|A new brand, for me--well relatively, anyway.|
Liz wrote recently about trying new materials and approaches; Alissa is pushing herself to discover more about travel sketching. Laura travels to some amazing places to sketch, and has also challenged herself by painting a single subject (trees, faces) or using one color as dominant for a month, in the past--I think we learned almost as much as she did.
Right now, I'm exploring watercolor. Again. Still. Different brands, like the Russian Sonnet watercolors above...I found them on eBay and put some of the little pans into an old metal Talens paint box. (They're a less expensive version of Yarka St. Petersburg/White Nights watercolors, but so far they've passed all my tests with flying colors. Literally! )
I've used Winsor & Newton for decades, and over the years I've also tried Daniel Smith, Schmincke, Maimeri Blu, Kremer and others...but people kept raving about the Russian paints, doing such gorgeous work (like Pat Southern-Pearce!) that I just had to explore with them.
I'm doing a long-range fade test on them, which I'll report on later, but so far--yep, these are gorgeous, lift well, and mix beautifully, and I can't detect any fading over the months they've been exposed.
|Going simpler...with room for brushes, drawing sticks and lots of mixing area.|
And in my ongoing attempt to simplify my life and lighten my load, I've set up one of my vintage Prang boxes with the primaries with two convenience colors--Burnt Sienna and Payne's Gray. (On the left, here, you can see color tests with the Sonnet paints, and on the right my "new" old primary box.
Funny, when I first started painting with watercolors, Prang used to make a box that was just the primaries and black. I LOVED it. That's all I'd use, for years...I feel like I've come full circle!
I found out when I made my first little home made Altoids box a few years ago that I didn't need a billion colors--I just stumbled onto this combination, and recently I've been reading many resources that explain why they work! If you choose Phthalo Blue or similar, cool, clean Quinacridone Red or Rose (or Permanent Rose) as your red, and a good clear yellow, you can mix about anything--as you can see above. I started out my painting career with a warm red and a cool one, a warm blue and a cool one...but if I add a touch of rose to my Phthalo, I get something very like Ultramarine Blue. A little yellow in that nice clean rose gives me a good orange. Nifty!
Sure it takes a moment more to mix (hence my two convenience colors!)...but I'm balancing weight and simplicy against convenience and liking how it's coming out!
|You can tell how light THIS kit would be. I took the lid off a second box to double my mixing area--it friction-fits on the bottom of the box.|
|Here are some of my explorations...and how I got where I am now.|
|Here's today's play...sorry the scan's a bit gray, the art definitely isn't!|