I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or the time in my life or I’m just feeling a little restless but, after being steadfastly loyal (on the whole!) to the Winsor and Newton Professional range of watercolour pigments, I’m considering a change!
My current palette mainly consists of the same 18 or so pigments, on top of which I have a couple of other tubes such as titanium white that I might use on occasion. I’ve used the Winsor and Newton Professional range pretty much exclusively since I started painting. My reasoning was that if it was good enough for the likes of Edward Wesson and Edward Seago, then it was good enough for me.
I was also of the belief that at the stage I was at as a painter, the difference between say Winsor and Newton and Daniel Smith pigments probably wouldn’t make or break any of my work and that my main focus should be on learning how to paint with what I’ve got!
More recently, there have been some economic reasons too. I tend to buy all of my paints second-hand on eBay, which saves me a small fortune in paints! It also means that I’ve amassed quite a large stock of paints, many of which are ones that I know I will use, some of which are colours that I’m unlikely to venture near but which came as part of a job lot of paints. Any move towards a different range of paints will most likely mean me having to spend more money than I currently do!
I have dallied with other brands, mainly Daniel Smith, but I’ve never quite come to terms with extravagant naming conventions, so am never quite sure what colour is being described.
Recently, however, I’ve had my head turned by a relatively new range of watercolour pigments made by Michael Harding. He’s far better known for his oil paints, which have been in production for many years now, but his range of watercolours is relatively new to the market. I’ve seen that they’re available at both Ken Bromley Art Supplies and Jackson’s Art Supplies, where you can also see a review of these new pigments.
For anyone that might be interested, here’s a colour chart that I downloaded from Ken Bromely Art supplies:
I think part of what’s driving my dilemma is pure restlessness, a desire to try something different. I’m also wondering however if a different brand may well have different qualities about it that might make a difference to my paintings.
After initially thinking that the only way to find out would be to buy a complete set of colours to replace my existing pallette, the realisation that this approach would cost me in the region of £150 made me think twice! What if I really don’t get along with them, that’d be a terrible waste of money!
Where I’m currently at is:
- Sharing my dilemma with everyone here is case anyone has an opinion or any insights to offer about Michael Harding watercolour paints or other manufacturers that you think I should definitely be considering
- Choosing a small selection of my most used colours from my palette to test and compare (here I’m thinking Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and maybe Alizarin Crimson
- Not doing anything at all and seeing if this restlessness passes of its own accord!
I’d really welcome any advice, opinions or experiences that others might have before I splash out on what may well turn out to be a fruitless exercise!
In other news
Following last week’s post I’ve been keeping up with some more of my figure work, this time returning to a view that I first painted back in 2016 after a trip to Paris. Sadly this photograph doesn’t do this image much justice but the light was going and I had to get this photographed in time to post it!
What’s interesting is that I didn’t refer back to my first effort until I came to write this post, and suddenly seeing the two efforts side by side is quite illuminating – and not necessarily all in a good way! Here they are side by side:
I’ll leave it to others to judge but I think I was perhaps hoping for something a little more startling! I’m not going to stew on it for too long for fear that I decide never to pick up a brush again!
Before I get too despondent! Here’s something much more cheerful that is also quite seasonal!
I was delighted to sell this painting, ‘From the edge of the pumpkin patch, Poynings’ on Sunday 30th October!
It was purchased from my website, almost a year to the day after I’d painted it, and obviously just before Halloween! At the time of writing this it’s still in transit to the buyer so, as ever, my fingers are firmly crossed that it’s well received!