September 8, 2017

Royal Talens: Ecoline on Wood.

I'm sitting here thinking about how I should do this. I don't want to rate the products I review. If you want to read customer reviews, go somewhere else. This is about a process -- a journey. I want to tell you what it was like using this medium and exploring with it? Would I recommend it? Why would I recommend it? Or why wouldn't I? There's something for everyone. And when it comes to art supplies, I've noticed they're a lot like instruments -- the sound they produce is dependent on every tool you bring to the table, from the brush, to canvas.

With the Ecoline watercolors, I chose to try them on a wood canvas. I knew it was going to be a tricky medium. I knew the wood was going to take the color and make it bloom beyond the boundaries of where I was trying to control it. Watercolor "blossoms," really well on wood. You get a slight 'wet on wet,' technique pretty easily. (I hear your minds going in the gutters, you pervs -- nuh uh uh!).

One thing that really surprised me were the brush pens. I really didn't have too high of expectations for using them on wood, and honestly, I was a little afraid the wood might prove to be to abrasive, but they worked wonderfully!

I highly recommend both -- even the blender pen pulled off some amazing witchcraft stunts when I needed to smooth and lift some areas of paint.

I'll be doing another review of these on actual watercolor paper. The only problem I had was with the brush pens -- and that was that I couldn't put color directly from the brush pen down onto an acrylic block, pick it up with my paint brush/water brush, and then transfer it to the wood. The watercolors from the acrylic block to the canvas washed out and lightened way too much. 

But, as I was saying earlier, I'm pretty sure that's because of the combination of tools I was using and the wood canvas. I'll definitely be adding Ecoline products to my supply and I look forward to using them on regular watercolor paper.

Cheers, m'lovelies!


Note: I also used Royal Talens Gouache for the white and some of the black and green. I don't have a lot of it, so I'm not sure if it's fair to review based on availability couple tubes and limited experience, but with what I have -- I quite like it. It took a bit of layering to get the white really opaque, but that's been my experience when putting it on top of watercolor. Watercolor wants to lift so easily.

✴✴✴If you're looking for a good place to purchase these, and having trouble finding them stocked in your local craft stores (I was, unfortunately!), I've heard Dickblick and Hyatt's are both good places.✴✴✴

August 22, 2017

Hahnemühle Watercolour Paper.

I was going to write a blog post dedicated to, "Why you should invest in quality paper," but I think if you look through my Instagram photos, you'll see: art speaks for itself. The same goes for this paper. I dumped loads of water on it and it didn't pill or wear away. (Note: I'll eventually get around to talking about why I encourage investing in artist quality paper -- your work deserves it, you miss out on techniques you can't always pull off with student grade stuff, etc). When it comes down to it: it's all around just better. It looks better, sounds better, feels better. When it comes to painting, every tool is an instrument that makes its own sound, music -- its own song when it comes together. Exploration is the highlight of this discovery -- of learning what sounds appeal to us, which instruments suit us best.

I highly recommend brushes that are ready to do heavy washes with this paper -- cheap nylon synthetics will work, but nowhere near as well as a good mop brush or Kolinsky.

The paper I used was the Leonardo (280lbs) cold press. I'm pretty sure you'd have to twerk on it to get it to start pilling. Trust me, I abused it. And most paper can't stand up to my abuse. So, I highly recommend this brand. It's definitely going to the top of my shelf.

Leonardo Paper
Cézanne Paper

Here's a link to the really cool watercolour book (*pictured*) they sent me: Watercolour Journal

You can purchase their products here:

Wet Paint

Da Vinci Art Supply

August 10, 2017


Schmincke, I'm in Love.

I started using the dot samples of Schmincke watercolors I received yesterday and *drool.* They're so amazing. I really wasn't expecting to be disappointed -- they've been around for a long time and if you look them up on YouTube, you can see the time and knowledge of their craft that they put into every pan or tube of their paint.

But, when you're first starting out and you see the price -- you understandably, "Eek!" a little.

Trust me, they're worth every penny. With quality paint like these, a little goes a long way. But if you're going to use them, treat them right. I used them on Arches (cold pressed) paper. It's one of the most popular amongst watercolor artists. (Note: I will often alternate between 'watercolor,' and 'watercolour,' because that's how I roll).

Even though it's the most popular paper, it's the first time I've used it. It took a bit of getting used to in terms of getting the color worked into the page. I was able to use my new Da Vinci Russian Squirrel mop brush without worrying about buckling or pilling. In fact, it also worked amazingly well when glazing and getting that color packed in.

I haven't finished the painting, but as you can see -- it really doesn't take much of this paint to go far.

August 3, 2017

Watercolor Fox and Rambling.

I decided this morning to shake things up and paint without a sketch -- go figure after yesterday's post, right? Here's the result of me distracting myself from the dread of going to the doctor today. My doctor so kindly (*much sarcasm*) lowered my anxiety medication when I was going through the break up of a long term serious relationship. I know, such compassion, huge wow, right? so I've been a bit of a wreck when it comes going out and doing things. Hey, did you know I need my medication to drive? Yep. I couldn't pass the driver's test until they put me on it. Fucking artists. We're all mental. <^.~> Let's face it, doctors don't really care anymore if you're an agoraphobic nut case. Luckily, I set a few pills aside for emergencies like today. But I have no idea what I'm going to do once I run out. For those of you of the, "push through it," attitude -- I push through more shit in a day than you even know. It's called a fucking illness for a reason. I'm getting off topic, but I just want to say that for those of you also dealing with stigmas, discrimination, a doctor's prejudice against a certain medication that works for you -- I feel your pain and I'm sorry you're suffering. I hope you find the strength to keep fighting for your well-being and your rights as an adult and human being to live your life to its fullest and happiest potential. You should be treated as the unique individual you are, and with love and compassion, but unfortunately in our society -- that's not the case. I could go on, but I'd only end up getting in too deep and getting angry and even more hurt and frustrated -- because that's what all this does to people that actually need, say like me, and my diazepam. I fill my script once a month. I don't run out of pills by then, I'm just in the habit of filling all of my meds monthly. I take my meds responsibly and I've never had any addiction issues or cravings. I don't have an addictive personality. Diazepam helps my chronic pain and my panic and anxiety disorder. Yes, I've done cognitive behavioral therapy. I've done so much else. But if I have a headache and can take Tylenol -- it's my body, my choice. I'm old enough to decide for my damn self. Honestly, we really need to get the fuck out of each other's asses. That's my opinion.

And I'm forcing myself to stop... Ha!

Here's the painting I did. <^.^>