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 years in the making and it’s lastly listed here. I experienced the opportunity to try 24 colors out of the 136-color range to find out what these new paints have to present. Right here are my initial impressions.


Michael Harding Watercolours – The Colour Selection

With 136 individual shades, this new line is greater than the oil array which figures all over 100 colors. There are some common colors from the oil range– for example Italian Eco-friendly Umber, a lovely and characteristic environmentally friendly earth from the oil range, is also readily available as a watercolour (albeit built with various pigments). There is also a legitimate Lapis Lazuli in the watercolour line, which is a person of the most specific colours in the oil vary. On the other hand, there are several new watercolours that are exclusive to the variety and I’m certain oil painters will be wondering if some of them will turn out to be available as an oil paint!



The Regularity of Michael Harding Watercolours

All models of tubed watercolours vary in consistency and watercolourists have their very own preferences. Some paints are long and sticky, though others are shorter in regularity. The Michael Harding Watercolours slide somewhere in between– they aren’t as sticky as, say, Sennelier Watercolours, but they are stickier than Schmincke Horadam. With a couple tubes I located that as quickly as I unscrewed the cap the colour commenced to spill out even right before I squeezed it. Mainly because of this, I needed to wipe the tube following dispensing the paint in purchase to steer clear of the challenge of paint drying on the thread. This isn’t essentially a difficulty and it’s a thing I’m joyful to do if it indicates I stay clear of 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’s surely truly 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 Potential of Michael Harding Watercolours

Irrespective of whether it’s filling vacant pans to choose on a portray excursion, or coming back again to a palette soon after a pair of times out of the studio, I obtain it necessary that watercolours can be reactivated simply with a brush and water soon after they have dried. The Michael Harding Watercolours behaved excellently in this regard, and I observed them commonly 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 couple of colors I tried using that I think are seriously outstanding:

Raw Sienna Darkish

Michael Harding Raw Sienna Dark watercolour

Raw Sienna Darkish painted out. Increasing the quantity of water in the clean raises its granular effect.


This brown earth has grit and character. It granulates fantastically and is further-bellied than common Raw Siennas. I genuinely loved mixing this with many blues to get a range of all-natural greens– it is a attractive color for a landscape painter and I will undoubtedly be including it to my palette.


Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dark

Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dark.


Lapis Lazuli

lapis lazuli watercolour

Lapis Lazuli


I had substantial anticipations for this color since the Michael Harding Lapis Lazuli oil paint is so beautiful. Some Lapis Lazuli watercolours are a pale blue-grey which can be a bit disappointing when you’re anticipating the heat and vibrant shade that we discover in the paintings of the Aged Masters. I’m pretty joyful to say I was not dissatisfied by this Lapis Lazuli. The expenditure of this pigment implies that you may not want to use it for colour mixing– synthetic Ultramarine Blue is superior for this mainly because its more robust in tinting strength, but Lapis Lazuli is a fantastically comfortable and evocative shade that can make a actually 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 little quantity of iron oxide, producing a comfortable, opaque color that can selection involving a sandy-beige and a warm gray. Michael Harding’s iteration is a stunning example. It’s incredibly granulating, so it provides texture to non-granulating colours. It’s incredibly valuable for decreasing the chroma of colors in a way that seems to be additional all-natural than mixing with white. Check out combining it with a vibrant yellow to make a near-inexperienced that would be great for buying out highlights in foliage. With Ultramarine Blue it tends to make a smooth, bluish gray.

Titanium Buff mixes

Mixtures with Titanium Buff.


Van Dyke Brown

van dyke brown watercolour

Van Dyke Brown


I was actually hoping that this color would be integrated amongst the Michael Harding watercolours, as his Van Dyke Brown oil paint is one of my favorite 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 little green-toned brown. What is outstanding about Michael Harding’s edition is that it takes advantage of solitary earth pigment PBr8, as opposed to most ranges which use a combination of iron oxide and black. This single pigment variation is a lot far better for colour mixing, and I cherished the selection of glowing olive greens it manufactured in mixtures with lemon yellow.


Van dyke mixtures

Mixtures with Van Dyke Brown


Whilst I only attempted a tiny slice of a quite massive array, each and every color I employed was a joy to paint with and it appears to be that the extensive wait for these watercolours was really worth it. With more than 30 several years knowledge in the oil paint market, Michael Harding has proved himself to be a reliable colourman with an extensive knowledge of pigments and how to provide out their distinct characteristics. It’s excellent to see that his move into watercolour claims to provide the exact to watercolourists.



More Reading

In Discussion With Michael Harding

A Guideline to Watercolour Painting – What You Need to have to Get Began

On Locale: Michael Harding Handmade Artists Colors

Every little thing You Require to Know About Watercolour Paper


Store Michael Harding Watercolours on jacksonsart.com


Evie Hatch

Evie’s pursuits lie in the historical past and properties of artist colours and supplies. This investigation plays a substantial section in her artwork practice she loves investigating classic procedures and helps make her individual watercolour and oil paints. Evie graduated in 2016 from Camberwell College of Artwork with a diploma in Drawing. She is at the moment studying Artwork History at the Courtauld Institute, London.