raw Sienna, Orange Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Red Ochre, Mars Bordeaux.

Polish Brown, is made with an unfamiliar version of PBr25. I wonder if it has been heated? Normally it looks like Brown Madder also seen below.
Renesans Watercolours - Mars Brown, Potter's Pink, Brown Madder, Burnt Umber, Polish Brown.
Most of the colours are really consistent but I found the raw umber and the raw sienna difficult to get any stronger. This may be quite different if working with fresh paint or a larger sample.
Renesans Watercolours - Raw Umber, Sepia, Vandyke Brown, Perylene Violet (Hue), Payne's Grey.
The Neutral Grey is the same mix as Schmincke uses and some of the other names are the same as Schmincke, such as helio blue and purple magenta. I do like to see mixed greys without black pigments.
Renesans Watercolours - Mineral Grey, Neutral Grey, Ivory Black, Mars Black, Lamp Black.

Here is the information about the pan colours. It's a smaller range of colours, numbered and named completely differently. Although some are the same colour name or pigment or both, I'd treat them as a different range. It's good to see Cerulean (Coeruleum) in this set as it is a wonderful pigment for painting the sky, and Geranium Lake might be a good strong crimson.

I have read that if using for plein air, the pans are easier to manage as the tube colours have a lot of honey and take a long time to dry. I hope to test out the pan colours some time soon.

Renesans Watercolour half pan range page 1

Renesans Watercolour half pan range page 2

There is also a gouache range. I'll show some of those in another post.

Happy painting!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Sketching in the Greek Islands

In October 2019, I am really looking forward to leading a sketching and painting tour of 6 beautiful Greek Islands - Rhodes, Katellorizo, Symi,  Nissiros, Kos and Kalymnos. the tour begins in Rhodes on Sunday the 6th October and finishes in Kalymnos on the 24th October. See the full itinerary here

I was last in the Greek Islands in 2007 and went to 4 gorgeous islands, enjoying exploring each using a different form of transportation. Motorbike for one, bus for another, a fun buggy for another...such variety and beauty to enjoy. The photos are from that trip and I am looking forward to seeing so many new islands.

This trip will have morning sketching and painting classes but participants (and their partners) will be free to explore and enjoy each island in the afternoons.

Painting subjects include colourful fishing boats, dramatic mountains, domed monasteries, white-washed bougainvillea filled lanes, dense olive groves, medieval fortresses, turquoise coves, cafes, lively sketches of locals and so much more. all levels of ability are welcome including non-artist participants.

Come and join me! Fill a sketchbook with wonderful memories in the Greek Islands.

Contact to make a booking, and let me know you are coming - send an email to me at