Pear Header for Blog
Exciting news - three new SAA colours have been introduced to the range. These Artist Quality Watercolours are made in the UK using only the finest pigments.

Now my challenge is to see what these colour can do!

Alongside these new colours the SAA have also introduced 2 new fan brushes. These are available in Large and Small and as a set of 2.

So, challenge set and accepted – test three new colours using two new brushes.

I always do swatches of any new colour so I can see at a glance their true colour, which is important when introducing a new colour to your range.

SAAW14111 - Phthalo Blue Red Shade – a warm rich blue.

Phthalo Blue

SAAW14207 – Caput Mortem – a traditional warm rich soft brown. 

Caput Mortem

SAAW14305 – Cobalt Green – a lovely milky green colour which offers exciting granulation effects.

Cobalt Green

I will then do colour mixes using the new colours to see what they can do. This is a first stage as I will then mix a new colour with each of my existing range then I have a record of what mixes I can make.

Phthalo Blue Red shade and Caput Morteum this mix makes a

Phthalo Blue Red Shade and Caput Mortem

Phthalo Blue red shade and Cobalt Greem

Phthalo Blue Red Shade and Cobalt Green

Caput Mortem and Cobalt Green
Caput Mortem and Cobalt Green


I did a couple of quick sketches using only the three new colours to see their characteristics.  For a silver birch I used the fan brush to create the texture on the bark and for the weeping willow, the fan brush was used to create the draping leaves of the tree.

Weeping Willow Silver Birch


When I get new colours I like to introduce them slowly so I can then try and remember how they work before creating a painting and then struggling with the colour.

For this step by step painting I added one of my existing colours to the three new colours.

Materials used:

SAA Practice paperPhthalo Blue Red ShadeCaput MortemCobalt Green, Cadmium LemonSAA Silver All Rounder brush and SAA Fan brush small.

Sketch out the shapes of the pears; these can be uneven and random to add character as long as you have the basic shape of a pear. Add a couple of leaves and stalks and you are ready to start painting


I covered both pears with a wash of Cadmium Lemon and while this was still wet I added some Cobalt Green. This is a lovely granulating colour which is perfect for the texture on the pears. You have to work quickly as much of the work will need to be done while the paint is still wet.

Pear 2
Now add a wash of Phthalo Blue Red Shade to build up the shape of the pears. Before applying any colour to a painting I recommend testing it first on a test strip - this helps prevent any disappointments or surprises when applying the colour.

Pear 3

Using the fan brush and a thin wash of the Caput Mortem paint stipple some texture on to the body of the pear. It is best to keep twisting the fan brush to create more random shapes. Practice this technique on a scrap of paper before applying it to your painting. Vary the wetness of the hairs and the strength of the paint .

Pear 4

Mix the Phathlo Blue Red Shade and the Cadmium Lemon for the leaves. Again remember to test before applying. I was able to use a lifting-out technique to add the veins to the leaves.

The last stages are to add detail, tone and definition to the painting and you are finished.

Pear - Final Result

Why not have a go yourself, don't worry about an exact copy as it's a quick study for you to try and maybe to add your own style and characteristics to.

Most importantly... have fun and enjoy the process.

Happy painting, Anita

(In-House SAA Artist)