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In 1766 William Reeves opened his first shop near St Paul’s Cathedral in Well Lane, Little Britain where he manufactured and sold his own paints. The business was doing so well that he took his older brother Thomas into partnership.

Reeves was a family orientated business where William’s brothers, children and extended family all helped to give Reeves the quality reputation that it still holds today. However, it was the successful marketing of the Moist Watercolor Paint-Cake invented by William Reeves, which placed Reeves at the forefront of manufacturing artists’ materials.

The shop had a basement in which three young apprentices ground the pigment, and used a new and secret process to develop the innovative water color paint-cakes.

William and Thomas were so proud of their invention that they sent a sample embossed with the original bluecoat boy device to the society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce. The society of Arts (now known as the Royal Society of Arts) was suitably impressed by Reeves’ refinement of watercolor paints through the invention of the moist paint cake and in 1781 were awarded the Messrs Reeves the ‘Great’ silver palette ‘for the manufacture of Watercolor improved’!

Today we are passionate about art as Williams Reeves was when he established Reeves in 1766. Their history of producing innovative artists’ materials is core to everything they do.

As the world’s leading supplier of Painting by Numbers and Scraperfoil, they are proud to provide guidance to artists and make art accessible for all. Their ranges include products suited to children, crafters and artists.

»  Pencil Drawing