Friday, July 27, 2007

Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour Large Pans

One of the interesting new products I saw at the Learning & Product Expo recently was Winsor & Newton's (W&N) new Artists’ Water Colour Large Pans. They are essentially huge pans of watercolor pigment contained in ceramic pans. I'm not sure if I'll ever buy any of these (I'm not much of a Winsor & Newton person, and I prefer tube paints to pans), but it seems like a very innovative product, especially for those looking for a more convenient way to to work larger.

Each large pan color is contained in a ceramic dish. The sides slope to help you control the quantity of wash held in your brush and these are stackable once the color has dried. They're available in a range of 30 of W&N's most popular selling colors. The pans measure 2.4" x 1.6" (60 x 40mm).

W&N developed the large pans for artists who wish to paint on a larger scale. W&N's website says that, "Painting with water colour on a large scale is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular. More and more artists are experimenting with water colour’s fascinating versatility to create larger, more dramatic water colours. These Large Pans are perfect with larger sized brushes, to create broad, flowing washes. For generous areas of colour, like skies, this gives a real immediacy and speed which has not been possible with the smaller pans."

Also, a wooden pan system is available that allows you to house up to 5 of the large pans. It's made from cherry-colored wood, and the fully varnished 5 pan tray securely holds the pans while you paint. A brush rest is included that's suitable for larger-sized brushes. In the base of each large pan slot is a circular hole that allows any water to drain out of the tray; it also facilitates the removal of the large pans by pushing up from below.

When checking prices on Jerry's Artarama, I found that the large pans sell for $15 to $24 (depending on pigment), and the wooden pan system costs about $12.

I use 3.25" square ceramic dishes from Crate & Barrel when I want to mix large quantities of paint (or accomodate larger brushes); I just add the amound of tube paint I need for the job and add water. The Crate & Barrel dishes are a more inexpensive equivalent to the large pans described above; the dishes only cost about $1.25 each, and if you wanted to make your own pan, you could add an entire 15-ml tube (or larger) of paint.