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Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year, New Paints, New Color Chart!


After constant activity (cleaning, cooking & company) from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I'm finally starting to get back into the swing of things. I'm not exactly in a highly productive mode... but they say attitude follows action so I'm going to act like I'm bursting with energy and creative enthusiasm and see what happens. I'll let you know if it works ;-)

I've had a nagging issue with watercolor. I like to keep paint on my palette, ready for use at any time. Perhaps that comes from starting out in oils and being able to pick up a dab of color at will without having to squeeze paint from a tube. With watercolor, if you keep paint in your palette it dries out and eventually ends up looking like a dried cracked river bed. Then it takes quite a bit of water and working to get it back into usable form. Which is really hard on soft watercolor brushes... and I just get tired of teasing that brick hard color into a soft consistency.

Enter M. Graham Watercolors... my heroes! M. Graham watercolors are formulated with honey (yes, the same kind you eat) and because honey is a humectant... well.... let me give it to you in their words.....
we created a watercolor with exceptional amounts of pigment in an old fashioned binding medium of pure gum arabic and natural blackberry honey. The result is watercolor of extraordinary strength that is easily diluted for smooth, controlled washes and deeper "darks". Alive with strength and intensity, watercolor made with honey absorbs moisture from the air, preventing hardening on the palette or in the tube. http://www.mgraham.com/html/watercolor.asp

Notice that last phrase? The part about "preventing hardening on the palette or in the tube"? Yes! That's what I've been after!

I chose M. Graham after doing quite a bit of internet research because they are reasonably priced (I usually order from Blick) and got great reviews for quality and color. A couple of other manufacturers also make a non-drying watercolor paint, but based on what I read, M.Graham is second to none in quality and is priced much more competitively.

So I ordered about a dozen colors, bought a new palette (an airtight Mijello - which I love) and had fun filling some of the 24 wells with color. I then made a new color chart using almost M. Graham paints exclusively (except a couple of colors that I forgot to order).

I've done some experimenting, and after letting the paint sit in the palette for almost two weeks when I went back to it, I dipped a moistened brush into the paint... and... heaven! ... the paint sprang to moist, luscious life with one touch!

Most satisfying :-)

A good way to start a new year. Now, I'm off to do some painting :-)

23 comments:

sue said...

Well that sounds pretty productive to me. Congrats and I shall look forward to seeing some of your New Year works soon :o)

SublimeHues said...

Great Colors! Looking forward to seeing your new work :)

Dibakar Sarkar said...

Absolutely brilliant!

Simone said...

Welcome back Teresa! Paint with honey,....mmmmm, now that sounds good to me! I am glad that you eventually found a watercolour paint that doesn't dry out toolpjh quickly! x

dora said...

Great informative post! I love making color charts and the watercolor paints sound very interesting.

Cathyann said...

Hi T! you sound enthusiastic and those paints sound delicious.! Can't wait to see what you create with them. Happy painting!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Yay, Teresa is back! (I had much the same experience over the holidays...glad that's done! Now back to "real" life!) I love M. Graham paints, too. Laure introduced me to them. She also showed me how to do a color chart, which I found to be a soothing and enjoyable activity. I'm looking forward to seeing what you paint with your new colors and palette.

Dors said...

I am so pleased that you have sorted out you paint palette problem.
I always cover the palette with plastic food wrap. it works too but not sure for how long. I only did this while I was doing the project I was on at the time.
Love to know how the M Graham paints work out. I have not heard of them.
Oh for a Dick Blick store in Aussie.
Hope the enthusiasm thing works for you.
:) have a great day painting.

Kendra said...

Isn't January nice? I love the holidays but also the quiet when they are over. Interesting info about the M Graham watercolors, I will have to look into them.

And my condolences to you for the recent death in your family.

Claire M said...

Welcome back! So great to see you getting back into posting.

P.S. One caution with your new paints - keep your palette flat. I have some of these paints on my palette (same as your palette) and when I carry it around and don't keep it flat .... the colors can 'move' within the palette -- like ooze a bit. I love painting with them I just have to remember to keep the palette flat. Have fun with them.

Pat said...

Welcome back!
If I should leave any paint on palette ( rare) I use my tutor's trick of placing a length of masking tape over the top. That helps too. In case you have any older paints you want to try it on :)

Glad you've found a paint that does exactly what you want though - and look forward to seeing some more great art! xx

Jan said...

Good for you,Teresa! I've missed your posting and am glad to know you're back.

I've heard that M. Graham watercolors are wonderful but haven't purchased any. I just can't get into watercolor all that much but do like to play with it from time to time. It would probably help if I were better at it!

Can't wait to see what you do with your new paints!

Keith said...

Colour with Honey in it. Sounds brilliant, in all directions. Can you eat them ? Looking forward to seeing what you do with them,

Candy said...

Teresa, the act of making a color chart is a strong indication of being in productive mode! Your new watercolors sound very interesting. I'd never heard of them before reading your post. I'm looking forward to seeing your next painting.

The name of that poem is "The Naming of Cats". Bailey has probably read it:)

padmaja said...

Good to see you back!..I am sure the painting time will be exciting after all those busy days..

"JeanneG" said...

Hurray you posted. Now post something you painted. lol

knittingdragonflies said...

OK, I've gotten those links saved and looking at my visa bill! Can't wait to see what you come up with! I'm also trying to get organized, although I'm behind you! Hoping to get my painting started again.
Take care
Vicki
Glad to see you back, we missed you!

Wanzi said...

hallo.. nice blog

Suzanne said...

Hi Teresa, I'm glad you're back!
What a lucky you ... It seems a great product!I'm very curious about what you're going to paint


I wish you lots of fun with all the beautiful colors!!!
Suzanne

Gillian said...

Oh now - do I need some of these? Looks like I do. LOL. I prefer pan watercolours because of that problem of waste from tube paints but it looks like this is a good compromise. Thanks for sharing. x

Gary Keimig said...

they are a great paint company. I like their oils too.
Now you have no excuse to do wonderful paintings.

MILLY said...

A lovely colour range, look forward to seeing your next work.
thank you for your nice comments about my work.

Yes, I do use the acrylics very watery like water colours, but you have to work quickly as they soon dry. No room for error as they are permanent, a quality I like, no smudges when you over paint.

Jo Castillo said...

Teresa, congratulations on finding something that you like and will use. The palette looks great and the watercolors sound wonderful. Maybe I would use watercolor if I had some with honey.

Where is the Dove chocolate? Hmmm.

Nice to see you back on line.

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