I love to watercolour in my spare time. It’s one of my favourite things to do, so I decided to dedicate today’s blog to watercolours!
The art of making watercolours
Back in the day’s when there was no watercolour available, great artists made their own watercolours. Watercolours exists out of a pigment and a binder. The pigments came from nature, using various stones, sand or leaves and dried berries. The binder is very important. It depends on the binder to get the right type of paint. When water is used in the binder, you get watercolour paints, when oil is used, you get oil paints. Besides water, a binder for watercolour can consist out of a mixture of honey and gom so the paint sticks on the paper, a few drops of clove oil for the conservation and glycerine for the flow. Eventually pigments and binders will be bind together by mulling them for a long time on a glass plate.
I have a palette with artisan watercolours completely made of earth tones by Jazper Stardust. I liked the palette a lot, but nowadays I prefer to use Schmincke Horadam watercolours.
My search for the right watercolour palette
When searching for the right watercolours I noticed that watercolours come in different forms. They come in tubes, bottles or pans. I prefer the last one the most, because I arrange my own watercolours in a little metal box and I can take it everywhere with me. I have used many brands of watercolours, the Kuretake watercolours have very beautiful colours, but had quite an opaque consistency, something I did not like.
The St. Petersburg White Nights watercolours used to be one of my favourite. I loved to watercolour with them. Many colours were very vibrant and they flowed beautifully. I think they are the most affordable artist quality watercolours there is. What I noticed with the White Nights was that the consistency was very sticky, so when I opened my metal palette box, all the pans sticked to the lid! Eventually, I decided to find other watercolours.
I had heard great things about the Schmincke Horadam watercolours, but I wanted to make sure that they were the right watercolours for me. I used a watercolour dot card to try them out and immediately I fell in love. I have two palette’s of them, the Horadam palette with 24 half pans and one palette where I selected my own colours. I like the consistency of the watercolours, how they react with water and the way they flow is amazing!
All the watercolour brands I named above are Artisan watercolours, meaning they consist out of a lot more pigment and are more lightfast than Academic/Student grade watercolours, but that are also quite more expensive. When starting out, I’d recommend you using Academic watercolours, they are amazing as well. I decided to go for the Artisan quality of watercolours, because I use them to make prints, which I sell and I want to make my prints of the best quality as possible.
My watercolour experience
I could not watercolour at all when I stared and still I struggle, but I like to paint and so I have practiced a lot. Every time I learn something new, see new effects with water and it excites me to do new paintings with it. When starting out I normally haven’t planned what to paint. I just make sure I have music blasting through my headphones and I get in a sort of dream. You know the feeling when you are captured by a book and you forget the world around you for a moment. For me that is the same with watercolouring.
I definitely recommend you to try watercolours, it is quite an experience! This