Buying New Watercolours
I have been painting with oldish box of Winsor and Newton watercolours that I assume to be the Cotman series. The box is so old, however, that I cannot be certain. I have been thinking about light fastness of the colours I use and also the amount of the pigment, therefore I set out to update my watercolours definitely to the artist quality.
Where to begin?
I looked at several blog posts and colour makers' websites, compared, and absorbed information. I do not have huge budget so I was really uncertain what to choose. Then I happened to find an article through Pinterest at Swinton's website and the watercolour travel palette caught my eye. Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and Ultramarine are probably the the colours I use the most and getting sort of confirmation that I might get along for a while made the upgrade seem a lot more possible. I could begin really limited and then expand to the direction I wanted. I did some experimenting with the Siennas and Ultramarine I already had and decided this was the way to go.
Pans or Tubes?
The next problem was, of course: pans or tubes?
I am personally more accustomed to pans but I know that many people speak highly of tubes and that they are widely used. I thought that this would be an ideal time to find out more and experiment. I went to the local art store, I prefer to see art supplies in person, so to speak, you can be certain that your monitor is not distorting the colours of the colour charts, and just handling the items gives sometimes a wealth of information. This certainly limits the availability of different brands but lowers the possibility of buying shades that do not go well together. And it is so nice to chatter with the staff about the colours and papers and so on :)
This store had tubes by both W&N and Sennelier and pans only by W&N. My chosen limited palette was possible either with the W&N pans or the Sennelier tubes. First time I went to look I chose one tube of Phtalocyanine Blue by Sennelier because I thought I could paint a monochromatic painting, just to see what I liked about the tube form. I came to the conclusion that for me it is just about the same whether the colour comes from a tube or a pan. It is just a case of being accustomed to one or the other for me personally.
Just to try something new I chose the Sennelier tubes and bought the French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and Aliz Crimson Lake.
Next time I will write how I have found it to paint with these colours and what kinds of additions, changes and experiments I have made.
Wishing you all the best,