Posted on Thu 12 May 2016
My preferred choice of watercolour paints for the past 20 years has been Winsor & Newton Artists’ quality colours due to their consistent strength and transparency. Just recently, however, I have been introduced to MaimeriBlu Artists’ watercolour, which is made in Italy, but readily available to buy in the UK. I was initially drawn to the brightness of the colours on the chart and noticed the unusual names of some of the paints. I’ve never heard of faience blue, for instance, or Mars brown before. I ordered a good selection of colours avoiding readymade greens, as I prefer to make my own by mixing blues and yellows together. Squeezing out the bright new colours from the tubes onto the palette for the first time felt quite exciting.
Before starting the painting I made colour swatches of each tube on a piece of paper then diluted them to differing strengths to see the various shades each colour could produce. It’s always advisable to do this with any new paints; practise mixing colour combinations particularly shades of green, listing the names of the colours you’ve used in the various mixes to keep for future reference.
To experiment with my new colours in a painting I chose two photographs (see below) that I had taken in spring of Hidcote Garden as reference material. Combining elements of the two photos gave me more information to work from than just using only one of them. I decided to use the detail of the wall and blue gate shown in Photograph 1, which would become the focal point in my painting, and include the detail of the textured hedges and distant trees. Photograph 2 clearly showed the colours and shapes of the foreground tulips and a wide variety of greens, which would allow me to use the washes that I had practised mixing.
Demonstration Tulips at Hidcote Garden
You will need
Saunders Waterford 300gsm NOT watercolour paper (31.5x25.5cm)
Rounds Nos. 12, 6, 4, & 1
Watercolour palette, HB pencil, Colour Shaper, ruling pen, masking fluid and a small piece of natural sponge
Primary blue cyan