Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Watercolor Wednesday - Part I: Color me not really impressed (yet?)

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Marker Set - Primary
Quick sketch,  just add water?
Trying to make a green leaf!  Hmmm

Patiently I waited for a 40% off Michael's coupon…I spotted the Winsor-Newton watercolor markers a couple weeks ago, but the current store coupon at the time was 25% off.  Not when these are priced at $14.99 for 3 and $29.99 for 6.  (If you are looking for them, too, they are not in the watercolor paint section, but in the drawing and colored pencils aisle one over.)   And then this week, aha!  A 50% off one item coupon!  Ka-ching!

Of course, when I went back others must have the same idea as all the six packs were gone, leaving me to choose the Primary set of three, which has Permanent Rose, Lemon Yellow Hue and Phthalo Blue-Red Shade.

I thought this would be a good starter set, I could mix these to get the other colors on the color wheel, right?  Not really.  Evidently they want you to buy all the markers for the colors you need, as evidenced above.

I didn't think they played nicely with each other.  I thought if I laid down the color outline, I could add water and blend and spread around the pigment.  Not quite again.  You need to work fast, outline/marker, then add water.  Not sketch out first with them.  For once they dry, and dry they rapidly do, it releases some of the color but not all.

I also thought they seemed kind of dry for a paintbrush marker, particularly the Lemon Yellow Hue.   I tried to use the marker "brush" to blend with the blue to get a green, and instead the yellow marker brush was stained blue, albeit temporarily.  It eventually cleaned up - see the left side of the paper.  It also seemed the driest.  Granted I was using Arches watercolor paper, but it should not have absorbed and dried it out as soon as I tried to draw.  Not smooth at all.   These may be better suited for art journals/sketchbooks.

Permanent Rose did in fact seem "permanent" - it released some color, more of a tinting.  Not bad, but good to know if you are used to the vibrancy of Permanent Rose from the tube.

The Phthalo Blue-Red Shade seemed the most fluid, especially when still wet.  You can see the outlines of it when it dried.  Wetting the paper first then trying to "marker-paint" didn't really work either.

However, I did like the bleed-out edges of the outlines, a cool effect.  And I thought my quick drawing turned out interesting, just not what I expected.  The photograph did not really capture all the different shadings and details, which are really pretty close-up.

I was hoping to find "portable" watercolors to toss in my traveling art knapsack, along with a water brush and be good to go.  I thought they would be "paint-ier" and more fluid.   I think I will stick with my watercolor pencils (my Derwent Inktense) for portability and for adding additional colors and easier blending.  At least I can control the intensity and unwanted lines remaining a little bit better with lighter or heavier touches of color.

Right now I think their application is best for bold accents and serendipitous outcomes.  I will still play some more with these, but to rely on them alone to grab and go without my traveling palette as a back-up, I probably won't.  Not with just these three colors.   If you have the money and the coupon (which, pssst!  It is reusable, just not at the same store on the same day.) it might be nice to have.

But wait, stay tuned for Part II of my adventure with these markers.

UPDATE:  I will be at Texas Art Supply next week when they will have a Winsor & Newton representative demo-ing the markers and watercolor crayons

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