Thursday, 29 March 2012

Daler Rowney Inks - Review (Because Other Paints Do Still Exist!)

With the release of the new Citadel paint range and the general marketing push by our good friends at GW, I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk a little about the inks that I use from Daler Rowney. I've been planning on doing this for a while and it seems like a good time to let everyone know about some alternatives that they might not consider because they're not specifically sold as a miniature paints range. On their website painting guides GW are now suggesting that in order to paint blue, for example, one actually requires five or six different kinds of blue in order to achieve a desirable result. This is - quite frankly - a silly and blatant marketing ploy. Any experienced artist will tell you that you can get a very wide range of shades from a limited number of colours, and that you should restrict your palette accordingly. The FW range is very good for this. Some of them are opaque while others are transparent, and all can be watered down to achieve reasonable washes - although to give GW some credit, their washes (sorry 'shades') are still pretty unbeatable in this area. 

The FW artist ink range from Daler Rowney
Unlike the Citadel '145' range, which has been expanded (insert trumpet fanfare etc.), the FW inks are available in fewer colours, but this is a strength rather than a problem, especially if you actually enjoy mixing your paints. The dropper bottles these come in makes this incredibly easy, as there is a pipette inside each of the screw caps, making the transfer from bottle to palette painless.

A few bottles from my growing collection - Flame Red, Flesh Tint, and the extremely versatile Payne's Grey
These paints are more expensive at around £5 a bottle here in the UK. But as with brushes, you get what you pay for. Also, the ease with which different tones can be mixed means that will a little forward planning, money could be saved (one or two blues, not six...). Using inks also takes some practice because they are (rather obviously) more fluid than other types of acrylic paint. I'm finding it really worthwhile to give them a solid, central place on my painting table - highly recommended. 

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