Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Watercolour Paint Swatches

Hello and a very belated Happy New Year to you all! Sorry for my lack of blogging recently - I have actually made several cards but haven't had time to show them on my blog yet.

I am currently participating in a fabulous Online Card Class, Watercolour for card makers - Intermediate Techniques.This was part of my Christmas gift from my lovely husband, who also bought me a beautiful set of 36 Japanese Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, a colouring book and some die storage drawers - I'm so lucky!

The teacher, Dawn Woleslage (of Wplus9 fame), set a series of Pre-Class exercises to help us to familiarise ourselves with the properties of our own particular paints. First of all we were advised to make paint swatches of all of our watercolour paints, to enable us to better assess their individual qualities. I painstakingly transferred the swatch charts onto Bockingford 140lb Cold Press watercolour paper using pencil and Black Faber Castel Pitt artist pens (waterproof India Ink). The thick black line within each rectangle is used to establish whether the colours are Transparent, Semi - Transparent or Opaque. One coat of each colour paint was applied to the whole area, then a second coat was added only to the right side of each rectangle to show how the colours become deeper with a second layer of paint.

My first swatch chart shows my new Japanese Gansai Tambi paints from Kuretake. They are deeply pigmented and I love the vibrant colours! As an added bonus there are three metallic paints included too.

My second swatch chart was painted using my set of 24 Winsor and Newton Cotman pan paints - also a gift from my husband several years ago. This is my trusty set, which I used to paint landscapes etc when I attended evening classes a couple of years ago. The Cotman range are student grade watercolours which tend to be not so translucent, due to the quantity of binders used during production.

Out of curiosity I purchased a few tubes of Winsor and Newton's Professional watercolour paints to see how they compared to my student grade Cotman set. My third swatch chart below shows these, although I only have 14 colours at the moment. I deliberately left spaces on my chart to include future purchases when I can add to my collection (although there are actually 96 colours in the range, so this may take a while)! The difference in quality was immediately noticeable, with the paints having a more delicate feel to them due to their translucent properties. This makes them much more suitable for techniques such as glazing, where paint is layered. I am looking forward to becoming more familiar with these paints, which I think will be ideal for botanical type paintings.

Thank you for reading this far and I shall be back soon with some completed colour mixing exercises.


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