Testing Aquarius Watercolours

March 19, 2021 | 1 Comment


This afternoon I finally finished working my way through my collection of Aquarius watercolour so that I can start to determine the colours which will suit me the best. As we are starting a Group Timetable for my Watercolour course, I thought it was time to develop an Aquarius palette.

I got my first Aquarius paints in July 2018 when I was visiting Krakow – I met the creator Roman Szmal and he gave me some early versions of his paints that were closest to my current palette (a mix of Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton). A few months later he sent me some more (you can see these in this article) and I started to play with them. I  was very impressed!


During my big European trip in 2019, I met up with Roman three times (see our Rome catchup in this article) and each time he gave me some more samples. I did a lot of testing while I was sketching my way through Italy and Scotland. You can see how I mixed Umbrian Stone with them, and added a number of Aquarius paints to the palette I was using in Scotland.


When I came home from that trip, I switched back to my normal palette so that I was using the same selection for my SketchingNow courses and my Aquarius paints were scattered in various locations. Towards the end of last year, I started the process of sorting through what I had (lots of duplications!) It was a big and messy job!

Last month I started reading the colour chart in detail to work out what paints interested me and then worked through my collection, testing each colour to see which were similar to the paints in my current palette.

When I do this process, I look at the pigment number and consider the characteristics of the paint such as transparency, staining properties, granulation and hue. (Note: the same pigments can be manufactured in different ways and can have varying properties.) 


This process narrows down the selection and then it is a matter of testing it in mixes. I decided to make a palette with a few alternatives so that I can use these paints in real-life situations and work out which are the best for me. Note: Please refer to the Colours in My Palette series for how I use each paint – I intend to go through all of these mixes for these Aquarius paints.


I also was given an Aquarius Travel Set to test – this is a lovely set in a small metal tin.


Even though this is not what I would choose, it looks to be a great selection and I want to see how it goes with my everyday sketching.


Anyway, I don’t have a definitive selection to share with you, but I wanted to document the process so far so that I can explain further my decisions as I work through these alternatives.

Some of you might want to know where to get these paints. I know that Jacksons have them – but if you have bought them somewhere else please let us know in the comments section below.

 

1 Comment

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and details about Roman Szmal watercolors. I’ve been so intrigued and ordered a 36 set in the wooden box from Jackson’s Art. When I was researching information about them I found you and your posts and your wonderful blog. Thank you. Looking forward to following you!


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