I recently had the pleasure of trying some handmade watercolors from a phenomenally talented artist, Paul Cheney.
Not only is he an insanely talented oil and watercolor artist, but he spent 3 years experimenting, curating, and creating the perfect watercolors. Using the best artist-grade pigments in the world, and creating a custom binder that is unique and different depending on the shade he’s working with, Paul has (in my opinion) mastered the art of handmade watercolors.
I came across his amazing watercolor animal portraiture on Instagram, I was absolutely in awe of his pieces, and envious of his fluidity in his work. When I saw he also created handmade watercolor, I just had to try them.
I received a gorgeous package from Canada, that contained a beautiful 5×7 card with a painting of a Mallard, 7 shades of handmade watercolor all individually wrapped and labeled in a tin, and a postcard with more of his stunning animal art and contact info.
Since I started watercolor a few years ago, I have searched high and low for the perfect limited palette. One you can grab and be confident that you have every shade you need to create anything you can think of. I finally have it. This palette contained yellow ochre, sap green, cadmium red, Alizarin crimson, Quin violet, indigo, burnt sienna.
I fell in love the second I swatched the first shade. I was surprised to see I didn’t have to pre-wet the pans, all I needed was to lightly touch my wet brush to the paint and it instantly turned to a perfect buttery consistency. I was absolutely blown away at the pigmentation of these watercolors! The vibrancy is out of this world. My husband ( who’s not an artist nor has any knowledge of watercolors, bless his heart) walked in and said wow those are amazing! From a software engineer (who’s seen me swatch 100s of watercolor pans) who deals with super bright digital pixels all day, even he had to say something. I instantly wrote Paul and told him how out of this world these watercolors are. The swatches dried down and the colors remained just as vibrant. I was amazed. I mixed the shades in different combinations, and the colors you can create with this palette are endless. They blend beautifully and encompass every single thing I look for in topnotch watercolors.
I’ve tried every big brand watercolor you can name. From the most expensive all the way down to Crayola. Paul has truly created a game-changer in the art world. Every single artist needs a set of these paints. I promise they will not disappoint! The only regret you will have is not buying every shade he has (which I plan to do soon).
If you’re in the market for the best watercolors you will ever try or an amazing piece of art for your home, please check out his Instagram and website.