Sometimes you need a bit of organization to feel productive or creative. My desk at work is a complete mess with papers tossed about and notes everywhere. I couldn't even find my phone or notebooks because of the mess I lived in. I set out to Staples to do something about it and came across these lovely bright and fun desk products by Poppin.
A few posts ago, I blogged about the current palettes in my studio and how I love big mixing spaces. Well, today I stopped by a local art store (Davinci Artist Supply) and stumbled upon this giant beautiful porcelain palette that resembled the Tom Lynch Porcelain Palette without all the brush holders. I had extreme difficulty resisting the urge to just pull out my money and walk out the door with it given that porcelain palettes are usually $50+ for any size over 12"
The past few posts have been about keeping an art journal so I want to expand on that and share with you a new brand of art journals that I came across. Stillman & Birn are the only journals that focus on paper quality and an artist's needs. Usually people praise Moleskine journals since they're heavily toted around in the art world. Moleskines are great (and I have been using one since 2013) but I dislike how the paper buckled in my watercolor folio album.
Keeping an art journal or watercolor journal is a great way to quickly sketch out ideas or create speedpaintings/doodles. I didn't keep a journal until 2013 when I realized that sometimes you have too many ideas and not enough time to execute all of them on paper. That's where a journal comes in! A journal is also portable so you can travel with it and take it on vacations or kill time at a local coffee shop.
Brushes are like an extension of your arm so it is crucial to invest in the right type of brushes suited for your artwork. There are many types of watercolor brushes but most of them fall under three categories: synthetic, blended (mix of synthetic and real hair), and natural hair (squirrel, sable etc.)
Kolinsky sable brushes are the most expensive and top notch quality brushes you can find for painting.
I recently posted about the Qor Watercolors samples compared to other brands like M. Graham paints or WInsor Newton but I ended up buying the Introductory 12 set to play with. I had a 40% off coupon for Blick and couldn't resist.
The quality and brand of watercolor paint you buy is without a doubt, the second most important part to painting successfully. Artist grade paints contain more pigment and less filler than student grade paints. However, the number one rule with anything is to buy only the best that you can afford. It's a waste to spend hundreds of dollars and expect to be a successful painter overnight when "the core of painting successfully lies within the artist".
Time to live up to my past promise on an extensive overview of tools for watercolor painting. If I had to rank the priority of each, I would break it out as follows:
1. Paper - quality 140lb or 300lb watercolor paper
2. Paints - Artist grades will certainly improve your painting skills and techniques
3. Brushes - This comes in last place because different artists' prefer different types of brushes
GOLDEN paints are well known for their acrylics but have recently released a new line of watercolors dubbed Qor Modern Watercolors. They claim that these watercolors use a unique binder called Aquazol which could hold greater amounts of pigment than the traditional watercolors using Gum Arabic as a binder.
Obviously, I couldn't help being the curious cat and decided to request samples from their website for review/comparison. Disclaimer: I was NOT sponsored for reviewing this line of paint. All samples were provided freely and publicly from the website at QorColors.com/Sample