Neon Garden

Little One loves going to parks and gardens!  Especially in the warmer months when she is surrounded by pretty flowers.  Many of them in vivid colors.  Imagine what it would be like if they were neon, she mused.  So she set out to the garden wearing a bright day-glo blue dress to see what would happen.  And sure enough, the whole garden started going neon too!  How sweet.  So let’s paint about this kawaii little story…

I took the opportunity to use and compare my two different sets of fluorescent-coloured watercolor pans.  The paper I used was Strathmore’s Bristol Paper.  Already, I’ve had the LUMI Accent Color by Kuretake Tanbi  from Japan but recently purchased a set of Komorebi Neon Collection by MozArt from the U.K.  I then compared the two by making swatches of the paints.

Whilst the Komorebi set has green and blue, the LUMI set doesn’t but instead has violet and two shades of orange which the Komorebi set lacks.  Comparing was then limited to the yellow, orange, red and pink.  I am quite happy with both but found that the LUMI was more strongly pigmented, giving a more intense and “powdery” finish.  However as it lacks certain colors like blue and green it is also good to have the Komorebi if you need them.  Below are a closer comparison with red, orange and pink.  On each photo, the left hand pans are by Komorebi and the right hand ones by LUMI, with the middle ones the Dark Orange and Violet by LUMI.  You can definitely notice the difference in colour intensity.

So here I developed this kawaii piece based on the cute happy story.  The neon flowers and Little One dressed up in a matching blue frock.  Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t do much justice as it is difficult to photograph neon colours properly.  You need to darken the rest of the photo to make the colours pop out, sacrificing the whiteness of the paper.  And of course I just used my phone as a camera!  Nevertheless you will hopefully have an idea of what neon shades look like in watercolour.  Kuretake Gansai Tanbi watercolours were used for the hair and face of Little One, a perfect match with the LUMI set.


I am definitely going through a neon colour phase at the moment.  In fact, you may have noticed that lately I seem to use them often also in acrylic paints/inks and coloured pencils.  Must be the summer season which makes many of us, like Little One, want to imagine what the world would be like in these vivid colours.  That certainly brings some happy and positive vibes which is a good thing.  All the reason I’ll be using them more!


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