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.

Inktense Review and Tutorial

I love these inktense blocks from Derwent.  While they work similar to watercolor, they’re not watercolor.  They’re ink in block form and depending on how much water you use, they can be opaque or more translucent.  However, adding more water will affect the lightfastness of the ink.  That’s pretty much my only issue with these is the lightfastness issue, but this is a new product.  So I’m sure this will improve over time.  I do like that you can buy sets and buy them individually.  That way if you run out of a certain color, you don’t have to buy a whole new set just for that one color.

You can draw with these and then add water, or add water to the block and paint just like you would with watercolor pans.  I love the intensity of these colors, and as far as the lightfast issue, if you use a matte UV spray varnish and then put it behind UV glass, you should be fine.  I use a UV spray by Golden for my watercolor, coffee, and tea paintings.  I’ll probably just use that on these.  I need to get some pencils of these inktense and do a review of how those work, but I’ll have to wait until I can afford that.

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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!

Pros and Cons of Wix

So I experimented with using Wix to create a website.  There are things I like and things I don’t like about it.  They have free and paid versions.  Their paid versions get really expensive.  The free version gives you an unappealing web address, as well as bars on the top and bottom of the page saying that it’s a free website created by Wix.  I didn’t really mind the bars.  After all, it’s a free website.  However my web address ended up being very long and annoying.  At least the free version of wordpress.com isn’t that annoying.  For the sake of this post, when I mention WordPress, I mean wordpress.com not wordpress.org.  Wordpress.com is what I am currently using for this blog.

Now for those of you who have no technical or computer skills what so ever, Wix has made it super easy for you create a fabulous looking website in no time at all.  Drag and drop things where you want them.  Just click the area to change the size, color, and font.  I personally don’t find WordPress complicated at all, but Wix is still easier to customize.  Even with all that, there’s no changing of themes allowed.  You got it.  The theme you choose when start your site, you are stuck with forever.  So when I chose my them, I chose it for the layout and figured I could just change the colors and adjust other things to how I wanted, but it just wasn’t working.  I just couldn’t find the right color in the colors they provided that worked for my material.  I probably could’ve figured out my own color and uploaded it, but I didn’t have the time sit there uploading different colors and backgrounds to tryout.  I was very disappointed to find out that I couldn’t switch themes.

While I liked having more of a full site, I noticed I had less interaction on this new site.  It also had no analytics.  You can pay for app that would provide it, but I wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep this site yet.  So it didn’t make since to purchase an app.  At least WordPress has some analytics.  Obviously there are better analytics systems and apps out there, but at least the free version has something, and I know if people are seeing my posts.

So to sum it all up, I liked having more of a full site, which I may be able to do here if I buy a theme.  It was easy to set up and customize.  However not being able to change the theme was not helpful in the customization process.  I had less interaction with people and no analytics system.  The free version gives you a long annoying web address, and the paid versions get expensive.  Overall, it’s not the place for me.  I’m glad that I only did the free version first.  Maybe someone who isn’t as tech savy and doesn’t have the time to learn, or thousands of dollars to pay someone would like it.  You definitely get more if you pay more.  You can get a normal looking web address and add nicer things to your site.  I just didn’t see the value since I’m knowledgable enough to use WordPress, and can do most that through WordPress at a fraction of the cost.

So it looks like I’ll be staying here.

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