I tend to go long periods of time without buying new painting supplies. Then when I do decide to buy some, I seem to go on a mini-binge. I’ve had my eye on some new watercolor sets and I finally caved and purchased a few. I procrastinated by trying to tell myself that I really didn’t need them, but now I wish I wouldn’t have waited as long as I did. The first is a set of Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus fine art watercolors, and the second (the one I’m most excited about) is a set of Kuratake Gansai Tambi Japanese watercolors. It’s early, but it was clear from the start that I’ll need to experiment more with the Hydrus watercolors, as they are extremely bright and brilliant. I tend to be drawn to softer and moodier colors — the exact opposite of the Hydrus set — but I think they will be fun to play around with and hopefully will push me even further into embracing and painting with more color. I also have a few bottles of the Dr. Ph. Martin radiant concentrated watercolors that I purchased a while ago, and I am finally getting around to experimenting with them as well.
While I’m still a bit unsure about how the Hydrus paints will fit into my style and palette, there is no question that the Kuratake paints will get a lot of use. A lot. The array of greens and blues alone (see the first photo above) were well worth the price tag and I simply love how they feel. Buttery and smooth. And the pretty green box doesn’t hurt either.
It seems that after buying new supplies, I inevitably return back to my tried and true favorites (I primarily use Winsor & Newton artist watercolors and Arches watercolor paper). Like all purchases, the newness and excitement can fade pretty quickly. But having some new colors and paints to play with right now feels really energizing. I painted out these blocks of color using all my watercolors — both the old and the new — and just seeing them all spread out on my wall and on my desk makes me excited to pick up a paint brush. And that is never, ever a bad thing.