M. Graham Starter Set Review

I recently bought an M. Graham set of five colors. It’s their starter set and the colors come in 15ml tubes. Decided to get this one first as I’m interested in testing out their primaries before getting other colors from them. This is a good way to check if you like a brand or not- get their basic colors before committing to more colors.

According to the manufacturer, M. Graham uses pure gum arabic and natural blackberry honey as binders for their watercolors- this prevents hardening of paint over years if they are unused.

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The hues included in the starter set are: Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna and Azo Yellow.

I merely squeezed small amounts of each color on my palette in the video but a little goes a long way. The pigments are very brilliant and they dry to a nice, consistent finish. No granulation present in solid washes.

Watch below for how I mixed the colors to achieve different hues.

m graham starters set swatches of primaries

So the above is a messy way of how I swatch and mix colors. I tend to get carried away and mix out everything at once without an organized step-by-step formula.

The below is the basic color wheel you can achieve with only the primaries. I am VERY delighted with the greens here since I can achieve cool greens and deep purples but the oranges are not as bright as my usual choice if orange. I love the neutrals that I was able to mix though! I am definitely mixing a lot of this for my future paintings. Look at that clean brown. This is a plus since a clean and non-muddy brown is available if you mix the right amount of primaries.

m graham color wheel

I’d say that Azo Yellow, a middle yellow provides good ground in mixing either greens or oranges. Permanent Alizarin Crimson is a common favourite among a lot of artist palettes and Ultramarine is a strong and reliable blue to have in your palette. Included in this starter set however is a Sap Green which was a bit odd for me as I feel like it lacked a bit of luster when I tried it in watery washes. The Burnt Sienna was an additional color I don’t really care for at the moment as I really like to mix my own browns but it’s a reliable on for when I want to paint landscapes. The inclusion of the last 2 colors are great for a more extended palette.

All in all I can say that this set is worth the money but I’d love to choose colors per tube later on, not in sets hehe.



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