Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

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 :-)
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