Watercolors: Tools and Gurus

January 13, 2010

It seems that every aspiring painter has a guru.  Mine is Jason Heinze, a former co-worker at Machado Silvetti and friend of mine.  However, since he is already taken, I figured the least I could do is pass on his own personal guru: Handprint.com.  Although it is a bit hard to navigate at times, Handprint is mindblowingly extensive.

I also wanted to mention some of the brushes and paints I find to best. In terms of paint brushes, I have tried many different types and styles, but I always end up going back to the two brushes Jason gave me for my birthday last year: a #8 Synthetic and #6 Kolinsky Sable pocket brush.  They are brilliant.  Their tips are flawless and the brush has amazing capacity.  It feels great to paint with because of the weight distribution being towards the brush.  Plus because they are reversible, they are amazing for traveling and painting on the go.

I also put together a 20 color palette (here is my favorite palette) last year based on handprint, Jason, and my own personal preference.  The key is to get paints with only one pigment when possible.  It is always under construction, but here is the list:

Yellow Azo Yellow (M. Graham) PY151
Yellow Green Gold Ochre (W&N) PY42
Light Yellow Naples Yellow (Grumbacher) PBr24
Earth Yellow Yellow Ochre (M. Graham) PY43
Orange Chrome Orange (Schmincke) PO62
Earth Orange Burnt Sienna (W&N) PR101
Red Scarlet Red (Schmincke) PR254
Deep Red/Crimson Perylene Maroon PR179
Earth Red Terra Rosa/Venetian Red  (Utrecht) PR101
Brown Burnt Umber (Schmincke) PBr7
Violet Red Quinacridone Violet (Utrecht) PV19
Violet Permanent Violet (Utrecht) PV29, PV23
Blue Ultramarine Blue (Utrecht) PB29
Light Blue Horizon Blue (Holbein) PB15, PG7, PW6
Blue Green Prussian Blue (Utrecht) PB27
Teal Colbalt Teal (Utrecht) PG50
Green Sap Green (M. Graham) PG7 & PY110
Dark Green Pthalo Green (Schmincke) PG7
Gray Davy’s Gray (W&N) PG17, PBk6, PBk19
Black Neutral Tint (Schmincke) PR122, PB60, PBk7

The list is always being refined as I test out different brand’s versions of particular colors, because certain brands make very good versions of certain colors.  So I’ll post updates as they come.

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