Brand Evaluation: M. Graham Artists’
M. Graham is a company with more than 22 years in the market. They produce artist quality paintings including Watercolor, Gouache, Acrylic and Oil.
Today we present our evaluation on M Graham Artists’ Watercolors.
We had two main targets:
a) evaluate the pigments (transparency, color saturation and richness, uniformity, mixing behavior)
b) Because of the honey included in the composition of each color as part of the vehicle, we wanted to test the freshness of pigments after a long time on the palette
Watercolors Artist Quality
This watercolors come in a presentation of 15 ml tubes, an adequate size.
This brand offers 70 colors, for a selection of a really complete palette of colors. You can find the complete color chart at their Website. For each color you will have information about Pigment Composition, Lightfast Rating, Opacity Rating, Staining/Granulating and a sample of the color itself.
Most of these colors are one pigment colors (color index name = pigment composition). This feature allows the best behaviour on performance, transparency and expected result and mixes.
For our test we used an extended color palette that included:
Cadmium Yellow, Scarlet Pyrrol, Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Mineral Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Turquoise, Viridian, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Rust, Burnt Sienna and Neutral Tint.
As you can see, almost all colors are transparent or semi transparent. This characteristic was fully met on all colors used.
We used three blues: Ultramarine, Cobalt and Cerulean, to go from “warm” to “cold” blues and from transparent to semi opaque blues. These blues in addition to the obvious use, were also used for two purposes, this is, to obtain gray and greens.
Colors were arranged in the palette from warm to cold in the upper line, and additional colors in the bottom line as you can see in this image
Pigment concentration is excellent in all tested colors. This allows you to pick just a bit of color with the brush and have a rich and uniform wash. Color uniformity is one of the characteristics we found during our tests.
Not all brands gives you expeted mixing results. In this case M. Graham watercolor behavior was excellent.
As was said, our test uses blue as the basis for obtaining fundamental colors. This is the case of many gray and green.
Viridian was also used in conjunction with Alizarin for dark deep green.
It was easy and pleasant to work with M Graham given the predictability of mixtures.
No matter if your painting is color or tone oriented, you will feel comfortable using these watercolors.
Of course there is available a wide range of colors and you can choose according to your usual palette. Anyway, our advice is to be sure to try Mineral Violet and Quinacridone Rust, you will fall in love with them.
Also in the range of orange / red, Quinacridone Red and Scarlet Pyrrol are a must.
Freshness of Pigments
This is a feature in which we had special interest. We all know how different is to use fresh or dry pigment.
M. Graham uses Northwest honey with balanced amounts of gum Arabic as the binding medium in which pigment is added.
Because of the honey medium, watercolor resists hardening on the palette, or in the tube. It dilutes easily, often after months of disuse.
For this reason, we first used the fresh loaded pigments, and then we waited four weeks to determine the freshness of the pigments after that time.
After 4 weeks the pigment seems to be sticky. But if you wet the brush and touch the pigment it becomes as fresh, that is great.
This helps to pick pigment for dry brush stroke as for an easier mix of watercolors. This characteristic really makes this brand to be superior. If you paint more frequently, you are always using fresh pigment, no matter what time you put it on the palette.
The sum of excellent color performance and feature of the medium, make this brand a choice worthwhile.
You can find additional information on the website of M. Graham.