Thursday, May 31, 2012

Product Review Yasutomo Pearlescent Watercolors Part 1

As I was meandering down the aisle at my local art store hunting watercolor crayons, which they had not, I came across these new watercolors and their shimmer, and price, caught my eye. I do love to add a bit of bling to my art journal, so these little lovelies called out to me, especially at the price of $6.95 along with a 40% coupon. 

Before I start, let me say that for my fine art watercolor pieces I always use Daniel Smith or Holbein, but for my art journal, I feel pretty much free to try any medium and brand, just to test it out. I will walk you through my thoughts about this paint, and hope that if you choose to try it out too, you might share your point of view here. 

I first started out by creating a color grid in my journal of each pigment. Right away I realized two things: 1. I had forgotten to gesso my 'really porous' paper and 2. They were pale. As each square was formed and the water was absorbed though, the shimmer aspect of these paints began to appear and they were really lovely. 

Next, I tried mixing a few colors to see how they reacted on the paper. What I found was they really kept both pigments but seemed to set one on top of the other in a transparent layer. This effect could have great potential depending on how it was used. 
You can really see the shimmer in this view. If you open this up in Paint, it will give you the perfect view. 

Here is a close up of the 21 color palette. 

Next, I decided to create a journal page with them, just to see how they actually performed in a painting. Because my paper was so porous, sigh, they didn't blend at all like I had hoped and I found myself wishing they were a bit more opaque for skin tones, etc. Once again, as the paper dried, their beauty appeared. Because they are so translucent and pale, they wouldn't be my first choice for an intense color palette. What these paints were made for though, is adding a shimmer layer on top of bolder colors. In fact, when added to black, their pearlescent/interference qualities are simply stunning. 
I was not crazy about them when I first began to use these, but the paper was an issue too. 

As they dried, I could see their potential, but I missed the bold color.

I could have been ok with this, but I chose to add a few more washes of regular watercolors instead.

"Decapitate the Annoying?" 

I will continue to test these but use different papers tomorrow, along with mixing them with regular watercolors and acrylic glazes. Seeing how they move and react with glazes is something I am eager to find out. 

For the price and convenience, they are a GREAT value, especially for the art journals and mixed media pieces that lend themselves to a little bling. My journal page today was a lesson on letting go of what annoys me, which seems to be a lot lately. Knowing I need to stop, breathe through the moment, and chill makes it so much easier to accept things I may dislike....short of decapitating something or someone, :)


Elizabeth said...

Amazing! ;)

Mental Magician said...

Beautiful page and nice introduction to a product I might not have discovered on my own. I'm anxious to give them a try. ~Paulissa

Bev said...

Good review of these Ardith and i agree with most of what u said , i really like them and find that using them at the end as a layer really adds a lovely shimmer to the work... and value wise well u cant beat them but they do the job of adding a glimmer as i said so worth the money

hugz bev