I must admit that new art supplies make my heart go pitter patter. I found out about Nicholson’s Peerless watercolors from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer a while back and I am proud to say that I didn’t go right out and buy them. I actually held off until I ran into them at one of my favorite stores, Castle in the Air and I simply could not resist.
They are just so intriguing. First published in 1902 they were sold for the purpose of hand tinting black and white photographs. More recently they came with American Girl dolls to be used to add blush, etc. to their faces. But they are also gaining popularity with artists for watercolor painting.
The intensely concentrated color comes on cards and you just swipe a wet brush on the cards to pick up the paint. I found out that there are lots of tutorials and videos available for various ways to use them. Many suggested creating a travel palette by cutting small strips and gluing them to card stock. So here is my DIY palette with the color strips. Below each color I painted a small wash showing how the color looks in its pure form and as it fades. In addition I have an acetate page in between to keep the colors from contaminating each other. Also, the acetate works well for mixing colors. One of the best things about this form of watercolors is that it is so travel friendly. I can take 60 different colors with me in 2 letter sized sheets. Above & below, I’m testing out the colors while at a cafe. As usual I’m outside so Kuma (my constant canine companion) can be with me. And of course, it started to rain lightly. I found it funny because dampness is the only thing that is cautioned against for care of the watercolor cards.So I packed up and headed home. Here is the paper towel I used to clean my brush. I love how pretty they always are. You can also see the water brush that I use when I am away from the studio. The barrel has water in it so I don’t have to travel with a water container. So clever, a gal can’t help but be creative.