We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

We Test the New Michael Harding Watercolours

The new line of Michael Harding watercolours is over 20 a long time in the earning and it’s lastly below. I had the prospect to try out 24 colors out of the 136-colour range to discover out what these new paints have to supply. Below are my first impressions.


Michael Harding Watercolours – The Color Variety

With 136 personal shades, this new line is larger sized than the oil selection which numbers about 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 array, is also offered as a watercolour (albeit designed with distinctive pigments). There is also a real Lapis Lazuli in the watercolour line, which is a single of the most distinctive colours in the oil vary. However, there are numerous new watercolours that are exclusive to the variety and I’m positive oil painters will be asking yourself if some of them will grow to be available as an oil paint!



The Consistency of Michael Harding Watercolours

All makes of tubed watercolours differ in regularity and watercolourists have their very own choices. Some paints are very long and sticky, though other folks are shorter in regularity. The Michael Harding Watercolours fall somewhere in between– they are not as sticky as, say, Sennelier Watercolours, but they are stickier than Schmincke Horadam. With a several tubes I uncovered that as before long as I unscrewed the cap the color started to spill out even right before I squeezed it. Due to the fact of this, I necessary to wipe the tube right after dispensing the paint in get to steer clear of the situation of paint drying on the thread. This isn’t automatically a problem and it’s a thing I’m happy to do if it implies I steer clear of throwing away paint, but it is not some thing I want to do for all other brand names. This did not diminish my enjoyment of the paints, but it’s undoubtedly really worth mentioning to artists who are thinking about 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 it is filling vacant pans to acquire on a painting journey, or coming back to a palette right after a few of days out of the studio, I obtain it critical that watercolours can be reactivated effortlessly with a brush and water following 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 Color Highlights from Michael Harding Watercolours

Right here are a number of colors I tried out that I think are genuinely extraordinary:

Uncooked Sienna Dark

Michael Harding Raw Sienna Dark watercolour

Uncooked Sienna Dark painted out. Rising the sum of drinking water in the wash will increase its granular influence.


This brown earth has grit and character. It granulates wonderfully and is deeper-bellied than typical Uncooked Siennas. I truly savored mixing this with several blues to get a variety of all-natural greens– it is a lovely color for a landscape painter and I will surely be including 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 higher expectations for this colour simply because the Michael Harding Lapis Lazuli oil paint is so attractive. Some Lapis Lazuli watercolours are a pale blue-gray which can be a little bit disappointing when you’re anticipating the warm and vibrant shade that we discover in the paintings of the Aged Masters. I’m very joyful to say I was not let down by this Lapis Lazuli. The expenditure of this pigment implies that you could not want to use it for colour mixing– artificial Ultramarine Blue is superior for this for the reason that its more powerful in tinting toughness, but Lapis Lazuli is a fantastically tender and evocative shade that can make a genuinely distinctive 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 modest amount of iron oxide, generating a tender, opaque color that can range in between a sandy-beige and a warm gray. Michael Harding’s iteration is a lovely illustration. It is very granulating, so it provides texture to non-granulating colors. It is extremely useful for decreasing the chroma of colors in a way that seems much more normal than mixing with white. Consider combining it with a vivid yellow to make a near-eco-friendly that would be wonderful for selecting out highlights in foliage. With Ultramarine Blue it will make a tender, bluish grey.

Titanium Buff mixes

Mixtures with Titanium Buff.


Van Dyke Brown

van dyke brown watercolour

Van Dyke Brown


I was really hoping that this colour would be bundled among the the Michael Harding watercolours, as his Van Dyke Brown oil paint is a single of my favourite colours. Van Dyke Brown is a historical pigment named just after the artist Anthony van Dyck. In masstone it is black, but it dilutes out to a a bit inexperienced-toned brown. What is fantastic about Michael Harding’s version is that it employs solitary earth pigment PBr8, not like most ranges which use a combination of iron oxide and black. This solitary pigment version is much better for color mixing, and I loved the selection of glowing olive greens it produced in mixtures with lemon yellow.


Van dyke mixtures

Mixtures with Van Dyke Brown


Even though I only attempted a smaller slice of a quite huge selection, every single color I employed was a pleasure to paint with and it appears to be that the very long wait around for these watercolours was really worth it. With a lot more than 30 years expertise in the oil paint sector, Michael Harding has proved himself to be a dependable colourman with an substantial information of pigments and how to provide out their particular features. It’s very good to see that his transfer into watercolour promises to provide the similar to watercolourists.



Additional Looking through

In Conversation With Michael Harding

A Guideline to Watercolour Portray – What You Have to have to Get Started off

On Location: Michael Harding Handmade Artists Colors

Almost everything You Have to have to Know About Watercolour Paper


Shop Michael Harding Watercolours on jacksonsart.com


Evie Hatch

Evie’s interests lie in the background and attributes of artist colors and resources. This study plays a huge section in her art practice she loves investigating traditional methods and makes her personal watercolour and oil paints. Evie graduated in 2016 from Camberwell School of Artwork with a diploma in Drawing. She is presently learning Art History at the Courtauld Institute, London.

Leave a Reply