Watercolour is not really my medium, I love to get into impasto style paint with acrylics and oils but yesterday evening I was totally fascinated by watercolour at a workshop by John Cogley, the owner of Daniel Smith paints.

John Cogley talking us through the process of producing the watercolour products
John Cogley talking us through the process of producing the watercolour products

I attended a free demonstration at the fabulous art centre run by my friends Sabine and Vianney Pinon, ‘Still @ the Centre’ in the Arts and Industry Estate, Byron Bay NSW. Incidentally they also run the Art Residency in France that I attended in April this year – you can see the post about it here.

Last evening we were told how the watercolour paints created at Daniel Smith are made – right down to sourcing the minerals such as lapis lazuli, azurite, kyanite and many more and then the process of breaking them down and coating each tiny particle of pigment with gum arabic to eventually make paint. We were also taken through some chemistry on how synthetic colours are made – all to a very high standard. If chemistry at university had been as practical as this, I might have ‘got’ it more!

Close up of the minerals and the watercolours they produce
Close up of the minerals and the watercolours they produce

Then we got to ‘play’ – we were given samples of paint on a card – this can be wetted and is then reconstituted. We were taken through the colour chart and the meaning of all the symbols so that in future we can better make paint choices (such as transparency, opaqueness, granulation etc…)

We all made our own colour charts with lots and lots of different tubes of paint including mineral based, synthetic, reflective, fluorescent as well as the various ‘grounds’ that can be used to provide a great surface to paint onto. We were like kids in a toyshop!

For me it was totally fascinating and I can’t wait to try out my new media to see what I can produce!

Close up of the minerals and the watercolours they produce
Close up of the minerals and the watercolours they produce
Categories: Workshops

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Watercolour paint fascination

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