The Reinvention of Watercolours
The Reinvention of Watercolours
Click the paint swatch to discover each colour’s Pigment and other important details about the colour.
Please consider these images as a guide only.
Michael Harding Watercolours
Currently, 134 colours available in the range. All swatch tests done consistently as possible. Paints tested on Fabriano Artistico, cold pressed and hot pressed, and Arches HP and CP.
General observations, paints are highly pigmented, finely milled, and unique, in that they can appear similar to ink in their intensity of colour. Definitely not filled with any unwanted extras. One of my first impressions laying them down on paper – these paints are made with care.
This range of quality watercolours benefits from being mixed on a ceramic palette or in ceramic dishes, in order to pre-mix the amount you need with water and to get used to the paint-to-water ratio. For most of these colours, a little goes a long way.
If you are an artist who tends to go back and retouch and fiddle, be careful not to overwork areas, or be too heavy-handed.
I started this painting on Fabriano CP, delighted with the intensity of the colours, only to realise I had quickly lost my white areas. I then started to lift here and there, and the results were satisfactory, but due to some staining, I could not completely restore the white of the paper. It helps to know which colours stain, if you want to be able to lift and lighten areas.
Next I painted on Fabriano hot pressed paper. I found the colour got sucked into the fibres rather quickly and got saturated with water. I thought I was painting on the wrong side, but no, I double-checked. Faulty sheet perhaps? I enjoyed the colours used. Brilliant Pink is one of the colours that contain white, and I can see it being used in illustrations.
I decided to test on another sheet of Fabriano HP and did a rough painting. Yes, the sizing was much better on this sheet! I was able to paint a soft sky. I also enjoyed seeing the lovely shade of green that came from mixing Cosmic Blue with Yellow Ochre.
Arches HP was much easier for me to paint on. Although you can glaze colours, still, be careful not to overwork – build carefully from light to dark, if painting detailed objects, animals or botanicals.
I so enjoyed the Moss Green, Quin Coral and Purple Haze. The Michael Harding range of colours are beautiful and also, I found, true to what they are originally meant to be. Many of the colours have the quality of ranging from very dark, to also very light. And a few unusual colours that will surprise you as you paint with them, producing lovely pigment separation effects on the palette and paper. (Forest Green was one of these)
A favourite of mine is Moonlight, with its colour separation and distinct granulation. (I only used Titanium White for the stars and slight highlights on the Moon).
In this next painting, I used Magenta and Cerulean Blue in a light wash for the sky. I watered down the greens at first, then layered, and also added a little Magenta to the shrub area.
The Michael Harding range also has a variety of earth tones to choose from, and quite a few of natural earth origin. In addition to Chinese White and Titanium White, there are 12 other colours in the range that contain white, giving extra colour variety.
I am looking forward to experimenting some more with these paints!