So, our Schmincke rep was showing us the new product line for the season and gave me a sample card of 35 new colors Schmincke is releasing. Now, anybody who talks to me about watercolor for any length of time will know that typically I'm a Sennelier whore. BUT, I am going to have to concede to Schmincke Horadam. I REALLY love their product. It is more expensive but damn it rarely lets you down and just like Sennelier, the expense is taken up in the quality of the product so it is you will hardly regret the investment in the long run.
I believe making art should be a passionate experience that moves you. So, me being me, art supplies are like any other experience in life that involves pleasure. My visceral initial reaction is cursing. So, if my initial response is blatant cursing, then you know it's awesome. The longer the string of expletives, odds are, the more tremendous the fabulousness. Thus, I tested these in the privacy of my own home, you've been warned, and I hope I didn't offend/scare the neighbors too much.
First to try was the Rutile Yellow. Okay, take in a pregnant pause because I had to laugh at myself. I worked for a while at Lynne Goldman Studio and therefore came away with more knowledge about gemstones and minerals than I had previous. I LOVE rutilated quartz and the name immediately turned me on. It would be good to mention now that I've seen other companies as of recent come out with new colors called "rutile (fill in the blank)" and I'm going oooooh, this must be something new and interesting; a new naples yellow maybe? As I'm reconstituting it, the color is rich as always but my mind is going, Huh, the smoothness of this and the opacity feels like titanium. A little research tells me that Rutile is the term in mineralogy circles to refer to Titanium Dioxide. So, calling this paint Rutile Yellow is like saying Rice Krispies are gluten free. . .duh. This kind of feels like a cheap trick and a slap in the face from Schmincke but seeing as their paints are the hot shit, I'll let them slap me around.
You'll never really be disappointed by their line of Quinacridones. That yellow is just fucking hot! It goes from brown to vibrant golden yellow stain in no time flat, like a good race car. In fact, Quinacridones were originally developed to be car paint.
I'm keen to get my hands on their Geranium Red, Yellow Orange, and Saturn Red. They are intense and their saturation remains when they dry. My only complaint is the proprietary naming . . .
The Perylenes are some hot fucking shit! Goddamn!! The solid easily mixes into a creamy rich opaque paint that disperses in water similar to an occluded IV. I know, attractive image, right? Well, that's the only thing that came to mind as I was mixing up these beauties. The heavy pigment load crept through the clear water in strong tendrils like poison . . . and that's hot. Upon drying, they are still strong and uniform and moody and I'd love to grab these for staining. If I could only have one I'd choose Perylene Green because sonnuvubitch that shit is tight. I haven't experimented with lifting them yet. I fell down the rabbit hole trying to get a good definition for Perylene. All I got was that they are a dye based on rylene framework of naphthalene. I wondered if naphthalene referred to some paint and yes, they were also developed as an automotive paint dye. I tried to track down something more definitive for us laymen but as I lack a chemistry degree, I didn't get very far.
Some colors I noticed on the chart of new releases included Viridian, Phthalo Sapphire Blue, and French Ultramarine. I would like to know what the fuck that is about because I know damn well Schmincke has had Viridian and Ultramarine. There's no way these could be "new colors." I find it hard to believe they would just now be getting around to creating a French Ultramarine grind but whatever. So, I don't understand why Viridian would make it to their new color release. Is it a new formula or something? I did a test vs. Daniel Smith and Sennelier. Sennelier came out on top. (Yes, yes. That's my baby. No, no. I don't mean maybe.) I find it rare for Schmincke to fall flat but there you go. The Phthalo Sapphire Blue is crazy fantastic though and I would endeavor to add it to my collection.
I have Sennelier's Green Gold but Schmincke's Green Gold is slightly brighter in the yellow department so I'd grab that too if given the chance. You sexy minx, you.
Now, normally gimmick colors piss me off. Proprietary naming irritates the shit out of me because it teaches people to be lazy and not learn how to mix color. (Geranium Red, gimme a break. I'm looking at you Saturn Red, otherwise known as Vermillion.) I'll usually flip a tube over and look for the pigment numbers to see if I'm right in guessing what's in there. That said, when I tried Potter's Pink, I said "HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!" That subtle color is hard to beat but the almost immediate granulation is reason alone to use it.
Lastly, the Brilliant Opera Rose is pretty unique. I have Holbein Opera and I'm not a huge Holbein fan (They use proprietary names like it's going out of style . . . which I hope it will.) but Opera and Quinacridone Gold are BANG'N. (And yes, it is a fluke but I would choose Holbein's Quinacridone Gold over Schmincke's.) Schmincke's Opera Rose is rich and pigment saturated but I notice that it separates into a fluorescent dye and a lesser magenta. I find that trait haunting and unexpectedly magical. This habit would really create some luminous depth so I will be adding this color to my collection as well.
While I was at it, I broke out my Daniel Smith Primatek test sheet out too.
Right away, the Sodalite Genuine is some hot fucking shit. I'm really digging it as a blue black. It is earthy and moody and the way the sediments rest on the paper is magic.
Green Apatite Genuine and Serpentine Genuine are really tempting, rich, subtle green tones. Vibrant greens are hard to mix and taking a look at my pallet is funny. I am a true human in that I have a big collection of green paints. I usually prefer to mix my own paints vs. buy a tint or shade but mixing greens is tricky and the results on your own aren't that stellar so when I see a new green I snap it up. These two are lovely and unique and would add something quite different apart from your average olives and sap greens. This advice comes from a self professed paint hoarder. You've been warned.
I'm not ready to trust Amethyst Genuine. Calling back to my Lynne Goldman Studio days again, I know that Amethyst naturally is one of those minerals that actually fades into clear quartz under UV rays. Daniel Smith rates it with superior lightfast capabilities. So . . . what did you add in there to make it lightfast, Daniel? Also, the little sparkly bits piss me off. Did you add mica too, Daniel? Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining, Daniel!!!! I'm watching you . . .
And then there's Sugilite Genuine. Lie to me Daniel. Just, go ahead and lie to me . . . and I will believe you. Simply for the fact that this paint looks like labradorite in a tube, I will buy it and use it with blissful ignorance. I will love every last one of those fucking sparkly bits. Sugilite is supposed to be extremely rare as a mineral so I have a feeling Daniel be lying to me. But you know, for now, I'm okay with that.
Now, I need a glass of wine . . .