Today the new paints I ordered arrived!
I bought a set of Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolours. For some reason they give you a selection of paints – not a fixed set of paints – in the set. The set I got was quite good for colour – the only colour I miss is Veridian (a dark bluish green) but I think I’ll buy that half pan (which is the name of the little pot of paint that you buy) seperately. There is plenty of room in the palette.
Here is the set I got:
It comes in a metal tin with a selection of ‘half pans’…
So I unwrapped them all (it was like Christmas!) and put them in the tray provided. This was quite fiddley because you have to adjust the metal in the tray so that each pan is held in place.
I arranged them in a way which helps with the way I see colours and regularly mix them and then put the tray in the tin…
After that comes the most scary bit – trying them out! I had read that the professional colours behave differently to the Cotman colours I’ve been using since I started working with watercolour. There seem to be mixed opinions about this so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Rather than doing a formal watercolour exercise I decided to just paint something a bit more abstract that I usually go for these days. It’s really just an excuse to play with the paint.
This is the design I decided to go with:
So I sketched out the picture:
Immediately I was confronted with two big differences:
- The paint colours were slightly different from what I expected in terms of the actual hue and…
- The colour was much MUCH richer.
This altered the picture I was hoping to make so, before I finished the painting I decided to sketch the design out again and redo it from scratch with colours which might work better for deeper colour.
This is how it turned out. While I’m a bit unsure about the painting – I was very very impressed with how strong the professional colour is but also a bit shocked at how different it is from the Cotman colours. It was really odd painting with these new paints because my internal, mental, index for the hue and tone of the colours I’m using is no longer working properly. The only solution to this, as far as I can see, is to practice and practice and practice with the new paints until my mind makes a new mental map of what each colour can do. Sadly that means that my control of colour and tone will be a bit poorer for a few weeks but I think the results of working with these stronger better paints will be worth the effort.
I also got some ‘gummed paper’ to fix my watercolour paper to the board and used this for the first painting I tried. Unfortunately the gummed paper stuck permanently to my painting and to the my board. I will have to sand the board down to get rid of it. I’m going to go back to using masking tape – I think it works much better for what I want.
Looking back at all of this I’m really glad I called this blog ‘Adventures in Art’ because learning all this stuff it really does feel like an adventure, with up and downs and different terrains to traverse. It would be fun to make a virtual ‘map’ of my travels – I’ve always loved the kind of map which tells a story. 🙂