We all know that the medium of watercolour often echoes with nostalgia - childhood afternoons spent painting in the kitchen, or grandmothers framing their still life images on the wall.
But Cass Art thinks differently and we have pulled together our top 5 watercolour products to prove it. We know that watercolour offers a whole lot more than that - it is about colour, process, unpredicatbility and keeping things fresh. David Hockney knows it, Karla Black knows it, Tracey Emin and Lucy Skaer certainly know it - in fact, the list of British contemporary artists using watercolour is more extensive than you might think. So it is high time we plunged traditional watercolour painting into the future of art-making.
Read on about our top 5 watercolour products that are making a splash at Cass Art - and showing that there is more to watercolour painting than half pans and tubes of paint.
Presented in a sleek and shiny tin, this is the perfect travel companion for any artist. Whether you're sketching in an exhibition or capturing the blurs of a city scene, this set comes complete with Watersoluble Graphite Pencils, a neat, dynamic way to create a variety of tone in your drawings. Turn your sketches into paintings - or your paintings into sketches - and use water, your fingers and brushes to attain a range of mark-making, any way you like.
Nestled inside the set is an eraser shield so you can manage the light tones in your drawings, an eraser, a sharpener and a paper stump, to blend excess graphite dust into your drawings.
A handy waterbrush is also included so you can bring watercolour to life on the move. That's right - leave your easels and water pots behind and get painting wherever you are. Art waits for nobody!
Read up on how to make the most of this sketching set by reading our How To feature on the blog.
2. Derwent Inktense Blocks
Together in a tin set of 72 dazzling colours, the Inktense Blocks can be used to celebrate colour and produce vibrant results on paper, fabric and silk.
So come out of those sketchbooks and use the blocks to draw on a variety of materials. Add water to reach delicate, translucent effects with the bright and charming colours, and even use them as an alternative to inks to reach the same bold effects.
The full set contains a wide range of colours including Sun Yellow, Chilli Red, Mallard Green and Sepia Ink. If variety is indeed the spice of life, then colour is a great place to start.
Find out how to make prints with Inktense Blocks on the blog.
Sometimes you just need to cover a lot of area quickly - and with the best colours available. These crayons are bright and hold their colour fantastically well so your paintings won't fade over time - they are made for your paintings to last and offer a smooth coverage to large areas.
They are well-suited to both dry and wet drawing, and even though they are firmer than oil pastels, you can smudge the crayons to achieve soft, blended marks.
Ideal for both art and craft, they can be used for loose drawing, but add water to create an intensity of colour and give your paintings a new beginning.
You can also grab them in more colours with a set of 30 here.
4. The Winsor & Newton William Collection Drawing Ink Pack of 8
Enter the bold and beautiful world of pen and ink with these pots of vivid liquid colour.
An excellent choice for illustrators and calligraphers as well as watercolourists, the inks are watersoluble and non-permanent, so you can achieve lucid, soft effects with your brush.
Water-resistant once dry, you can work over the top of them without any bleed, allowing you to layer as much as you like above colour washes and backgrounds.
Get painting without paintbrushes using these double-tipped brush pens. With one nib for fine details and the other a flexible brush, you can create a variety of strokes with these elegant pens.
The fine tip is perfect for consistent lines and tight details, and the durable, soft brush tip is ideal for colour application to large areas, and a flowing, painterly line.
As they are watersoluble, you can blend the colours just as you would with traditional watercolour paint, and sketch with a variety of rich colours. Use them for sketching, illustrating, card-making and painting - they are an economical and essential addition to your art supplies.