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On my recent sketching trip to Portugal, I travelled aroud the Algarve region with fellow sketcher Hélio Boto. His watercolour set of choice was a box of six half pans by Rembrandt.
“How do you like them?” I asked.
“I like them,” said Hélio. “The thing about Rembrandt watercolours is that they are so transparent.”
I was immediately interested as I love my watercolours to be very transparent. I kept an eye on Hélio’s sketches – you can see them for yourself on Instagram as @helioboto – and I loved the clear, deep result he achieved with his colours. So I decided to buy a set on my return. I haven’t bought a box of watercolours for a couple of years (we won’t mention the amount of watercolour in tubes I’ve bought) and I fancied a little treat. I am always looking for transparent colours, so it sounded good to me.
The presentation was beautiful, a pretty cardboard sleeve on a sturdy cardboard box on a sturdy metal tin. Off I went with a little video…
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And the colours?
So far so good. I really liked the colours in the Basic Set. They are transparent and clear, rich but not too creamy.
I decided to make a colour wheel, to better get to know my new colours, and to see what colour combinations are possible using just three of the colours. If you would like to do the same thing, I have outlined the steps below. It’s easy – if you do it right – and you may have done this before. But I’ve been surprised by how many people have not made a colour wheel before, and how many refer to it when they’ve done it.
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So…let’s jump in!
First, I traced around two circular objects. I used a roll of masking tape for the outer circle and a jam jar lid for the inner.
First, segments 1, 5 and 9 –
The colours in the set are Cadmium yellow deep (210), Cadmium red medium (314) and Cerulean blue (534).
They look a bit unprepossessing next to the drama of the colour wheels but the colours are really great. The Payne’s grey is like none I have used before now but I really like it.
To summarise: I’m really enthusiastic about these colours. I think I will sneak in two extra – Indigo and Opera rose or a similarly intense pink – as I do love them so, but I can’t wait to try these out in the field.
I will post the results!