Natural Watercolor Pigments


Y'all, I am so excited about this  new obsession.  I've been trying out some handmade and natural pigment watercolors and to put it briefly, it has been SOOO FUN! 

To not put it briefly, because you know I am anything but short winded, I wanted to share a bit about what got me on this train and some of my new favorite stores! 

I started my watercolor journey using Winsor & Newton's professional watercolor paint tubes.  I still love these paints, they are my standbys, my golden oldies, my OG babies.  BUT I was curious about trying some colors made from elements of nature! I wanted to see if it would have a different feel to them.

I started with a simple Etsy search and I was greeted with a myriad of options! 


Essee Co. Paint Swatches


The first set I got was from Essee Co and let's just say this was a case of beginner's luck! Their colors are AMAZING, and the customer service is above and beyond.  I couldn't decide which watercolors I wanted so I asked if they could make a set with all of them and they created a listing just for me! I loved the colors so much that I actually ended up buying their "color makers set" where you can mull your own colors from powder, but I am actually using them in their powder form.  They sell tons of gorgeous wells, palettes, and other artist supplies.  I cannot say enough about how obsessed I am with Essee Co! They even sent my daughter some of their beeswax crayons that are oh, so precious! Their sombra color is my absolute favorite.  It is the perfect earthy greeny brown wonderfulness! 

Dreamland Watercolor is another fun brand.  Their IG videos are absolutely drool worthy! Dreamland Watercolor specializes in the most gorgeous metallic colors and my favorite are the color shifting ones.  While this isn't super inline with my style, the quality of the paint pans are wonderful and the colors are just so dang fun! If you're into trippy metallics, this baby is for you! I'll probably use these for fun accents and watercolor lettering projects. Watching the colors shimmer as you put it on the page is absolutely mesmerizing! One pro-tip for all metallic watercolor pans is the longer you let it sit with the water, the more sparkly and vibrant the paint will be.  I like to spray it with a spray bottle then let it sit there for a bit before I get started. Here is a link to me swatching some of their colors.

Art by Waiyi has some lovely colors.  I ended up getting this set and I love how delicate the colors are. They feel very soft and whimsical somehow! I haven't had a chance to paint too much with them yet, but when playing around with them, I loved how smooth the paint went on.


Now here is a fun one! Artsy Oubliette has paints that pack a powerful punch.  I love of bold they are and how they granulate and move across the page.  If you love dark and stormy vibes, this would be a great brand for you.  She also has tons of fun bright colors but they all somehow seem edgy... is that a thing?!?!?! I love how these paints have a lot of grit and personality! 


Colors from Claire Chi Studio


My newest obsession is from Claire Chi Studio! I just got an Ochre set (my favorite color) where she's created a bunch of different hues with an ochre base! I love seeing how my favorite color takes on other forms!  


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Now of course you can do so much with just a yellow, blue, and red but it has been so fun to learn more and play around with all these colors! It has really been inspiring and making me thing about different color palettes and combinations. 

All these paints came in pan form, which is basically a little tin of each color.  It is dry, hardened paint, so you activate it by adding water!  

Some pros of these kinds of paints are that you are supporting small businesses, you get some really unique colors that folks using big box store brands probably don't have, you can mix and match the pans by putting them in a tin and paint on the go! Plus who doesn't love new paint! 

Some cons are that sometimes I like having tubes of wet paint to get a much deeper saturation.  I also like putting my various paints on a palette so I can mix and mingle the paint together without worrying about getting my tin all sloppy.  I think that the more I use these kinds of paints, the more I will adjust to ways of mixing paint without making a huge mess, but in the meantime I'll keep making a beautifully pigmented mess! 

BTW, none of this is sponsored, I'm just a big fan!!!! 

Do you have any favorite handmade watercolor shops?!?! I'd love to hear about them! Find me on IG and share your favorites! If you're a watercolor makers, I'd love to connect too! I'm always looking to try new paints and I'd love to support your business.


Wanna get updates on all my favorite supplies and other tips for artists and dabblers?!?!? Sign up for my newsletter below! 



November 02, 2021 — KATE TALCOTT

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