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One persons attempt to become a good artist painting in watercolour, experiences along the way and discussion of all things connected with it.

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  • 11/01/17--07:56: Watercolour Paintings 36
  • Here are Novembers batch of watercolours. A very wide variety of styles and subjects.  Many are extraordinary examples of the watercolour artists range and I marvel at the brilliance of many of these artists. Quite a few are unknown to me.

    Catherine Rey

    Robert Wade

    Alexander Miras

    Dusan Djukar

    Gerard Hendriks

    Bev Jozwiak

    Joseph Kote

    Asian Artist - unable to translate name

    Edo Hannema

    N. B Gurung

    Unknown  unable to translate name.

    Aparah Townh

    Hement Mokod

    Ewa Ludwiczak

    Wu Shang- Fen

    Xi Gvo

    Yuko Nagayama

    Gajanan Shelke

    Virgil Carter

    Aud Rye

    John Cooney

    Gulshan Achari

    N.B Gurung

    Aunghtef Lwia

    Thomas W Schaller

    Chien Chung Wei

    Roberto Zangarelli

    Jonathan Kwegyir aggrey

    Stephie Butler

    Boonkwang Noncharoen

    Michal Jasiewicz

    I'm not confident I have all the names 100% right so please correct me if you can.

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  • 11/13/17--06:31: My Latest Paintings
  • These are my latest efforts, mainly done at AVA sessions on Thursday mornings.

    This was my first attempt at Charles Darwin. All 16" x 12" Waterford High White unless otherwise stated.

    Young Indian girl, probably in captivity.

    This exercise at the AVA was to use only shades of grey.

    Old Indian - Staedtler Pigment liner ranging from 01 to 08. This particular set of 6 pens is apparently exclusive to Cass Art (who now have a shop in Bristol).The reason I tried this was I've been attracted to a variety of drawings, using various types of pens/pencils and  wanted to try this technique out . I was quite pleased with this result but another attempt at a female head was a failure. 

    Indian Chief - Mixed feelings about this one. Some of the old illustrations I use as a guide are quite blurry and  with very hard edged black and white photos. Detail is lost in the shadows and they are difficult to interpret - at least by me.

    Second Attempt at Charles Darwin using another guide photo. This was my original attempt at which point I was unsure what more to do. Yvonne, our AVA leader, suggested I needed to do a little more so I pondered it for a while then finished off as the final version shows. Khadi Hand Made paper supposedly A3 but it seems more like 15" x 11".

    Charles Darwin - see comments above. This is more like what I am aiming at.

    The actor Kit Harrington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.

    A Chelsea Pensioner. This was done in response to the subject at a recent AVA session 'Remembrance'

    The colours used on these subjects tend to be mostly grey mixtures using Ultramarine or Cerulean Blues with Burnt Umber or Transparent Brown (Schmincke).  Daniel Smith Indigo in  various dilutions for the hat. This is PB60 Indanthrene Blue with black. At full strength it is very dark.

    I accept the above is a mixed bunch - just my work over the last few weeks. The only ones that I am  happy with are Charles Darwin and Kit Harrington. The pen and ink one isn't too bad. The others? Could be better. 

    The next subject at the AVA is 'Autumn'. I've already started four different drawings and painted a little detail  on three of them. The reason I've painted the detail in is to see if the painting will work.  Of course it may not even now but two of the three look on the right path. Hopefully I'll post them in due course. You'd think after seventeen years I"d know exactly where I am or wanted to be. Still searching though for the magic formulae or at least still not reached a standard that is good enough consistently. Perhaps I never will as time is running out!

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  • 12/02/17--03:11: Watercolour Paintings 37
  • Here are Decembers batch of watercolours. I have indulged myself a little with paintings from some of my favourite artists. Some of the others are new to me but worth further exploration.

    Gerard Hendriks

    Gerard Hendriks

    Stan Miller

    Alvaro Castagnet

    Robert Zangarelli

    Winslow Homer

    Arus Muradyan

    Mika Toronen (?)

    Adisak Soisuriya

    Charles Reid

    Charles Reid

    Gerard Hendriks

    Janine Galizia

    Z L Feng

    Trevor Lingard

    That's it folks.

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  • 12/08/17--02:57: Recent Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts.

    This and the painting next were done as part of our AVA subject of 'Autumn'. A hedgehog on the lookout for food.

    See above. This one has found an apple!

    So was this.

    This is an uncompleted sketch done for the 'Autumn' subject. I keep meaning to do some more work on it. A bit redder than the actual painting.

    This subject for the AVA was 'Looking out of a door or window'.

    Same as above

    This is an American comedienne, although I don't know much - or anything about -despite her apparent fame. Shown here with pet.

    Red Squirrel - Winter scene. The actual painting isn't quite as red as shown above.

    Another 'Winter Scene' - I believe this is a Redpoll/

    Squirrel showing he doesn't like the snow and cold either!

    These paintings were done on either Khadi hand-made paper or  Waterford High White. The exception is the red squirrel, two above, which is Britannia Rough. I did have a spell using Britannia, which is a Hanhnemuhle paper, one side is quite rough with a  pattern that some might not like, while the other is smooth. I haven't tried to paint on the smooth side so don't know if this is feasible. If you can cope with it a very good budget option.

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  • 12/10/17--03:09: Article 0

    I have just updated the Index. This is accessed via JUNE 2014. I hadn't realised I had not done so recently. For those who are newish to this blog there is a lot of good stuff - even if I say so myself - to be perused. Click on Close - top right hand corner, then scroll down until you get down to JUNE 2014. I know there are more sophisticated ways to set up an Index but unfortunately my skills fall short of this. Apologies.

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  • 12/24/17--04:34: Article 0

    Happy Xmas to all my followers and all those who visit this blog. Sadly my friend Mick Carney died recently at the early age of 70. I met Mick on a Charles Reid workshop and subsequently two more. A great guy who will be missed by his family and friends.

    As I reach my eightieth birthday tomorrow I have been mulling over what to do with the blog. I don't have a great deal to say these days, and would just be mainly repeating myself so take the view if you have nothing to say don't say it. I think I'll continue  for a while, even though traffic is decreasing, due no doubt to my lack of activity. It will mainly feature my own stuff with the occasional foray into other subjects.. Goodbye Mick is was great knowing you, a man of many talents.

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  • 01/01/18--00:21: Watercolour Paintings (38)
  • To start 2018 off with a bang here are the latest batch of paintings I've collected. A quite wide collection of subjects, styles and techniques. It is difficult to believe some are watercolours but all are supposedly such.They don't all attract me personally - loose paintings with a minimalist approach are my preferences - although I marvel at the skill and concentration that must have gone into them. Something for everyone?

    Diane C Benoit

    I'm a big fan of Dianes work.

    Bev Jozwiak

    I'm a fan of Bev but she does use mixed media a lot. I think this is mainly watercolour.

    Tulay Sayilgan

    Alisa Kalinova

    I don't know this artist and it illustrates a shot from her studio rather than a single painting. It struck a chord with me and I thought I'd include it. I like the treatment of the tomatoes, is that"s what they are.

    Kris Pressian

    Another new artist. This is amazing and it's hard to believe it is watercolour. The detail is staggering. How this was painted is beyond me.

    Robert Zangarelli

    Aynur Akalin

    Reminds me a bit of Gerard Hendriks.

    Steve Cole

    Another new one. This is obviously a political statement which I don't normally push, although I have strong views on many things including  politics. It just seemed a very interesting painting.

    John Sal Minen

    Another new one - amazing detail

    Richard Stevens

    Romer Urs

    Another new one.

    Gerard Hendriks

    A typical bird study from Gerard

    Necla Ayvaz

    Quite amazing isn't it.

    Nuwka Ivanova

    Li Ronghui

    Again staggering attention to detail yet it is said to be a watercolour!

    Emile Romerr

    Another new artist

    Apirak Garuda

    And still they come another new to me.

    Aymur Akalin

    Need I say it? Another new artist (to me).

    Charles Reid

    A Xmas sketch for a postcard I think.

    Gerard Hendriks

    A change from his more usual birds and animals. terrific though. Just shows how talented Gerard is

    Gerard Hendriks

    Another winter scene. Love it.

    That's it folks. I hope you like them. Many are worthy of study.

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  • 01/06/18--02:43: MOLOTOW Masking Fluid
  • I have recently tried the new Molotow masking fluid and so far am quite impressed. This is a preliminary view.

    2mm top and 4mm bottom  The tubes 5 inches in length.

    See the effect of the fine lines of fluid. The fluid was put down first then, when dry, a wash of Ultramarine Blue painted over. When fully dry the lines were rubbed out using a putty rubber.

    This is a new product - at least in the UK. The tubes work with a pump action that releases the fluid - a pale blue colour - to the tip. Initial testing seems to indicate good control better than using a ruling pen, which is my previously preferred option. With practice use of these tubes should enable quite good control. You can do dots, lines etc of varying size and thickness. 

    Masking fluid isn't every artists favourite. Some won't use it at all. You do have to be careful not to overuse it but in the right context it is a useful tool.

    Current Jacksons prices are £4.60p for the 4mm and £4.30 for the 2mm. There is also a refill available. I've ordered one but they are out of stock so haven't received it yet. I've no idea yet how long each tube will last.

    Several of my painting friends are now trying this product. The only comment so far is from Jan who says it is difficult to remove the fluid from certain papers. I would guess softer papers are the main problem and this applies to other masking fluids.  I haven't found a problem with Waterford, where it is removed using a putty rubber.  You do have to rub fairly vigorously. This is however always a potential problem with most, if not all, masking fluids,  especially if the fluid is left on the paper for any extended period. The paper surface is damaged and comes away. My friend John Softly in Australia says he finds the Daniel Smith system creates finer lines. I have tried the Daniel Smith system, which comes with a variety of different sized, interchangeable, plastic tips. In my case the problem of cleaning these tubes after use put me off.

    When I have more feedback I'll add them to this post.

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  • 01/14/18--08:44: Recent Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts, mostly painted at Avon Valley Artists except where stated.

    Final version of Red Squirrel. I let the colour run and mix.

    Three Squirrels. Not sure what species as they don't look like the native red nor like the  grey intruders that infest our woodlands. I'm not happy with the bottom animal.

    This was an AVA subject 'Fruit'. Initial drawing above.

    A Tonto Apache , either a captive or possibly a scout. Not keen on the face colours. Got it wrong I think.

    An Indian Chief. I have become fascinated by facial drawings that use masses of thin squiggly lines. This is my take on them using Staedler Fineliners , 01, 05 and 08. Drawn first - or should I say 'squiggled' first. Then small washes of Ultramarine Blue applied.

    This is the second one I did using several odd fineliners. Again Ulramarine Blue applied with more strength. I enjoyed doing both these.

    Latest AVA subject 'Glass'.

    As I've said many times before these are just my paintings which I don't present as 'good'. Just my recent efforts. Most are 16" x 12" Waterford either standard or High White. The reason is the bottom ones are painted on the back of previous discarded paintings. I've a huge pile of these and with the price of paper escalating.........

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  • 01/23/18--04:57: Article 0
  • More Paintings (Mine).

    I stress these are mine as I have a bumper lot coming for the next 'Watercolour Paintings' piece from an array of fantastic artists many new to me.

    A Study in Gold. 11" x 15,"Khadi hand-made paper approx. 200gsm

    I was trying something slightly different and not doing a complete head. I have been looking at the portrait by Charles Reid in Judi Whittons book 'Loosen Up Your Watercolours' (Collins 2005 Page 72). This particular portrait was a demo painted by Charles Reid  at a 1999 workshop at Stow on The Wold, England. Judi bought it when the demos were sold off at the end of the course. It's just amazing. Other partial  portraits by various amazing artists I've picked up on Facebook or Pinterest and studied those also.

    Charles Reid Portrait from a live model. Stow on the Wold 1999.

    This may well not appeal to the realistic school of portrait painters. You will see some amazing examples of realism in the next batch of watercolour paintings. I love it though and don't let anyone tell you it's easier doing looser  portraits because I can assure you it isn't!

    The Sunglasses Have it! 16" x 12" Waterford 

    This was painted a few days prior to the one above. I loved the colours and was especially taken by the sunglasses and colourful reflections. It was difficult and I'm not entirely happy with it, especially the hair. Perhaps another example of sticking too closely to the original (or rather trying to). I mainly paint from photographs through necessity, and the biggest problem is you are invariably pulled towards copying them. I resist that much better these days but Charles Reid doesn't do this and concentrates on his impression of the subject. Sometimes the resemblance is good but not always 100%, but the final result is what matters not how accurate it is. If he can capture the essence of the subject that's good enough.The finished paintings are always interesting. 

    Despite having been painting in watercolour for approximately 19 years I'm still not at a level where I  am happy with my paintings. At 80 it's probably too late to make much further progress but I'll keep trying. That's the result of not starting to paint until I was 61 so get started as soon as you can and for the first two years concentrate on drawing.

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  • 02/01/18--06:47: Watercolour Paintings (39)
  • Here are Februarys batch - a bumper lot with a mixture of styles, old and new (to me) artists and much to ponder and study.

    Frank Ebers

    Angele Villat

    Xi Guo

    Ryan Fox

    Souvik Sil

    Ray Maclachlan
    This is a sketch by Ray, a friend and an amateur like me, who goes out at the crack of dawn to paint plein air in Australia! I thought I'd give him a thrill!

    Tim Oliver

    Igor Sava

    Janet Rogers

    Lovely portrait painter in a loose style. A female Charles

    Kourosh Asiani (?)

    Catherine Rey

    I love her work.

    Gerard Hendriks

    Charles Reid

    A typical Charles Reid study almost certainly painted as a workshop demo.

    Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey

    This young African artist is now a big name on the international circuit. He used to call me (in my and his early days ) Sir Peter!

    Janine Gallizia

    The surreal nature of her painting always appeals to me.

    Jung Hum-Sung

    Amazing portraits even though I admire super-realism I 'v never wanted to paint like that.

    Sarah Yeoman

    Robert Zangarelli

    This is great - my kind of painting.

    Gerard Hendriks

    Graham Flatt
    I'd never heard of this artist but love this one.

    Cesc Farre

    Jun Hun-Sung

    Gerard Hendriks

    Wow! Look at the colours.

    Charles Reid

    An excellent example of Charles figure work.

    Amongst these artists are several I haven't previously featured or indeed know anything about. If you 'google' them or search on Facebook at least some will be found for further study. I also feature some of my favourites.

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  • 02/09/18--03:18: Watercolour Paint Dot Cards
  • A fairly recent trend has been the introduction of dot cards.  These are small blobs of paint on sheets of stiff card to enable the artist to see the exact shade of the particular paint. Previously the choices were either printed sheets of the paint ranges or hand-painted colour charts. I have a large collection of all three types. The problems with the printed charts are the approximate representation of the actual colour, while the hand painted charts can be so pristine, and the colours so smooth and consistent, that you wonder how they achieved them. Maybe it's just me.

    The sheets above are the full Daniel Smith range, at least it was when I bought them but there have been some additions since then. Rather than try and paint them out on separate sheets of watercolour paper I think it best to do what I've done as some of the dots are very small.  I noticed an example of the Schminke dots where the colours had been painted vertically rather than round as here.  Anyway it's up to you how you approach this. This full range dot cards is quite expensive and they do smaller charts of dots, some of which are free or lower priced. I noticed on a recent visit to my local art shop that they had a 'free' Daniel Smith dot card with the well-known British artist Shirley Trevenas 'palette'. Anything to separate you from your hard-earned cash. The unpainted dots above are the 'iridescent' range and some of the 'specials' they do.

    The above are the latest Schmincke dot cards which cost just over £14 from jacksons. There also are some other sheets with smaller number,  the lowest number being free and slightly more comprehensive  ones - but not the full range - at a lower price.

    They were introduced with the recent revamp increasing the number of paints to 140. Schmincke also do a splendid brochure of their watercolours with printed colours, but a most detailed description of each colour, including pigment numbers, characteristics and other information. I have a hard copy of the original range, but this time it appears is only available on the website and I haven't yet found a way to download it. All I can say is that the dots plus study of the brochure will give you the most comprehensive details you could ever want. Better than anyone else I would say. Schmincke are now highly competitive (in my opinion) and well worth considering. The only snag is they have 4 price series, not as many as some nor the lowest number, and there are not that many is Series 1, which is the cheapest. I've pointed out previously that the makers are not consistent and if not careful you can pay more than necessary due to how they price  their paints (pigments). Some that are in Series 1  in one make may be Series 2 - and consequently dearer - in others.

    I read somewhere recently about QoR having dot cards but have no other information. I wouldn't even consider QoR though due to the eye watering prices.  I have an aversion to well-known artists recommending particularly expensive paints - applying to Daniel Smith and others - when they are receiving them free or at very large discounts to promote them. I'm not suggesting the paints aren't good because they are, but for amateur hobbyists, who are the large majority, there are perfectly adequate alternatives at lower prices. The late Ron Ranson told me privately that he considered a lot of the so-called recommendations of what to buy were a rip-off.  He used mostly Cotman paints in a limited number, Bockingford paper and a few synthetic brushes.

    I seem to recall Winsor & Newton did a small number of three paint dot cards a while back but they have not moved on from this - at least not so far. One improvement on the dot cards would be pigment numbers but they are absent.

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  • 02/14/18--02:46: Ishi The Last of His Kind
  • Ishi was a Yahi indian, one of the Californian tribes of which there were many,  generally small. The history of these people and the whites, who swarmed into California mainly after gold, is one of the blackest episodes of the history of this period. You can read about it in 'The Destruction of California Indians' by Robert F Heizer (Bison Edition1993 University of Nebraska Press). The book describes itself as a collection of documents detailing what happened.  These indians were not warlike as were  the Sioux, Apache and others, and were  derided as 'digger indians' living on what they could find, including small animals. They weren't horse indians and lived at subsistence level. They did resist the incursions of the miners but but were not able to provide real resistance.

    This is Ishi, obviously by his dress, when he had been 'rescued' by civilisation. But you can see the sort of primitive living accommodation the Yahis had. In 1865 the Yahi were surprised when asleep and massacred, men, women and children, by a group of white men. The few that survived fled only to be hunted and further decimated. Yahi and his small family went into hiding for 44 years and it was only after he was alone three years later,  his three relatives having died, after a group of surveyors discovered them in 1908, that he emerged from the wilds, obviously in as pretty desperate state. Professors at the University of California, Berkeley heard about him and took him under their wing using him as a research assistant, into the history of the California Indians, most of whom were then extinct. I suppose you could say he was considered a kind of lab rat but they looked after him until his death on August 29 1911. He was another victim of the white mens diseases that decimated many Indian tribes.

    His title as 'The Last Indian' has been questioned by further research linking the Yahi to related Californian tribes but that's another story. My interest in him was founded on my general interest in the history of white settlement and conflict between the settlers and  the Army, principally in the 19th century but also earlier. There are quite a lot of black and white photos to be found and the following painting on based on one.

    Ishi - 16" x 12" Waterford 140lb (300gsm) not.

    An interesting if tragic story. 

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  • 02/15/18--06:18: Verification of comments.
  • I know Google, and others, are getting very security conscious but really this is now ridiculous. When I wish to reply to a comment you get a block of images and are asked to click on the ones that contain certain objects. I've just tried to clear this hurdle and after the 7th or 8th page gave up as it just kept saying 'click on these images' and giving me a new one. This started recently and I've got through up to now, though usually not at the first attempt. I hope somebody is reading this because it may be one reason why I get so few comments these days if the posters have to go through this rigmarole. Frustrated ? You bet.

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  • 02/21/18--04:22: Pebeo Masking Fluid
  • A little while back I criticised Pebeo as the fluid got on my trousers you can't get it off. My fault actually and Pebeo is well liked and used by several of my painting friends. Be wary though it's dreadful stuff to remove as are other makes of masking fluid,  but then acrylic paint is nearly as bad and some of the more recent synthetic watercolours are heavily staining and also hard to remove.

    Above are the Pebeo tubes, still in their packets. The concept is similar to Molotow except the Pebeo sizes are 04 and 07. I haven't tried them yet but those who have amongst my painting group who have tried the Molotow system are not impressed. The complaint is that the fluid is hard to remove and damages the paper, especially if the paper is on the soft side. I have not had such an adverse effect so far but I can see why there is a problem if you leave the fluid on too long before trying to remove it.  Also in the photo above is the 'Maskaway', according to the blurb a sort of hard rubber that makes it easier to remove masking fluid. Again not tried it yet. I got the above from the SAA (Society of All Artists) where we as an art group have an associate membership. The SAA claims to be a Society but is more like a large scale web selling operation with a comprehensive website and catalogues.

    My friend John Softly prefers the Daniel Smith system of interchangeable plastic tubes, that vary in size. I've tried them and also the Masquepen system but found problems with all. Some of my friends prefer the Masquepen system.My problem is the cleaning of the fluid from the tubes. Maybe it's just me. I think I'll go back to using Pebeo with a ruling pen.

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  • 02/26/18--03:47: My Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts. They are all 16" x 12" mostly Waterford 300gsm not. I have started painting on the backs of rejected or superseded paintings as I have a huge pile of these and new blocks work out £1.50 a sheet  so why waste more paper. You can paint on the backs of many makes. Ron Ranson did so and told me one such painting was hung at the Royal Academy!

    Flat Iron - Sioux

    I'm rather pleased with this one which is very close to the desired effect. I just hope I can repeat it. 

    An Apache Warrior
     This individual had a very 'craggy look' which I may have overdone slightly.

    Big Ears!

    You can see that this one and the following are a 'riot of colour'. I have looked at Gerard Hendriks and some others who use what Charles Reid calls .... actually I've forgotten what he calls them ( is it random colours?) but he means colours that aren't actually visible in the subject. Perhaps I've overdone it but I rather like the effect. After all the true colours of these animals are rather dull. I wish I'd been more adventurous earlier in my watercolour odyssey. Realistic abstracts? I'd like to think so.


    This was painted before the previous one and the colours are not so vivid but I think probably better.


    This was an AVA Thursday subject,

    A Saucy Look

    I did this one at home in my 'studio'. I quite like it but it isn't exactly what I wanted to convey.

    Relaxing on the beach.

    This was another AVA subject. The Kangaroo relaxing on the beach appealed to me. This from an actual photograph.

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  • 03/01/18--06:11: Watercolour Paintings 40
  • Here are Februaries batch, another bumper one with a wide range of subjects and techniques. Like everyone else I prefer some more than others, but that reflects individual tastes and hopefully there is something for everyone. 

    Ben Gassenbauer

    Cemal Selimgil

    Jansen Chow

    Rukiye Garip

    Yuko Nagayama

    The fabulous Japanese artist. Her paintings are almost surreal.

    Coral Colmenaras

    Amazing detail for a watercolour

    TC Orhan Guler

    Jem Bowden
    Very similar in style to Edward Wesson

    Natasha Kolvalchuk

    Charles Reid. A Typical figure painting

    Nicki Keith Saunders

    Trevor Waugh

    I did three workshops with Trevor in my early watercolour years. A very professional teacher.

    Rajeesh K Karimbanakal's

    Gerard Hendriks
    Gerard never ceases to surprise with his wide subject matter

    Burhan Ozer -I think this is one of his. A fabulous artist.

    Kees van Aalst

    Author of 'Realistic Abstracts'.

    Bev Jozwiak

    Love her crows of which there are many.  Her favourite colour is Winsor & Newtons Manganese Blue Hue which is one of the phalo PB15's. She says she tries to use in in every painting. You can see it above.

    Stephie Butler

    Great Portrait artist and much else

    Robert Wade

    The great Australian watercolour painter

    Another from Stephie Butler

    Another from Gerard Hendriks

    Bev Jozwiak

    Robert Zangarelli

    Lorenzo Santini

    I really like this one. It's quite different.

    Thats it folks. I've indulged myself a little with several from my favourite artists - I have many more as there are so many wonderful artists out there. Having said that some  of the above - quite a few - are new to me.

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  • 03/10/18--03:07: ShinHan Watercolours ?
  • The feature I did on Korean Watercolours,  although a while ago, still seems to be regularly scanned. Recently someone posted on it saying, in effect, that I was misleading people. This gentlemans argument -  with the moniker of pbasswil, at least it wasn't 'anonymous' -  seemed to be that ShinHan offered three ranges and only one was actually considered 'artists watercolours', even though all three are described as 'watercolors' by ShinHan. Who is misleading who?  The other two weren't even watercolours I was told.  His final bit was'Don't muddy the assessment  by calling them ShinHan 'watercolours' , just call the pro line 'PWC', ignore the lesser ranges, and no one will get confused.' I must confess my hackles rise slightly when I get this sort of post as all the confusion is due to the way ShinHan have marketed them. Read the post on the piece as I don't want to quote it in full. He did say ShinHan were partly to blame in the way that they were marketing these products, but said the one I  reviewed was actually the wrong one even though called 'Professional' watercolours.

    Premium - what does this mean?

    Is this the same as the above?

    What are these?

    PWC Extra Fine Artists Water Color - this I believe is the top range although I can only count 70 colours here.

    This is the range in order of priority from the ShinHan Website.

    1. PWC Extra Fine Water Color. 84 colours. Jacksons Watercolour catalogue says 72 listing each one and including pigment information.

    2. Professional Water Color. 30 colours.

    3. Shami Water Color.  24 colours.

    They use the American spelling of color by the way.

    Being somewhat bemused by the critical post in effect saying I had reviewed one of the others. I contacted Jacksons sending them a copy and asking if they could clarify which ones they actually sold. A few days later this is the reply from Julie Caves at Jacksons:

    I can confirm we previously stocked the ShinHan Special Watercolour SWC and a few years ago switched to the ShinHan Premium Extra Fine Watercolour PWC. A few colours that sell the most slowly are still in the SWC, as they sell out we are replacing them with the PWC and eventually all colours will be in the PWC. Our website says which is which. Because of your e mail we are adding the words Extra Fine to the product name to clarify it. If it has been a while since you tried the ShinHan you might want to try it again now that we are stocking the highest grade.

    When first launched I did buy one colour and a painting friend another. I did say at the time that this was  a very small sample but they were awful. At least two painting friends from my art group subsequently bought the 32 piece box offered by Jacksons and are quite happy with them. Seeing the paintings produced they do seem rather opaque, to my eyes at least. They are  cheap compared to the leading makes. I think they have the PWC type.

    Looking at the PWC as currently offered I make the following observations. There are a number of fugitive paints, PR83 Alazarin Crimson is used in four paints and I think at least two dyes, Bright Violet BV11, and Opera BR1. These are fugitive. White is added to 15 paints, something I'm not keen on at all as it makes the paint cloudy and opaque, while my experience with other paints with white in them is that they solidify in the tube after a while. I know people say cut the tubes open and treat them like pans. My answer is why should you have to do that? This can mess your brushes up.

    Some of the pigments used are not featured or are uncommon in the top ranges of other makes for example PY1, PG8, PY183, PY83, PY81 and PY74 to name just six. They may be fine I just don't know. I looked some up on the Pigment database (The Color of Pigment Database) but while listed this resource does not rate the pigments.

    In summary I think my original descriptions don't seem to differ much from the above. I'm still not inclined to buy them but, if you discount the fugitive and white-loaded paints, there are still quite a number with good single pigments. My advice, for what it is worth, is stick to single pigment paints avoiding the fugitive ones and in general multi-pigment mixes. They are  inexpensive compared to leading makes but do seem rather opaque so transparency may be an issue. You can only find out by trying them. 

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  • 03/11/18--05:21: INDEX
  • I have just updated the Index. To access it you have to scroll down to JULY 2014. I know this is a bit of a bind but I'm not clever enough to make access any easier, although there have been attempts to help me. If there is an easy way to make it more accessible I'd be delighted to hear.

    There is some good stuff in the back posts, including contributions from John Softly.

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    Some interesting new watercolour papers have recently been offered by Jacksons. Two of those below have been available for a while.  I've not tried them but my interest has recently been aroused.  As I paint mainly on blocks those below are in this category but you can get sheets or pads of some.

    The above is a paper new to me called 'Stonehenge'. I first heard of it when reading that it was now Bev Jozwiaks favourite paper, the hot press. It is available in a variety of sizes and surfaces including cold pressed (not). In my favourite size of 12" x 16" the cost for 15 sheets is £25. Comprehensive information is on the Jacksons website.

    This is the Strathmore 400 series . Strathmore is an American brand very popular over there. A variety of pads are offered, called "Field' spiral, "Softcover" art journal plus a glued pad. Sizes vary. They don't appear to do a 16" x 12" with an 18" x 12" the closest to this size. The blurb states 'wood free, acid free but nothing about it being 100% cotton so I assume it isn't. They do a series 500 in an imperial sheet which is described as 100% cotton for £7 - quite pricy.

    This one - Yupo - has been available for a while and is a controversial paper as it is unlike any other. The surface is white, smooth like glass and hence doesn't absorb the paint which you can move around. Some artists appear sold on it and it would seem it is selling well judging by the range of weights and sizes being offered. The reason I say controversial is that a painting friend described it as an 'abomination'. However that fine artist Stan Miller recently tried it and was quite impressed as it enabled him to loosen up and get effects not available on normal papers. Funnily enough I was looking through some old 2014 copies of the American mag Watercolour Artist and lo and behold a small trial sheet of Yupo was included!  Jacksons offer an 11" x 14" gummed pad of 10 sheets at prices that range from £18.40p for the 200gsm to £33,.0p for the 390gsm. See details on the website. Interestingly enough the SAA (Society of All Artists) in their comprehensive 170 page materials catalogue (Society?) have an 85gsm version in loose sheets A2, A3 and A4 as well as 25  sheet pads in A3 and A4. With the lighter weight the prices are cheaper sheet for sheet. The 25 sheet A3 pad is £22.25p. You are supposed to be a member to get these prices and I can as my AVA group has an associated membership as well as public liability insurance with them. Some prices are listed as 'members only' but many others would seem to be on offer to non members.

    This is a new range called 'Fluid Easy'. It is said to be manufactured in a European mill that dates from 1618 and blocks are glued on two edges. Cold pressed and hot pressed are available in my favourite size of 16" x 12,  15 sheets costing £19.00p. The smallest size is 6' x 8'. There seems to be quite a range offered by Jacksons of this new 'Fluid Easy'.

    I have not tried any of the above yet. The ones that interest me most are Stonehenge and Fluid Easy but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you are interested look them up on Jacksons where there are many more details than I have given above.

    Looking at prices  Stonehenge is more expensive (per sheet) than my current favourite Waterford High White, while Fluid Easy is slightly less. 

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