Sunday 22 June 2014

Winsor Violet on the Kennet and Avon

painted on 300gsm cold pressed cotton rag
(24 x 18 cm)
I have a metal watercolour sketcher's box, made by Winsor and Newton. It's an earlier version of this one. I've had it around 30 years, but I've never actually replaced one of the half-pans until today (watercolour pans last a long while, especially if you don't use watercolour very much).

I bought a number of replacement half-pans more than a decade ago. I had evidently mislaid the card that listed the colours, because there was a whole lot of guessing going on. Some of the "replacements" don't seem to tie in with the originals, and there is at least one duplication.
Original colour card, with my paint swatches

I bought Artists' colours, despite the original paints being Cotman (Winsor and Newton's student range). I must have been feeling ambitious - or wealthy.

Curiously, the first pan that needed replacing was Violet (I think I painted a lot of irises). Logically, I had Winsor Violet to replace it with.
It's much stronger.

I used it today in a 20 minute watercolour sketch over the Kennet and Avon canal.

It does dominate rather - but I quite like it. I deliberately kept the palette centred around that violet once I realised what was happening. There's greens and blues and a little lemon yellow, and that's it - apart from my "new" violet.

I'm wondering, now, how fast I can finish up the other nearly-empty half-pans, so that I can install and try out the other semi-random replacements. There's a few colours that I use a lot of now but scarcely touched in the first 20-odd years that I owned the box; I want to get Artists' half pans of Prussian Blue, Lemon Yellow and Alazarin Crimson. The old Cotman versions in this box seem a little weedy. I fully expect that new Artists' Versions are going to blow me away.

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