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    Watercolor?

    I'm starting watercolor and for those who love to do this, I was wondering what to use for supplies!
    Is there a specific watercolor brand people love?
    and is it ok to get a regular pad of watercolor paper? or get the stiff boards with the wood on the back?

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    I dont do much watercolour, but:

    1. In watercolour case Winson&Newton in my opinion is a good brand, whatever you will choose Artist quality or their student called Cotman. Some pigments of the second one are not as strong as artist, but that might be actually an advantage for a beginner

    2. By decent paper, propably stiff watercolour 200-300gsm paper will do, Watch for paper texture.

    3. But 1-2, decent brushed, that can hold enough paint.


    Regards,

    K.Polak

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  5. #3
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    Yeah, Winsor & Newton is terrific. I use their Cotman student-grade series but the problem with them is that they don't re-wet very easily and lack the punchy color that is characteristic of their more expensive professional-grade line-up. However, since I'm still relatively new to the medium (and am tight on cash), I don't really mind these flaws too much.

    As far as supplies go, I prefer to paint in heavy-duty cardboard scrapbooks rather than watercolor pads. The texture on watercolor paper bleeds way too much for my liking. I tend to treat painting with watercolors in much the same manner as I would paint with oil.

    One of the instructors I've had the pleasure of taking classes with at LAAFA, Nathan Fowkes, has a great set-up for portable watercolor sketching. Follow the link below to check out the complete supply list. His set is so convenient and effective that I've adopted it for my own use as well.

    http://nathanfowkes-sketch.blogspot....etchbooks.html

    Good luck.

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    supplies

    Hope this helps,

    Hot Press= very smooth used more for a loose style
    Cold Press=medium smooth/rough more detailed style
    Rough= rough used a lot by artist that do paintings that have a lot of texture in the painting walls, buildings, wood floors.

    The top companies all make good quality paper Waterford, Arches,
    Winsor&Newton,etc.

    Now with that said there is no set rule saying you can't try these papers in any way you see fit.The only reason I mention it this way is because the texture of the paper can help add to the effect of what your painting.

    The other thing that might be helpful is the heavier the paper the less the buckling it really sucks when working on lighter paper 80lb-140lb that the paper creates these hills and valleys even when you have it secured down so if you can afford the heavier paper 200lb 260lb or 300lb even, it will help.

    The watercolor paints I use are Maimeriblu, Daniel Smith both professional grades.

    Hope this helps you and good luck and enjoy yourself.

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    I have Grumbaucher (W&N) and some Cotman watercolors as the majority, with some professional-grade paints I happened to pick up for free this summer. I also recommend picking up a variety of brushes (rounds 2, 4, 6, 8, 10-12, and a big cheap brush for washes). Honestly though when you're just messing around student grade stuff is all right. I'm still working with student grade and the stuff I have is really not too bad. You can get the same results it just takes a little more work, is all. Also I don't have $6 for each tiny tube of watercolor.

    For papers, any heavier watercolor paper will do, but if it's 140lb or less you need to stretch the paper first to prevent buckling. You do this by soaking the paper and taping it flat on a board, then letting it dry. You can still paint on the lighter papers without stretching it, but the paper will warp a bit. It will warp less if you don't do a lot of washes, but it will still warp.

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    Some good notes here... I'll add my 2 cents as well.

    The difference between student grade and professional grade is not as noticeable in watercolor as it is in some other media (thinking oils here). Cotman is perfectly fine to start with. Having said that though, as I work more with watercolor, I find myself moving away from the student grade colors... These days I'm buying small tubes of Holbein, Senellier, or WindsorNewton pro grade.

    Some people prefer to use pan paints, but I prefer tube paints. That's just preference though... I know at least one painter that prefers the bright primary color she gets out of Crayola pans.

    You asked about working on blocked pads vs loose paper. I like working with Arches block pads, but again that's personal choice. The upside is that the block will hold your paper flat and you don't need an extra board if you're traveling. The downside is you can only work on one painting at a time (unless you buy more pads). If you don't want to work with a block pad I still recommend getting the heaviest paper you can afford.

    I don't recommend going *too* cheap on your wash brush. It has to have soft bristle... I love my Japanese "haike" for large washes, and actually it was pretty inexpensive. (I don't know if I've spelled haike correctly... it's one of those wide flat sumi brushes). For smaller washes look for a very soft-bristle brush... they're sometimes called "mop" or I think "rag" brushes.

    Experiment with a variety of brush sizes and shapes. In addition to rounds, I like filberts for general painting and flats for special effects. Synthetic brushes seem fine, but they do need to be fairly soft to hold a good amount of water. Stay away from hog-bristle for example (unless you like a very ragged dry-brush effect).

    I'm not sure what water colorist means by cold-press being good for a detailed style. Generally, I've found the heavier the paper texture the harder it is to get fine detail. These days, I work mostly on hot-press because its smooth enough to take a nice pencil line. I'll do a pencil drawing first, then lay in watercolor, then more pencil. In a lot of ways cold-press takes color better, but it's too rough to sketch well on.

    In any event, enjoy!

    "Change is a virtue my friend... if you want to escape, all you have to do is make up your mind."
    John Cale / Bob Neuwirth


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    www.ccthrom.com
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    If you're real cheap like me, you can do some practice and studies on regular sketch paper (~60lbs). Beware that it will buckle beyond belief and you'll have to tilt the pad at a very steep angle for washes (60 degrees or more), but if your goal is just to try some techniques or small studies then it'll do fine. Unfortunately you're pretty well limited to wet-to-dry techniques, but that's the sort of thing that happens when you go for the cheap solution.

    However if you're not cheap or want something that will give minimal buckling, get 140lbs/300gsm paper at the very lightest.

    As for pan versus tube paints... if you're in the USA the choice is practically made for you, pan paints are nearly non-existant. Though I hear you could squeeze out the tubes into containers and let them dry out if you want pan style paints.

    Try checking out the watercolor section in handprint.com for some other information about watercolor materials.

    Last edited by Anid Maro; September 10th, 2008 at 05:59 PM.
    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.
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    I find it's nice to have two brands of watercolors to rely on. I use both pan and tube versions of Yarka and Winsor & Newton watercolors and intermix the two for different levels of transparency or granulation. As for paper, I prefer Arches in loose sheets and cold press for texture.

    There's a trick I use to keep my paper from buckling. I have a drawing board and when it's time to paint, I tape all four sides down with this kind of masking tape that's really thin. I keep the paper on the board until the painting is done and dry before I peel the tape off. Usually, the paper stays flat with minimal curling, which I take care of by flattening underneath a thick book.

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  13. #9
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    Just some random things that I personally find useful;

    I like to have my main brushes in pairs. One to apply paint, one to just add water when you want to soften edges. That way you don't have to get rid of your paint and rinse your brush and then reload again.

    I like to put a jar of water inside a little bit bigger bowl of water. The jar is the dirty water - to get rid of the paint, the bowl is my clean water - to wet the brush before I load a new colour.

    I use a piece of scrap paper the same as the sheet I'm working on, to test my paint/water ratio and colours/value. This way I can sometimes check if I need more water or more pigment and or if my colour needs tweaking.

    If you're just starting out just do monochrome pieces focusing on values, edges and connecting shapes. If you're starting with colour start with 3 - 5 colours and learn to play with mixing your shit. I know nothing but I find a lot of the actual painting is done on the palette/your piece of scrap paper - deciding what values/colours/wetness you want. The rest is mostly where to actually put the paint, which shapes to connect, which edges to keep/loose (squinting helps a lot with this).

    Enjoy the mistakes, go with the flow and do ten rather than one a day.
    CCthrom - I think you mean a Hake brush..

    Last edited by tensai; September 11th, 2008 at 07:24 AM.
    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)



    Quote Originally Posted by strych9ine
    Fuck backgrounds, who needs em.
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  15. #10
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    pan paints are nearly non-existant
    You can find tubes more readily in the stores, but if you order by catalog or online you should be able to find pans no problem.

    I keep the paper on the board until the painting is done and dry before I peel the tape off. Usually, the paper stays flat with minimal curling, which I take care of by flattening underneath a thick book.
    Actually I do this too, but I often find the masking tape is too grabby and tears the surface off my paper. Even drafting tape which isn't supposed to do that seems to tear. Flattening dry work with a big book is a trick I use a lot too.

    I like to have my main brushes in pairs. One to apply paint, one to just add water when you want to soften edges. That way you don't have to get rid of your paint and rinse your brush and then reload again.

    I like to put a jar of water inside a little bit bigger bowl of water. The jar is the dirty water - to get rid of the paint, the bowl is my clean water - to wet the brush before I load a new colour.
    Those are good ideas! I'll try them.

    I think you mean a Hake brush.
    Thank you, that is exactly what I mean... but I had only heard the word, never seen it spelled out before.

    "Change is a virtue my friend... if you want to escape, all you have to do is make up your mind."
    John Cale / Bob Neuwirth


    Here be SKETCHIES...

    www.ccthrom.com
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  16. #11
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    This site has always been helpful.
    handprint.com

    It's probably chock full of more stuff than you'd care to read, but it's still good stuff.

    For me personally though, I like Winsor&Newton tubes. I find that the tubes have a richer color than the little color blocks and W&N paints have a rich quality...Which they better have for the price.
    But I digress. Typically, if you want the good stuff, you have to spend some good money.

    For paper, I honestly don't care much for Arches...it kind of smells strange to me when I wet it and I didn't care for it's tooth and ability to pick up the paint. So, I switched to a Canson block. The blocks are good in the sense that there will be minimum buckling and it's already streched out, but they are more costly than the pads and if you ever wanted to work on more than one piece at a time, you'd either have to rip, stretch, and tape the current piece on something else to use the next sheet or just get another block.
    Canson is good though, because it's smooth, absorbs well, and has a tooth that's easy to scrub away/remove paint. :9

    For brushes, I try to only use Sablette. It's almost as good as the natural sables [aka: real squirrel hair], holds the paint really well, and returns to a sharp, flickable point each time.

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    I am currently in the process of making the switch from my lower end watercolors (Reeves) to a more professional set. I have always heard great things about W&N, but I am a little concerned about their tube quality. I bought a titanium white about a month ago and it seemed to be pretty normal, but it is now extremely difficult to get out of the tube and requires a significant amount of water to take it from its almost powdery paste state to a workable paint. I prefer to use the paint right out of the tube so I do not want to cut the tube and put the paint in a tray. Is this normal for titanium white, fairly common for the W&N Artists line, or did I just get a bad tube?

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