Butterfly Coffee

Sorry I’ve been gone for a while.  Rather than get into a long explanation, I’ll just leave it at medical stuff and BABIES!  They’re super adorable and consume much of my time so we’ll see how much painting I get done.  I recently got some money for my birthday from my grandmother-in-law.  Happy birthday to me!  So of course I had to go on dickblick.com and find something.  I ended up with some Chinese watercolors that I’d been looking at for a while, some Ampersand Claybord, and scratchboard tools.  The first thing I did was make this color mixing chart.  Everyone should do this.  I know it’s time consuming, and you don’t want to, but do it.  This lets you know what your paint is capable of and how it mixes.  You may think you don’t have a color when you actually do.

Many people are sometimes surprised by how few colors I have in my palette when I enjoy such a wide range of colors.  The reason is because I prefer to mix my own.  I have more control this way.  This small set gives me a wide range of vivid intense colors to softer more muted ones.  I prefer chromatic blacks and greys to pre-made ones.  With this set I did notice that it didn’t disperse into the water as well as most traditional Western watercolors.  I had to work harder to achieve that effect.  Wet-in-wet and lifting still worked well.  This paper is cold press and not what I’m going to actually paint on, but I just wanted to get an idea of the paint.  I always do swatches of the color on separate pieces of paper before hitting my actually project anyway.

I also recently did a color chart for my inktense.  That allowed me to redo this painting and take it from this…

Piano Rose (c)

To this…

dads-piano

Obviously I improved in other areas as well, but you can see the difference in the depth of color.  I was more easily able to mix and layer color without being frustrated.  This one was a birthday present for my father.  Happy birthday daddy!

On to testing the Claybord.  My first attempt didn’t go so well.  I couldn’t layer colors like I’m normally able to, and it ended up blending together and creating mud instead of getting the detail I wanted.  Scratching out highlights was working so well either.  However, I did like the translucent effect on the shadows under the bowl and the drips and spray.  I did like the blending in the shadows under the bowl though.  As long as I didn’t over do it, I could move color to where ever I wanted.

I tried again with a different board.  This one went much better.  I knew I wanted a coffee cup and some sort of steam thing, and butterflies happened.  If you except that colors will blend together on this board, then things go much better.  You can put down color and have it not blend, but it is difficult to do.  The problem for me is that I like to glaze colors on top of each other.  I haven’t found that to be possible with this board.  I also had to scratch significantly into this board to get the highlights.  However, that may be due to the unique binder in my paints.  When I scratched into the ink, that came off much easier.

colorful-coffee
5×7 watercolor on Apmersand Claybord

So for this board, I’ve decided that I’m going to put it up for auction here.  Whoever offers the most gets it.  Payment can be done through a check or PayPal, whichever you prefer.  Since this ended up being a more whimsical painting we’ll do it as anything I get from this painting will go straight to anything I need for my children; bottles, diapers, a new stroller, etc.  Feel free to share this post with your friends.

The auction will go until Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 12:00 noon PST.  If you win it, we’ll go over the details of shipping later privately, but it will have a tracking number, and I am only able to ship within the USA right now.

Testing Soft Press Paper

Test Rose

I’m trying to find my way back into a routine, and I decided to attempt that by testing out this 2 x 3 Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300lbs soft press watercolor paper.  Must the name be that long?  Anyway, I hadn’t quite figured it out on the rose, but the leaves got much better.  Fabriano is the only brand that has a soft press and it’s supposed to be an in-between paper for cold and hot press.  Once you get used to it, it’s very lovely to work with.  I like that you can easily get a loose look and a tight detail all on one paper.  You just have to control the amount of water on your brush and pay attention to the drying time.  I’m glad that it comes in a 300lbs since I work in so many layers.  I was noticing with the 140lbs paper I was working on, it just stopped taking layers at a certain point.

I found this paper amongst all the sample papers that Blick sent me.  I originally just asked for their hot press papers in certain brands, but I guess they just all come together, and I got the rough, cold, and hot of all of them.  I’m not complaining because that’s how I found this wonderful paper.

For those of you who want this piece, watch my Pinterest page this Sunday.  I will be hiding it somewhere on one of my boards and the first person to comment on it will get it.

Review On My New Supplies

In case you didn’t see my posts from the other site.  Here’s the post of the review of some supplies I ordered from dickblick.com.
art supplies
Ok.  So I finally had some time to play with my new art supplies in between taking care of my cute little one.  The first thing is my FAVOURITE!  I love these little glass jars.  I can pour hot water into them to mix up my paint, and then put a lid on them so nothing spills when I’m not using them.  I had to write on the lids to tell the difference between the coffee though.  Otherwise, they get mixed up when you move them.  Oops.
I already knew I liked the Canson XL watercolor paper because, I was already using it.  The Stanislaus brush set that I got didn’t work out.  Even though it’s advertised for watercolor and acrylic, it’s too stiff for watercolor.  I would consider it more of a craft acrylic brush.  I’ll probably keep them for that, but I’ll need to get different brushes.  These were cheap.  So at least I didn’t spend a lot of money on something that didn’t work out.  This is why I don’t have a painting for you guys.  Even though I had time to mess around a little, the brushes ruined my painting.  Sadness.
The Golden Archival Spray Varnish seems to work out alright.  My only suggestion is to make sure it stays outside for a while, or in a very well ventilated room.  The fumes are not pleasant.  I also tested the Sakura Micron pen on the painting that didn’t work out.  The pen works nicely.  I’ll have to redo the painting thouh.  I think it’ll be easier signing with the pen than how I have been doing it.  Hopefully they’ll be a new painting for you soon!