Sketching in Paradise

I don't really paint anywhere as near as I ought to, but this Christmas we vacationed in Hawai'i spending time on Oahu and Big Island. I, of course, took some watercolours with me.



You'll notice in the photo to the left rather small watercolour palette. I picked that up last June when I was in the UK during a sale at Cass Art. It's an 18 colour quarter pan set, which seems quite uncommon, but has the advantage of been really quite compact and even comes with the thumb ring for balancing on your hand.

Overall, the paints are pretty good. They are artist paints, but they don't feel like they give up their colour quite as nice as the Winsor & Newton professional pans I also picked up that day. It took a bit more effort to get some good pools of paint in the lid to do the bigger areas.

If you're interested, check out the Cass Art website. It's under their own brand. For the curious, the colours in the set are:

  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow Pale
  • Cadmium Red
  • Quinacridone Red
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Permanent Rose
  • Prussian Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • French Ultramarine
  • Viridian
  • Hookers Green Light
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Light Red
  • Burnt Umber
  • Payne's Grey
  • Ivory Black

I'm going to give them bonus marks for not including white.

You'll probably also notice the waterbrush there as well. I have a set of 3 Derwent brushes and had them with me because of convenience. While this isn't a review, as such, I would have to say that I'm probably unlikely to ever use them with pan or tube paints in the future and stick to using them with the water soluble pencils. The biggest issue I have with them is that they suck pigment up into the barrel and it's really difficult to clear it sufficiently. The brush portion is fine, no real complaint, but I felt I had to squeeze out a lot of water to get some clear to change colours.

Ultimately, with this, I simply switched to emptying the water from the brushes and using them like normal brushes by getting a cup of water.

In any case, all gripes aside... It's certainly a lot more fun to paint in Hawai'i this time of year than it is in the Greater Toronto Area!

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