Vintage Watercolour Paint produced by Wallace Seymour

Alan Black

Wallace Seymour created this range of watercolour paints in response to the changes in the paint manufacturing industry.  They felt that over the last 10-15 years, the quality and availability of traditional colours in watercolour have decreased.  After testing they found many brands had changed original pigments for hues that compromised the overall quality and reliability of the paints.   

Wallace Seymour Watercolour Paints seek to counter this trend and to return to a level of quality and intensity previously seen in good watercolour paints. Wallace Seymour use only the highest grade Kordafan Gum Arabic to mill pigments into their special gum emulsion binder, with minimal additives. The binder contains Acacia honey made to their specific recipe taken from a single estate farm in central Italy. The inclusion of honey into the recipe helps to keep a stable paint paste while retaining a degree of softness. Unlike glycerine, which is so often used in modern watercolours to wet pigments and provide a false sense of saturation, their binding system works to reveal the true colour of the pigments used in manufacture. Each colour is expressed through the triple roll mill, according to a specific recipe.  It is for this reason the actual viscosity of the paint paste can change from colour to colour.  In general, the paint is a soft buttery paste which is easy to dilute with water to a wash.

These watercolours have a robust quality, especially the earth shades, where the particle size is often left at a larger micron size (between 50-120micron). This treatment means that many colours show aspects of granulation, a phenomenon highly prized by many watercolourists.

Many pigments are from their own production, from natural mineral colours like Malachite, Azurite, Lapis lazuli, through to natural earth pigments like Cittadella Grey Schist from the Sibillini mountains in Italy, or Torridon sandstone from the Scottish Highlands, a delicate natural pink earth.

They produce many plant based colours, as used by English watercolour painters from the late 18th Century: Indigo, Madder, Weld and Woad. These delicate natural colours have seen a revival in recent years and it is only right they should come back to the watercolour painters’ palette.

While the use of historic pigments is integral to the range, they also offer the standard cadmiums and cobalts plus new synthetic pigments like Green Gold and Quinacridone Red Gold.  These colours provide artists with unparalleled intensity and luminous transparency.

A speciality of the range is to make use of finite stock of pigments long-associated with watercolour painting. For example, the Manganese Blue uses the genuine pigment.  Prior to this the pigment was last manufactured in the 1980s. The Alizarin Crimson (Laque de Garance) is also unique made from pigment stock made in the 1980s and redder in shade than today’s current supply.

It is this kind of attention to detail that makes Wallace Seymour Vintage Watercolour range special and offers a range of unique colours to discerning artists who value quality.

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    A range of fluorescent acrylic colours have recently been added to the store.

    ‘FluorX’ Fluorescent Acrylic Colours are extra luminous ‘day-glo’ pigments, combined in a water-clear acrylic resin base. The paint paste is a soft gel, which can be modified by dilution with water or addition of acrylic painting medium to change sheen/surface/texture, etc.  Ten different shades are available.