March 3, 2024


Yo Quiero Techno

Review of Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

7 min read
Review of Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Even at very first look, the paints obtainable in the Michael Harding Specialist Watercolours variety will pique the enjoyment of any watercolour painter. These are artist-high-quality paints, finely floor for vibrance and clarity, and each individual is remarkably pigmented for a great toughness and depth of colour. The variety offers an outstanding 136 shades, 92 of which are single pigment colors, which is developed to empower shiny, clean up colour-mixing. By tests 8 colors from the watercolour paint range, I was able to see for myself the wealth of color and large pigment load that this model prides by itself on – and rightly so, in my feeling.


Initial Impressions of Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

I need to acknowledge, my expectations for these watercolour paints were being higher, as I know that the Michael Harding selection of oil paints by now has an exceptional reputation. The watercolours arrived in strong 15 ml tubes, neatly labelled, with the identify of paint, pigment number, and a band of the corresponding colour on the front of the tube. As a person whose organisational competencies are not exactly amazing, I normally find this a really useful function when it will come to tube paints! The only challenge I experienced here was the colour on the Indanthrone Blue tube: it seems more violet than blue to me, which intended I did grab the wrong paint a couple of periods by error. The squeezing consistency of the paint was incredibly identical across the eight tubes I tested: creamy, thick, and a small sticky. This I suspect is partly due to the substances employed in earning these paints, which incorporate large-high-quality gum arabic and honey.

The care that has been devoted to manufacturing this selection was obvious in each individual paint I tested, with every single color boasting its very own distinct character. The spectrum of watercolour paints presented is made to match any artist’s purpose, boasting traditionally appealing pigments these as Rose Madder and Lapis Lazuli, as nicely as numerous modern synthetics which give beautiful lively color.


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Michael Harding Specialist Watercolours


Testing Colours From the Michael Harding Qualified Watercolours Assortment

When picking my paints, I elected to examination a assortment of brights and darks, six of which are one pigment colors and two of which are blends, as I was thrilled to see irrespective of whether there was a lot difference between them, and just how nicely these paints would mix.


Orange Sunset

This paint is maybe the strongest of all the colours I analyzed. It is also a astonishingly good mixer: I have discovered in the previous that deep orange tones are likely to muddy a little when blended, as they are usually designed with a blend of red and yellow pigments, fairly than a correct orange. Michael Harding’s version of this colour employs a one pigment, PO34, which softens into a pale, tasteful wash. This paint is marked as semi-transparent, and when utilized thickly it has a real robustness of color. This would be a lovely addition to the palette of any botanical artist or painter of florals, with its vary of wealthy colour.


Orange Sunset and Imperial Purple


Imperial Purple

Rich, dazzling, and vibrant, this wonderful purple colour is a meticulously crafted blend of two pigments: PV19, a violet shade and PB29, which most people today will recognise by its other title: Ultramarine Blue. This will become obvious when adequate h2o or a very little salt is additional to a clean of Imperial Purple, encouraging the paint to break up out and reveal a pleasant hint of blue underlying the deep violet color. This special mix is what presents Imperial Purple its extraordinary intensity. As with all Michael Harding colours, a minor of this color goes a prolonged way, thanks to the paint’s high pigment load. It is a clear color, supplying bright, granulating washes, and I consider it would be a superb addition to a floral or botanical artist’s palette.


Indian Yellow

This yellow is pure sunshine: a delightfully warm, buttery color. It is designed applying PY83, a clear non-granulating pigment, which provides this paint an admirable, as properly as a amazing intensity. It will stand up to heavy watering-down and can even now make, very clear washes of superb transparency. As a heat tone it tends toward the ‘red’ conclusion of the colour spectrum, and as these is a organic mixer with fellow heat colours these kinds of as pinks, oranges, or reds. This is a different that I will certainly be adding to my regular palette. 


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Indian Yellow and Opera Rose


Opera Rose

I was so fired up to consider this color as Opera Rose is a common favourite of mine. and in contrast to many others, the Michael Harding variation is non-fugitive, and has a very good lightfast ranking. It is also beautifully vivid and totally, completely pink. The delightful detail about this paint is that although the colour is very vivid when used immediately from the tube, it can be closely watered down to produce the dreamiest of rosy hues. This colour lends by itself most obviously to watercolour florals or botanical artwork, however I believe that this colour’s versatility would make it an exciting addition to a landscape artist’s palette as properly. It also mixes beautifully with Indian Yellow to develop some fantastic sunset tones.


Perylene Eco-friendly

Another of my typical favourite colours, I was thrilled with the richness and depth of colour in this watercolour paint. I have often experienced a gentle spot for Perylene Inexperienced as it was 1 of the very first tube paints I at any time bought and as such, I was delighted to find that the Michael Harding version is a legitimate pleasure to paint with. Curiously, though acknowledged as a green, the pigment driving the natural beauty of this colour is technically a black: PBk31. Potentially this is a clue to its intensely darkish colour, which could almost go for black when squeezed refreshing from the tube. On the other hand, I observed this paint works finest when mixed with ample drinking water to convey out its comfortable forested tones. It is a lovely colour for a landscape painter, and ideal for a plein air kit-palette wherever room and body weight is at a premium, as the variety of mild and dim tones you can get from this one pigment color is, I believe, a remarkable good quality.


Perylene Environmentally friendly and Perylene Violet


Perylene Violet

To the darker conclusion of the spectrum, Michael Harding’s Perylene Violet is a deep and characterful colour. This is a wealthy purplish paint with lovely dusky hues, which makes it both of those a excellent mixer in standard, and an great neutraliser for other brighter hues of watercolour paint. In addition to this, I observed it to be a stunning, tasteful color in its own ideal. It can be utilized thickly for bold dim marks, or mixed with lots of h2o for a smooth, tender wash of shadowed violet. This is yet another one pigment semi-transparent colour, with an fantastic lightfast ranking and minor to no granulation.


Indanthrone Blue

This blue has a beautifully abundant, deep-sea colour. When squeezed from the tube the paint is really thick, as are all the Michael Harding Expert Watercolours. When laid to paper the color is deep nonetheless shiny, supplying a pleasant clarity. But I identified when screening that this paint really arrives into its own when blended with a much larger total of h2o. The richness of this color allowed me to slender it ideal down to generate pale, clear washes without observing any alter in hue or colour splitting. I suspect that this would make an great layering colour and is presently threatening to change Ultramarine in my plein air palette.


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Indanthrone Blue and Moonlight



One particular of the number of watercolour paints in the Michael Harding selection that is not a one pigment color, Moonlight is even so a beautiful and exquisite shade. Crafted from 3 individual pigments, this heat-toned neutral has a pleasant inclination toward granulation, notably on cold press paper. When combined with sufficient water, this paint will commonly split out and give soft pinkish tones underlaid by a hint of sea-inexperienced: a distinctive and unpredicted quality that I would absolutely like to experiment extra with. This paint has large transparency and a excellent lightfastness score, as nicely as staying a minimal staining paint, which usually means that it lifts very well also. I also seen that when dry, a thick wash of this paint will retain a a bit shiny end, reminiscent of a shellac ink.



Lifting and Staining Properties of Michael Harding Specialist Watercolours

Each paint I tested carried a remarkably higher pigment load. Several of the colours I selected had high staining energy, particularly the Indian Yellow, Orange Sunset, and Indanthrone Blue. As this sort of, these colors are stubborn, and did not ‘lift’ perfectly when I attempted to pull some color up from the paper with a damp brush. Nonetheless, the other paints were being additional cooperative. Moonlight in distinct lifted really very well, leaving clean, brilliant paper powering on the two warm push and chilly push sheets.



It looks that the twenty-year hold out for Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours was properly value it. The significant pigment load usually means that these paints are fantastic value, as a minor goes a long way. In common, I was amazed by the clarity, the vibrancy, and the sheer magnificence of the colours I analyzed. With a variety of 136 paints to select from, I could only test a portion of the paints that the Michael Harding vary offers nonetheless, I observed these to be a quite promising sample, and I’m by now organizing to increase additional to my collection.



More Reading through

Michael Harding Watercolours Overview

In Discussion With Michael Harding About His Qualified Watercolours

A Tutorial to Watercolour Portray

Classes Figured out After a 12 months of Watercolour Painting


Store Michael Harding Expert Watercolours on


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