Sunday, 18 June 2017

M.Graham Watercolours

M.Graham watercolours have been produced in Oregon for over 22 years. The M.Graham colour chart shows 70 colours and the website is very helpful.

It's been challenging testing the MG paints since they are made with a high honey content, making them tricky to for people to mail out samples. However people have been ingenious - as they have been with the Sennelier range - so I've tested 45 of them and they are beautiful paints, just best suited for studio use and/or less humid environments I think. Here they are so far, laid out in the order of the colour chart.

As always, I have tried to match the colours accurately. The first section are all single pigment cool to mid yellows.
M.Graham Watercolours - Bismuth Vandate Yellow, Hansa Yellow (not shown), Cadmium Yellow Light (not shown), Azo Yellow, Hansa Yellow Deep.

Azo Orange is more orange than it looks here - it is almost a mid orange but just on the yellow side.

M.Graham Watercolours - Cadmium Yellow (not shown), Cadmium Yellow Deep (not shown), Gamboge (not shown), Indian Yellow (not shown), Azo Orange.


Scarlet Pyrrol is a very bright orange-red. Naphthol Red is very rich.
M.Graham Watercolours - Cadmium Orange (not shown), Scarlet Pyrrol, Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red Light, Naphthol Red.

M.Graham Watercolours - Pyrrol Red, Cadmium Red (not shown), Cadmium Red Deep (not shown), Quinacridone Rose, Alizarine Crimson (not shown).

M.Graham Watercolours - Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Maroon Perylene (not shown), Quinacridone Violet, Ultramarine Pink, Mineral Violet (not shown).

M.Graham Watercolours - Cobalt Violet, Ultramarine Violet Deep, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Violet (not shown), Ultramarine Blue.

M.Graham Watercolours - Cobalt Blue (not shown), Anthraquinone Blue, Cerulean Blue, Ceruelan Blue Deep (not shown), Phthalo Blue Red Shade.
M.Graham Watercolours - Prussian Blue, Phthalo Blue, Manganese Blue Hue (not shown), Cobalt Teal, Turquoise.
There is a good range of greens - useful single pigment mixing greens...
M.Graham Watercolours - Phthalo Green, Viridian (not shown), Phthalo Green Yellow Shade, Cobalt Green, Permanent Green Light.

...and very nice Sap and Olive convenience greens
M.Graham Watercolours - Permanent Green Pale, Hooker's Green (not shown), Sap Green Permanent, Olive Green, Azo Green.
 There are also plenty of lovely earth colours to choose from. I like the purity of the MG pigments - PBr7 for raw siena, PY43 for yellow ochre...

M.Graham Watercolours - Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (not shown), Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna (not shown), Nicke Azo Yellow, Naples Yellow.
...PBr7 for Burnt Sienna.
M.Graham Watercolours - Nicke Quinacridone Gold, Transparent Orange Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Rust, Transparent Red Oxide, Burnt Sienna.

And the burnt and raw umbers are a lovely warm and cool deep brown pair.
M.Graham Watercolours - Terra Rosa, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Sepia (not shown), Ivory Black (not shown).
 I really like the Neutral Tint being a mix of two bright coloured pigments rather than a black pigment - it keeps life in watercolour paintings and is difficult to find commercially (which is why I make my own)
M.Graham Watercolours - Lamp Black (not shown), Neutral Tint, Payne's Grey, Chines White (not shown), Titanium White Opaque (not shown).
Those who use M.Graham watercolours speak very highly of them. Hopefully I'll be able to eventually try the whole lovely range, even though they don't suit my plein air style of painting.

See also -
Blockx full range here
Daniel Smith new colours 2017 here
Daniel Smith full range here
MaimeriBlu full range here
Mijello Mission Gold full range here
Old Holland full range here
Schmincke new colours 2017 here 
Schmincke full range here
Winsor & Newton full range here

Da Vinci range here
Lukas range here
M.Graham range here
Rembrandt range here
Sennelier range here

I am still working on Hydrus, Daler Rowney, Holbein, QoR, Art Spectrum and ShenHan PWC, though will post up partial ranges of these brands as well.





3 comments:

  1. Of the colors you tested, which were the one or two that really stood out to you as offering a particularly exciting feel/color/granulation, etc. that sets them apart from comparable colors seen in other brands, like Daniel Smith?

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    1. That's a good question.

      The problem is that I have a very strong bias towards portability in watercolours - it's one of the strengths of the medium - so paints that are difficult to travel with are less interesting to me. MG and Sennelier both make gorgeous watercolours - highly pigmented and lovely and rich - but I wouldn't choose to use them myself simply because they don't 'set' in a palette. Maybe if they were heated a little...? One artist who uses them very happily for plein air just puts a tiny dot of paint in each pigment well and keeps his palette flat so it can't make a mess. Larger quantities of paint staying moist in a palette in humid Sydney are a recipe for mould.

      Colours I know to be very popular in the MG range are Naphthol Red, Azo yellow and Azo green. Their ultramarine is very nice and their yellow ochre particularly bright. I also like the colours of their Burnt Sienna, raw umber, terra rosa and neutral tint, as mentioned above. So it would be very easy to create a 12-colour palette choice in this range. Add Quinacridone Rose as a cool red and Cerulean as a cool blue.

      But if you are looking for granulation you'd see it most in the cobalt colours. And of course in Daniel Smith.


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    2. Wonderful! Thanks so much for the info!

      I tend to work almost exclusively in a studio setting, so portability isn't an issue for me (thankfully!) but the mold concern is definitely a very real thing!

      Thank you so much once again for your wonderful color charts and information! I might try picking up some of the colors you mentioned to compare them to the mainstays in my own collection. :) I especially love the idea of the neutral tint's mix, as you mentioned.

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