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.

 
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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.
 

 
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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

 

 
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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.

 

 
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