June 15, 2024


Go Crack A Art

We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

The new line of Michael Harding watercolours is more than 20 yrs in the building and it is last but not least here. I experienced the opportunity to attempt 24 colors out of the 136-color vary to find out what these new paints have to present. Here are my initially impressions.


Michael Harding Watercolours – The Color Selection

With 136 personal shades, this new line is much larger than the oil vary which numbers close to 100 colours. There are some familiar colors from the oil range– for case in point Italian Eco-friendly Umber, a beautiful and attribute green earth from the oil range, is also out there as a watercolour (albeit designed with distinctive pigments). There is also a genuine Lapis Lazuli in the watercolour line, which is a person of the most specific colors in the oil vary. On the other hand, there are quite a few new watercolours that are exclusive to the assortment and I’m positive oil painters will be questioning if some of them will grow to be accessible as an oil paint!



The Regularity of Michael Harding Watercolours

All models of tubed watercolours fluctuate in regularity and watercolourists have their own choices. Some paints are lengthy and sticky, while other folks are shorter in regularity. The Michael Harding Watercolours drop someplace in between– they aren’t as sticky as, say, Sennelier Watercolours, but they are stickier than Schmincke Horadam. With a couple of tubes I identified that as soon as I unscrewed the cap the color began to spill out even before I squeezed it. Because of this, I essential to wipe the tube soon after dispensing the paint in order to keep away from the situation of paint drying on the thread. This isn’t automatically a trouble and it’s anything I’m satisfied to do if it signifies I keep away from squandering paint, but it is not anything I need to do for all other manufacturers. This did not diminish my enjoyment of the paints, but it is surely well worth mentioning to artists who are looking at them.


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

Watercolour paint spilling out of the tube.


The Re-wetting Potential of Michael Harding Watercolours

No matter whether it is filling empty pans to take on a painting excursion, or coming back again to a palette right after a few of days out of the studio, I come across it critical that watercolours can be reactivated easily with a brush and water immediately after they have dried. The Michael Harding Watercolours behaved excellently in this regard, and I discovered them conveniently responsive just after a weekend drying in a palette.


Rewetting Cerulean Blue (PB36) in the palette.


Some Colour Highlights from Michael Harding Watercolours

Here are a few colours I tried out that I consider are seriously remarkable:

Uncooked Sienna Darkish

Michael Harding Raw Sienna Dark watercolour

Raw Sienna Darkish painted out. Expanding the quantity of water in the clean boosts its granular result.


This brown earth has grit and character. It granulates fantastically and is further-bellied than conventional Raw Siennas. I truly relished mixing this with a variety of blues to get a selection of pure greens– it’s a charming colour for a landscape painter and I will definitely be including it to my palette.


Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dark

Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dim.


Lapis Lazuli

lapis lazuli watercolour

Lapis Lazuli


I had substantial anticipations for this color simply because the Michael Harding Lapis Lazuli oil paint is so gorgeous. Some Lapis Lazuli watercolours are a pale blue-grey which can be a bit disappointing when you’re expecting the heat and lively shade that we uncover in the paintings of the Outdated 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– synthetic Ultramarine Blue is improved for this due to the fact its stronger in tinting strength, but Lapis Lazuli is a fantastically tender and evocative shade that can make a definitely special 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 small volume of iron oxide, making a smooth, opaque color that can range concerning a sandy-beige and a warm grey. Michael Harding’s iteration is a stunning illustration. It is really granulating, so it adds texture to non-granulating colours. It is really beneficial for decreasing the chroma of colours in a way that appears a lot more all-natural than mixing with white. Try out combining it with a vibrant yellow to make a close to-green that would be wonderful for buying out highlights in foliage. With Ultramarine Blue it will make a tender, bluish gray.

Titanium Buff mixes

Mixtures with Titanium Buff.


Van Dyke Brown

van dyke brown watercolour

Van Dyke Brown


I was really hoping that this color would be provided among the the Michael Harding watercolours, as his Van Dyke Brown oil paint is a person of my favorite colours. 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 eco-friendly-toned brown. What is excellent about Michael Harding’s version is that it employs solitary earth pigment PBr8, compared with most ranges which use a combination of iron oxide and black. This single pigment variation is a lot superior for color mixing, and I beloved the array of glowing olive greens it produced in mixtures with lemon yellow.


Van dyke mixtures

Mixtures with Van Dyke Brown


Whilst I only tried a little slice of a pretty huge assortment, each individual color I utilized was a pleasure to paint with and it seems that the prolonged hold out for these watercolours was value it. With more than 30 a long time working experience in the oil paint marketplace, Michael Harding has proved himself to be a trusted colourman with an considerable expertise of pigments and how to carry out their distinct properties. It is great to see that his move into watercolour guarantees to give the similar to watercolourists.



Additional Reading through

In Dialogue With Michael Harding

A Guideline to Watercolour Portray – What You Have to have to Get Commenced

On Locale: Michael Harding Handmade Artists Colours

Every little thing You Need to have to Know About Watercolour Paper


Store Michael Harding Watercolours on jacksonsart.com


Evie Hatch

Evie’s interests lie in the heritage and qualities of artist colors and resources. This investigate plays a significant part in her art exercise she loves investigating classic procedures and helps make her very own watercolour and oil paints. Evie graduated in 2016 from Camberwell Faculty of Artwork with a diploma in Drawing. She is presently learning Artwork Background at the Courtauld Institute, London.