Written By: Afsana Nundeekasen (


Lovebird Watercolours was born in 2019 when I joined a local art school and started learning watercolour painting as a means to help de-stress. I still consider myself a beginner watercolourist! Prior to this, I had a dream of making perfume and Lovebird Perfumes was born in 2014. The dream however was but a dream and did not come alive but rather evolved into something more vibrant and colourful!

I studied Chemical Engineering and have spent many years in sales and marketing of various chemicals and most recently in 2019 started in the world of pigments distribution. My love and appreciation of colour grew and my technical interest in the pigments used in the paint industry led me to start manufacturing my very own handmade watercolour paints. Lovebird Watercolours was officially launched just before my 40th birthday at the end of March 2021 and well since then, like they say…Life begins at 40!

Lovebird Watercolour paints are proudly handmade in South Africa using a natural binder and pigment. I make my own binder using Gum Arabic powder and spent a number of trials working on the right consistency and concentration to ensure good pigment dispersibility without chalking. The binder also includes natural antifungal and moisture retaining agents.

Pigment powder and binder is mixed and then hand mulled using a specially made glass Muller. I use a variety of coatings grade inorganic, organic and effect pigments like synthetic micas for the Shimmering Gems palette. The ratio of pigment to binder is specific for each pigment blend and a slightly higher pigment loading is maintained to allow for excellent colour vibrancy.

The mulled paint is then hand poured into half pans over a period of 2 weeks.. It takes approximately 5 to 6 pours and up to 48 hours of drying time between each pour. Care is taken to ensure air bubbles are removed so that the final product is compact. Since the product is hand poured, no two pans will be identical and natural imperfections will occur but this adds to the beauty of the full package. Each collection is a palette on its own and the first two palettes are the FLUORESCENT HUES and SHIMMERING GEMS.

The entire process from start to finish is very relaxing and quite meditative for me as I am able to immerse my love for colour and watercolour into each step, creating a final product that will be enjoyed and loved by many artists’ from beginner to professional!

It has been very rewarding getting feedback from customers especially from experienced watercolourists’ like Rekha Sinath, whose outstanding artwork I have admired for many years! (See

This journey has just begun for me and I have so many ideas that I want to splash to life! It will be great if you can follow me on Instagram ( as Lovebird Watercolours takes flight and brings to life some fun and exciting palettes for you to enjoy!
Yours in Watercolour,

Afsana Nundeekasen



Rekha Sinath Reviews Lovebird Watercolour

by Rekha Sinath (

I learnt about the launch of LoveBird Watercolours from the founder’s Instagram page (  Afsana and I studied Engineering together approximately 20 years ago; little did I realise our paths would cross again through our passion for creating.  I ordered the Shimmering Gems palette of paints online from a stockist in Johannesburg, and eagerly anticipated its arrival. 

When I received paints, I was most impressed firstly by the personal attention to detail: from the packaging, labelling and branding, hand written note on colour card from the creator, even detail to having little magnets affixed to the palettes to keep them attached to metal container!

Being a bit of a magpie, I was naturally drawn to the shimmer/iridescence of these paints.  I set about testing these paints, on Arches watercolour paper (300gsm) as well as on Yupo paper.  I worked with these paints on white/light backgrounds as well as on darker backgrounds and used in combination with Winsor and Newton and Daniel Smith watercolours. 

I was very pleased with the vibrancy of the colours, with the fact that it did not disperse the underlying colours or colours surrounding the paint application which I previously experienced with some other iridescent paints.  From this I inferred that the particle size of the pigments used in the Shimmering Gems was small enough to prevent dispersion of paints around it, which I later confirmed with the creator of these paints.  She further shared that these paints are light fast.   I worked wet on wet as well as wet on dry and attained good results, with wet on dry more suited to the application I intended.

I have used these paints in the works shown and was very satisfied with the outcomes.  I have found my go to palette of iridescent paints, which was also affordable and good value.  I look forward to trying out some of the other paints from this local manufacturer of artisanal paints, who has  in depth knowledge of the chemistry and science of paints, pigments and binders as well as the utilisation thereof by artists, being one herself.