Saturday, 2 June 2012

Daniel Smith Lunar Colours

Granulation isn't something that all watercolour artists like. Some in fact don't like it at all, but if you do then the Daniel Smith Lunar colours are worth considering. These colours, five in all, are Lunar Black (PBk11), Lunar Blue (PBk11/PB15), Lunar Earth (PBr11). Lunar Red Rock (PR101) and Lunar Violet (PV15/PBk11). They are not alone in that many other Daniel Smith colours have this characteristic, especially the Primateks, but here I am only considering those with the prefix `Lunar'.

Lunar Black

Lunar Blue

Lunar Earth

Lunar Red Rock

Lunar Violet

If you prefer bright, vivid colours stop, here. The Lunars are earth colours and like most are fairly dull. I need to qualify that as Lunar Blue has PB15 Phalocyanine Blue as one of it's ingredients and Lunar Violet PV15 Ultramarine Violet so they are not strictly earth colours. I have all but Lunar Red Rock and recently experimented with them  to see  how they granulate. This is the result, a mismash of paints but the granulation effects are very obvious. I have tried Winsor & Newtons granulation medium with other colours but so far not very successfully, probably due to me rather than the medium.

I used plenty of pigment and water and let them mix by tilting the paper in several directions. together with blowing the paint around using a straw. Without doubt if you are after textural effects then these paints will help enormously, especially for old walls and buildings. They can be used in a much more controlled manner  with rather more caution than in this illustration. In order to see the granulation more clearly right click on the photo to enlarge. A better illustration of what these paints can do is on Yvonne Harrys blog under the `Club Exercises' post. The painting to look at is the row of hats.


Yvonne Harry said...

I am quite excited by these colours and will certainly get some when I can afford to do so. I will use them in some of my floral backgrounds. I suspect , however, that they need to be used sparingly, so as not to overdo the effect

Peter Ward said...

I think that's the danger Yvonne- going overboard on them! Use sparingly sems to be the thing. I'm told they mix well with some other colours.

Rui said...

Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for this article on what these colours can produce.

In my humble opinion they are simply fantastic in the way they produce granularity.

Unlike other granular colours/mediums the granularity of these colours tend to be more random and of different size. Somehow it seems that they use some sort of magnetic field which I am sure is not the case.

Kind regards,


Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Rui. I'm looking forward to using some of these colours in a suitable subject.

Anonymous said...

To achieve granular effect to be more resplendent, a smoother watercolour paper is better to use. Rougher paper prevents granulating accidents to happen, its pronounced texture locks paint to be active into small areas only.
Try on few different papers and see how you go ...
Thanks Peter,
Zvonimir, Melbourne, Australia

Peter Ward said...

Hi Zvonimir I normally use a cold pressed surface, not so much a rough one.These DS Lunar colours really granulate and so do some others in their range.