Thursday, January 30, 2014

More Fun with Art Supplies

I continue to play with watercolor pads and paint. Today I painted from a photo of an old truck that I took in Northwest Arkansas. (There are more old trucks in NWArkansas than any other place in the country.)  Tonight I painted on a spiral watercolor pad by Cotman (Winsor Newton). It wasn't nicely bound and pretty, just a plain little inexpensive spiral.  I liked the paper because it was easy to lift out color, and I didn't like it because it was easy to lift out color. ???  I like the lifting to create highlights and to make corrections.  But color also lifted when I was glazing and adding layers. I loved the weight of the paper and there was little buckling.
I used my very old and very used metal travel palette which is filled with all of the colors and brands I love.  It is much larger than the cute little travel palettes that are available now and with which I have been experimenting. But it felt very comfortable and familiar. Of course I am trying to find a palette  the students will be comfortable using.  I know there are some  some plastic versions of these on the market today that are much lighter than the metal one I have.
Also a dear friend gave me the collapsible water bucket you can see in the picture.  It is a rubber and folds down to about 1 1/2". Love it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Testing Watercolor Sketching Supplies

I am trying to find the perfect watercolor sketchbook, watercolor palette, and travel brushes for a summer trip to France with 8 high school girls.  Last night I painted on a Moleskin watercolor sketchbook, with a palette I made from an old Prang watercolor kit filled with Utrecht watercolor paint. This is my result.

Oops, the picture has the Koi palette, but I used the Prang one. I didn't love the Moleskin.  Notice how the paper curls up.  The paper also had a texture I didn't care for,  and I wish the paper had been a little heavier.  It might have prevented the curl.  But the final result was not too bad. I did use masking tape to create a border and the tape stuck to the paper.   This sketchbook paper has perforations so you can easily remove the painting from the book if you like.  Personally I like to fill up a sketchbook.  I have other books and palettes to try.  I will post those soon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Watercolor Sketching

I haven't painted in months!  Well, I do demos at school for my high school art student, but that doesn't really count.  I am taking students to France again this summer. (Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.) We usually spend a week of our trip at a beautiful chateau painting en plain air with oils.  Unfortunately the chateau has closed, so this year we will be on the road for the entire trip and painting on the fly. So that calls for watercolors - my first love.  I painted with some Urban Sketchers in NYC last fall and they introduced me to some new tools and brushes.  I've been wanting to try them out before starting my watercolor sketching classes for my travelers.
Here the brush I used.  It holds water in the handle and is perfect for traveling.
And here is the Sakura Koi Pocket Palette.  Isn't it cute.  I have other brands but the Urban Sketchers were using these so I had to try one.

 I didn't think I would like these paints because they seemed a little opaque.  But they worked fairly well, because I tried not to overpaint.  The paper in the sketchbooks I was using did not work well with watercolor, so I'll have to look for something with real watercolor paper. 
I was only going to paint for a short while so I threw some still life objects on a table without much thought.  I wasn't happy with the layout, but I loved drawing and painting together, so I kept going.  I pulled out some photos from my trip to Greece and had fun painting from the computer.  Here are the results of a couple hours of playing with my new art supplies!  I can't wait to try this again tomorrow.  Maybe I can go out in the neighborhood and paint. 

It was a fun few hours and made me realize how much I miss painting.  I've got to make more time for painting.