Written by Lon A. Levin
Can you image the watercolors Winslow Homer might’ve painted with modern innovations that exist today? Purists might disagree with me that Homer mixed his own colors but today manufacturing of water colors is extremely sophisticated and I’m sure Homer would’ve rather ordered online.
With watercolor paints, there’s not only a choice of brands, but also whether you buy it in tube or pan form. Another influence is whether watercolor is the main medium, or for sketching only. For the latter, a small sketching set will likely suffice, while for the former I believe you should buy the best quality paint you can afford. (Remember, student paints are cheaper for a reason: they’ve usually more filler in them, so the colors aren’t as good.) I’ve listed only the top pick of Marion Boddy-Evans, About.com Guide. The rest of the list can be found at the link below.
1. Watercolor Paints: M.Graham (Tubes)
Image © Marion Boddy-Evans
These watercolor paints are extremely pigmented, so the colors are intense, bright, and saturated. The colors have a high tinting strength, so a little goes a long way.
In addition to the more usual gum arabic and glycerine, M.Graham also uses honey in the manufacture of its watercolors. This helps prevent the color drying up in the tube (because honey absorbs moisture from the atmosphere) and helps the paint dilute easily. It also makes the paints thin down very smoothly.
Available in 70+ colors (see M.Graham’s color and pigment lists).