Archive for December, 2015

The revolutionary new binder from Golden

Golden the company that introduced to artists acrylic paint which switched out the linseed oil of oil paint for a modern chemical binder has done the same thing for watercolor paints.  As you know the binder (or glue that holds the pigment particles to the paper) in watercolor is gum arabic a natural substance that varies a great deal and is has a slight color.  Golden as found an alternative which is called Aquazol.  They refer to it as “exclusive” but it’s available at Kremer pigments if you want to try it yourself with some pigment.

They have called their product “QoR” for “quality of results” and suggest it be pronounced “core”.   There are 83 colors.  That means that for each of the 83 paints they have had to adjust all the other things that go into their watercolor paints like products that retain water; and, therefore, make less hard when they dry.

Golden makes the following claims:

  • Incredibly smooth transitions
  • Good flow and liveliness on the paper
  • Vivid color depth in one stroke
  • More density of color than traditional watercolors
  • Amazing vibrancy after drying
  • Excellent resolubility in water
  • Excellent glazing qualities
  • Greater resistance to embrittlement

Basically, they say that the “pigment load” is more and, therefore, the color is more intense, and the binder is colorless so that, unlike gum arabic it doesn’t block light.  They are using some genuine earth pigments which are much duller than the ones now made from rusted iron.

I’ve seen it in Blick, but. in some of their stores, there is only a small choice.  It does not seem significantly more expensive than other watercolor paint.  I have only done the math for Ultramarine Blue.  In Blick on-line Winsor Newton is $1.o39 per ml of paint and Golden CoR is $1.125/ ml.  That about 8 cents more expensive for CoR.

I’m in the process of trying them out.    I, myself, was perfectly satisfied with gum arabic watercolor paints because I am not an impressionist in the sense of trying to make everything in the picture in high chroma.  In fact, I usually prefer just a small area to stand out.  But this is a matter of taste.


Caran d’Ache “neocolor” II watersoluble

caran d'Ache

These are water-soluble wax pastels.  There are 126 colors, but what appeals to me is the compactness of the small set for carrying into the field.  I’m pleased with the colors.  You put them down on the paper as you would with a crayon and then wash water over them.  On watercolor paper I’ve found that I am only able to put the pastel on the upraised bumps, and when I add water I get a pretty dry brush effect.  I still can’t get a really juicy wash from them.  I think if I put a lot of pressure on them it might work, but I think they will break in large pieces which will then dissolve with water, but then it’s much less inconvenient than regular watercolor.  However, I want to repeat that I find the dry brush effect very appealing and will probably, in my work save them for that effect.

Caran d’Ache is a swiss company. but the name comes from a French political cartoonist who took the Russian word for pencil and reconfigured it in a fancy way.



Peerless Water colors (www.peerlesscolor.com)


These are not new, but probably unknown to most people.  They are watercolor paint dried on paper which can be removed with a wet brush (or a waterbrush) although the company suggests cutting a small square and dropping it into water.   They are obviously very portable and with a Japanese waterbrush would make a very compact kit.

I’ve actually illustrated 3 full-sized nature books with a plate on each page with these by just picking color up from paper.  There are many different sets available from the company, but only a smattering of them here and there elsewhere.  I first learned of them because they were used to color photographs.   Again you can’t get a really juicy wash with them in a convenient way.


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