Friday, July 28, 2017

Incredibly Vibrant Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Watercolor Samples

If 2017 is anything it sure is a creative year. If you’ve stuck with me since February you’ll be familiar that I am now illustrating Artwork as well as knitting. This whole thing began as a way of visualizing my characters I had been writing years beforehand but now it’s evolved into an activity I don't think I ever want to replace. As well as this Watercolor has become my favorite medium, it's so versatile and allows me to really visualize my ideas. Can one man watch movies, play video games, write blogs, knit, write books and illustrate at the same time? I sure am going to try. Anyway we’re wrapping up #WorldWatercolorMonth sadly with August around the corner but we’re not going out without a bang. I received something very unexpected in the mail the other day, watercolor paint samples! Yes the awesome people at Schmincke Watercolor have sent me samples of their Horadam Aquarell line of watercolors which are artist grade and boy you can tell they are. Up until now i’ve been using Sakura Koi Watercolor and Daler Rowney watercolors which are student grade and while I love Sakura Koi i want to branch out and experience higher grade paints, Schmincke has just made that possible so big thanks to them and Chartpak who distributes Schmincke over here in America.

I can't just write a blog about these paints, no I got the camera out and filmed a demonstration for you guys! I'm a little disappointed in how the audio came out and I didn't have time to record it again but it's clear enough. You can watch the video below but be sure to come back for some still images and a little history on Schmincke!

These watercolors are so vibrant and beautiful I was absolutely shocked as you can tell. Guess i’ve become a little over the moon for these paints. Schmincke was established in 1881 by Josef Horadam and Hermann Schmincke who apparently met through their wives. They started off as a oil paint company after apparently searching hard to find traditional resin-oil-colors recipes. With the lack of metal tubes during the previous period these oils were impossible to keep while painting outside without tubes. After 11 years of development Horadam released his watercolor brand. Since then they’ve introduced tons of products including a second line of watercolor called Akademia. (Which seems to be difficult to get over here unlike Horadam.) Really Schmincke offers so much and I barely scratched the surface of it.

Onto the actual product I received Schmincke sent me two samples, one with 12 colors that are usually main stays when buying colors, yeah there are tons of awesome extra colors but these are your main colors with three cool red, yellow and blue colors and three warm red, yellow and blue colors. This second set are more specialty colors with different shades tat can add some depth to your masterpiece. Each sample as a little blob of paint with a box for testing the paint out on.

The colors included in this first set are Lemon Yellow (A Cool Yellow), Cadmium Yellow (A Warm Yellow), Cadmium Red (A Warm Red), Permanent Carmine (A Cool Red), Ultramarine Finest (A Warm Blue), Prussian Blue (A Cool Blue), Phthalo Green, Permanent Green Olive, Yellow Ochre, English Venetian Red, Sepia Brown and Ivory Black. I'm actually new to Permanent Carmine, English Red and Sepia Brown, never used this colors before.

I was amazed to find that it doesn't take much pigment in the slightest to get a vibrant gradient, a small bit goes a long way. There’s so much color control and everything flows nicely, no fighting with these colors required. Really these are professional artist grade paints through and through. I actually have to say this was my first encounter with artist grade (Mum won’t let me touch hers, she’s mean, haha,) so it's a big change from what I usually use. Actually you guys want a confession? I started watercolor with Crayola. Yeah boom big reveal my first few pieces back in March through April was all Crayola. (Actually I think I already said this months ago, oh well.) Apparently Mum must of thought I was good enough to buy me my Sakura Koi and truth is I love Sakura Koi but these Schmincke are in another league of their own.

Moving onto the second sample set we have 35 colors total with multiple shades and awesome colors. Basically prepare for a big list incoming.

From left to right on the top of this sample we have Rutile Yellow, Quinacridone Gold Hue, Turner’s Yellow, Yellow Orange, Geranium Red, Vermillion Light, Quinacridone Red Light, Perylene Dark Red, Ruby Red Deep, Transparent Red Deep, Saturn Red, Bordeaux, Quinacridone Magenta, Potter’s Pink, Perylene Violet, Quinacridone Purple, Colbald Violet Hue,  and Phthalo Sapphire Blue. I really love the Ruby Red Deep, Quinacridone Gold Hue, Phthalo Sapphire Blue and Potter’s Pink out of this lot. Potter’s pink may even make a good skin tone actually.

Part two of this sample includes Colbalt Azure, French Ultramarine, Viridian, Transparent Green Gold, Spinel Brown, Maroon Brown, Transparent Sienna, Transparent Ochre, Mars Brown, Green Umber, Transparent Umber, Mahogany Brown, Perylene Green, Graphite Grey, Hematite Black, Mars Black and Brilliant Opera Rose. I actually have to admit I don't know the difference between transparent watercolors and normal watercolors I figured all watercolors could be transparent. You guys can school me on that in the comments. I was really shocked by the Brilliant Opera Rose, it came out as sharp neon pink and would actually be perfect for a certain pink haired original character of mine that I recently talked about. (You can read about Luna by clicking here.) Lots of earthy colors are in this set.

Overall all of these colors are incredible, vibrant, easy to use and to make it even better you barely have to use any pigment. I will actually be able to use these colors on an actual watercolor piece because of the amount of pigment left on these samples, that's pretty exciting. Schmincke definitely still has the quality after 125 straight years. I can't express my thanks to Chartpak for sending me these watercolors. Of course i’ve rambled on about how amazing these paints are but what about you guys actually buying them? Well you can get them through good ol Amazon! You can buy them in pans and tubes but here’s a cool deal. The 12 set of Schmincke Half Pans are currently only $84.91 on Amazon!

This set comes with the same 12 colors from the first sample I tried and the quality between pans and tubes will be the same so my video is a good reference for this. The extra colors you can buy in separate tubes if you’re interested, just make sure you’re looking for Horadam Aquarell!

You can check out Schmincke at:

Chartpak at:

So despite the constant errors regarding audio I really enjoyed making that video. In my quest for expanding myself as an illustrator and watercolorist it was incredible to be able to try out artist grade paints like this. Who knows maybe I’ll be able to try other products for you guys in the near future. Until then let's switch gears to a slightly different kind of paint.

For as long as i’ve been alive and beyond that this house has been full of Acrylic Paints. While Watercolor paints are my favorite medium I have to express my nostalgic love for Acrylic Paints, I grew up with these paints, making Christmas ornaments and apparently finger painting. (You guys aren't seeing that photo, okay? Maybe one day.) Acrylics work much differently then Watercolor in fact they’re much thicker to the point you can paint lights on top of darks. Acrylics are a different medium so there's no real comparing them with Watercolor other then the fact you can water down Acrylics. Anyway I was recently assigned the task of categorizing every paint tube we own, making sure the near empty ones were listed so we can replace them. Let's just say Acrylics can be messy and fun all in one package. Pretty sure 90% of our paints are just Plaid with their various brands such as Apple Barrel but we do have some paints from companies like Grumbacher (Also distributed by Chartpak.)

As you can see from this photo we have a lot, which I can safely say are all nicely organized thanks to organization skills, I know I'm too good. Bragging aside I actually want to do some artwork using these paints, they give quite a different look and there are so many colors to choose from. I’ve made up color charts for all these paints so I know exactly which ones I want now. You’ll see more of these paints in the near future.

Well we’re at the end of the road for the day, thanks for rea… Wait what's that? Is that… A shark?! Shark alert!

Yeah apparently it’s Shark Week, I'm late to the party but that doesn't mean I'm not bringing one awesome knitting pattern to the table for today’s Free Knitting Pattern… Shark Edition. More to the point a whale of a shark so let’s have a whale of a time with the “Whale Shark iPhone Cover” by Reuben Briskie!

Yeah I don't think i’ve ever witnessed a knitting pattern quite like this before. This is an actual iPhone cover, shaped like a Whale Shark. I'm assuming you can use this for other smartphones as well such as Samsung but you’ll need some DK weight yarn, a sewing needle, two buttons of some kind or scrap yarn for the eyes and apparently 3 MM knitting needles, which don't exist in a US Size but I'm sure it's possible to compensate. It's U.K. Size 11 if that helps.

Seems like a bit of work so definitely not for beginners but an awesome fun project regardless. This can be used as a toy just as much as an iPhone cover. The pattern is very informative and you can check it out at:

This was ZAK Entertainment

See you on Monday!

[Video and Photo Credits: ZAK Entertainment and Reuben Briskie]

PS That Owl logo that Schmincke uses is adorable.

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