We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

The new line of Michael Harding watercolours is about 20 years in the producing and it’s finally in this article. I had the option to try out 24 colours out of the 136-color range to discover out what these new paints have to offer. Right here are my very first impressions.


Michael Harding Watercolours – The Color Variety

With 136 individual shades, this new line is bigger than the oil assortment which figures all around 100 colors. There are some familiar colors from the oil range– for illustration Italian Green Umber, a wonderful and characteristic environmentally friendly earth from the oil variety, is also accessible as a watercolour (albeit manufactured with unique pigments). There is also a authentic Lapis Lazuli in the watercolour line, which is just one of the most exclusive colors in the oil range. Even so, there are numerous new watercolours that are exceptional to the assortment and I’m confident oil painters will be wondering if some of them will come to be readily available as an oil paint!



The Consistency of Michael Harding Watercolours

All manufacturers of tubed watercolours fluctuate in consistency and watercolourists have their have tastes. Some paints are extended and sticky, although others are shorter in consistency. The Michael Harding Watercolours tumble somewhere in between– they aren’t as sticky as, say, Sennelier Watercolours, but they are stickier than Schmincke Horadam. With a few tubes I found that as soon as I unscrewed the cap the colour commenced to spill out even in advance of I squeezed it. Due to the fact of this, I required to wipe the tube soon after dispensing the paint in purchase to stay clear of the concern of paint drying on the thread. This is not automatically a difficulty and it’s something I’m delighted to do if it indicates I stay away from squandering paint, but it is not one thing I have to have to do for all other manufacturers. This did not diminish my enjoyment of the paints, but it’s surely really worth mentioning to artists who are contemplating them.


When the tube is full, the tube should be opened with care

Watercolour paint spilling out of the tube.


The Re-wetting Capacity of Michael Harding Watercolours

Whether or not it’s filling vacant pans to acquire on a portray journey, or coming again to a palette soon after a pair of times out of the studio, I find it vital that watercolours can be reactivated conveniently with a brush and water after they have dried. The Michael Harding Watercolours behaved excellently in this regard, and I observed them easily responsive immediately after a weekend drying in a palette.


Rewetting Cerulean Blue (PB36) in the palette.


Some Colour Highlights from Michael Harding Watercolours

Listed here are a couple of colours I tried using that I imagine are seriously extraordinary:

Raw Sienna Darkish

Michael Harding Raw Sienna Dark watercolour

Raw Sienna Dark painted out. Increasing the quantity of water in the clean boosts its granular impact.


This brown earth has grit and character. It granulates superbly and is deeper-bellied than typical Raw Siennas. I really liked mixing this with different blues to get a variety of natural greens– it is a wonderful color for a landscape painter and I will definitely be incorporating it to my palette.


Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dark

Color mixtures with Raw Sienna Darkish.


Lapis Lazuli

lapis lazuli watercolour

Lapis Lazuli


I experienced significant expectations for this colour simply because the Michael Harding Lapis Lazuli oil paint is so wonderful. Some Lapis Lazuli watercolours are a pale blue-gray which can be a little bit disappointing when you’re expecting the heat and vivid shade that we locate in the paintings of the Old Masters. I’m really satisfied to say I was not let down by this Lapis Lazuli. The price of this pigment suggests that you may possibly not want to use it for colour mixing– artificial Ultramarine Blue is improved for this since its stronger in tinting energy, but Lapis Lazuli is a superbly tender and evocative shade that can make a actually particular addition to a palette.



Titanium Buff

michael harding titanium buff

A velvety clean of Titanium Buff.


Titanium Buff is a variation of Titanium White which is adulterated with a modest volume of iron oxide, making a tender, opaque color that can range involving a sandy-beige and a warm grey. Michael Harding’s iteration is a gorgeous instance. It’s very granulating, so it adds texture to non-granulating colors. It’s incredibly valuable for decreasing the chroma of colors in a way that appears to be a lot more pure than mixing with white. Try combining it with a bright yellow to make a in the vicinity of-green that would be excellent for buying out highlights in foliage. With Ultramarine Blue it makes a soft, bluish grey.

Titanium Buff mixes

Mixtures with Titanium Buff.


Van Dyke Brown

van dyke brown watercolour

Van Dyke Brown


I was seriously hoping that this colour would be bundled among the Michael Harding watercolours, as his Van Dyke Brown oil paint is one of my favourite colors. Van Dyke Brown is a historical pigment named soon after the artist Anthony van Dyck. In masstone it is black, but it dilutes out to a slightly inexperienced-toned brown. What is excellent about Michael Harding’s variation is that it uses solitary earth pigment PBr8, as opposed to most ranges which use a mixture of iron oxide and black. This one pigment version is considerably superior for color mixing, and I cherished the assortment of glowing olive greens it built in mixtures with lemon yellow.


Van dyke mixtures

Mixtures with Van Dyke Brown


Despite the fact that I only experimented with a small slice of a quite significant variety, just about every color I employed was a joy to paint with and it appears that the lengthy wait around for these watercolours was really worth it. With additional than 30 decades experience in the oil paint sector, Michael Harding has proved himself to be a dependable colourman with an comprehensive know-how of pigments and how to carry out their specific traits. It’s excellent to see that his transfer into watercolour promises to provide the exact to watercolourists.



Even further Looking at

In Discussion With Michael Harding

A Manual to Watercolour Painting – What You Need to Get Started out

On Locale: Michael Harding Handmade Artists Colours

Everything You Want to Know About Watercolour Paper


Shop Michael Harding Watercolours on jacksonsart.com


Evie Hatch

Evie’s passions lie in the record and properties of artist colors and components. This investigation performs a big component in her artwork apply she enjoys investigating classic procedures and helps make her very own watercolour and oil paints. Evie graduated in 2016 from Camberwell School of Artwork with a degree in Drawing. She is presently researching Artwork History at the Courtauld Institute, London.

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