Thursday, 21 January 2016

Watercolours - testing various paints

I paint and sketch in watercolour since the 1990s and I love the quality and immediacy that watercolours give.
Through the years I've used some various makes of watercolour and always love trying new makes.  However, I tend to revert to W&N and I wanted to explore why.
I've done a little test of painting the same view (a tree in the cemetery near my house) in various makes that I've currently have on stock and on the same paper, following the same process (colour first,  a few w/colour pencil marks and at least two other watercolour paint layers. The makes : Kreme Pigmente,  Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith (colour chart), Vallejo (liquid watercolour).
Here is what I've found :
More pigmented.
Less translucent and therefore less layers, less subtlety possible.
Grainy and some interesting unexpected effects.
Some colour mixing (off paper) but opacity does not allow clean mixing.
Good earthy colours to use straight off palette.
This is what I am used to.
Translucent and good mixing possibilities off paper (I mix my greens).
Multiple layering retains freshness
Little graininess on most colours
Good reaction with w/c pencils
Clean colours with little graininess
It takes longer to dry so got quite a bit of wet on wet effect on paper.
I did not mixed the colours ad limited supply of  paint (sample palette of 238 colours).
Multiple layers retain freshness
Liquid watercolour applied with water brush (the others were with normal brushes)
Vibrant colours (not light fast so not archival) very punchy!
More chaotic mixing on paper only - but fun.
Mixing before painting possible.
Less layers possible - as freshness and vibrancy would disappear.

My favourites:
I will stick to W&N for painting but may add the odd colour from other makes for effect, specific colours.
On the road, and on my sketchbook  I'll keep using Vallejo amazing bright colours - their light and vibrancy appeal to me.