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. <^.^>

August 2, 2017

First Post: The Sketch.

I'm not a graphite artist -- not by any means. I lay down pencil sketches from time-to-time, but my main goal when putting down a sketch is putting down something that isn't going to smear all over the damn page.

These little buggers are great for graphite drawings -- for shading and intentionally smudging, but when you're doing watercolour or ink... They make you want to scream. Or maybe that's just me. And yes, I've put my hand down on a piece of paper to avoid The Smear!


These babies are in the back of my art supply. With ink and watercolour, I found it's incredibly too difficult and I spend way too much time cleaning and tidying up the paper -- which can, even if you're being gentle, mess with the grain of cold press watercolour paper. 

Every artist finds what works for them. This is just what works for me. And no, it's not necessarily costly -- though, art is often one of those things that you get what you pay for and if you want your artwork to last you'll invest in decent supplies down the road. A lot of your basic supplies are relatively inexpensive. (I think the eraser caps I use are like 98¢ at Walmart -- I love them! They're better than most of the higher priced kneaded erasers I've tried).

What works for me is this setup: 

A Make-up Brush -- Sweep, don't brush away any debris on the page with your hand. 

Tomobow Mono Zero Eraser -- For eyes, nostrils, hair, creating any erased tiny texture.

Faber-Castell Pencil Eraser -- Sharp, pointy eraser... I dig that shit. This eraser and the Tomobow can go places others can't. Oooooh yeahhh.

Pentel Hi-Polymer Caps -- Cleanest and as soft as frickin' angel wings, yo. It treats your paper right. Probably brings flowers to dates.

Now, the pencils I use, because I'm really picky...

I use two types. Prismacolor Col•Erase and Uni Kuru Toga (which I'll just link a video to at the bottom because it explains way better than I can). 

The Col•Erase pencils I got came in a box with a bunch of different colors. They're pretty much erasable colored pencils by Prismacolor, but they're not hella expensive. They look awesome in the background of watercolor paintings or ink paintings for an added splash of color, but one of the things I really loved is they don't smear anywhere nearly as badly as regular pencil. I have found I can smear them on some mixed media papers, but for the most part they're clean and even when they do smear it just adds to the painting instead of making it look dirty.

Now, the Kuru Toga is a must have. It's just brilliant in its design and for clean, consistent lines -- because as you'll see in the video, the lead rotates while you draw or write to maintain an even point. 

Enjoy! (And no, I haven't been asked to review any of this... I really am this geeky!).

Kuru Toga Guide:

Note: The commission I'm working on below -- yeah, I'm pretty sure I did the layout with that lavender and some other purple Col•Erase pencils. <^.^>

What's That Smell? Arsty Fartsy!

I've been thinking to myself for the past few days, "Should I start a new blog (about the artsy crap) and just link to it? That way people that aren't interested can just overlook it?" And then I realized two things:

1). I've what's pretty much talked about whatever the hell I've wanted to talk about and encouraged to do others to do the same. I mean, what kind of example am I setting if I'm too scared to be totally and completely myself in all aspects of my life?

And 2). Whether you read what I write has always been up to you, my dear, lovely readers.

So, as I've mentioned on Facebook -- I'll be posting some art shiznit.

My Facebook page has been a really great platform to interact and get to know that a lot of you are actually very talented artists (way better than me!), and so I hope this will inspire everyone's creativity, positivity, and thirst for more knowledge.

Art helped me when I was at my lowest point and it's still helping me battle chronic pain and depression. So, I'm really looking forward to the geeky art adventures ahead! <^.^>

Bright Blessings,