June 18, 2024


Art Shines Through

We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

The new line of Michael Harding watercolours is in excess of 20 a long time in the generating and it is ultimately here. I experienced the chance to try 24 colours out of the 136-color range to obtain out what these new paints have to give. Listed here are my 1st impressions.


Michael Harding Watercolours – The Colour Selection

With 136 specific shades, this new line is much larger than the oil assortment which numbers all-around 100 colors. There are some acquainted colors from the oil range– for example Italian Inexperienced Umber, a stunning and characteristic eco-friendly earth from the oil range, is also obtainable as a watercolour (albeit manufactured with distinct pigments). There is also a legitimate Lapis Lazuli in the watercolour line, which is one particular of the most distinctive colours in the oil range. Having said that, there are lots of new watercolours that are unique to the selection and I’m absolutely sure oil painters will be questioning if some of them will grow to be accessible as an oil paint!



The Consistency of Michael Harding Watercolours

All brand names of tubed watercolours range in regularity and watercolourists have their very own choices. Some paints are extensive and sticky, when other people are shorter in consistency. The Michael Harding Watercolours fall somewhere in between– they aren’t as sticky as, say, Sennelier Watercolours, but they are stickier than Schmincke Horadam. With a several tubes I found that as quickly as I unscrewed the cap the colour started to spill out even right before I squeezed it. Mainly because of this, I wanted to wipe the tube soon after dispensing the paint in order to keep away from the concern of paint drying on the thread. This isn’t automatically a problem and it is some thing I’m content to do if it implies I avoid wasting paint, but it is not anything I have to have to do for all other makes. This did not diminish my pleasure of the paints, but it is undoubtedly worth mentioning to artists who are thinking of them.


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

Watercolour paint spilling out of the tube.


The Re-wetting Skill of Michael Harding Watercolours

Whether it is filling empty pans to just take on a portray vacation, or coming back to a palette soon after a few of days out of the studio, I uncover it vital that watercolours can be reactivated simply with a brush and water immediately after they have dried. The Michael Harding Watercolours behaved excellently in this regard, and I located them conveniently responsive just after a weekend drying in a palette.


Rewetting Cerulean Blue (PB36) in the palette.


Some Color Highlights from Michael Harding Watercolours

Below are a handful of colours I tried using that I think are seriously fantastic:

Uncooked Sienna Darkish

Michael Harding Raw Sienna Dark watercolour

Raw Sienna Darkish painted out. Increasing the amount of water in the wash boosts its granular outcome.


This brown earth has grit and character. It granulates wonderfully and is further-bellied than normal Raw Siennas. I definitely relished mixing this with many blues to get a assortment of pure greens– it is a charming colour for a landscape painter and I will unquestionably be introducing it to my palette.


Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dark

Color mixtures with Uncooked Sienna Dim.


Lapis Lazuli

lapis lazuli watercolour

Lapis Lazuli


I experienced high expectations for this colour because the Michael Harding Lapis Lazuli oil paint is so beautiful. Some Lapis Lazuli watercolours are a pale blue-gray which can be a bit disappointing when you are expecting the warm and vivid shade that we uncover in the paintings of the Outdated Masters. I’m quite happy to say I was not disappointed by this Lapis Lazuli. The price of this pigment means that you may well not want to use it for colour mixing– synthetic Ultramarine Blue is far better for this mainly because its more powerful in tinting toughness, but Lapis Lazuli is a fantastically soft and evocative shade that can make a truly unique addition to a palette.



Titanium Buff

michael harding titanium buff

A velvety wash of Titanium Buff.


Titanium Buff is a variation of Titanium White which is adulterated with a smaller sum of iron oxide, creating a smooth, opaque color that can selection among a sandy-beige and a heat grey. Michael Harding’s iteration is a lovely instance. It is quite granulating, so it provides texture to non-granulating colors. It is quite practical for decreasing the chroma of colours in a way that seems additional pure than mixing with white. Test combining it with a dazzling yellow to make a near-eco-friendly that would be good for selecting out highlights in foliage. With Ultramarine Blue it tends to make a comfortable, bluish gray.

Titanium Buff mixes

Mixtures with Titanium Buff.


Van Dyke Brown

van dyke brown watercolour

Van Dyke Brown


I was truly hoping that this colour would be involved amid the Michael Harding watercolours, as his Van Dyke Brown oil paint is one of my favourite colours. Van Dyke Brown is a historical pigment named right after the artist Anthony van Dyck. In masstone it is black, but it dilutes out to a a little bit eco-friendly-toned brown. What is outstanding about Michael Harding’s edition is that it works by using solitary earth pigment PBr8, not like most ranges which use a combination of iron oxide and black. This one pigment version is a lot much better for color mixing, and I loved the assortment of glowing olive greens it designed in mixtures with lemon yellow.


Van dyke mixtures

Mixtures with Van Dyke Brown


Although I only attempted a compact slice of a quite significant range, every colour I utilised was a pleasure to paint with and it appears that the very long wait for these watercolours was worth it. With far more than 30 several years practical experience in the oil paint industry, Michael Harding has proved himself to be a reliable colourman with an in depth awareness of pigments and how to deliver out their specific features. It’s good to see that his move into watercolour guarantees to supply the identical to watercolourists.



Even more Looking at

In Dialogue With Michael Harding

A Tutorial to Watercolour Painting – What You Require to Get Started

On Place: Michael Harding Handmade Artists Colors

Almost everything You Need to Know About Watercolour Paper


Store Michael Harding Watercolours on jacksonsart.com


Evie Hatch

Evie’s interests lie in the record and properties of artist colours and supplies. This study performs a big section in her artwork follow she enjoys investigating classic techniques and helps make her possess watercolour and oil paints. Evie graduated in 2016 from Camberwell School of Artwork with a degree in Drawing. She is currently finding out Art Background at the Courtauld Institute, London.