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Sunday, December 09, 2007


I purchased this Pebeo watercolour set recently because it was on offer and I loved the shape of the case.
I have a set of gouache tubes that I have enjoyed using once or twice but wanted a case to put them in so I could carry them around in my handbag now and then instead of my watercolour set. I have 10 tubes of gouache and this had ten pans of colour...Ideal!

When they arrived I decided to give the Pebeo pans a try before re-filling. My expectations were not much and as I peeled the paper seals from each pan my expectations were affirmed. The paper seal was the only seal covering these pigments and they wetted up very quickly, turning to thick custard with just a drop of water from my brush.

I tackled my own hand as my first experiment using just the water I had filled the compartment next to the pans with. It wasn't long before the water looked like dirt and, too lazy to move, I continued to paint with it. Therefore, I guess I am partly responsible for the mucky results.

They deserved another shot!

My second attempt came after watching 'Cranford' this evening, a BBC1 period drama serial. As the programme ended, inspired, I turned to my journal and sketched out a period woman from my imagination using my Lamy Safari fountain pen filled with Noodler's Lexington Gray ink.
I then grabbed a pot of clean water and proceeded to colour my sketch using the Pebeo set.
The results were a little less mucky but I found that although the colours appeared bright and translucent mixed in the palette, their character changed dramatically once on the paper. The colour selection made it near on impossible to create a believable skin tone and the yellow had far more power than the darkest of mixes I could muster. It was the simplest of tasks to create MUD!
The only colour that transferred from palette to paper well was the permanent green, which mixed well with the blues to create a delicious aqua.

Experiment over, I shall now re-fill my lovely new case with the gouache for which it was intended!


Jenny said...

Thanks for the color info. I recently purchased a Pebeo metal, tri-fold paint box from England at an excellent price. It holds 12 half-pans. It's hard to find small, half-pan, metal paint boxes in the U.S. I guiltily pulled the Pebeo paints and inserted half-pans of MaimeriBlu watercolors.

Now, because of your diligent experimentation, I don't feel guilty about not trying the Pebeo colors.

Your case is adorable. I think they sell that model in the U.S. Have fun!

Robyn said...

I fell for the box design too, Anita - the larger set with an extra layer of colours. I don't use it. You'll be happier with your own paints. Everyone seems to be customising their paintboxes.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Yes, I also tried Pebeo once...and then never again! I like the little box though!

Sandy said...

Great little paint box and lovely sketches!

Joan said...

Great sketches, Anita. I guess I'm lucky that I resist some of my impulses to try new paint sets. I only buy tubes of paint and refill my W&N kit from that. That way I know I can trust the colors. Cute shaped case!