M. Graham & Co. — watercolor with history

Dear friends!

We passed the equator of the second season of the Step by Step competition.

It’s time to introduce you to the company’s products — M. Graham & Co.

For the first time in the company’s history, they decided to support an international event, and I am proud that our project has become this event!

The company provided our participants with three sets of 12 pieces of watercolors in tubes of 15 ml.

«At M. Graham, our environmental commitment goes beyond producing solvent-free paint for artists.

Inspired by landscapes, awed by the heavens and the seas, moved by the connections between man and beast—artists have always celebrated the beauty of the Earth. Our environment is precious to us.

That’s why we’re dedicated to protecting and preserving the beauty of the Earth, from the source to the end product.

Solvent-Free Paint

Not only is M. Graham paint solvent free, but so is our manufacturing and cleaning. We use walnut oil and nontoxic soaps to clean our rollers and equipment.

Solvent-free paint is better for artists and paintings, our employees, and the environment.

Lowering Our Carbon Footprint

We buy 100% of our power through the renewable power option.

We minimize our consumption with high-efficiency lighting, detectors and timers.

We buy carbon offsets to balance out the energy we use.

Reducing, Reusing & Recycling

We seek out and purchase equipment that would otherwise be decommissioned.

We recycle and reuse the factory water waste used for cleaning equipment.

Watercolors

You’re inspired by the world around you — so are our paints.

M. Graham watercolors are made with Northwest blackberry honey, recalling the practice of early artists who drew from nature for their materials as well as their subjects. This traditional base creates willing watercolors ready for your brush and yields even, fluid washes.

Honey also allows for stronger, truer colors. With a complete range of pleasing pigments — from delicate tints to dark, concentrated colors — you’ll discover more color possibilities with M. Graham watercolors.

As an essential ingredient in our binding medium, honey contributes to moistness for smooth, easily controlled applications, increased pigment concentrations, and freedom from over reliance on preservatives. Because of the honey medium, our watercolor resists hardening on the palette, or in the tube. It dilutes easily, often after months of disuse. »

A completely new look at paint production. Respect for the environment, combined with a honey base and one pigment color, makes M Graham watercolor unique.

For testing, I got the following colors:

Prussian Blue 153, Turquoise 189, Ultramarine Blue 190, Cobalt Teal 097, Azo Yellow 018, Cadmium Yellow Deep 063, Burnt Umber 030, Quinacridone Rust 157, Burnt Sienna 020, Payne’s Gray 128, Sap Green 174, Viridian 195, Alizarin Crimson 010, Cadmium Red Deep 045, Quinacridone Rose 156

I chose the colors myself, depending on my working palette.

In total, the full palette contains 70 colors, which should be enough for anyone, even the most vivid imagination of the artist. After the first acquaintance, I want to get to know the blue shades more extensively and add a few more green and yellow hues to my palette.

Metal tubes with a volume of 15 ml., With a white plastic cap.

The lid is comfortable, it has been in operation for only a few months, but it has proven itself perfectly. It does not dry out, opens correctly, the tube does not curl. Even if the paint has dried and blocked the lid when trying to open, the tubes retain their shape, and if force is applied, they will not deform.

On each tube, the name and number of the color and series in English. On the reverse side, all information on this color: composition, pigments, lightfastness. I was pleasantly surprised that the only solvent indicated was Gumi Arabic. Barcode, manufacturer’s address, and manufacturer’s website address — each tube contains full information to find your favorite color easily.

All colors in this collection have excellent lightfastness; for more information on the formula for calculating lightfastness in this company, see the color description section. All colors are vibrant and bright, but there is no sense of acidity of colors in moderation. Consistency is homogeneous in any color. There was no peeling or spreading of paint.

Pleasant earthy shades, I chose from the palette exactly those colors that often appear in my works.

All colors interact well with water, do not flake off, quickly gain saturation. I am absolutely delighted with all the blue shades I got. My delight and new favorites are

Cobalt Teal is a stunning bright yet light granular color. Indispensable in my works, with clouds,

Turquoise is a deeply saturated color, with a transparent base — just magic,

Prussian Blue — in working with heaven, she replaced Indigo for me, which is a real discovery. Now a super interesting fact: there is no Indigo color in the line, in general, and I did not notice it at all. Let me explain: before, none of my work with heaven could do without this color, but now, there is an alternative. And this is great because Indigo is, as a rule, a multi-component color, and the black pigment in it sometimes gives undesirable effects.

Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna — one-component earthy shades with a granulation effect. It can be perfectly seen in action at my work with the ship.

More about colors:

I want to note that the company has an extraordinary approach to evaluating its products, further information from the site:

Composition and Permanence

The color index name is established and published by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and The Society of Dyers and Colourists. The color index name is a generic category and does not refer to a specific pigment. While it enables the artist to form a general idea of opacity, transparency and lightfastness, for a pigment in a certain color space, it does not provide definitive information. Many grades of pigment are available from a number of manufactures with a very wide range of physical attributes.

Chemical Name

The chemical name is a brief, commonly used generic type designation of the pigment types composition. in conjunction with the color index name, the chemical name can be used to broaden the artists understanding of the source and nature of the pigment used.

Permanence

The permanence of a color is a measure of the lightfastness of the pigment when dispersed in a vehicle and subjected to conditions which emulate the exposure normally given a fine arts object. Such ratings are generally considered vehicle or media dependent and can vary between media — thus pigment which is suitably lightfast for oil color, might not be lightfast in watercolor. Our ratings utilize a combination of historical data, accelerated testing and data from pigment manufacturers to establish one of the toughest standards among artists color makers today.

Transparency and Opacity

Each of our colors has been provided a designation indicating relative degrees of transparency to opacity. Please consider these as a guideline because any thin film application, while not necessarily transparent, can be interpreted by the view as such.

Azo Yellow 018

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I        
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Benzimidazolone Yellow (PY 151)

Cadmium Yellow Deep 063

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Opaque
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Cadmium Zinc Sulfide (PY 35)

Quinacridone Rose 156

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Quinacridone Violet (PV 19)

Quinacridone Rust 157

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Quinacridone Orange (PO 48)

Alizarin Crimson 010

  • Light fastness — Acceptable — LF III
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — 1:2 Dihydroxyanthraquinone on Alumina Base (PR 83)

Burnt Sienna 020

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Semi Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Calcined Natural Iron Oxide (PBr 7)

Burnt Umber 030

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Semi Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Calcined Natural Iron Oxide containing Manganese (PBr 7)

Sap Green 174

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Chlorinated Copper Phthalocyanine (PG 7), Isoindolinone Yellow (PY 110)

Viridian 195

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Hydrous Chromium Sesquioxide (PG 18)

Cobalt Teal 097

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Semi Opaque
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Cobalt Aluminate (PB 28)

Prussian Blue 153

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Ferriammonium Ferrocyanide (PB 27)

Turquoise 189

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Copper Phthalocyanine (PB 15:3), Chlorinated Copper Phthalocyanine (PG 7)

Ultramarine Blue 190

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Silicate of Sodium & Aluminum with Sulfur (PB 29)

Dioxazine Purple 100

  • Light fastness — Very Good — LF II
  • Opacity Rating — Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Staining
  • Pigment — Carbazole Dioxazine (PV 23)

Payne’s Gray 128

  • Light fastness — Excellent — LF I
  • Opacity Rating — Semi Transparent
  • Staining/Granulating — Granulating
  • Pigment — Amorphous Carbon (PBk 9), Silicates of Sodium and Aluminum with Sulphur (PB 29)

As you can see, indeed, all the presented colors are mono pigment, almost all with maximum lightfastness. Granulating properties work great.

Paints are made traditionally on two papers — with a density of 300 g / m2 and a texture density of 450 g / m2

I got acquainted with the M. Graham company’s products only a few months ago and have not yet had time to work out a lot of work with these paints.

Nevertheless, several works have already been added to my working portfolio.

«Snowy silence» 30 * 40 cm

At the time of this writing, winter has come to our region for the first time in three years, and the beautiful winter landscapes inspired me. In this work, I used colors: Azo Yellow 018, Cobalt Teal 097, Prussian Blue 153; just three colors helped me create a light atmospheric watercolor.

«We also have winter» 38 * 28 cm.

This work, but rather a sketch, Because it was written in one breath in 15 minutes. All the same winter mood and a cozy winter landscape. In this work, I used colors: Cobalt Teal 097, Prussian Blue 153, Ultramarine Blue 190, Burnt Umber 030, Payne’s Gray 128, Dioxazine Purple 100

The work was created as an experiment on mixing different colors from the M Graham company, and it turned out to be a pleasant light sketch.

«Mountain peaks» 30 * 40 cm

Also, a 20-minute sketch. The work was done in the A la Prima technique; the fires were drawn using the glazing technique when the sky was dry. I just picked the clouds with a napkin. In this work, I used the following colors: Azo Yellow 018, Cobalt Teal 097, Prussian Blue 153, Payne’s Gray 128

«Northern beauty» 38 * 56 cm

The traditional watercolor effects, which have already become my trademark to some extent, succeeded with an even more intense effect than I expected. The work was presented in a Gdansk gallery as part of an international exhibition dedicated to the Christmas Light project. And she has already found a home and will go to a beautiful country in Belarus. In this work, I used the following colors: Azo Yellow 018, Cobalt Teal 097, Prussian Blue 153, Payne’s Gray 128

«The passage of time» 38 * 56 cm

I present work with step-by-step photos that perfectly reveal the granulating properties of the paints of this line. The work complemented the Sands of Time series, which I started back in 2019.

In this work, I used the following colors: Azo Yellow 018, Cobalt Teal 097, Prussian Blue 153, Cadmium Yellow Deep 063, Ultramarine Blue 190, Turquoise 189, Quinacridone Rust 157, Burnt Umber 030, Burnt Sienna 020, Payne’s Gray 128

Work details

Watercolors from M. Graham & Co are definitely a sample of luxury products’ quality and excellent properties.

With attention to detail, and the purest composition, single-pigment shades, and a natural base, you are guaranteed to find all this in M. ​​Graham & Co. watercolors.

Of the 15 colors I received for testing, 12 migrated to my working palette. This fact, I think, says it all.

Gorgeous translucent deep blues, vibrant earth, and greens, My definite favorites are Cobalt Teal 097, Prussian Blue 153, Turquoise 189; earthy shades — Quinacridone Rust 157, Burnt Sienna 020

All the declared properties of paints were confirmed 100%, convenient format and packaging, attention to detail, and an excellent palette for easy selection. Based on this, I recommend them for use, and I want to hear your opinion about these paints.

Add works made using M. Grahan & Co. paints in the comments to this post and share your impressions.

Thank you for your attention, Julia Kochetova

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