Living in Australia we sometimes feel that we are ‘missing out’ when it comes to art supplies. But its worth making sure you check out all of the Australian brands before going offshore, Art Spectrum , Derivan including Matisse and Langridge are some of my favourite artist quality paint makers. Mont Marte cover the other end of the market and I do like some of their products but often not their paints.
Another Australian company is Micador and they appear to have been expanding their range recently. They are well known for their Koh-I-Nor disc paints (black plastic case) which I think originally come from the Czech Republic. I’ve looked at them but found them a little chalky for my painting purposes.
However I recently noticed a YouTube review by Lindsay Weirich thefrugalcrafter who recommended their new range of Micador For Artists Brilliant Watercolour Discs, (white plastic case) for pen and wash work – which is right up my street!
The paints come in a plastic disk, with 6 colour pans of paint and a clear plastic screw top. The paints are packaged in a variety of formats, I bought the 4 Seasons discs sets at $9.95 each from Art Shed, as the larger sets have some colour duplicates and white which is not my bag.
Eckersleys and independent art stores seem to be stocking them as well at similar price points.
Also full disclosure – the cute packaging drew me in! Even though its just on the cardboard boxes they come in, the discs themselves are plain and functional. They can all screw together to make a single stack of 4 discs for traveling, though I’m not sure they would be my go to outdoor sketching set, as I do find them a little cumbersome to use.
The paints are lovely and vibrant to use, they wet easily, the 6 colours in each disc work well together and suit my pen and wash style very well. They didn’t lift out too well, but washes worked well.
With dye based paints – which I think these are, due to the brilliance of their colours, and staining qualities the big issue for some is their light-fast qualities.
Micador have a link to a .pdf on their website (on the actual disc product page) detailing the staying power of these paints, and to be honest many do fall into a “the colour layer will change noticeably within 25 years” category, but its great to actually have that information so you can make your own mind up how and where you may use these paints e.g. plenty good enough for sketchbooks and design work, but probably not good enough for artworks that are intended for sale.
I really liked the seasonal grouping of colours, and so far have found I can paint with just one disk open, the colours are harmonious and mix well.
Karen’s top tip
The paints look very dark in the pan, so cut out a small disk of paper to insert into the centre of the disk and paint with each colour form the disk, cover with a bit of sticky tape to waterproof it, and you have an easy colour reference on hand when you pick up a disk to paint with.