Even at first look, the paints accessible within the Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours vary will pique the joy of any watercolour painter. These are artist-quality paints, finely floor for vibrance and readability, and every is very pigmented for a beautiful power and depth of color. The vary boasts a powerful 136 shades, 92 of that are single pigment colors, which is designed to allow brilliant, clear colour-mixing. By testing eight colors from the watercolour paint vary, I used to be capable of see for myself the wealth of color and excessive pigment load that this model prides itself on – and rightly so, for my part.
First Impressions of Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours
I have to admit, my expectations for these watercolour paints had been excessive, as I do know that the Michael Harding vary of oil paints already has a superb fame. The watercolours arrived in sturdy 15 ml tubes, neatly labelled, with the identify of paint, pigment quantity, and a band of the corresponding color on the entrance of the tube. As somebody whose organisational expertise will not be precisely incredible, I at all times discover this a really useful characteristic in the case of tube paints! The one problem I had right here was the color on the Indanthrone Blue tube: it seems extra violet than blue to me, which meant I did seize the flawed paint a few occasions by mistake. The squeezing consistency of the paint was very related throughout the eight tubes I examined: creamy, thick, and somewhat sticky. This I think is partly because of the elements employed in making these paints, which embrace high-quality gum arabic and honey.
The care that has been dedicated to producing this vary was evident in each paint I examined, with every color boasting its personal distinct character. The spectrum of watercolour paints supplied is designed to go well with any artist’s goal, boasting traditionally fascinating pigments similar to Rose Madder and Lapis Lazuli, in addition to many trendy synthetics which supply stunning vibrant color.
Testing Colors From the Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours Vary
When choosing my paints, I elected to check a spread of brights and darks, six of that are single pigment colors and two of that are blends, as I used to be excited to see whether or not there was a lot distinction between them, and simply how properly these paints would combine.
This paint is probably the strongest of all the colors I examined. It is usually a surprisingly good mixer: I’ve discovered up to now that deep orange tones are inclined to muddy somewhat when blended, as they’re typically created with a mix of purple and yellow pigments, moderately than a real orange. Michael Harding’s model of this color makes use of a single pigment, PO34, which softens right into a pale, elegant wash. This paint is marked as semi-transparent, and when used thickly it has an actual robustness of color. This may be a stunning addition to the palette of any botanical artist or painter of florals, with its vary of wealthy color.
Wealthy, brilliant, and vibrant, this excellent purple color is a fastidiously crafted mix of two pigments: PV19, a violet shade; and PB29, which most individuals will recognise by its different identify: Ultramarine Blue. This turns into evident when sufficient water or somewhat salt is added to a wash of Imperial Purple, encouraging the paint to separate out and reveal a pleasant trace of blue underlying the deep violet color. This distinctive mixture is what offers Imperial Purple its exceptional depth. As with all Michael Harding colors, somewhat of this color goes a great distance, because of the paint’s excessive pigment load. It’s a clear color, giving brilliant, granulating washes, and I believe it might be a beautiful addition to a floral or botanical artist’s palette.
This yellow is pure sunshine: a delightfully heat, buttery color. It’s made utilizing PY83, a clear non-granulating pigment, which supplies this paint an admirable, in addition to an excellent depth. It should stand as much as heavy watering-down and may nonetheless produce, clear washes of fantastic transparency. As a heat tone it tends in the direction of the ‘purple’ finish of the color spectrum, and as such is a pure mixer with fellow heat colors similar to pinks, oranges, or reds. That is one other that I’ll actually be including to my common palette.
I used to be so excited to do that color as Opera Rose is an everyday favorite of mine.; and in contrast to others, the Michael Harding model is non-fugitive, and has lightfast score. It is usually splendidly brilliant; and totally, totally pink. The pleasant factor about this paint is that whereas the color is extremely vivid when used instantly from the tube, it may be closely watered right down to create the dreamiest of rosy hues. This color lends itself most naturally to watercolour florals or botanical artwork, nonetheless I imagine that this color’s versatility would make it an fascinating addition to a panorama artist’s palette as properly. It additionally mixes superbly with Indian Yellow to create some fantastic sundown tones.
One other of my common favorite colors, I used to be thrilled with the richness and depth of color on this watercolour paint. I’ve at all times had a gentle spot for Perylene Inexperienced because it was one of many first tube paints I ever purchased; and as such, I used to be delighted to seek out that the Michael Harding model is a real pleasure to color with. Apparently, though referred to as a inexperienced, the pigment behind the great thing about this color is technically a black: PBk31. Maybe this can be a clue to its intensely darkish color, which might nearly go for black when squeezed recent from the tube. Nonetheless, I discovered this paint works finest when blended with sufficient water to convey out its gentle forested tones. It’s a stunning color for a panorama painter, and excellent for a plein air kit-palette the place house and weight is at a premium, because the vary of sunshine and darkish tones you will get from this single pigment color is, I believe, a exceptional high quality.
In direction of the darker finish of the spectrum, Michael Harding’s Perylene Violet is a deep and characterful color. It is a wealthy purplish paint with beautiful dusky hues, which makes it each mixer normally, and a very good neutraliser for different brighter hues of watercolour paint. Along with this, I discovered it to be a lovely, elegant color in its personal proper. It may be used thickly for daring darkish marks, or blended with loads of water for a clean, gentle wash of shadowed violet. That is one other single pigment semi-transparent color, with a superb lightfast score and little to no granulation.
This blue has a splendidly wealthy, deep-sea color. When squeezed from the tube the paint may be very thick, as are all of the Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours. When laid to paper the color is deep but brilliant, providing a pleasant readability. However I discovered when testing that this paint really comes into its personal when blended with a bigger quantity of water. The richness of this color allowed me to skinny it proper right down to create pale, clear washes with out seeing any change in hue or color splitting. I think that this could make a superb layering color and is at present threatening to switch Ultramarine in my plein air palette.
One of many few watercolour paints within the Michael Harding vary that’s not a single pigment color, Moonlight is nonetheless a lovely and stylish shade. Crafted from three separate pigments, this warm-toned impartial has a pleasant tendency in the direction of granulation, notably on chilly press paper. When blended with sufficient water, this paint will readily break up out and supply gentle pinkish tones underlaid by a touch of sea-green: a singular and sudden high quality that I will surely wish to experiment extra with. This paint has excessive transparency and lightfastness score, in addition to being a low staining paint, which implies that it lifts properly too. I additionally seen that when dry, a thick wash of this paint will retain a barely shiny end, paying homage to a shellac ink.
Lifting and Staining Properties of Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours
Every paint I examined carried a remarkably excessive pigment load. A number of of the colors I chosen had excessive staining energy, specifically the Indian Yellow, Orange Sundown, and Indanthrone Blue. As such, these colors are cussed, and didn’t ‘carry’ properly once I tried to tug some color up from the paper with a moist brush. Nonetheless, the opposite paints had been extra cooperative. Moonlight specifically lifted very properly, leaving clear, brilliant paper behind on each scorching press and chilly press sheets.
Evidently the twenty-year look forward to Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours was properly value it. The excessive pigment load implies that these paints are glorious worth, as somewhat goes a great distance. Basically, I used to be impressed by the readability, the vibrancy, and the sheer great thing about the colors I examined. With a spread of 136 paints to select from, I might solely check a fraction of the paints that the Michael Harding vary provides; nonetheless, I discovered these to be a really promising pattern, and I’m already planning so as to add extra to my assortment.
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Store Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours on jacksonsart.com