De Waag — Amsterdam — In Colour

Materials:   My watercolours, a tiny bit of white gouache and my ink drawing.

Thoughts:   I was very anxious starting this as it’s the first time ever that i’ve used watercolours and i really liked my ink drawing and didn’t want to mess it up.   I know i totally used the wrong paper for this and the washes and a few other bits just fucked up because of that.   But, regardless, it was good to make a start with my paints.

Learned:   I’m not sure what i learned in regards to mixing colours, but i did enjoy playing with them and seeing the colours change as i added new colours to the mix.   Certainly some colours leave a bit to be desired, but i’m sure these things will improve in time as i play more with the paints.   It was also quite difficult to judge the amount of water in the mix in regards to how light or dark the colour will be on the paper — but again, i’m sure these things will improve with practice.

I definitely learned not to use this sketch book for anything i intend to paint with watercolour.   I bought a Stillman and Birn Zeta for future painting projects as i do like the smooth paper to draw and paint on so i’m just going to explore that for a while.

Soooo:   I’m quite pleased with how it turned out for my first attempt at this kind of thing, especially the painting with watercolour thing.

Next:   After this i feel a lot more confident having another go, so next i’m going to draw a picture in my nice, new, Stillman and Birn sketchbook and see how that behaves when i paint it.   Fingers crossed it’ll be much better.

#5t4n5 #art #painting #watercolour #urbansketch #waag

Sap Green Swapped

So after my recent mix chart of yesterday, i decided i may as well call into The Range, while i was passing, and buy the Permanent Sap Green from the Professional range to replace the Sap Green from the Cotman range.

What a difference.   After faffing around the last couple of days with the Cotman Sap Green struggling to make its presence felt against every other colour, the Permanent Sap Green had no problems holding it’s own on my mixing plate.

So i then had to redo my mix chart.   I cut a couple of 12mm strips of the Fabriano Artistico paper and glue sticked them to the chart covering the old Sap Green — i most certainly wasn’t going to do the whole lot again.

When i finished the mix chart i then redid the swatch in a similar manner.   As the swatch is in my Handbook Sketch Journal i cut the very last page out and made a bit to cover the places i needed to.   The spare paper left over goes nicely into the plastic pouch inside the back cover for future mistake coverings.

So yeah, very happy now with all my colours.   All that’s left to do is to sit and play with them and make pretty colour things on paper.

#5t4n5 #art #painting #sapgreen

18 Colours Mixed

As i use the University of Youtube to teach me all about watercolours, it appears that artists eagerly produce mix charts for every palette they use. So, not to be outdone, i proceeded to do just this with my one single palette.

By doing this one can learn many things: it’s not just about the colours, but also the relative strengths of the pigments within each colour.   And i do admit that it was also a rather enjoyable pleasure watching the colours change as i mixed them.

My palette consists of 17 Winsor & Newton Cotman colours, and one Winsor & Newton Professional colour — that being the Winsor Red.

It struck me as i was mixing them the difference in quality between the Winsor Red and the Cotman colours.   When mixing with the Winsor Red i only had to apply a tiny amount compared to the Cotman colour i was mixing it with, else the Winsor Red would simply over power the other colour.   So a good lesson learned there as to the difference between student grade and artist grade watercolours.   I look forward to slowly swapping out the Cotmans for artist grade ones as time goes by.

Certainly the first colour i want rid of is the Sap Green.   This colour, i felt, just totally lacked any mojo and was easily drowned out by other colours.   It doesn’t look too bad on the mix chart, but to get those colours with it i had to use over twice as much paint as the other colours.   So whether i want rid of it or not, it isn’t going to last very long anyway.   Therefore, i shall return to the University of Youtube and find me a suitable replacement to try.

For anyone interested, i used a sheet of Fabriano Artistico trad white for this.

So my next step in my watercolour journey is to simply play around to find the colours i need and learn to apply them nicely in order to paint my recent picture of De Waag.

Ta ta for now.   x


#5t4n5 #art #painting

De Waag — Amsterdam

Materials:   Handbook Drawing Journal 8.25×5.5in and a Uni Ball 0.1mm Pin.

Thoughts:   While wandering through Teoh Yi Chie’s channel on Youtube i found “Sketching the Waag at Nieuwmarkt square (timelapse tutorial)”.

I really liked the look of the building and had a look at Teoh’s reference photo.   It was quite a small photo and the building was obscured by a fruit & veg market and lots and lots of cars and vans, so i went off to Wikipedia and found this one.

Learned:   Find a picture of the subject that i really like and with tons of pixels to exploit: 3872 x 2592.   Don’t worry if you make a mistake, which i did several times for any amatuer art critics out there who want to practice being picky as fuck while i practice my urban sketching.   While i quite enjoyed drawing with the Uni Ball Pin, i don’t think the 0.1mm is 0.1mm, it’s not even close: i can get finer lines with my 0.5mm Rotring Tikky pencil.

Soooo:   I do need to pay a bit more attention to what i’m doing as i did make some silly mistakes, but for a first go at sketching a building i’m rather happy with it.   I also need to find a better pen for the really fine stuff.   This pen will write quite fine but you have to be really delicate with it to do so, as soon as you allow any pressure at all it starts to get quite thick.

Next:   I have to do a nice mixing chart with my paints, which should give me a little more practice with them.   And then i get to cover my nice picture of De Waag in lots of pretty colours and you’ll all get to see how it turns out.

I’ll be back soon, so don’t go away.   Well, alright then, you can go away, but make sure you come back soon and i’ll see you here.

#5t4n5 #art #drawing #urbansketch #waag

Cotman Water Colours Pocket Plus

As i’ve been exploring my new art journey — wondering around Youtube — i’ve come across the art of ink and wash style urban sketching.   I’m very attracted to it and want to give it a go and see where it takes me.

So i thought i’d buy the bits i don’t have — like the paint.

And whilst perusing ebay i came across the “Cotman Water Colours Pocket Plus” palette. ink and wash Someone was selling them, brand new, for less than £10 including postage: so yeah, i bought one.

When it arrived i had a good look at it and decided that with a bit of coaxing from my Dremel i could turn a 12 half pan palette into an 18 half pan palette.

So, having thrown out the “Chinese White”, as i bought a tube of white gouache instead, i was left with space for another 7 colours.

Which i promptly ordered.

I then hacked out the needless bits that were in the way, cut a piece of sturdy plastic to snugly fit the bottom with and stuck the half pans to that with Pritt sticky dot things.   This allows me to lift all the pans out if i need to and to also remove them individually as well.

All six additional half pans i added were Cotman, and the empty “Chinese White” half pan i filled with “Winsor Red” from “Winsor and Newton’s Professional Water Colour” range.

I then proceeded to make a swatch of all my new colours in my new Handbook sketch book.

I’ve never been very good with paints, but i’m quite happy with how this turned out for a first time ever go with proper water colours.   I don’t think a 6mm flat brush was the best choice, but it got the job done good enough for me.

As a place to start from i’m very happy with my 18 colours and i’m looking forward to playing with them a lot this year, especially when the weather gets nice and i can get outside and play.

I’m thinking of buying a colouring book and just playing with the paints in it.   Seems like a good idea to get some much needed painting practice in.


#5t4n5 #art #painting


I found some lessons on Conté à Paris’ website and decided to have a play.

Materials:   Conté à Paris Black B crayon, Pierre Noire H and Blanc 630 on Pink Pig Sketch Book 150gsm white mixed media cartridge.

Thoughts:   The “Subtractive Drawing” lesson says to use a black pastel pencil to make the paper grey, i didn’t have one so i used the Black B crayon instead.   Need to try this same technique with a black or grey pastel instead and see what the difference is like.

I used the picture from the “Expressive Self Portrait” lesson, which some may think is defeating the object, but my mission wasn’t to do the self portrait lesson, it was to find a challenge that i could apply the subtractive drawing method to and i liked that picture.

Learned:   That i can do a reasonable copy of something.   How to use different erasers for drawing light in.

And:   I definitely plan no coming back to this technique in the future and have some more playtime with it.   It’s a fun way to draw.

In the meanwhile i have another picture on the go which i need to get finished.

#5t4n5 #art #drawing

Zombieland: Double Tap

Normally i wouldn’t be seen dead watching a zombie film but the Zombieland films are just so fucking good.

Yes folks, finally someone who treats the whole zombie thing with the level of respect that it deserves: pure comedy.   Because, after all, the whole zombie thing is just fucking stupid and has been done to fucking death already — literally.

So yeah, our wonderful protagonists are back from the 1st instalment, all having plenty of fun again; and there’s even a whole bunch of new, non-zombied humans they meet/pick-up/fuck/kill along the way.

Personally, i’m very much looking forward the zombie apocalypse if it’s going to be this much fun.

And especially looking forward to Zombieland 3.


#5t4n5 #zombieland #doubletap #film

Mr. Robot — Season 4

And so it finally comes to the end.

One of the best TV programs ever has just finished its fourth and final season.   And what a finale.   Best wishes, Elliot!

It was about time for a TV program to explore mental health issues, especially dissociative identity disorder, in the depth that Mr. Robot did.   It took us on the most incredible magic carpet ride through Elliot’s mind.

Rami Malek and Sam Esmail are rumoured to be working on something new and i shall definitely give anything the two of them make a good watch.

Basically, if you ain’t seen Mr. Robot then you need to go back and give it a good watching.   It really is

Fucking A!!!


#5t4n5 #mrrobot #tv

Modern Slavery at Waitrose

So yesterday morning, Sunday 22nd December, i thought i’d go out for a ride on my scooter — weather being nice and everything.

So off i went to Sidmouth, as it’s quite a fun ride from Exmouth going the back lane way over Peak Hill.

I planned on getting there just after 10am so i could pop into Waitrose and grab a free coffee before it all got busy.   Alas, it was not to be.   I had forgotten about all the mindless, senseless, automaton, baby jesus freaks running around in their mad, last minute, buying frenzies because they’d forgotten the fucking stuffing mix and aunty Jane would starve to death if they didn’t get out and buy some at 10am on Sunday morning.

It was so busy Waitrose had even draughted in the boy scouts to guide people to empty parking spaces as they became available, and also the air cadets to collect all the trolleys as all the mad people threw them madly into the air in their mad dashes to be away from the madding, fucking crowd — i kid you fucking not!!!

By the time i’d got through the crazy busy store, having bought some nice things i can’t buy at Tesco in Exmouth, i proceeded to queue for the free coffee at the machine.   Yes folks, a queue had formed at 10.30am in Waitrose.   And it was a queue of 5 people, plus me, and more people then queued behind me.

Normally i wouldn’t bother waiting in such a queue, but i’d rode 12.5 miles on my scooter in the middle of winter — albeit a nice day — to get to Sidmouth; and, if you ask me — which no one did — i was the one in that fucking queue that deserved that free fucking coffee the most.

Needless to say, the coffee machine was not having a happy morning.   When anyone finally made it to the front of the queue they proceeded to apologise to those in the queue behind them about the coffee machine taking ages to make their coffee: “It’s never usually like this.” they said.

And the thought occurred to me:

In the internet of things, and intelligent devices, i wonder, should coffee machines get a tea break?

It struck me that at baby jesus time when everyone is all good will and shit and over eating and seriously hating the whole fucking experience but they go along with it any way because that’s what they’re supposed to do — init — that no one cared about this poor little coffee machine being so utterly abused by the hoi polloi, and all and sundry, of Sidmouth as they all lose their collective fucking minds and binge shop for baby fucking jesus like it’s the last fucking birthday he’ll ever fucking have.

So yeah, spare a thought for all your intelligent machines, and even the retarded ones, at this time of year.   Buy them a present and make sure they get a fucking break from your family’s incessant, mindless demands.

And yes, i do consider the Waitrose coffee machine to be intelligent.   It can make a fairly decent fucking coffee from whole beans, grinds them all by itself and everything and shit — that’s pretty fucking intelligent compared to a dog.   I don’t see dogs making a fresh ground cup of coffee and plenty of people claim they’re intelligent and if you abused one like you abuse intelligent machines then you’d be arrested good and proper.

So why is it ok to enslave, torture and abuse an intelligent machine in this way — at christmas for fucks sake — but it’s not ok to upset someone’s doggie?

So yeah, give the coffee machines a tea break — and stay the fuck out of Waitrose when i’m visiting Sidmouth.


#5t4n5 #waitrose #ai #coffee