When I took watercolor classes in college, the professor had us use Craftint liquid dyes, which were similar to Dr. Ph. Martin's original watercolors. The advantage to them was that they were easy to use -- there were no variations in handling properties to contend with -- and they were brilliant. However, if you wanted your paintings to last more than a few months, you would have had to put them in a folder in a drawer in a darkened room and only viewed them at midnight during a new moon. Every single one of my paintings faded into near-total obscurity on the wall within six months.
So when I returned to watercolor after a long hiatus, the world of tube pigments was totally new to me. I have to admit that I went a little crazy during the testing and trial period, filling sheet after sheet of watercolor paper with little squares of color -- color straight from the tube, color in various mixtures, comparisons of brands, tests for lightfastness.
I saved all these samples and referred to them often in the first few years. The result is that I feel totally comfortable with my choices of paints and can mix just about any color with confidence. Call me an art nerd, but it works for me!!
And now a very personal note:
Today is my 25th anniversary -- married to a guy who is secure enough in his identity to walk all the way home from downtown carrying a bright pink shopping bag after picking up some shampoo for me at the local beauty supply store today!! So glad we met all those years ago, Señor Terremoto!! You're a gem!!