Sunday 1 May 2016

Starting Off - The Student Palette

Yesterday I posted a suite of 3 professional palettes for those who want to upgrade to artist-grade paints from student-grade ones. Today, I've decided to throw another into the array - it is based on my Basic Palette of 12 colours and it's called the Student Palette (oddly enough), it is based on Cotman Water Colours, so that has a nice easy price as they are always sold at a single price-point. The RRP is £2.60 per 8mL tube, but the Amazon links below should give some better deals, as Amazon usually manage to do. This palette gives you a cool, warm and earth tone of each Yellow, Blue, Red and Neutrals, which is more than ample. To be honest, if you find you need to go beyond that once you're experienced, I'd just upgrade immediately to professional colours - it'll work out far more economically in the long run!

The reason I rate Winsor and Newton Cotman student watercolours so highly is the quality - you can view my video on the differences to find out more on how they compare with the professional colours. If you compare this set with the professional colours of the same names, with the exceptions of the "hues", they all have the same pigments as the artist's grade - just less of it, so some are padded out with "fillers" - a chalk-like mineral, which can make student watercolours feel a bit "gouache-y"  and more opaque than an authentic one, but Cotman are pretty good. As for what hues are, they are simply "honest fakes" - real Cadmium Yellow uses a cadmium sulfoselenide as the pigment (PY35), the "hue" in the Cotman series uses two dyes - diarylide yellow FGL (PY97) and hansa yellow 65 (PY65) - to give a pretty close match the real thing as:

1) they're much cheaper to manufacture (true Cadmium Yellow is one of the most expensive colours, at £8.80/tube = £17.60/10mL, whereas this "hue" is a mere £2.60/tube = £3.25/10mL - just under 20% of the price!) and 

2) less toxic, but they won't mix in quite the same way or behave in quite the same way - hues of normally granulating colours have a granulation medium added to them to try and make them look more authentic)

The Student Palette
[Est. price based on RRP of £2.60 per tube, £31.20 = US$45.60 = €40.00 = C$57.00 = A$60.00]
This palette is essentially the same as my 12-colour Basic Palette of professional watercolours - I've made one substitution, basically, as one of the colours doesn't have a Cotman version or even a close equivalent.
346 Lemon Yellow (Hue) [cool yellow] PY175
109 Cadmium Yellow (Hue) [warm yellow] PY97, PY65
744 Yellow Ochre [earth yellow] PY42
502 Permanent Rose [cool red] PV19
095 Cadmium Red (Hue) [warm red] PR149, PR255
317 Indian Red [earth red] PR101
327 Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue) [cool blue] PB15
660 Ultramarine [warm blue] PB29
654 Turquoise [earth blue] PB15, PG7
554 Raw Umber [cool neutral] PBr7, PY42
074 Burnt Sienna [warm neutral] PR101
076 Burnt Umber [earth neutral] PBr7, PY42

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