A bit about M. Graham & Co
M. Graham is an American company which was founded 22 years ago by a couple of artists who shared a passion for quality artist supplies. They are environmentally minded – dedicated to solvent free manufacturing, re-purposing older equipment and keeping production waste low. Among their product range, are the M. Graham Watercolor Paints.
I first stumbled upon the M. Graham & Co range, while researching different Gouache paints last year. Since discovering the brand, I have been highly impressed by the high quality of their products. I wanted to share with you a few of the reasons why I just love them…
I discovered in my research, that even some of the more expensive artist quality paints offered many colors in their range that were poorly rated for light fastness. To me, this pretty much contradicts the point of purchasing artist quality paints in the first place! I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all of the M. Graham Watercolor Paints are rated Very Good or Excellent for lightfastness. This gives you plenty of stable colours to choose from!
High Pigment Load
M. Graham Watercolor Paints come readily available in .5 oz (15ml) tubes. These tubes may look small, but a little bit of paint goes a very long way! M. Graham pride themselves on packing in exceptional amounts of pigment with minimal fillers. The high pigment concentration means brilliant, vibrant colors which create wonderfully luminous tints and washes.
We are constantly evaluating ourselves against the competition to see who has greater tinting strength and pigment loads. For this test, we mix a tablespoon of white, and half teaspoon of color…What we find time and again is that no other paint offers the same level of pigment as ours.
– M. Graham & Co
M. Graham Watercolor Paints have a smooth, thick honey-like consistency. In fact, M. Graham uses blackberry honey and pure gum arabic as a binding medium. This makes the paints easily controllable and resistant to both cracking and hardening on the palette, or while in the tube. The use of honey also makes to paint very easy to re-activate once dry. As soon as contact is made with a wet brush, the paint dilutes easily and is once again ready to go.
I’ve heard rumours that insects can be attracted to the honey component…but I haven’t had any issues myself.
Testing M. Graham Watercolor Paints
After much contemplation I chose a red, blue, yellow and a couple of neutrals to get started. If you’re on a limited budget, you will be able to mix a good range of shades from three initial primary colours.
You can always add to your collection gradually over time, treating yourself with a few special shades here and there. I’m dreaming of Ultramarine Pink, Cobalt Teal and Permanent Green (just to name a few – sigh). I made sure that I didn’t double up on any colours that I already owned in my Gouache collection and selected the following;
- Pyrrol Red
- Hansa Yellow
- Neutral Tint
First I tested the intensity of the pigments, by loading up my brush with paint and gradually washing it outwards with more water. The tiniest amount went a very long way, and I was able to achieve intense colour to delicate tints.
Next, I tested how well the different colours combined. All of these shades are mixed entirely from the three initial primary colours I listed above. The colours blended together effortlessly, thanks to their smooth consistency and the addition of honey as a binder.
M. Graham Watercolor Paints are a top choice at a reasonable price. The overall lightfastness of the line is excellent, a big plus when selecting colours. The paints are milled carefully in small batches, ensuring quality control and product consistency. I really love using these – the colours are seriously intense, the paint is smooth and easy to re-wet. Just add water and watch the magic!
Visit M. Graham & Co online to view their Colour Range or make use of their handy Store Locator to find your nearest stockist. You can purchase M. Graham & Co Watercolor Paints within Australia from The Art Shop
They are also available online at Dick Blick and you can grab some via my affiliate link below;
M. Graham Artists’ Watercolors
* Open & Honest Policy – I may receive a small compensation if you make a purchase through my affiliate links. All product reviews on studio 8T4 are unbiased and opinions expressed are my own.