I've been wanting to experiment with watercolours for some time now, and the demonstration that artist Evan Woodruffe gave to the Fellowship of Artists last week was most inspiring!
There are all sorts of new products available, including an entirely new range of watercolour paints, new synthetic brushes that hold as much as natural bristle brushes, and new grounds and substrates to change, or even take the place of paper. Watch this space!!
To begin with I'm sticking to the 300gms rough paper I love, and trying out the new QOR paints, by Golden.
I visited Studio Art Supplies to chat with Evan, and he provided Nickel Azo Yellow, Pyrrole Red Medium and what I believe is the newest blue pigment, Indanthrone Blue. I'm going to stick with this limited pallet for a few more paintings while I get the hang of this new product.
Golden has used a new polymer binder called Aquazol, and not the traditional gum arabic. Reviews suggest that this new binder holds a greater concentration of pigment, allowing for more intense watercolour results. This is a major change in the traditionally conservative area of watercolours.
The colour is supposed to remain brighter after drying, which is a big change. Usually watercolour pigment is significantly lighter once dried, which can take a long time to become familiar with, and adjust for. You see this a lot with beginner watercolour results, where the final result can be lacking in tonal range and depth of colour.
They are also supposed to be much better at re-wetting so that left over paint can be made resoluble and used easily rather than discarded.
So, here are my results from my first play with them this morning. They certainly are bright and intense! The difference when dry is almost imperceptible, which is quite a new experience.
They felt the same to use as traditional watercolours, with the same flow / mixing on the page. Where the pigments have naturally moved into nearby areas of water or wet pigment, the results are much more obvious due to the strength of the colour. So they feel the same to apply (which is a good thing, watercolour is magic to paint with!) but with much more obvious results. To me they feel as if they have an almost ink-like intensity.
I have had a range of experiences when trying out new watercolours. I love Winsor and Newton, but like to try new products. Some I have used have felt more like plastic than paint, and although are good artist quality products, have given very disappointing results. Some are gimmicky, and others just feel plain wrong. QOR however are different enough to provide a noticeable change in results, which is inspiring. I will be continuing with them, and have a new range of subjects / styles in mind that I think these new pigments will be perfect for.
Thanks Evan for the inspiration, Golden is now included in my bag of tricks!
QOR Watercolours are available from both Studio Art Supplies and Gordon Harris.
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