Saturday 15 June 2019

Winsor & Newton Water Colour Markers.

I had the chance to try out the full range of Winsor & Newton Water Colour Markers a few weekends ago, as part of a great day with the Sydney Urban Sketchers. We met at the Jasco offices and had a play with paints and pens. Thanks to Carla and the team :-)

This is not a tool I've used a lot, so it was good to see how it performed. The markers have a broad pointed tip and a brush tip. If you wash over them soon after drawing/colouring with them, they wash out as watercolour would. Leave them longer and the marks will be more distinct.

The pigments used are largely the phthalo pigments and other small particle sizes, so they can flow through the marker pen. Consequently many of the colours have been accurately named 'hue'. All but two are given an 'A' rating (Permanent) for lightfast, with Burnt Sienna and Lamp Black receiving AA rating.

Most are made from a relatively small number of pigments, so colour harmony should be easy to achieve.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Cadmium Yellow Hue, Gamboge Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue,
Cadmium Red Hue, Cadmium Red deep Hue, Pale Rose.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Lemon Yellow Hue, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Cadmium Red Hue,
Alizarin Crimson Hue, Permanent Rose, Quinacridone Magenta.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Mauve, Dioxazine Violet (whoops - miss-spelt), Mid Blue,
Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), Prussian Blue Hue, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade).

I have a few markers to explore more with, so added a line with the 'fine' end of the pen to some of the swatches.
Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Cerulean Blue Hue, Turquoise, Phthalo Green, Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade), Hooker's Green Dark, Hooker's Green.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Red, Raw Umber.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers - Burnt Umber, Sepia, Indigo, Payne's Grey, Ivory Black, Lamp Black.

These swatches were painted out in a Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook and there was no bleed-through.

Thursday 13 June 2019

My sketching tools

I do a lot of travelling and take my sketching supplies with me all over the world. I've often been asked to do a blog about what I carry with me, so here it is. I'm packing it up to take to Cairns today!

It wouldn't be the same kit for everyone, but may give you some ideas. Feel free to add other suggestions in the comments section :-)

I try to keep my kit as compact as I can, while maintaining a good range of tools to work with. I've sketched each tool here using my new Daniel Smith Jane's Grey watercolour.

The sketchbook is The Perfect Sketchbook B5. It was a kickstarter project but apparently it will be available again through It is made with Fabriano Artistico paper, 200gsm cold pressed. This is the 5th of these books that I've used so far and I really like them. The cover is recycled leather and the paper is a joy to use.

I love to begin each new book with swatches of one of my palettes. I'll talk about those below.

The tools are, from left, a 0.7 2B clutch/propelling pencil. I like the 0.7mm as it is not too fine for sketching but is also excellent for writing. I use either B or 2B leads - dark enough to do finished drawings or just light initial sketches, soft enough that it doesn't damage the paper.

Mottler - 1" size. I love this little brush. I use it for pre-wetting the background for sky washes or larger areas or for when I want more of a geometric shape.

Waterbrush. They are especially useful on planes or in galleries where it is difficult to manage a separate water container.

Uniball Broad white pen. For adding highlights or lost whites to a sketch or for writing on darker paper or darker washes.

Rosemary & Co Eradicator small sized. Great for lifting out fine details such as white window sills or for making minor corrections.

Post Office Nib in a cut down nib holder. I use this to draw or write with watercolour, loading the colour into the nib with a brush.

Small Scrubber brush - another correction tool. For cleaning up small splatters or softening parts of a wash.

Pilot custom Fountain pen (fine) with black De Atramantis Ink.

TWSBI 580 AL fountain pen (Extra Fine) with brown De Atramantis Ink

Pilot Custom Fountain pen (fine) with Urban Grey De Atramentis ink.

Porcupine Quill - for stirring paint in a palette or for scratching or denting the damp wash on a sketch to add fine details.

Da Vinci Maestro Travel Brush size 6

Faber Castell water-soluble graphite pencil 4B - I usually begin my sketches with this. If used lightly, the lines will wash into the watercolour and disappear. No need for erasing.

Da Vinci Maestro Travel Brush size 8.

The swatches on the page on the right is my usual sketching palette. This is a Herring Compact set up with 24 half pans. It includes my basic 15 Ultimate Mixing colours as well as some lovely convenience mixes and great granulating pigments. The full details are here. The Herring Compact palette is available in half pan or full pan models from Jackson's in the UK. I've adapted it slightly to hold the 24 colours and waterbrush.

The swatches on the left page are of my Pocket Palette with my plein air extras - special pigments that I may not often use but are lovely at times. The details of those colours are also found here at the bottom of the page.

I use two plastic Nalgene bottles for my painting water. One clean, the other dirty.

I also carry a water bottle with drinking water. I love the A4 and A5 bottles as they fit into my Messenger Bag - a bike bag I bought in Canada.

I use a travel stool - the Helinox Chair One - as it is light (less than 1kg), compact and comfortable. The low height of this stool means I can have my water bottles on the ground next to me - one less item to have the juggle - and also that I can work with my sketchbook in my knee.

I have a few sheets of paper towel and a few very small Nalgene bottles to carry the inks I use - De Atramentis Document Inks. Black, Brown and my own mixed grey or Urban Grey.

I have a compact raincoat, a compact down jacket, fingerless gloves, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and umbrella and a very fine woollen scarf available, depending on the season, so I can be out in most weather. Rain and snow are of course rather too challenging!

As I mentioned, I'm off to Cairns today and will take all this with me. I'm teaching a 5-day 'sketching with watercolour' workshop in the botanic gardens. I'll be posting on Instagram - Janeblundellartist

Happy sketching!

Jackson's Professional Watercolours. Full range.

Jackson's Art Supplies in the UK is an amazing store as they stock so many different brands of watercolour. They also have a signature range called Jackson's Artist Watercolour Paint. It's a manageable sized range of 50 colours, available in 10ml, 21ml, half and full pans, for an excellent price. They recently sent me a sample dot card so here they are. They were lovely to paint out as they rewet with ease. Made with pigment, Sudanese Kordofan gum arabic, water and honey.

I have scanned some, and photographed others to try to get the most accurate colour for these swatches. It's always the yellows, oranges and reds that are difficult to show perfectly.

These are close to reality, but the Cadmium Yellow Light is actually a little warmer - a lovely primary yellow colour.
Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Chinese White, Lemon Yellow, Aureolin, Cadmium Yellow Light,
Jackson's Yellow Light.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Indian Yellow Hue, Naples Yellow Hue, CadmiumYellow Deep, 
Cadmium Yellow Orange, Red Orange.

The Cadmium Red Orange really is this lovely bright orange-red. Colours look pretty accurate for these swatches. I think the Cadmium Red Purple sample may have been a bit too gummy - this is normally a strong deep red.
Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Cadmium Red Orange, French Vermilion, Cadmium Red Light, 
Bright Red, Cadmium Red Purple.

This is the old version of Permanent Alizarin Crimson Deep - it has been replaced with a three-pigment mix of PR179, PR209 and PY83. The Alizarin Crimson hue shown has also been replaced with PR83. Carmine makes a great primary red.
Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Permanent Alizarin Crimson Deep (old version), Alizarin Crimson (old version),
Jackson's Red (Pyrrole), Carmine, 
Opera Rose.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Quinacridone Purple, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet Light Hue, 
Cobalt Violet Deep Hue, Cobalt Blue.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - French Ultramarine Light, French Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, 
Cerulean Blue, 
Phthalocyanine Blue.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Indigo, Phthalocyanine Green, Viridian, Hooker's Green, Cadmium Green.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Permanent Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Burnt Sienna, Red Ochre, Venetian Red, Burnt Umber, Van Dyke Brown.

Jackson's Artist Watercolours - Warm Sepia, Payne's Grey, Neutral Tint, Ivory Black, Lamp Black.
Happy painting!

Monday 10 June 2019

American Journey Watercolours full range

American Journey watercolours are the Cheap Joe's home brand, available only through their website. They are available in 15 and 37ml tubes with a couple in 8ml tubes and some sets.

They started with a range of 49 colours which grew to 112 plus a range of 15 iridescent colours, but it has been cut back and is currently 113 including 11 iridescent colours, which are all included here. Some names have changed in the latest range, and are noted below.

These are lovely paints that rewet with ease. There are some whimsical names! As always I have tried to get the colours as close as I can. I've used a mix of photos and scans to try to capture the oranges and bright rose colours which are always a challenge.

Sour Lemon Hansa is a good choice for a clean mixing cool yellow.
American Journey Watercolours - Titanium White, Chinese White, Buff Titanium, Sour Lemon Hansa,
Aureolin (Mixture)

Bumblebee Yellow is my favourite mid or primary yellow pigment.
American Journey Watercolours - Bumblebee Yellow (Arylide), Carr Yellow, Joe's Yellow, 
Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium.

American Journey Watercolours - New Gamboge (was Gamboge Hue), Indian Yellow, Naples Yellow, 
Apricot (Flesh), Peachy Keen.

American Journey Watercolours - Halloween Orange, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Scarlet, Poppy,
Red Hot Mamma (Perm Red)

American Journey Watercolours - Cadmium Red Medium, Fire Engine Red (was Cherry Red), Joe's Red, 
Coral Red (Quin), Alizarin Crimson (Quin).

American Journey Watercolours - Quinacridone Red (was Pomegranate), Quin Red Rose Deep (was Rambling Rose),
Permanent Rose (Quin), Rose Madder (Quin), Rich Opera (was Wild Fuchsia).

American Journey Watercolours - Taylor's Flamingo Pink (Quin), Quinacridone Fuchsia, Janet's Violet Rose, 
Cobalt Violet, Passionate Purple (Thio Violet).

American Journey Watercolours - Quinacridone Violet, Orchid, Permanent Magenta (Quin), 
Royal Amethyst (Dioxazine), Ultramarine Violet.

American Journey Watercolours - Shadow, Moonglow, Periwinkle, Indanthrone Blue (was Midnight Blue), 
Ultramarine Blue.

American Journey Watercolours - Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue (Genuine), Indigo, Prussian Blue,
Prussian Blue (Green Shade)

American Journey Watercolours - Joe's Blue (Phthalo), Cerulean Blue Hue (was Arctic Ice), Manganese Blue (Mixture), 
Sky Blue, Peacock Blue.

American Journey Watercolours - Cobalt Teal, June Bug (Greenish Blue), Andrew's Turquoise, Blue Stone,
Joe's Green (Phthalo).

American Journey Watercolours - Viridian, Mint Julip, Hooker's Green Dark, Cobalt Green (Genuine),
Hooker's Green Light.

American Journey Watercolours - Chromium Oxide Green (was Rainforest), Sap Green, Olive Green, 
Earthen Green, Spring Green.

American Journey Watercolours - Skip's Green (Thio Yellow Green), Green Gold, Natural Gold Ochre, Yellow Ochre,
Transparent Oxide Yellow.

American Journey Watercolours - Raw Umber, Quin Gold (was Harvest Wheat), Raw Sienna, Brown Ochre Goethite,
Quinacridone Gold Deep.

American Journey Watercolours - Quinacridone Burnt Orange (was Copper Kettle), Burnt Sienna, Transparent Oxide Red, Quinacridone Sienna (Old Sienna), Natural Red Ochre.

American Journey Watercolours - Indian Red, Brown Madder Quinacridone,
Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet (was Lucky Penny), Hematite Burnt Scarlet, Raw Umber Violet.

American Journey Watercolours - Mummy, Burnt Umber, Transparent Oxide Brown, Sepia, Pat's Coastal Blue.

American Journey Watercolours - Coastal Fog, Getz Gray (Davy's), French Grey, Neutral Tint, Payne's Gray.

I didn't see Sag Harbor Gray in the newest colour chart, so assume it has been discontinued.
American Journey Watercolours - Magnetite Genuine, Lamp Black,
Sap Harbour Grey (discontinued but still on the website)
 It is difficult to show the iridescent colours, even with a black stripe underneath.

American Journey Watercolours - Iridescent Sour Lemon, Iridescent Rose Dore Quin, Iridescent Hot Tamale,
Iridescent Crimson Quin, Iridescent Quinacridone Red, Iridescent Rambling Rose.

American Journey Watercolours - Iridescent Ultramarine Blue, Iridescent Joe's Blue, Iridescent Joe's Green,
Iridescent Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Iridescent Burnt Sienna.
These are some of the discontinued colours, along with Potter's Pink Natural, Egyptian Blue Genuine, Lapis Lazuli, Han Purple, Egyptian Blue Hue, Azurite Genuine, Olive Oxide, Brown Derby, Red Iron Oxide Natural, Natural Hematite, Hematite Violet, Vivianite and a number of others.

American Journey Watercolours - Ornamental Red (discontinued),
Egyptian Blue Genuine (discontinued),
True Green (discontinued)

 Happy painting!

Sunday 9 June 2019

Renesans half pan watercolour range

I did a blog post about the Renesans Intense Watercolour range here in November 2018. The details on the website for the Half Pan (godet) range have changed since then. Here is the updated pigment information from 2019. Renesans is now available in Australia from Adamstown Art.

These 54 colours are made with gum Arabic and acacia honey.

I am very grateful to Renesans of Poland for providing me with samples to show the full range in swatches too. I understand these are all the current formulations, apart from perhaps two (#18 and #23) that may still be the previous pigments? They were a pleasure to paint out as they re-wet with ease, which is what is necessary with pan colours. 
Just a few pigments need to be used with care unless only for reproduction work or in a sketchbook - for example the lovely, but not lightfast, PG8, used as Hooker's Green and in Sap Green and a couple of others.

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Titanium White, Flesh Tint (previously called Naples Yellow Reddish), Persian Yellow (new formulation), Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Pale.

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Gamboge (Hue) (Previously called Gami Gutta), Cadmium Yellow Deep, Indian Yellow (new formulation), Cadmium Orange, Vermilion. 

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Cadmium Red Pale, Scarlet, Cadmium Red Deep, Carmine (new formulation), Magenta Lake (new pigment).

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Alizarine Madder Lake (new formulation), Geranium Lake, Mineral Violet (new formulation - I am not sure is this is the new version or the previous PV23:1), Indigo, Prussian Blue.

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Paris Blue, Phthalo Blue (Heliogen), Polish Blue (was called Poland Blue, now made with PB15:1 but I think this is the previous PB29 version), Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue.

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Emerald Green, Cobalt Green, Chromium Oxide Green, Hooker's Green.

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine Green, Cinnabar Green Pale, Zinc Green.

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Olive Green, Sap Green, Cinnabar Green Deep, Green Earth Natural, Venetian Yellow.

I far prefer single pigment earth colours, especially for the essentials like Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber.
Renesans Pan Watercolours - Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Stil de Grain, Dragon's Blood,
Claret (was called Monaco Bordeaux)
The Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber actually look a little less red in real life - I couldn't get the adjustment correct. However they are quite heavy and opaque.
Renesans Pan Watercolours - Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Sepia, Caput Mortuum, Burnt Umber

Renesans Pan Watercolours - Kassel Earth (was called Raw Kassel), Payne's Grey, Ivory Black (new formulation),
Lamp Black (new formulation).

Happy Painting!