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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

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