I've been doing a bit of reading recently, books and blogs, and have been struck by the variety of colours and manufacturers that people use. Before now I've been fairly conservative in my selection of pigments using most of the standards that appear in most boxes, resisting the temptation to branch out. That is until the last few weeks. In a fit of artist envy I decided to have a splurge on a bunch of paints that until now had been a mystery to me. I was particularly attracted by what I was reading of Daniel Smith paints and on investigation was bewildered by the range. I've long been a Winsor and Newton man not seeing any reason to wander. So what to buy? Looking at the work of some artists that I admire I drew up a short list and sent for the selection. Exotic names like Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Green Apatite Genuine, Amethyst Genuine, Perylene Maroon and a bunch of Quinacridones.
Having taken delivery of the new 'toys' I set about investigating what they were like. This is an interesting process as I'm coming across characteristics that are new to me. As an example of what I mean I've posted a few pictures here of some swatches made with one of the new ones, Green Apatite Genuine. I ordered this colour, having read that Yvonne Harry (watercolourflorals.blogspot.com) was using it as the basis of her greens in her wonderful flower paintings. The main characteristic of this pigment is the degree of granulation that occurs. Whilst many pigments granulate I've never come across one that does so in such spectacular fashion. It's giving me quite a bit of food for thought as to how I will use it in future.
Green Apatite with Winsor Yellow
Green Apatite with Cadmium Yellow Light
Green Apatite with Burnt Sienna
In the photographs you can see the aggregations of small dark particles that deposit whenever this pigment is used.
Playing about with swatches is interesting but the real fun is to be had in making images and so on to put the new paints to use. I decided to carry on with the Iris project and selected a bloom that might use some of my new acquisitions.
Iris - Watercolour on Rough paper 16" x 12"