We thought Anne Pickersgill’s product review of Daniel Smith’s Jean Haines’ Green Watercolours over at jacksonsart.com was really interesting so we asked her to elaborate on it for this post. ‘The Phthalo Turquoise is dark and such a beautifully clear shade; the Cascade Green is a very moody, realistic green; and the Undersea Green, while gorgeous in itself, also has a surprising characteristic – the quin gold separates from the French ultramarine, giving a lovely effect.’
A Review of Daniel Smith’s Jean Haines’ Trio of Green Watercolours: Phthalo Turquoise, Cascade Green and Undersea Green
By Anne Pickersgill
As a life-long hobbyist acrylic portrait and landscape painter, I recently felt like a new challenge. I’d always heard that watercolours were tricky to learn, and this was an intriguing and exciting prospect for someone who’d been working with well-behaved acrylics for so long. Surely watercolours couldn’t be that difficult to master? Wrong! Three times out of five, I automatically started to use them like acrylics. However, it’s been a lot of fun trying to come to grips with their wonderful unpredictability. I am beginning to understand why people get addicted to working with them.
Part of the fun, of course, is the collecting of the items needed to start a new hobby, as it’s not only the paint, but also the brushes and the special paper that is required. It’s now become an obsession to the extent that I’m considering sewing large pockets into the lining of my dressing gown to sneak in packages from the mailbox.
My collecting goes in object-based stages: paints, paper blocks, brushes, books, back to paints again. I tend to become interested in paints brand-by-brand, and add to my various collections as my pocket money allows. It was during my (ongoing) Daniel Smith Watercolours craze that I discovered a little set of greens, as favoured by the renowned watercolourist Jean Haines. [You can view our collection of products affiliated with Jean Haines as well as her books and DVDs here.]
There was no real reason to do four pages of swatching. I just love the look of swatches. Don’t we all?
NB Saunders Waterford 100% Cotton seems like an excellent paper, but Bockingford is not the best paper for wet-on-wet.
The Jean Haines’ Greens made some lovely new colours and also toned down many of the Daniel Smith Essentials beautifully.
My original product review for Jackson’s Art was based on the three greens being used in tiny amounts on small paintings, as seen in these quick watercolour sketches of Victorian farmland during the early weeks of the recent Australian summer. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the greens: Cascade Green and Undersea Green for dusty old cypresses and gum trees, with Green Gold and Rich Green Gold from the Daniel Smith dot card for the green yet rapidly drying grass in the paddocks; Phthalo Turquoise in pale washes with French Ultramarine for the dam and glimpses of the sky. (I bought Green Gold and Rich Green Gold later as they’re both wonderful shades of green too).
I wanted to try the Jean Haines’ greens in a “pretty” picture, so, after watching a few YouTube tutorials, I did this loose floral painting of one of my garden roses and its seedlings. The background is mostly painted in Phthalo Turquoise with touches of green gold. The rose leaves are painted in Cascade Green, which separated gorgeously into blue and green. The roses are Daniel Smith Quin Rose and Daniel Smith Quin Pink. I didn’t feel that Undersea Green had a place here.
Undersea Green came into its own when I spotted the first autumnal leaf of the season. It was perfect for the different shades of dull green remaining in the leaf, from the paler areas to the almost black splotches. The other autumn colours are named on the vine leaf’s swatch page in the photo.
Many layers of Cascade Green and Undersea Green were used here to build up the flat, dark green leaf colours of the late summer oak tree. The granulation is very effective, creating a bit of texture without having to go into too much detail on the leaf. The green acorn has layers of Yellow Hansa Light, Green Gold, Rich Green Gold, plus Phthalo Turquoise mixed with Green Gold in a very pale wash for its cap. Similar colours have been used for the brown acorn, plus Burnt Sienna Light, which I understand is available only in the Alvaro Castagnet Daniel Smith Collection. The list of colours used for the beetle are swatched and named on the Moulin du Roy paper sample in the photo. I started off with pale wet-in-wet layers and finished with wet-on-dry strokes using a tiny model painter’s brush.
Side note: I thrashed this paper to within an inch of its life with water and brushstrokes and it held up extremely well.
A little illustration-style picture starring my dog, Jimmy. The Undersea Green is great for the shadows on the gum trees; Cascade Green for some of the other trees’ shadows, and Phthalo Turquoise is excellent for mixing all the other evening-tinted greens in the garden.
It’s quite simple, everybody who enjoys doing landscapes, seascapes, trees, plants or flowers needs the Jean Haines’ Greens!
Two of these greens are beautiful: Phthalo Turquoise and Cascade Green. Two have delightful separation characteristics: Cascade Green and Undersea Green.
Each colour is useful in many situations, including:
Phthalo Turquoise for skies, water, flowers, backgrounds.
Cascade Green for mountains, trees, summer and autumnal leaves, water, deep seas.
Undersea Green for trees, leaves, stormy skies, stormy seas.
I adore all shades of green – I’m putting together a mixed-brand 24 half-pan set of greens and blue-greens for myself, and this trio of Jean Haines Greens will be definite inclusions in that palette.
About Anne Pickersgill:
I’m an Australian self-taught artist who’s been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember – people mainly, but also landscapes. I have a large garden and I’m a plantaholic, so I have recently started learning how to do botanical style watercolours through an online course.
I have a WordPress Site that I haven’t added to for a long time, but it shows some of my “fan-art” portraits in acrylics. You can view it here.
You can view Daniel Smith’s Jean Haines’ Green Watercolour Set of Three online here, our range of Daniel Smith Watercolours here and a large selection of watercolour papers and sketchbooks here.
Calling all artists to share their views!
We would like to encourage you to write a review on our website of any products that you have used. Simply navigate to the product you wish to review and click on the ‘Reviews’ button beneath the product image. Be thoughtful and detailed – think about what information will be useful to others.
Each month we will be selecting several well-written examples which will be published on our blog. The writer of the best review will receive a £25 Jackson’s gift voucher plus a photograph of them in their studio (if they wish) and a link to their website will appear alongside their review.