Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A lovely landsczzzz

I love these paints so much.

Deep, heartfelt, sleep-with-you-under-my-pillow love

They're nothing fancy, just a set of Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolors.  Mid-range price - not Crayola, but not the crazy-expensive Yarkas either.  I think this box was thirty-five bucks when I got it a few years ago.

I have a set of Yarkas... I got them when a local art store was going out of business, so they were less than half-price.  I figured if the Crayolas are okay, and the Staedtlers are great, then the Yarkas must be freaking amazing!!!

They probably are.  But all the dark colours look the same in the pans, and every time I open the box the pans stick to the lid and go everywhere.  They're impossible.  I think I have to glue the pans down or something, because I just get mad every time I try to use them.  (Also I'm not known for my patience.  When inspiration strikes, the paint better be ready.)

Rule of thumb for mixing watercolours: mix up as much as you think you'll need, then double it.

This was an assignment I did for the drawing class I just finished.  We were to take a simple landscape, and do two versions of it.

The top one is painted first, then the detail is added with a black pen.

The second one was sketched out first, then painted afterward.

The goal was to learn something about using watercolour as a drawing medium, vs. using it as a painting medium.  Just between us, I'm still a little confused about that distinction.

If you tape down your watercolour paper (all edges, all the way around) it keeps the paper from buckling. Also now that I look at the top painting, it kind of looks like a giant moon rising over the mountains, instead of more mountains.

Turns out I BY FAR preferred to draw it in first, it made the painting part so much easier.  That probably says something about me as an artist, that I like to paint as if in a colouring book. 

Top: Painted first.   Bottom: Drawn first.

Anyway, I did learn a couple of things:

1. Watercolour is way easier to work with in small wee areas.  Once you go big, the potential for disaster increases exponentially.

2. I am shit at mixing colours.

3.  Landscapes are boring.

Anyway: best class ever.  I've already signed up for the follow-up class after Christmas.  The teacher promised more life drawing, including both women AND MEN this time.  So stay tuned, this could get interesting.

Love Shelley!


  1. I love the "drawn first" version! You're so talented :) I remember watercolor (from my high school art classes) to be highly difficult.

    And I'm starting to feel the drawing-painting bug again!

    (I look forward to the new drawings of women AND MEN :P)

    1. You are so sweet... and yeah, I'm looking forward to drawing men too. Heh.

      Now go DRAW AND PAINT!!!!!



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