Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review of ShinHan Pass Hybrid Watercolor / Gouache

Here's a video showing how I painted a street scene on location in Phoenicia, New York (link to video).



I'm test driving a new set of paints called ShinHan Pass Hybrid Watercolor/Gouache. The manufacturer voluntarily sent me a sample set to try out with no expectation of a review.


The set contains 48 plastic tube colors including primaries, "secondaries" and earth colors, Titanium white, and black.

When faced with a large assortment of pigments, I like to explore the colors in small groups and combinations. For my first experiment, I'm using just three colors plus white: Indigo, Vermilion Hue, and Yellow Ochre. The Vermilion gives me a high chroma accent in the warm red range. The other two colors are muted and harmonious. 



The ShinHan paints feel similar to a lot of other brands of gouache paint nowadays. As with other brands, they use a water-soluble gum arabic binder. The colors are rich in pigment without a lot of extenders or fillers.

Gallery artists should note that many of the pigments are not lightfast. Eight of the 48 colors are rated with a "low degree of lightfastness," which means they will fade rather quickly if they're exposed to a lot of UV light. That wouldn't be as much of a problem for designers whose renderings aren't subjected to too much light exposure or urban sketchers working in sketchbooks.

The paints are advertised as non-toxic. That means no Cadmiums or other heavy metals, but rather substitutes like Naphthol reds and Arylide yellows. These non-toxic alternatives are a positive for those concerned about health and safety, but a serious omission for others who prefer the qualities of those traditional pigments.

Some popular colors such as Cobalt Blue and Viridian have the word "hue" after the name, which means a convenience color has been mixed from less expensive ingredients.

The paints vary in opacity, ranging from transparent to semi-opaque to very opaque. Some of the pinks and blues are tinted with titanium white to create opaque designer colors which will not behave like transparent watercolors.


The set comes with a valuable and informative color chart that rates each of the colors on a scale of opacity, lightfastness, and relative price, and a Composition and Permanence Table that lists detailed chemical descriptions for each color.

I can't review all the colors yet, since I've only sampled a few so far. I'll be exploring more of them in future experiments.

The whole set of 48 colors sells for around $180.00. This is a pretty good deal considering that these are 20 ml tubes, while most gouache tubes are just 15 ml.

This is probably a bigger set than most people really need, but if you're adventurous and want a big tray of goodies, it offers a lot of possibilities.

Amazon: ShinHan Pass Hybrid Watercolor/Gouache.
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10 comments:

Fabio Porta said...

Masterpiece. I guess it takes a lot of practice to achieve such accuracy in painting. I can get an approximation with pencils, even with a grid, but once I move to brushes I just mess things up (edges, where not overall shapes).
Any tips on it? I guess it also depends on choosing decent brushes that do not release too much / not enough water?

Tobias Gembalski said...

Pure wizardry! Thanks for sharing.

Glenn Tait said...

Great painting, amazing how many places get painted and then their gone!

Glad to see you trying the micro fiber sponge and parchment paper set up. How did it compare with your other ways of laying out gouache?

Jim Douglas said...

Jim, judging by the lighting change in some of the close-ups, did you complete this painting in the studio? If so, I'd love to know how far you took the painting outdoors and what kind of references you used in the studio to complete it.

James Gurney said...

Glenn, I'm liking the palette moistener idea you suggested a while back. I found a square steel box with a lid, which should hold paint wet in a kind of humidor.

Jim, Good eye. You can see the background action in all the shots which were done on location right up to the very end of the vid. After I got home, I touched up some of the right side of the picture, signed it, and put the writing on it.

Fabio, When you switch to the brush, you have to take the risk of covering up your drawing. You can always find it again.

Erik Franken said...

I am having a similar problem, but I did notice that when I start to forget about outlining objects and focus on the bigger more abstract planes that make shapes I am getting better (and more realistic if I dare say so) results. This means using bigger brushes more often. I also think it is quite important to make fast or continuous brush strokes when required for it not to leave an edge. Have fun painting, we'll eventually get the hang of it hahah. :-)

David Webb said...

I have a few tubes of Shin Han Artist's watercolours, which are also pretty good.

Tamashebi Net said...

pretty Good thanks

R. A. Davies said...

Sight size is the way to go, and with that grid system, you can't go wrong. You can accomplish the same using a measure and compare method. I use a simple school ruler held at arm's length. There are you tube videos of A. L. Garcia using this method with very interesting tools. He works very large.

Ted Biggs said...

I like your idea from the video of forming a "wet palette. I have started using a piece of wax paper over damp paper towel to keep my paints wet. seems to let a fair amount of wet through without absorbing the paint, easy to carry a strip of each in my kit, lasts a while if you have to cover the palette and pause for a while.