A gift of credit at Merriartist left me with $$$ to spend on watercolors…
I’ve had a few M.Graham paints and enjoyed them, but my experience was they often didn’t dry in the pans, probably because of the moist climate of Portland and
the honey which they use as a medium. I decided I’d splurge and create a
by-the-bedside set where I didn’t have to worry about pans drying for transport.
I filled full-size pans, and put them in a Medeen tin.
The palette, above, filled with M.Graham, along with 5 Daniel Smith Primateks;
I use them frequently in painting and love how they mix with transparent colors.
All M.Graham watercolors unless stated otherwise, and transparent colors unless
I state (SO = semi opaque) or (O = opaque), not my preference:
Top Row: Sap Green, Hooker’s Green, Cobalt Turquoise (O), Manganese Blue Hue, Ultramarine, Cobalt violet (SO), Scarlet Pyrrol, Azo Orange, Nickel Quinacridone Gold, Transparent Orange Oxide, Piemonite (Primatek).
Bottom row: Olive Green, Green Apatite (Primatek),
Blue Apatite (Primatek), Prussian Blue, Anthraquinone Blue, Quinacridone Rose,
Azo Yellow (SO), Indian Yellow, Raw Umber, Hematitie (Primatek).
I tucked into a bookcase near my bedside to dry. Coincidentally I smelled fetid water and had headaches, so on summer nights, we closed the windows thinking it was coming from outdoors!
NOPE! It was the paints!
I took them to the studio the smell followed me there!
Yeow, strong fetid smell! Had they gone bad?
It does happen — once I had a bad batch of paint from Daniel Smith.
The original owners sold M.Graham and getting to talk to the new owners
took several days, but when I did Elke told me she doubted it was bad paint…
She herself has trouble with some M.Graham paints when they are fresh from the tube.
She suggested I let them thoroughly dry and then see if the smell lingered,
or the headaches continued — and also, to use distilled water with them when rewetting.
I find the latter a bit much and if I had to do this would not buy them — that’s just me.
28 days in, and the pans were as dry as they will get in my area.
They still smelled STRONG. The headaches were bad and last for hours!
Elke from M.Graham suggested I isolate the paints to see which ones,
and they were willing to reimburse Merriartist for any returns.
I pulled the following pigments out of my palette I became headache free…
Sap Green, Olive, Hookers Green (*so in essence all the greens from MG*), Anthraquinone Blue, Cobalt Violet (*sob, so beautiful!*),
Raw Umber and Transparent Orange Oxide (*sob, lovely transparent oxide!*)
I purchased Olive from Holbein (I wanted to try this mixed green in my palette),
and Cobalt Violet and Transparent Orange Oxide from Daniel Smith.
I can still recommend M.Graham paints, as they are lovely deep pigments,
but as I have never had a reaction to any other pigment in any other brand I advise trying them one by one! I am not typically bothered by smells though I do have allergies to
a couple of molds, but according to M.Graham they had no recalls.
I often hear about peeps not being happy with product, but they don’t say
anything to the vendor or manufacturer. It took me calling several times, but I strongly advise you to do so. It may be bad product. It may be something else.
In this case, seven 15ml paint tubes was a huge amount of $$$ for me to lose!
Now I have a second by-the-bed palette in a smaller Schminke palette.
All my M.Graham pigments plus a few other colors I have not played with much…
The paints which are not labeled are M.Graham:
1) Emerald (Jasper Stardust), Olive (Holbein), Green Apatite (Daniel Smith Primatek),
Blue Apatite (Daniel Smith Primatek), Manganese Blue Hue,
2) **Phthalo Green (gift from Thomas Blanchard, RIP), Cobalt Turquoise (O),
Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Cobalt violet (DS),
3) Nickel Quinacridone Gold, Scarlet Pyrrol, Azo Orange, Indian Yellow, Azo Yellow,
4) Transparent Orange Oxide (DS), Raw Umber (DS), Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Red, Potter’s Pink (to try, a gift, for mixing skin pigments… horrid mauve… we’ll see.)
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
©D. Katie Powell.
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I teach architectural sketching,
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