SAA Article -01

  • French Ultramarine 493
  • Transparent Ochre 657
  • Ruby Red Deep 346
  • Turner’s Yellow 219
  • Green Umber 665
  • Waterford Not surface 140lb stretched paper
  • SAA Kolinsky sable round brush size 14
  • SAA Flatmate brush


I was delighted to be asked to trial a selection of new watercolour paints by Horadam Aquarell,  Schmincke. I love their paints and use a few in my usual palette. It was easy to make a selection of colours as I decided to focus on the subjects I am inspired by. I love cloudscapes as well as moorland and beach scenes – all of these have me reaching for my paints. I wanted to push these paints as far as I could to discover their potential - I was not disappointed. In fact, I am a complete convert; I was able to lift pigment out, mix on the surface, use wet‐in‐wet confidently as well as many other techniques I use, with ease.

Playing with the colours

1. After making a few pencil marks to indicate the horizon and hills, I mixed washes in preparation of painting; Ultramarine Blue, a blend of Transparent Ochre and Ruby Red Deep for a warm glow in the sky, Ultramarine Blue with Ruby Red Deep to create purple then added Turner’s Yellow to make a rich grey. I then dampened the surface leaving a couple of areas in the sky dry to create hard edges on some of the clouds. With the Ultramarine wash I painted stronger blue toward the top of the sky diluting slightly as I moved my brush toward the distant hills. I made a large brush mark in the middle distance with what was left on my brush. I then added touches of the warm wash to create the glow in the clouds. I varied this mix with more Ruby Red Deep or more Transparent Ochre to add interest. I then used the grey mix in varying strengths to paint the clouds. As the surface was dampened initially the pigments are able to separate, creating a warm glow around the clouds – I like this effect.


2. I allowed the painting to dry before sweeping large brushstrokes over the distance and foreground of varying shades of grey. As the grey mix began to dry I dropped a dash of Ultramarine Blue on the left hand side, a dash of Turner’s Yellow into the damp surface on the right hand side, and mixed Green Umber into the grey mix to create the sage green effect in the foreground. Finally, when the paint was almost dry I used my dampened Flatmate to lift a few diagonal marks to create light and direction in the middle distance. I am delighted with the overall effect these paints have enabled me to create – atmospheric and interesting, with a clarity which I love to achieve. I am a complete convert and totally recommend these paints!