Review of Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Even at first glance, the paints offered in the Michael Harding Experienced Watercolours selection will pique the excitement of any watercolour painter. These are artist-excellent paints, finely ground for vibrance and clarity, and each individual is hugely pigmented for a fantastic energy and depth of color. The variety features an amazing 136 shades, 92 of which are one pigment colors, which is developed to empower dazzling, thoroughly clean color-mixing. By screening eight colors from the watercolour paint vary, I was ready to see for myself the wealth of color and large pigment load that this manufacturer prides alone on – and rightly so, in my feeling.


Initially Impressions of Michael Harding Skilled Watercolours

I have to acknowledge, my expectations for these watercolour paints were being large, as I know that the Michael Harding vary of oil paints currently has an excellent status. The watercolours arrived in strong 15 ml tubes, smartly labelled, with the name of paint, pigment selection, and a band of the corresponding color on the front of the tube. As anyone whose organisational expertise are not particularly fantastic, I often locate this a extremely beneficial element when it will come to tube paints! The only challenge I had here was the colour on the Indanthrone Blue tube: it appears to be like extra violet than blue to me, which meant I did get the mistaken paint a few of moments by slip-up. The squeezing consistency of the paint was really identical across the 8 tubes I analyzed: creamy, thick, and a tiny sticky. This I suspect is partly due to the ingredients employed in producing these paints, which include things like higher-high quality gum arabic and honey.

The care that has been devoted to developing this variety was apparent in each and every paint I tested, with each and every color boasting its very own distinct character. The spectrum of watercolour paints available is made to go well with any artist’s intent, boasting traditionally intriguing pigments this sort of as Rose Madder and Lapis Lazuli, as nicely as numerous fashionable synthetics which offer beautiful vivid colour.


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Michael Harding Qualified Watercolours


Screening Colors From the Michael Harding Experienced Watercolours Vary

When picking out my paints, I elected to exam a array of brights and darks, 6 of which are single pigment colours and two of which are blends, as I was thrilled to see whether or not there was substantially variance concerning them, and just how effectively these paints would mix.


Orange Sunset

This paint is probably the strongest of all the colors I examined. It is also a amazingly good mixer: I have observed in the earlier that deep orange tones are inclined to muddy a little when combined, as they are frequently made with a blend of crimson and yellow pigments, rather than a legitimate orange. Michael Harding’s variation of this colour utilizes a one pigment, PO34, which softens into a pale, exquisite clean. This paint is marked as semi-transparent, and when applied thickly it has a actual robustness of colour. This would be a pretty addition to the palette of any botanical artist or painter of florals, with its vary of rich colour.


Orange Sunset and Imperial Purple


Imperial Purple

Wealthy, vivid, and vivid, this excellent purple color is a diligently crafted mix of two pigments: PV19, a violet shade and PB29, which most individuals will recognise by its other identify: Ultramarine Blue. This turns into obvious when plenty of drinking water or a little salt is extra to a wash of Imperial Purple, encouraging the paint to break up out and expose a pleasant hint of blue underlying the deep violet color. This unique mixture is what provides Imperial Purple its exceptional depth. As with all Michael Harding colors, a little of this colour goes a extended way, thanks to the paint’s substantial pigment load. It is a clear color, providing brilliant, granulating washes, and I assume it would be a great addition to a floral or botanical artist’s palette.


Indian Yellow

This yellow is pure sunshine: a delightfully warm, buttery color. It is created utilizing PY83, a clear non-granulating pigment, which presents this paint an admirable, as effectively as a fantastic depth. It will stand up to large watering-down and can still make, distinct washes of fantastic transparency. As a warm tone it tends toward the ‘red’ end of the color spectrum, and as such is a organic mixer with fellow warm colors these kinds of as pinks, oranges, or reds. This is an additional that I will certainly be including to my standard palette. 


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Indian Yellow and Opera Rose


Opera Rose

I was so excited to try this color as Opera Rose is a typical favourite of mine. and not like some others, the Michael Harding version is non-fugitive, and has a great lightfast ranking. It is also splendidly shiny and totally, utterly pink. The pleasant thing about this paint is that though the colour is incredibly vivid when utilised instantly from the tube, it can be greatly watered down to make the dreamiest of rosy hues. This colour lends alone most obviously to watercolour florals or botanical art, however I believe that this colour’s versatility would make it an interesting addition to a landscape artist’s palette as very well. It also mixes superbly with Indian Yellow to create some great sunset tones.


Perylene Environmentally friendly

An additional of my normal favourite colors, I was thrilled with the richness and depth of color in this watercolour paint. I have usually had a smooth place for Perylene Green as it was one particular of the first tube paints I at any time purchased and as this sort of, I was delighted to discover that the Michael Harding edition is a genuine pleasure to paint with. Curiously, whilst recognized as a environmentally friendly, the pigment at the rear of the elegance of this color is technically a black: PBk31. Maybe this is a clue to its intensely darkish color, which could just about pass for black when squeezed refreshing from the tube. Having said that, I observed this paint performs finest when combined with plenty of drinking water to convey out its comfortable forested tones. It is a wonderful colour for a landscape painter, and great for a plein air kit-palette where by place and fat is at a quality, as the array of gentle and dark tones you can get from this one pigment color is, I believe, a amazing high-quality.


Perylene Inexperienced and Perylene Violet


Perylene Violet

Toward the darker stop of the spectrum, Michael Harding’s Perylene Violet is a deep and characterful color. This is a abundant purplish paint with wonderful dusky hues, which tends to make it both of those a great mixer in general, and an great neutraliser for other brighter hues of watercolour paint. In addition to this, I discovered it to be a stunning, exquisite color in its very own proper. It can be utilized thickly for daring dim marks, or combined with plenty of water for a smooth, gentle wash of shadowed violet. This is one more solitary pigment semi-transparent colour, with an superb lightfast score and minimal to no granulation.


Indanthrone Blue

This blue has a splendidly wealthy, deep-sea colour. When squeezed from the tube the paint is incredibly thick, as are all the Michael Harding Expert Watercolours. When laid to paper the color is deep however bright, giving a pleasant clarity. But I located when screening that this paint genuinely comes into its possess when blended with a greater quantity of drinking water. The richness of this color allowed me to slim it correct down to generate pale, transparent washes with no viewing any improve in hue or color splitting. I suspect that this would make an excellent layering colour and is now threatening to exchange Ultramarine in my plein air palette.


Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Indanthrone Blue and Moonlight



One of the few watercolour paints in the Michael Harding array that is not a solitary pigment color, Moonlight is yet a wonderful and tasteful shade. Crafted from three separate pigments, this heat-toned neutral has a delightful tendency towards granulation, specifically on chilly press paper. When combined with sufficient water, this paint will quickly break up out and present delicate pinkish tones underlaid by a hint of sea-inexperienced: a distinctive and unexpected high-quality that I would surely like to experiment a lot more with. This paint has superior transparency and a fantastic lightfastness score, as effectively as currently being a minimal staining paint, which signifies that it lifts perfectly far too. I also observed that when dry, a thick wash of this paint will keep a marginally glossy end, reminiscent of a shellac ink.



Lifting and Staining Properties of Michael Harding Professional Watercolours

Every single paint I analyzed carried a remarkably substantial pigment load. A number of of the colours I selected experienced large staining energy, namely the Indian Yellow, Orange Sunset, and Indanthrone Blue. As such, these colors are stubborn, and did not ‘lift’ very well when I tried to pull some color up from the paper with a moist brush. However, the other paints ended up extra cooperative. Moonlight in distinct lifted incredibly effectively, leaving clean, vibrant paper powering on both equally sizzling press and cold press sheets.



It looks that the 20-year hold out for Michael Harding Professional Watercolours was perfectly well worth it. The high pigment load indicates that these paints are superb worth, as a minor goes a lengthy way. In common, I was amazed by the clarity, the vibrancy, and the sheer elegance of the colors I tested. With a variety of 136 paints to choose from, I could only check a portion of the paints that the Michael Harding selection offers even so, I located these to be a very promising sample, and I’m already preparing to incorporate far more to my selection.



Even more Examining

Michael Harding Watercolours Evaluation

In Conversation With Michael Harding About His Specialist Watercolours

A Guidebook to Watercolour Portray

Classes Realized Just after a 12 months of Watercolour Painting


Store Michael Harding Professional Watercolours on


Leave a Reply