Tuesday 1 September 2015

Testing, testing

Perhaps, it's because of my background in retailing art materials that I test every product that comes my way, most particularly colour charts. It seems to be my default setting that as soon as a product hits my drawing board, I brandish my ruler, drawing a myriad of boxes ready to fill with whatever delicious product has tempted me now.
Therefore when two products flew my way last week, I was straight to the colour charts, finding out what they can. The first product was getting my hands on every colour in the range of The Society for All Artists own brand of watercolours and the second, Dr. Ph Martins' Bombay inks.
SAA's own brand watercolour tubes
 So, I hear you ask, why make a colour chart? I'm often mocked (mostly by my husband) that I am compelled to organise everything in to a list of some description but hear me out, while I do gravitate towards order, I make a colour chart as it is one of the easiest forms of testing a product to see what it does. In the case of the watercolours, I can familiarise myself with colour names and what the range is offering me while noticing how they squeeze out on to the palette, their consistency, how they mix, how they react with the paper etc. all in a very low impact way. Maybe it would be better to plough straight in to using them in a painting, but we all know how much of ourselves we put in to a piece, I wouldn't want to get distracted by the medium I was using, I want it to do the very best job it can for me.
Laying out the colour chart
In the case of the Bombay inks, I had used them years ago, gradually using up all my supplies until I was left with just a bottle of their black, and I've found them to be one of the best brands of ink on the market. I was never able to find a reliable and reasonably priced source until recently when the SAA started stocking them, so I treated my self to two sets and when they arrived, couldn't wait to see if they were as I remembered them and I'm glad to say that they were. The colours are just glorious, beautifully transparent while being waterproof which will make them a wonderful addition to the range of water based media I work with.
The inks at work
Now, when I use either of the products in my classes, I'm also able to show what colours are produced in the range and what they look like on paper, as sometimes it can be tricky to choose from a catalogue or a computer screen.
I have a full week of classes ahead and I'm particularly looking forward to a 'Hare' workshop in my studio on Saturday when I'm hoping to demonstrate these products for everyone to see. Have a great week everyone.

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