Up until now, I’ve focused mostly on materials that I use in both my journal and my mixed media works of art, but today I want to talk about a material that I use only for my stand alone pieces of art due to it’s quality. I’m talking about Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolor. These high quality liquid watercolors are perfect for the type of mixed media that I like to do since they are transparent and lightfast. It’s easy to build up layers with the watercolor and the lightfastness means that they are less likely to fade in the light like lower quality paint.
If you’re not familiar with liquid watercolor, I highly recommend experimenting with some. I first started using liquid watercolor when I taught in public schools using a student quality paint with both elementary and high school students. Even with the student quality, I was impressed with the intensity of the colors and the ease of building layers. But the student quality paint was not lightfast, and I wanted something that I could use in my art that would stand up over time. After a little searching I found the Hydrus watercolors. I instantly fell in love with them.
Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolor come in 36 colors and are available in 0.5oz or 1oz glass bottles. They can be purchased individually or in three different sets. The color is bright and vivid, and I use only a few drops at a time diluting with water to control the intensity and the value of the color. Though the colors are intermixable, I normally use them straight and build up layers with individual colors. That are perfect for using alone, or with other materials like water-soluble pencil, collage, and ink. The paint can also be used with a variety of implements like technical pens, dip pens, and airbrush, though I’ve only used them with a brush. I only have Set 1, since it contains a variety of basic colors, but I’d love to supplement the set with a few more individual colors.
The Hydrus watercolor is definitely a studio paint, especially with the glass bottles, and even the 0.5oz bottles are a bit bulky. I don’t recommend traveling with them. Also, these are high quality, fine arts paint, and as so are on the pricey side. A twelve color set of 1oz bottles will put you back $100, though you can find them a bit cheaper at various online retailers. But a little goes a long way, so the paint will last. Because of the quality, I don’t routinely use the Hydrus watercolors in my journal, and I try to reserve them for my stand alone mixed media art or my monster paintings.
If you’re looking for a high quality, liquid watercolor paint and don’t mind shelling out a bit of money, I highly recommend Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolor. It’s a beautiful and versatile paint.