Thursday, July 30, 2015

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers Field Test

A long time ago, I reviewed Winsor and Newton's watercolor markers, but since I've upped my review standards to include a practical test (coloring a small sample image) in addition to swatches, I wanted to reopen  the W&N watercolor marker review.  However, these practical tests are fairly time consuming, and I didn't want to go to all that effort just to update an older post, so I decided to just post it separately and link them all together.

Original Winsor and Newton Marker Review
List of Individual Markers and how well they work

The Practical Test

Setting Up The Test

First I made a reference palette on a 4"x6" piece of Fluid watercolor paper to keep with the markers at all times.  I do this for all watercolors I use regularly.  The color is swatched, blended out with water, and labelled.  I also tapped down the piece I'll be working on, which has been inked with a Sailor Mitsuo Aida waterproof brushpen from Jetpens.

I also prepare a 'side palette' for blending and color selection by applying a few strips of masking tape to my gator board.

This palette is useful if you don't want to apply color directly to the paper, either because it will be too saturated, or because direct application never blends out enough.  You then wet this color application with a wet brush, swish it to activate all the ink, and begin applying to the paper.

I applied the watercolor marker directly to her collar, and blended it out with water.

And did the same for her hair and eyes.

I tried to blend out with the red of her dress, but the red didn't want to disperse.

So I ended up going to a lighter color- pink- to fill the entire area, and then use the red for shadows.

To continue with the nautical theme, I decided to add stripes of blue to the background.  I applied the marker directly to the paper, then streaked a wet brush across to soften the line.

The Verdict

I'm still working on growing my Winsor & Newton watercolor collection, as there are some serious gaps in what I own which make these markers not quite ready to serve as an on-the-go watercolor replacement, but these markers are the closest I've come to actual watercolors in a marker form.  They're affordable, available in sets or open stock, and sold at most art supply stores, so I highly recommend you pick up a few and give them a shot.  Hopefully Winsor & Newton will introduce even more colors.

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