Reviewed by Nigel Chester
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s thoughts have turned to Christmas and that seasonal job of trying to find the perfect gift – well, if you have an artist or budding artist, young or old on your “to buy for” list, then Winsor & Newton’s Galeria Introductory Gift Collection could be the answer you’re looking for. Whilst you can buy cheaper, this quality gift set does represent excellent value for money, with an RRP of £43.50.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with acrylic as a medium, then take the leap. I am sure you won’t be disappointed. Most beginners start with watercolours, which, in reality are the most difficult medium, as they are not easy to control. Oils take such a long time to dry, and again, can have a mind of their own unless you are an accomplished artist.
Acrylics, therefore, occupy that space somewhere between watercolours and oils. They are water-based and fast drying, so no smelly turpentine and can be more controlled. They can be used thick, like oils or thin, like watercolours. Simply mix with water, however, once dry, it is waterproof, so layers of washes and thin paint can go over the top, without making a mess. It’s also easy to paint over, should you make a mistake.
I think that one of the most amazing qualities of acrylics is, that it can be used on virtually any surface, including glass, terracotta and cloth, so it is the perfect medium for crafting. The only limit to acrylics is the artists imagination. You can add things to give it texture, glitter, sand, feathers, whatever works for you. It is ideal for sticking collage pieces too, including fabric and beads. Acrylics can also be used to fabulous effect with other mediums, including gouache pastel or fibre pens. The paints are cheaper than some other mediums, but, don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper makes, Winsor & Newton know their stuff, having been manufacturing since 1832.
The Galeria Introductory Gift Collection Set is new for winter 2017, but I’m sure it will form a core component of the Winsor & Newton range of acrylics for years to come.
So, why do I like this set so much? Well, the answer to that is easy; it simply has everything in the sturdy, minimal packaging, that you need to create your art.
The box itself is beautiful and functional, the set contains the three primary colours most usually used by artists, red, yellow and blue, along with black and titanium white. A petal shaped palette with spaces for both clean and dirty water accompanies a No8 round brush with a sharp tip, paper and varnish, this set is literally “just add water”.
I would be delighted to find this set under my Christmas tree, and hope that your loved ones will be too.
For more information or to buy visit www.winsornewton.com.