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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Art Materials (Watermedia)

Previously I said that I would elaborate on watermedia; the reason for which the last post was featuring Lyra. Watercolor, or water media is often my backup medium. This is not to say that it is of less value. Unlike watercolor, other media such as encaustic or oil are prone to bulky or awkward requirements. But I won't get into that. There are many options for watermedia: pencils, inks, liquid paint, solid dry paint, wax based, straight pigments, soft pastels, gouache; not to mention all the brushes and palettes to choose from, the list is endless. However, I am a firm believer in simplifying things; you don't need all that fancy stuff, dozens of brushes, or elaborate travel sets. I would also like to mention watercolor is not to be taken for granted; it is a difficult medium to master- the trick is not to get caught up in all the fancy techniques or the endless supplies.

Brushes- you really only need a few small ones for any details, and a couple of bigger brushes to do a wash (unless you are painting really big). For the washes, a nice large and medium hake will do just fine- they are cheap and easy to find from any major art supplier. As for the small brushes, you really can't skimp on quality, sable is probably your best choice, but that doesn't mean you have to pay out the nose- Blick artist material makes a fine set of inexpensive sable brushes, as do many other companies.

Palettes- while working at home or in your studio- a large ceramic WHITE bowl is great to have, as well as a few small dishes for your paint (as many as you feel you need at one time). Squeezing out all the liquid watercolor into a palette for it to dry up, defeats the purpose of it being liquid in the first place; of course someone might argue that some companies make palettes specifically designed to keep your paint fresh- really not necessary. If you want dry paint, buy dry, otherwise keep it in the tube unless you need it. If you are on the move, traveling, or just working outdoors, then you really only need a small jar (use the paint right from the tube, off of the pencil or crayon. I've been using a Script brand glass ink jar that was designed with a divided well inside (as to where to get one: I bought mine from a junk store- it is about 15-20 years old, I'm guessing)

I could go on forever, but..... I will probably just feature some of those items later. If your curious about something particular, it never hurts to ask, and maybe I will talk about that next time.

Have fun, and thanks for reading,

Jonathan Parks

Painting: "water" by Jonathan David Parks

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Art Materials (Lyra, "Encaustic Compatible")

"Encaustic Compatible"

This week I would like to introduce Lyra (see link), predominately a pencil manufacturer. Lyra makes anything from makeup pencils to encaustic crayons. If it were not for their long history I would be wary; however, many of their products I would recommend from watercolor pencils to just your basic graphite.

Thanks for reading.
More to come later.

Jonathan Parks

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Art Materials (Caran d'Ache Neocolor II, Water-soluble Pastels)

This week I wanted to switch gears and take a look at watermedia; which brings me to one of my favorite art supplies to come around in some time- Caran d'Ache Neocolor II, Water-soluble Pastels. Found under, "children," supplies on Caran d'Ache's website (links found at the bottom of this post), this is a great item for those who paint outdoors and travel a lot. They are in a compact dry stick form, opposed to a tube product; in addition and for those who work small, they seem to last forever. I have been using this particular product for three to four years and I still have the same tin with all the colors (Take a look at my paintings of waterfowl on my portfolio page, to see an example).

Thanks again for reading and don't forget to tune in for further info on watermedia.

Jonathan Parks

Art Materials (More on Pigments; Encaustic Compatible)

More on Pigments
"Encaustic Compatible"

Last week I talked about Sennelier pigments; however, Sennelier is not the only company to make quality pigments. In Sennelier's case, I simply have a personal preference, because I use their soft pastels as well as many of their other products. Almost any well known paint company will offer a line of their own pigments: Old Holland, Gamblin, Sinopia, are just to name a few (View a link list of companies that provide pigments at the bottom of this post). The key to combining any art material with another, well...., it helps to stay within the same brand. This is not to say combining two different companies products will create a lot of problems, just that often minor issues may occur. One example of a minor issue is in the case of color reaction; simply put, blue and yellow typically make green, but depending on what brand, the chemical makeup of combining different companies blues and yellows will give you a whole different range of greens. This is particularly the case when combining three or more colors; and more importantly in encaustic, where combining many colors (often as few as three) will give you this funny purplish muddled grey color.

Thanks for Reading
Jonathan Parks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Art Materials (Sennelier Pigments "Encaustic Compatible")

Sennelier Pigments "Encaustic Compatible"

I have been using Sennelier products for some time (about ten years) and would recommend them to anyone looking for a good pigment or soft pastel, oil, egg tempera or any other one of their products (will feature later). Below is the link to the English version of their website and a pdf file of their pigment catalogue. You can easily purchase them from any major art material supplier. Those of you looking to make your own encaustic, there is a, "how to," on my Encaustic Resource Pages (How to Make Encaustic Medium and Paint).

Art Materials

Hello All,

I have been wanting to create a regular topic on art materials which I could post on a weekly or biweekly basis; particularly ones that I use, have used, and most likely will continue to use. These products may be common items or actual known brands. I will try to provide links to their websites, or where one might purchase them if and when possible. In addition, and keeping with a focus on encaustic, posts that can be used with encaustic will be labeled, "Encaustic Compatible."

Enjoy and Thank you for reading.

Jonathan Parks

Featured Art Materials

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