Granulating Mixes

I recently took Nilam Roy’s Watercolor Granulation Techniques class on Skillshare (I’m on my free month trying to decide whether to keep it). The main part of the class was this snowy tree painting, which I don’t think is my best work ever, but I really enjoyed the middle part which just involved swatching mixes from the granulating paints in your collection. It occurs to me that this a homebrew version of making supergranulating paints. Here are mine.

Granulating mixes 1

Each row corresponds to one of my non-granulating mixers: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quin Rose, Phthalo Turquoise, and Winsor Green.

Each column corresponds to a granulating paint. On this page, we have:

DS Transparent Red Oxide (PR101): Pleasant enough mixer, mildly granulating in most mixes and extremely granulating when mixed with Phthalo colors.

MMB Potter’s Pink (PR233): Highly granulating in all mixes. Tends to separate a lot and also to cause mixers to become pale. It might be time to acknowledge that I don’t really like Potter’s Pink. These all look ugly to me.

DV Indian Red (PR101): Doesn’t look extremely granulating in mixes, probably because it’s so strong and tends to lay flat in masstone. My most successful granulation was in the green mix, and that’s because I diluted the Indian Red so much. But the mix I like the most is with Phthalo Turquoise, which acquired a nice moody dark color.

Ultramarine Blue (PB29): In my opinion, this is the most useful granulating color. The mix with yellow is odd but interesting. Quin Red makes a gorgeous deep purple. I also like the textured blues with the Phthalos.

WN Oxide of Chromium (PG17): Like Indian Red, this one is so opaque and housepaint-like in masstone that it can be difficult to tame into its granulating dilute. But when you do, I think it makes some nice foliage mixes, and I especially like the mix with Phthalo Turquoise.

Granulating mixes 2

Same rows, more granulating mixer columns.

DS Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PO48): I think of this as being “like TRO, but weaker” so I was surprised that I liked the mixes so much better. It’s more of a bright orange and all the mixes wowed me, from the predictably excellent DIY Quin Gold with Nickel Azo Yellow; to the fiery coral with Quin Rose; the lovely deep moody green with Phthalo Turquoise (so much nicer than that separated mix with TRO!) and the naturalistic yet bold sap green hue with Winsor Green. It’s too bad this pigment is being phased out.

DV Violet Iron Oxide (PR101): A very granulating earth violet, this made mixes that I found similar to Potter’s Pink but much deeper. I feel like this one is really hit-or-miss; I disliked the mixes with yellow and turquoise but really liked the black-and-green mix with Winsor Green.

WN Smalt (PV15): A bluey form of Ultramarine Violet which mixes up pretty, delicate colors. I love the textured lilac with Quin Rose, and I felt that Smalt even more effectively turned Phthalo Turquoise into a sky mix.

DV Raw Umber (PBr7): Moderately granulating mixer of cool earth tones. I enjoy both the earthy violet with Quin Rose and the earthy green with Phthalo Turquoise. I always forget to account for the yellow bias of this one, but it’s good if you’re expecting it.

SH Cobalt Turquoise (PG50): Not one of the most granulating PG50s on the market (go for DS or WN if you like granulation), but there’s still some texture here. Great for those neon-ish colors like the leaf green with yellow or the seafoam with Winsor Green. I have typically praised the lilac with Quin Rose but Smalt does it one better.

What are you favorite granulating mixes and granulating mixers?