Tuesday 21 February 2017

Wallace-Seymour Early Watercolours (Cornelissen exclusive line)

I have wanted to try this line for an AGE but I finally got my act together! Wallace-Seymour (previously Pip Seymour) sell a range of (very) fine art materials and therein are 4 principle watercolour lines:

Over the next week or so, I'll be uploading reviews of the first 3 but I have yet to try the final product. These paints are almost all hand-made (to various degrees) and in many cases, the pigments are dug by hand by Pip Seymour and Rebecca Wallace - how cool is that?!

From the Early Watercolours line (which you can only get from L. Cornelissen & Son Ltd in London), I picked a Genuine Carmine Lake (cool red), a Genuine Vermilion (warm red), Genuine Lapis Lazuli (warm blue), Oxford Ochre (earth yellow), Oxford Mudstone (earth neutral) and Malachite (cool green), just to see what they were like. They are manufactured from very high quality historic pigments in a vehicle composed of gum senegal*, gum tragacanth** and honey, which sets very hard indeed and is quite unlike anything you're used to!
* Gum senegal is the gum from Acacia senegal (L.) Willd., which is sometimes called 'gum acacia' or 'Kordofan gum arabic' or 'Sudan gum arabic', but for clarity, I always refer to it as "gum senegal" as this is less ambiguous and won't be confused with gum arabic sensu stricto, which is from the tree Vachellia seyal Delile (P. J. H. Hurter), basonym Acacia seyal Delile.
** Gum tragacanth is the gum from various Astrogalus spp. L.

As well as seeing my findings in my video review (see below!), I've also done a detailed overview of the paints in this Early Watercolour line over in my Downloads section. You can print this and keep it for future reference, if you need it, and it should have enough space to use it for swatching your paints onto.

You need to use warm water the first few times that you use these paints or some colours are very hard to lift. I would recommend you use a synthetic brush or even a hog bristle one those first few times to lift the paint into the water from the half-pan and then, after a bit of effort, you'll have a good pool of colour even a fine sable will be fine with. Pip Seymour himself gave me this advice and I feel it really should be included in the packaging!

If you want to buy these paints...
...then you need to visit the Cornelissen website and buy them from there. If you wanted the 18th Century, Vintage or Artists' lines, you will need to visit Turners Art Materials (who WILL ship outside of the UK but you will need to contact them by EMAIL and NOT place an order on the website - if you run into issues, you can tell them that The Spin Doctor had confirmation from them on Twitter 21st February 2017 - if need be, you can show them their own tweet which I've linked.).
Alternatively, if you're interested in any of the Wallace-Seymour mediums for oil painting, you can buy them from Jackson's in the UK, which ship worldwide, I believe.

You can also buy Pip Seymour's fantastic book The Artist's Handbook from Amazons UK, USA or Canada - but don't worry if these widgets show crazy prices, there are usually more reasonable ones once you get to the website.

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