Updated: Apr 10, 2018
This blog is finally up! Here, I hope to share parts of my watercolour journey, from the materials I use to some tips and techniques that I've learned along the way. If you're a beginner, please do not think that you NEED to get all these materials! Today's post is just an overview of some of my current favourite tools that I use. I will get in depth on each topic in upcoming posts so stay tuned!
I currently rotate between a few brands depending on the type of piece I set out to create. I use Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour paints (tubes and pans), Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Watercolors and Ecoline Liquid Watercolour Inks the most in my works. I also use Schmincke and Sennelier Watercolour paints every now and then.
On my desk I usually have two watercolour cups (sometimes three, because why not!) and I also use a little squeeze bottle (omg, love this thing so much!) to activate my paint palette or to dilute pigment instead of just using my brush to transfer water. There are other ways to utilise this little bottle which I'll talk about in my next posts.
I don't stick to one particular brand of brushes as you can see. Maybe one day I will, but as of now I am still having fun experimenting with different brushes! The above photo shows my current go-to brushes: Silver Black Velvet 3000S, Winsor & Newton Cotman 111 Round, and the da Vinci Squirrel Mop brushes.
The four main watercolour papers that I currently use are Canson XL Watercolor Paper Cold Press 300gsm, Arches Watercolour Blocks Cold Press 300gsm, Stonehenge Aqua Blocks Cold Press 300gsm, and Strathmore 400 Series Cold Press 300gsm. I also paint in watercolour journals which are usually in 200-300gsm paper.
Okay, so if you're only just beginning in your watercolour journey or are thinking of upgrading some of your tools you might be thinking gee-whiz do I really need all those tools and materials?? The answer is, no. I'm just sharing my current go-to materials because some of you have been asking about it.
Part of the reason I am rotating between different brands/papers/types of paint (tube, pans, liquid etc) is because I am doing a lot of experimenting and I'm still trying out a bunch of stuff. When I upgraded my watercolours of over 10 years old (yas, you read that correctly!) I opted for a Winsor & Newton Cotman Travel Pan Set. The paintings above and below are from over a year ago and honestly I thought they produced pretty good results for student grade watercolours! Sure, the quality isn't as great as you'd expect from Artists' quality paint but as we evidently see time and time again, great works of art can be and have been produced by the most rudimentary of tools!
Now hold your horses for just a minute because I'm not saying to go buy all the cheap paints you can get your hands on. More colours does not equal better colour harmony or better artwork. You will find that in pan sets that have over 24 colours you might barely, if at all, touch some of them!
Early on, it's important to understand some basic colour theory and while it may be a bit intimidating or frustrating trying to create a harmonious colour scheme it gets better with practice. Again, I will touch more on this subject in a later post cause there is quite a bit to say about it!
If you can afford better quality supplies, by all means get them. If it's not yet something you want to invest in, don't be discouraged. Focus on learning more about the art, exercise those muscle memories and practice, practice, practice!
Just to add, I think it also depends on what you aim to achieve out of the whole experience which could be art as simply a means of expressing your inner-creativity or something you would like to pursue professionally down the line. Whatever it may be, the most important thing is that you remember to have fun along the way! :)
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