Stillman & Birn Journal Review

Stillman & Birn Journal Review

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.

My Watercolor Journal Tradition

My Watercolor Journal Tradition

All new art journals of mine must have the first page dedicated to Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn" which remains one of my favorite childhood stories. Similar to my moleskine's first page, I couldn't wait to decorate this journal and began painting right away when I got home. A lot of members of the WetCanvas community were raving about the Stillman & Birn art journals and when I consulted my friend - he claimed that he had already been using one for several years. 

Watercolor Journal

Watercolor Journal

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.

Why do you paint/draw so many apples?

If you've seen my artwork then chances are - you've probably seen an apple or two..or three. I love painting apples! There's a very good reason for that too. Apples are my favorite type of fruit and they are (in my opinion) the most colorful type of fruit as well. They are also extremely easy to draw - it's a circle! However, there's also a sentimental value associated with apples for me.

Abstract Watercolor Painting

Recently, I've been feeling very drained and burned out which led to more experimentation with a "loose" painting style since I was too lazy to really plan a proper composition or detailed realistic painting. Abstract art (in my own POV) is basically art that conveys a strong mood or atmosphere rather than conveying the actual subject. Subjects are always gestured in abstract paintings and never fully completed or painted in detail.

Watercolor Painting Tools - Part 3: Watercolor Brushes

Watercolor Painting Tools - Part 3: Watercolor Brushes

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.

Painting with Qor Watercolors

Painting with Qor Watercolors

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.

Watercolor Painting Tools - Part 2: Paints!

Watercolor Painting Tools - Part 2: Paints!

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".