Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Comparing watercolor tubes and pans

Is there a difference between watercolor tubes, pans, and pans made from tube paint? I compared three colors, Winsor & Newton's Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose, and Transparent Yellow in full pans, full pans that I made from tube paint that I let dry, and tubes. These are my results!

1. What do the colors look like? 
As you can see from my comparative chart, there is no difference between the three. The colors look identical!

Comparing watercolor pans, tube paint in pans, and tubes
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.
2. How do they handle?
The main difference lies in how they handle. Pans take more work to re-wet, but I think pans made from tube paint are a bit easier to re-wet. Both benefit from being moistened ahead of time or you will be using vigorous brushwork to soften the paint. Tube paint is already liquid and the only challenge is to dilute it enough so that the color does not become too opaque or concentrated.

Which to choose?
This is up to personal preference. I recommend pans if you paint on a smaller scale and do not use a lot of water or color. Pans are also great for painting on location as a small box filled with your personal favorites is easy to carry with you. I recommend tubes if you paint on a larger scale and use a lot of water or color.

In my art, I use full pans that I fill with tube paint as I prefer the flexibility, speed and customization this gives me. For painting on location, I have a small box with a few full pans and half pans. If I do larger work that need more paint, or work with a lot of water or pouring, then I use paint straight from the tube on a porcelain palette.

How to make your own watercolor pans from tube paint
I purchase empty full pans and squeeze the color directly into the pan from the tube. I do this in two layers and let the first layer dry for a few days before adding the second. To get the paint into the corners and even each layer out, I use one end of a folded out paper clip to stir with! Then I let the pans dry for another few days before I use them. This process takes about a week, so plan ahead!


Översättning. Är det någon skillnad mellan akvarellfärg i kopp/kaka och tub? Jag jämförde ett par olika akvarellfärger från Winsor & Newton i kopp, kopp fylld med tubfärg och tub. Som du kan se av bilden så är det ingen större skillnad mellan dessa tre! 

Den stora skillnaden ligger istället i hur färgen kan hanteras. Akvarellfärg i kopp tar sin tid att mjuka upp och kan vara svår att få riktigt flytande och koncentrerad medan tubfärgen redan är i flytande form. De koppar du fyller själv från tubfärg är lite enligt min erfarenhet lite lättare att mjuka upp än de färdigköpta.

Vad ska man då välja? Jag rekommenderar akvarellfärg i kopp om du målar i mindre skala och inte använder så mycket vatten eller färg. En liten färglåda är också praktisk att ha med om man målar utomhus. Tub rekommenderar jag till större skala, mer vatten och mer färg.

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