My Most Ardulous Endeavor

My workshop paintings have come to a standstill. They hang on the easel at my side begging for attention. Why? Why have I not proceeded and sent my final copy to the instructor for critique?

And then I realized that my incomplete paintings are so captivating to me that they require professional quality paints and supplies to finish them. That has been the reason for my stalling.

Now in my usual way, I searched for reviews and prices of watercolors. And then the light in my head came on....there is more to purchasing paints than window shopping!

I have spent the last several hours (most of the day actually) reading the pigment information for every hue I was interested in. I knew I wanted single pigments. I knew I wanted higher letter or number Series. I knew I wanted lightfastness. I knew I didn't want a honey base because they remain sticky. I knew I could not afford a bank roll for one tube of paint, and I knew I wanted tubes small enough that I would not cry if one or two didn't work out for my projects.

I downloaded charts from manufacturers (Holbein, Daniel Smith, ect. and I took notes) I learned so much. Did you know that several paints with different names are actually repeats of the "recipes" and pigments. Did you know that "hue" is not always a bad name? Did you know that manufacturers sometimes tell which paints are best used for certain techniques and list the best companion paints for mixing? Did you know that some paints can be toxic under certain conditions and not toxic under others? And did you know that the manufacturers sometimes even suggest less expensive alternatives?

And so I created my own "set" of about 12 high quality watercolor paints. They cost more than the sets I see online but I am certain they will do my projects the justice they deserve. I will still use less expensive paints when I sketch or try color schemes or do first drafts. But I am now comitted to creating the my final-copy paintings with quality paints.

And today I learned how to find that information about the pigments.