Overview of Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours

Even at first look, the paints out there within the Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours vary will pique the thrill of any watercolour painter. These are artist-quality paints, finely floor for vibrance and readability, and every is extremely pigmented for a beautiful power and depth of color. The vary boasts a powerful 136 shades, 92 of that are single pigment colors, which is designed to allow vivid, clear colour-mixing. By testing eight colors from the watercolour paint vary, I used to be in a position to see for myself the wealth of color and excessive pigment load that this model prides itself on – and rightly so, for my part.


First Impressions of Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours

I need to admit, my expectations for these watercolour paints had been excessive, as I do know that the Michael Harding vary of oil paints already has a wonderful status. The watercolours arrived in sturdy 15 ml tubes, well labelled, with the identify of paint, pigment quantity, and a band of the corresponding color on the entrance of the tube. As somebody whose organisational expertise should not precisely incredible, I all the time discover this a really useful characteristic in relation to tube paints! The one concern I had right here was the color on the Indanthrone Blue tube: it seems to be extra violet than blue to me, which meant I did seize the fallacious paint a few instances by mistake. The squeezing consistency of the paint was very comparable throughout the eight tubes I examined: creamy, thick, and just a little sticky. This I think is partly as a result of components employed in making these paints, which embrace high-quality gum arabic and honey.

The care that has been dedicated to producing this vary was evident in each paint I examined, with every color boasting its personal distinct character. The spectrum of watercolour paints supplied is designed to swimsuit any artist’s objective, boasting traditionally fascinating pigments similar to Rose Madder and Lapis Lazuli, in addition to many fashionable synthetics which provide stunning vibrant color.


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours


Testing Colors From the Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours Vary

When deciding on my paints, I elected to check a variety of brights and darks, six of that are single pigment colors and two of that are blends, as I used to be excited to see whether or not there was a lot distinction between them, and simply how properly these paints would combine.


Orange Sundown

This paint is maybe the strongest of all the colors I examined. It is usually a surprisingly good mixer: I’ve discovered prior to now that deep orange tones are likely to muddy just a little when combined, as they’re usually created with a mix of crimson and yellow pigments, somewhat than a real orange. Michael Harding’s model of this color makes use of a single pigment, PO34, which softens right into a pale, elegant wash. This paint is marked as semi-transparent, and when used thickly it has an actual robustness of color. This might be a stunning addition to the palette of any botanical artist or painter of florals, with its vary of wealthy color.


Orange Sundown and Imperial Purple


Imperial Purple

Wealthy, vivid, and vibrant, this glorious purple color is a fastidiously crafted mix of two pigments: PV19, a violet shade; and PB29, which most individuals will recognise by its different identify: Ultramarine Blue. This turns into evident when sufficient water or just a little salt is added to a wash of Imperial Purple, encouraging the paint to separate out and reveal a pleasant trace of blue underlying the deep violet color. This distinctive mixture is what provides Imperial Purple its outstanding depth. As with all Michael Harding colors, just a little of this color goes a good distance, as a result of paint’s excessive pigment load. It’s a clear color, giving vivid, granulating washes, and I believe it will be a beautiful addition to a floral or botanical artist’s palette.


Indian Yellow

This yellow is pure sunshine: a delightfully heat, buttery color. It’s made utilizing PY83, a clear non-granulating pigment, which supplies this paint an admirable, in addition to a superb depth. It can stand as much as heavy watering-down and may nonetheless produce, clear washes of wonderful transparency. As a heat tone it tends in the direction of the ‘crimson’ finish of the color spectrum, and as such is a pure mixer with fellow heat colors similar to pinks, oranges, or reds. That is one other that I’ll actually be including to my common palette. 


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Indian Yellow and Opera Rose


Opera Rose

I used to be so excited to do this color as Opera Rose is a daily favorite of mine.; and in contrast to others, the Michael Harding model is non-fugitive, and has lightfast ranking. It is usually splendidly vivid; and totally, totally pink. The pleasant factor about this paint is that whereas the color is extremely vivid when used straight from the tube, it may be closely watered right down to create the dreamiest of rosy hues. This color lends itself most naturally to watercolour florals or botanical artwork, nonetheless I consider that this color’s versatility would make it an fascinating addition to a panorama artist’s palette as properly. It additionally mixes superbly with Indian Yellow to create some great sundown tones.


Perylene Inexperienced

One other of my common favorite colors, I used to be thrilled with the richness and depth of color on this watercolour paint. I’ve all the time had a gentle spot for Perylene Inexperienced because it was one of many first tube paints I ever purchased; and as such, I used to be delighted to seek out that the Michael Harding model is a real pleasure to color with. Curiously, though often called a inexperienced, the pigment behind the fantastic thing about this color is technically a black: PBk31. Maybe it is a clue to its intensely darkish color, which may virtually go for black when squeezed contemporary from the tube. Nonetheless, I discovered this paint works greatest when combined with sufficient water to convey out its gentle forested tones. It’s a stunning color for a panorama painter, and excellent for a plein air kit-palette the place house and weight is at a premium, because the vary of sunshine and darkish tones you may get from this single pigment color is, I believe, a outstanding high quality.


Perylene Inexperienced and Perylene Violet


Perylene Violet

In direction of the darker finish of the spectrum, Michael Harding’s Perylene Violet is a deep and characterful color. It is a wealthy purplish paint with pretty dusky hues, which makes it each mixer on the whole, and a very good neutraliser for different brighter hues of watercolour paint. Along with this, I discovered it to be a fantastic, elegant color in its personal proper. It may be used thickly for daring darkish marks, or combined with loads of water for a clean, gentle wash of shadowed violet. That is one other single pigment semi-transparent color, with a wonderful lightfast ranking and little to no granulation.


Indanthrone Blue

This blue has a splendidly wealthy, deep-sea color. When squeezed from the tube the paint could be very thick, as are all of the Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours. When laid to paper the color is deep but vivid, providing a pleasant readability. However I discovered when testing that this paint really comes into its personal when combined with a bigger quantity of water. The richness of this color allowed me to skinny it proper right down to create pale, clear washes with out seeing any change in hue or color splitting. I think that this is able to make a wonderful layering color and is at present threatening to switch Ultramarine in my plein air palette.


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Indanthrone Blue and Moonlight



One of many few watercolour paints within the Michael Harding vary that’s not a single pigment color, Moonlight is nonetheless a fantastic and stylish shade. Crafted from three separate pigments, this warm-toned impartial has a pleasant tendency in the direction of granulation, notably on chilly press paper. When combined with sufficient water, this paint will readily cut up out and supply gentle pinkish tones underlaid by a touch of sea-green: a singular and surprising high quality that I will surely wish to experiment extra with. This paint has excessive transparency and lightfastness ranking, in addition to being a low staining paint, which implies that it lifts properly too. I additionally observed that when dry, a thick wash of this paint will retain a barely shiny end, paying homage to a shellac ink.



Lifting and Staining Properties of Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours

Every paint I examined carried a remarkably excessive pigment load. A number of of the colors I chosen had excessive staining energy, particularly the Indian Yellow, Orange Sundown, and Indanthrone Blue. As such, these colors are cussed, and didn’t ‘elevate’ properly after I tried to tug some color up from the paper with a moist brush. Nonetheless, the opposite paints had been extra cooperative. Moonlight specifically lifted very properly, leaving clear, vivid paper behind on each sizzling press and chilly press sheets.



Evidently the twenty-year watch for Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours was properly price it. The excessive pigment load implies that these paints are glorious worth, as just a little goes a good distance. Basically, I used to be impressed by the readability, the vibrancy, and the sheer fantastic thing about the colors I examined. With a variety of 136 paints to select from, I may solely check a fraction of the paints that the Michael Harding vary affords; nonetheless, I discovered these to be a really promising pattern, and I’m already planning so as to add extra to my assortment.



Additional Studying

Michael Harding Watercolours Overview

In Dialog With Michael Harding About His Skilled Watercolours

A Information to Watercolour Portray

Classes Realized After a Yr of Watercolour Portray


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