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 many years in the generating and it’s ultimately below. I experienced the possibility to test 24 colours out of the 136-color assortment to find out what these new paints have to offer you. In this article are my very first impressions.


Michael Harding Watercolours – The Colour Selection

With 136 personal shades, this new line is more substantial than the oil variety which quantities around 100 colors. There are some common colours from the oil range– for illustration Italian Eco-friendly Umber, a beautiful and characteristic environmentally friendly earth from the oil array, is also out there as a watercolour (albeit created with various pigments). There is also a authentic Lapis Lazuli in the watercolour line, which is a person of the most distinctive colours in the oil vary. Even so, there are a lot of new watercolours that are one of a kind to the vary and I’m certain oil painters will be wondering if some of them will turn out to be accessible as an oil paint!



The Regularity of Michael Harding Watercolours

All brands of tubed watercolours vary in consistency and watercolourists have their own choices. Some paints are long and sticky, when other folks are shorter in regularity. The Michael Harding Watercolours tumble someplace in between– they aren’t as sticky as, say, Sennelier Watercolours, but they are stickier than Schmincke Horadam. With a number of tubes I found that as shortly as I unscrewed the cap the color started to spill out even in advance of I squeezed it. Since of this, I desired to wipe the tube immediately after dispensing the paint in purchase to keep away from the concern of paint drying on the thread. This is not essentially a challenge and it’s some thing I’m delighted to do if it means I keep away from wasting paint, but it’s not a thing I have to have to do for all other makes. This did not diminish my satisfaction of the paints, but it’s certainly truly worth mentioning to artists who are contemplating 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

Whether or not it is filling vacant pans to get on a painting excursion, or coming again to a palette right after a pair of times out of the studio, I locate it crucial that watercolours can be reactivated conveniently with a brush and h2o just after they have dried. The Michael Harding Watercolours behaved excellently in this regard, and I found them conveniently responsive right after a weekend drying in a palette.


Rewetting Cerulean Blue (PB36) in the palette.


Some Colour Highlights from Michael Harding Watercolours

Right here are a couple colours I tried using that I feel are seriously remarkable:

Raw Sienna Dark

Michael Harding Raw Sienna Dark watercolour

Raw Sienna Darkish painted out. Expanding the quantity of drinking water in the wash raises its granular influence.


This brown earth has grit and character. It granulates fantastically and is further-bellied than standard Uncooked Siennas. I definitely liked mixing this with numerous blues to get a selection of all-natural greens– it’s a charming colour for a landscape painter and I will surely be adding it to my palette.


Colour mixtures with Raw Sienna Dark

Colour mixtures with Uncooked Sienna Dim.


Lapis Lazuli

lapis lazuli watercolour

Lapis Lazuli


I experienced large anticipations for this colour because the Michael Harding Lapis Lazuli oil paint is so wonderful. Some Lapis Lazuli watercolours are a pale blue-gray which can be a little bit disappointing when you’re expecting the warm and vivid shade that we find in the paintings of the Old Masters. I’m pretty joyful to say I was not disappointed by this Lapis Lazuli. The expenditure of this pigment indicates that you may well not want to use it for colour mixing– synthetic Ultramarine Blue is improved for this mainly because its more powerful in tinting strength, but Lapis Lazuli is a fantastically comfortable and evocative shade that can make a actually 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, developing a comfortable, opaque color that can array among a sandy-beige and a heat grey. Michael Harding’s iteration is a beautiful instance. It’s pretty granulating, so it provides texture to non-granulating colours. It is pretty useful for lowering the chroma of colors in a way that appears to be far more all-natural than mixing with white. Try out combining it with a vivid yellow to make a near-inexperienced that would be fantastic for selecting out highlights in foliage. With Ultramarine Blue it would make a tender, bluish grey.

Titanium Buff mixes

Mixtures with Titanium Buff.


Van Dyke Brown

van dyke brown watercolour

Van Dyke Brown


I was seriously hoping that this colour would be bundled between the Michael Harding watercolours, as his Van Dyke Brown oil paint is 1 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 marginally inexperienced-toned brown. What is extraordinary about Michael Harding’s version is that it takes advantage of single earth pigment PBr8, unlike most ranges which use a mixture of iron oxide and black. This one pigment variation is substantially greater for color mixing, and I liked the assortment of glowing olive greens it created in mixtures with lemon yellow.


Van dyke mixtures

Mixtures with Van Dyke Brown


Though I only attempted a modest slice of a incredibly big vary, each and every colour I utilized was a pleasure to paint with and it appears that the extended wait for these watercolours was value it. With additional than 30 decades experience in the oil paint market place, Michael Harding has proved himself to be a dependable colourman with an extensive know-how of pigments and how to carry out their unique traits. It is fantastic to see that his move into watercolour claims to give the exact to watercolourists.



Further Reading through

In Dialogue With Michael Harding

A Guideline to Watercolour Painting – What You Want to Get Started out

On Locale: Michael Harding Handmade Artists Colours

Everything You Need to Know About Watercolour Paper


Shop Michael Harding Watercolours on jacksonsart.com


Evie Hatch

Evie’s interests lie in the history and traits of artist colours and elements. This investigation performs a substantial element in her artwork apply she loves investigating regular procedures and tends to make her individual watercolour and oil paints. Evie graduated in 2016 from Camberwell College of Artwork with a degree in Drawing. She is at the moment learning Artwork Background at the Courtauld Institute, London.

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