Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

One persons attempt to become a good artist painting in watercolour, experiences along the way and discussion of all things connected with it.
    0 0
  • 05/08/18--01:29: Watercolor Artist
  • This bi-monthly American magazine recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary. It was originally launched under the name  'Watercolor Magic'. This is one of only two magazines devoted to watercolour. The other is the glossy and expensive 'The Art of Watercolour'.  I have written before about this latter one and have nothing to add. This is not to say 'Watercolor Artist' is cheap. It isn't for us UK artists due to the premium we have to pay. With the magazine is a small pre-paid card, obviously intended for American readers but it does say for International orders add $10. This still makes it quite a bit less than  the £17.71p, which includes postage, we pay for three issues. In the UK I subscribe to it through Newstand via the internet.  I did have it  for a few months in 2014 but for some reason didn't continue. IF UK artists purchase direct the cost is $47.97 for two years, including the extra $10 for International purchases. This shows a substantial saving. I am tempted to try. 



    I subscribed to 'The Artist' magazine for some years. Previously I also bought 'Leisure Painter' from the same publisher. 'Leisure painter' is aimed at the beginner and intermediate artist. Recently I decided to discontinue 'The Artist' as I have found less and less of interest, as it covers all media. My feeling about it was that it was mainly repeating itself year after year, and the rich World of watercolour outside the UK barely if ever features, I know this is partly a language problem but even Continental watercolour artists, many of whom ate fluent in English, don't get a mention. 

    The latest issue of Watercolour Artist has 72 pages and features several artists, most of whom are new to me, but this isn't always the case with top artists  like Bez Jozwiak, Fealing Lin and Ted Nuttall featured in other issues. Topics include painting Earth, Sea and Sky, Flowers, and the 9th Annual Watermedia Showcase.

    Is it worth buying? Obviously yes for American watercolour artists. In the UK the price is high but on balance I think, if you are a watercolour enthusiast, just about unless price is an issue.

    0 0
  • 06/02/18--04:33: Watercolour Paintings 43
  • For June here are the latest batch of watercolours. I've been on holiday recently so haven't been able to 'collect' as many as usual. It depends on what you prefer but there is some lovely work here.



    ? Not sure who the artist is? It isn't Gerard (I don't think) although similar in many respects. In any event I love it! OF COURSE BEV JOZWIAK!



    Woon Lam Ng



    Stan Miller

    This is on Yupo paper, which Stan has been experimenting on. No drawing (I think) and he feels it has enabled him, a very precise although not super realistic painter,  to 'loosen up'. Yupo with it's shiny, smooth surface is certainly unusual. I have a small sheet supplied with a copy of 'Watercolor Artist' but haven't yet plucked up the courage to try it!



    Trevor Lingard

    The ever reliable Trevor


    Robert Brindley



    N B Gurung

    The brilliant  Nepalese artist, again much is to be found about him if you look




    Roberty Wade

    The guru of Australian watercolour artists. One of his older paintings this is Cape Canaveral.


     Gerard Hendrike

    I have to include Gerard, one of my favourite artists and great person.



    Edward Seago

    Seago, although shunned by the art establishment,  despite being a close  friend of the Royal family,  was - and still is - one of the most influential British artists. Although he painted many watercolours like the above oils were his first love. Look at how he portrays this scene with such simplification.





    N B Gurung by a Chinese Artist - I've put this in because I love the way it has been painted. Many of these Chinese artists are just breathtaking.



    Roland Hilder
    A legendary British artist from the Seago era.



    Chien ching-wei

    This guy is a fabulous artist. Googling him will produce a lot more of his work.



    Abhijeet Bahadure

    Woon Lam Ng



    Oscar Quadros from Peru

    That's it then folks hope you like them.



    0 0
  • 06/08/18--04:40: My Latest Efforts
  • These are my most recent paintings - the usual mixture.


    Young Amerindian Girl c 1900 11" x 15"


    Amerindian Warrior C1880s (?) 15" x 11"



    Chaffinch - 9 " x 12" Fluid Watercolour Paper not surface.

    This new paper is okay but nothing special. It is reasonably cheap though so I would say similar to Bockingford. Claimed to be sourced from an 'old' European Mill. I am also about to try Stonehenge from Legion, an American paper getting rave reviews over there. I've yet to try the 16" x 12" not block I've purchased but I gave Yvonne Harry, the top artisl in my Avon Valley Group, a test sample and she wasn't particularly impressed feeling it was nothing special. She still favours Fabriano Artistico Extra White, apart from the fact the blocks fall apart. I also like Fabriano but the blocks do fall apart and I prefer the 16" x 12" format of Waterford rather than the 18' x 12' that Fabriano offers.



    A Work in Progress - The New Zealand Kakapo, a flightless parrot,  an iconic bird. Only 130 or so  remain and a massive conservation effort is in progress to increase the numbers and protect them - by placing them on predator-free islands - the predators being introduced stoats and rats, which have decimated them and other flightless birds. Some of the original types were huge and were eliminated completely by that other predator the human, mainly sailors who killed them to eat. The human race has a lot to answer for in respect of the natural environment.

    0 0

    The New Zealand Kakapo, the last survivor of a number of New Zealand flightless species of bird, has fascinated me ever since I saw a BBC wildlife programme.



    The Kakapo - 11" x 15" Khadi

    I've been fascinated with this flightless parrot ever since it was featured on a David Attenborough BBC wildlife programme. There were a whole range of these flightless birds, some were very large and were killed off in the 17th and 18th centuries, mostly  by human predators for meat, while introduced predators, rats, stoats, etc decimated the smaller birds like the Kakapo who had no defence against them. All that exist now are museum specimens. The Kakapo is quite large but of course the chicks were very vulnerable to rats and the adults to stoats

    In the Attenborough programme this solitary male trudged, every night, to the top of a mountain and sent his booming calls - designed to attract a mate - across the valleys. No response and at the time it was thought extinction beckoned. However at the eleventh hour a considerable conservation programme was launched and there are now over 130 - still very few - with small breeding colonies established on a few predator free islands. On some of the islands the predators had to be eliminated first. This is an iconic bird in New Zealand and is about the size of a chicken.

    The painting above is my attempt to portray the Kakapo, which is a sort of moss green colour with brown markings, is nocturnal and is a pure vegetarian. They live to an average of 58 years with some lasting up tp 90, but are slow breeders and have 1 - 4 chicks, but not every year. Birds mature slowly. They are solitary, the males and females only meet to mate and the female is solely responsible for raining the chicks. Look them up on Google if you are interested.

    The colours I used are various greens - Sap Green from Lukas a major one - plus Translucent Brown  from Schmincke ( now called Transparent Brown I think ). Green-Gold from Rowney also featured and some Cerulean Blue.Small touches of others.

    0 0
  • 06/25/18--04:57: A Deadly Hunter
  • This subject was brought to my mind after watching the latest BBC Springwatch programmes. In more than one programme - they run for several days consecutively - a weasel was shown taking young birds from nests, close to the ground it has to be said. Two nests near to each other were predated including one of Yellowhammers, sadly becoming quite a scarce bird. Of course this is nature and the weasel probably had young to feed - they are carnivores after all. I found an interesting photograph- two actually that I combined - and this is the result.



    A Deadly Hunter - 16" x 12" Waterford High White 140lb (300gsm) not.

    My aim with this painting, and indeed generally, is to have small areas of detail and large areas of generality. This is what Charles Reid teaches. Not as easy as it sounds and the tendency is, especially when painting from photographs, which is what I do, to become tighter. I think I've probably (mostly) achieved this with more recent paintings other than Portraits.

    Colours were a variety of greens - Sap Green from Lukas, Green-Gold from Rowney plus Oxide of Chromium, with Transparent Brown (Schmincke), Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith) plus some Cerulean and Ultramarine Blue. Ultramarine Violet also features and Cobalt Violet. For the latter I used Lukas but this paint if greyish and very weak. There are other Cobalt Violets that I think are better, some more reddish.


    I'm happy with the above as I achieved what I set out to do.




    0 0

    My recent painting of a Kakapo was quite pleasing to me as it gave a quite good representation of the bird. I did however photograph an earlier stage thinking I might post that also as part of the piece. In the end I didn't but looking at it again I wondered whether this lesser depiction was indeed better (as a painting) or not. In my opinion the biggest mistake in watercolour painting is over elaboration and too much detail. Yes I know there are some fabulous paintings by great artists that follow this route  but , while I can admire them, it isn't my way.


    The Kakapo - Unfinished stage.

    It's all a matter of opinion but I rather like this unfinished work. Charles Reid says you shouldn't overfinish a painting and when you get to the stage of wondering what to do next - stop!



    0 0
  • 07/02/18--03:46: Watercolour Paintings 44
  • Here are the latest batch of paintings for July. I have tried to mix them up a little more so hopefully there will br something for everyone. They are a mix of the famous and less well-known. I have included two from some artists.



    Slawa Prischedko - What a wonderful artist as is his wife Viktoria. 



    Tapan Roy


    Sarah Yeomans


    Heidi Lots


    Bijay Biswaal


    Michele Clamp


    Another from Slawa Prischedko


    Stephie Butler


    Janet Rogers (?)




    Gerard Hendriks


    Alvaro Castagnet


    Yuko Nagayama



    Anne Blockley.

    Ann, the daughter of the late John Blockley, has written several books and also produced videos so if you are attracted to her paintings  you can follow this up.



    Stephie Butler  - What a delicate touch!


     

    Aine Devine

    This Scottish artist produces amazing work.
    Shirley Trevena


    Another from Shirley Trevena

    Shirley, like Anne Blockley, a top British artist has written at least two books and also has videos so you can follow this up if you are interested. Fabulous work although very difficult to emulate.


    Bev Jozwiak - An unusual subject for Bev but love this.



    Dusan Djukaric


    Carlos Leon Salazar


    Robert Zangarelli

     

    Another from Dusan Djukaric


    Mohammad Reza

    That's it folks hope you enjoy!


    0 0
  • 07/20/18--02:34: Latest Works
  • Here are my latest paintings, mostly done at AVA Thursday sessions, although in some instances the drawings were completed the previous day in my home 'studio'. All are around 16" x 12" or A3 with some slightly smaller.


    General George Crook - The Famous Indian Fighter

    This is a modification of the painting posted on Facebook. I decided it was too plain so added the blue to his uniform.


    'Breakfast'

    This one of a Thrush was changed slightly as I felt I'd made the body too fat so added the dark colour Turquoise on the left over the original so reducing the body width. Possibly the blackish green Perylene Green (Schmincke) would have been better.


    A Young Amerindian Woman

    In this instance the guide photo, as they tend to be, was black and white. and the only discernible detail was that I've shown. The rest was dark so after looking at how a variety of artists treat portraits adopted a minimalist approach. I like it but many may not.



    Bird & Blossoms.

    This is actually smaller- about 12" x 9"



    "Harmony'

    I liked the contrast between the dark of the birds and the white flowers.



    'In a Rush'

    This male Grebe was travelling at speed across the water and I tried to recreate this in the painting.






    0 0
  • 08/01/18--04:46: Watercolour Paintings 45
  • Here are Augusts batch. I have again tried to mix them up with a wide variety showing the versatility of watercolour. I hope you all agree. I have included a couple of abstracts.  Some of the artists are unknown to me but they just keep coming




    Liam Cheng Wu

    A terrific Chinese artist who paints a wide range of subjects.


    Yvonne Harry

    Yvonne is the leader of my group Avon Valley Artists. She is not a professional artist, although she holds a major  annual exhibition at Wells Cathedral. In my (and others ) view she is  equally as good, if not better, than many professionals in her major mode as a flower painter.  Compare this with the one above.




    Hiew Yin-Yui





    Gerard Hendriks

    Gerard has turned his talents to other subjects recently and his boat studies have the usual dynamic colours and sense of movement that is displayed in other subjects such as birds and animals..




    Mika Toronen




    Adrian Homersham



    Stan Miller -enough said!


    Ewa Ludwiczak





    Morten Solberg Snr.

    Great American artist of outdoor scenes usually the small areas of detail nvolving animals, although they aren't usually a major party of the painting.







    Yuko Nagayama
    The brilliant Japanese artist




    Gang Liang
    I love the simplicity of this,



    Charles Reid

    This is a typical CR painting where he combines flowers with other objects.




    Gerard Hendrik

    Another boat painting from Gerard - contrast this with the previous one. Slightly more subdued.

    Frank Eber
    Terrific artist, American I think.



    Fealing Lin
    Wonderful Chinese -American artist.



    Gerard Hendriks

    I may be slightly overindulgent here but there is a lot to be learned from Gerards work if you buy into it - and many do.




    Robert Wade

    The great Australian artist. This is one of his older works. I haven't seen anything recently from him and he is tending to display his back catalogue He's 88 today.





    Eric Mishima
    I don't know anything about this artist but this is an amazing watercolour.




    Winslow Homer
    The great American artist.


    Robert Ferguson
    A typical English landscape in the style of Seago/Wesson.


    Dusan Djukaric
    Another superb artist from Eastern Europe.





    Pavel Pugachev




    Pol Ledent




    Mary Whyte
    Fabulous American artist




    Bev Jozwiak
    Anothrr fabulous American artist.






















    0 0
  • 08/07/18--07:26: Watercolour Magazines
  • I currently subscribe to the Watercolour Artist magazine and recently bought the latest quarterly edition of The Art of Watercolour. I'll explain why later




    I had a short spell subscribing to this monthly magazine in 2014.  and have recently renewed. My main gripe is we have to pay such a premium in the UK to get it.  I get it from an online company. However each issue usually has a pre-paid card  to subscribe direct. I won't go into details but it is much cheaper in the USA - I paid £4.25p plus postage - about half.  Compared to The Art of Watercolour it is a smaller magazine of 72 pages with usually 6 articles and a number of columns. Artists like Ted Nugent and Fealing Lin have been featured in the past. Worth buying yes apart from the UK premium.




    This is a glossy high quality production of 98 pages and is larger than the one above. When it was originally introduced I wrote a less than complimentary review of it. This provoked an anonymous post from some brave person who called me a moron. I had my suspicions it was a fairly high profile artist with whom I'd had a run in when he said Charles Reid recommended Escoda brushes. I pointed out I'd done several courses with CR and he always recommended DaVinci brushes. This didn't go down very well. Enough of that the reason I bought this copy, the 31st issue, was that Genevieve Buchanan a lovely lady I met on at least two Charles Reid workshops was featured. Genevieve has done lots more CR workshops than my five and also many others with artists like Alvaro Castagnet. It's obviously paid off.

    I saw an advert for this issue, which a local newsagent stocks,  they usually only have two or three at most. I think it cost me £6.25p which not much dearer than Watercolour Artist given there is no postage involved. To be blunt is is a cut above but I had one other reason for my previous criticism and that was the elitist bent of the magazine. It seems mainly aimed at the higher levels of watercolour artists and if anyone disputes this then why run articles, at least one, with the theme of 'how to join the inner circle of watercolour artists'.  As one might judge from that I'm very much against elitism.

    Genevieve piece is based on her flower painting, although she does other subjects. I cannot really recall how she painted when we did the CR workshops together. Her style now is exceedingly loose and I have mixed feelings. I try to follow Charles Reid's mantra, with mixed success, of 'small areas of detail , large areas of generality'. To my eyes what is missing here are the small areas of detail. However who  I am, a struggling hobbyist, to say when she gets in this elite magazine and I get ......... Just kidding I know my limitations!

    When I first started painting I bought Leisure Painter and The Artist magazines. Leisure Painter is very good for beginners. I recently discontinued The Artist as it seems to me to be in a rut and has very little on watercolour, certainly next to nothing on the amazing artists out there from other countries and continents. Perhaps I've just become more cynical as I'm now well into old age and realise it's a case of not falling off the perch rather than improving much. I asked a painter friend of mine, sadly now deceased, at what stage one stopped  improving. His reply was it wasn't a case of improving but trying stop the rot.


    0 0
  • 08/13/18--08:28: New Products
  • I have recently been on holiday at Sidmouth on the Devon coast.  Sidmouth is a mecca for artists  and group called East Devon Art Centre or similar have been running workshops this year, of varying lengths, including such fine artists as Stephie Butler AND the amazing Viktoria Prischedko. originally from Moldavia but now living I believe in Germany.  There is a nice art shop there called South West Art. As a serial impulse buyer I can't pass them by so went in (twice) for a peruse. I finished spending just over £17, not much considering what art products cost, especially for watercolour so here  we go.




    The Maskaway, Twist Grip Large Fan and the Pebeo dtawing gum "High Precision Masking Marker". 

    Actually I bought the Pebeo in Minerva in Bath but have included it here. The Maskaway from Frisk is a square piece of hardfoam-like material for removing masking fluid. I've tried it once and it works fine so far. The blurb says it is easily cleaned and can be cut to shape for more detailed erasing.  `it can also be used to remove a wide range of sticky marks including adhesive tape, and cleans dirty paper or after using Tracedown". This cost £5,25p.

    The brush is called a 'Twist -Grip' and this one is a large fan. There was quite a large range mostly rounds, and prices were pretty cheap this being less than £5. I've used it a couple of times and quite like it. Well-made. 

    The Pebeo marker is similar to the one recently introduced by Molotow. I bought both the Molotow markers and one is already unusable. When I saw the similar Pebeo one I decided to try it also. There are two sizes 04 and 07. Larger then the Molotow which is 02 and 04. It's early days but already I prefer the Pebeo. I believe you can buy new heads. They are of a soft/hard material and you press down on them to release the fluid.but eventually, as happened with the Molotow, clog up. Maybe my technique is faulty so if you use masking fluid give them a try.




    Catalyst By Princeton.

    Princeton are an American brush maker and these 'things' are made in China.

    When I was in the shop I saw this collection of strange looking brush-like tools and was intrigued by them. That shown, 12 inches in length, was the smallest and cheapest, most were much bigger with heads up to two inches across.!  Exactly what you are supposed to do with them I'm not sure but they are obviously designed for special effects. Whether that included watercolour I'm unsure and foolishly I didn't ask the young lady in the shop about them. Special effects seem to be all the rage at the moment and all sorts of special brushes and other things are being promoted in this field. I've played around with it a little using thick paint and it may be useful - we shall see.


    0 0





    I have written previously on the above subject of  painting on a budget and due to the escalation of prices propose to revisit . First a qualification. The above title suggests  this is about the 'Best'. It isn't but instead about what I consider  'best buys' , combining price and quality. This isn't the same thing. Watercolour artists get ripped off  (in my opinion), especially in paints but also to a lesser extent in brushes and paper.  Professional artists nearly all recommend you buy 'the best quality products'. Some, not all, promote various brands, some telling you they are the 'best in the World' either being paid by the respective companies or supplied with product free for doing so or very cheap prices. I'm not saying all artists take this line but some undoubtedly do. The only one I know of that was very cynical about this was the late Ron Ranson, who used the cheapest materials in all three categories. I know of one artist who promoted a particular brand of paint then switched to another when the deal was withdrawn. Each was 'the best'. Enough of that now to a summary. These are only my opinions so you can take what you want from them or ignore them. There are a huge range of brands available in all these products so there may well be others I've missed , especially in the USA and other countries but my perspective is primarily a UK one. Daler Rowney, until recently a 'best buy'; have increased prices to the extent I've dropped them.  I would stress I am very flexible in buying paints taking the view nearly all artists quality brands are acceptable subject to personal preference.
    Here prices of artist quality paints are horrendous. At the top end we have Daniel Smith, QoR and one or two lesser known. For the purpose of this exercise I have also discounted brands like Winsor & Newton at current prices. However look out for special offers and you may find them cheaper at some other outlets. I am only talking about what is currentlyon offer from Jacksons - a good benchmark. There are certain colours in these top brands that are 'must have' to some artists' Fair enough. Another might be Permanent Rose from Winsor & Newton (PV19). There are lots of paints made with PV19 but the Winsor & Newton one is a favourite of many flower painters.
    The following are my recommendations as things stand. I'm in a slight state of flux at the moment as what to buy so put these forward for consideration. Schmincke are a good buy IF you are comparing them with brands like Daniel Smith. The range is extensive with over 100 colours and prices are cheaper than Daniel Smith .You have to watch though in what price category each paint is listed as there is no industry standard. Schmincke don't have a lot in category one - the cheapest. They also do a 5ml in addition to the 15ml plus half and full pans.
    Another to look at is Talens (Rembrandt). They mainly do a 5ml tube but also a few colours in 21ml. Prices are pretty keen and if you only use a small amount of a certain colour I recommend  the 5ml size.
    For bulk users the best buy is Lukas with a range of 70 colours, a few outstanding. They don't match the range of the others but all the standard colours are there. The problem may be they offer a 24ml tube size plus pans. This may be too large unless you paint a lot. Keep in mind though paints should last ten years or so, according to the chief chemist at Daler Rowney. However I have found that quite a few colours (pigments) solidify in the tube after much shorter periods, and that includes some from Daniel Smith. I know we are told to cut open the tubes and they can be utilised like pans but to me that's a pain! Lukas prices are excellent.
    Another brand well worth consideration is Sennelier. With nearly 100 colours they also do 21ml (the best buy), 10ml plus full and half pans. Prices are a little more than Lukas but still well short of Daniel Smith.
    There  are two other groups of paints outside of the main European and American brands - I would include Holbein here also. They are the Korean brands, Mission Gold and Shin Han plus the Japanese Turner. Prices are really cheap compared to the others - almost too good to be true. I have written extensively about them in my back catalogue so read it and make your mind up. I am minded to try a few colours in some of these brands but be selective. I did try Shin Han a few years ago and was not impressed but the current range may be different.
    We then have the house brands which are growing all the time. They tend to have fewer colours, often less than fifty but claim to be 'artists quality'.  Jacksons, which used to be made by Sennelier (they may still be); is one with 48 colours and new ones seem to pop up regularly. All the major companies now seem to have them both here and in America. Try a few colours by all means and you may be pleasantly surprised. The SAA have a growing range.
    Finally as I said at the beginning it's possible deals may be available at local shops that are normally more expensive. For instance I called in at Cass Art in Bristol the other day  and two shops from them is an outfit called Stationery World or similar. That shop has been there many years and I spotted some art materials in the window. On going inside I was surprised to see a full range of Maimeri watercolours together with the budget Venezia range, Prices were better than current Jacksons on the Maimeri and  Maimeris  excellent budget brand is normally hard to find. There is also the Cotman brand from Winsor & Newton together with the excellent Talens budget brand  Van Gogh if you are really strapped for cash - and many amateurs are. Thats it folks take your choice. For overseas visitors outside the EU Jacksons prices are less 20% VAT so even with carriage at cost only you may be pleasantly surprised how competitive they are.




    0 0
  • 09/01/18--02:25: Watercolour Paintings 46
  • Here are the latest batch to start off September. As usual they are a mixture to show the variety and versatility of watercolour with a little personal bias towards artists I  particularly like.


    The wonderful Shirley Trevena. I have her first book and video, but to try and emulate her is not for the faint hearted!



    Edo Hannema - superb landscapes



    Janet Rogers - The excellent American artist 



    Sir William Russel Flint - a legendary artist from the earlier era



    Virgil Akins

    Virgil has succeeded in developing his own unique style.




    John Singer Sarjeant - enough said!




    Jonathan Kwegyir  Aggrey



    Bev Jozwiak.

    The ever creative Bev is doing some painting on Yupo paper



    Trevor Lingard




    Robert Ferguson



    Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey - I should have known!!!




    Gerard Hendriks - one of a series of boat paintings




    Karl Martens.
    I recently came across this interesting artists who specialises in birds. His paintings are actually quite large.




    Yuko Nagayama.

    Unusual subject of a portrait for Yuko but brilliant as usual. Eat your heart out Ward!




    Another from Shirley Trevena



    Janine Gallizia.

    Her paintings have this amazing ethereal look. I believe she's one of the founders of "The Art of Watercolour' magazine.



    Jean Haines

    Very loose - maybe just a tad too loose - only my opinion.




    Joseph Zbukvic  - the well-known Australian Artist.





    That's it folks. Hope you like them.




    0 0

    Having covered paints I now come to brushes and paper, brushes being the first topic. 



    From left to right: Robert Wade Signature Neef, Rosemary 401, Luxartis Kolinsky, Escoda Kolinsky, Da Vinci Casaneo, Cosmotop 5530 Mix-B, SAA Kolinsky

    Of the above brushes Nos 1,2, 5 and 6 are not pure sable being various mixtures of either synthetic or natural hairs and synthetic.  The others are Labelled Kolinsky sables but here - while I am not suggesting that these brushes are not - I would refer you to the article/post I did on this subject.  See the Index in June 2014. It should be said before I go on that many famous artists use all sorts of brushes, often cheaper ones or good quality synthetics. The hand that wields the brush....

    Sable brushes labelled 'Kolinsky' or even 'Red Sable' are incredibly expensive once you get past size 4.  It used to be after size 8 but prices now reach the stratosphere from 8 onwards. Even size 6 is expensive. However my suggestion, and it is only that, if you must have sables for detail buy either a 4,6 (or smaller) or both.

    There are some excellent synthetic hair brushes on the market and the latest ones claim to emulate sable. This has been going on for years and John Yardley wrote that he'd been supplied synthetic brushes claiming to be similar to sable on numerous occasions and he considered the claims - after trying them - unfounded. However things move on. The best artist in my AVA group has always used Pro Arte Prolene brushes - usually seconds - but has now switched to Rosemary Series 401, a red sable blend, and is delighted with them, They give her the stiffness she likes but also hold more water than pure synthetic. The big thing about these blends is they are cheap the Rosemary 401 Size 8 is only £7.30p. How long they retain there points I don't yet know but then many highly rated sables aren't perfect in this respect.

    What is available? Quite a lot actually so it is a question of trying some and deciding if they suit your purposes. My first picks are the Rosemary 400 series, with a large range of sizes and types. For overseas readers she exports World Wide and has an excellent catalogue - see my recent feature . The 400 series are red sable and synthetic blended together. Next - equally so - is the well-regarded Da Vinci Cosmotop Mix B  which is a mixture of  red sable, Russian blue squirrel and Russian Fitch (black sable) with small amounts of synthetic. Artists like Viktoria Prischedko  and Piet Lap use these brushes, available in a range of types and sizes.  Sable/synthetic mixes are also offered by Pro Arte, Winsor & Newton, Daler Rowney, Jacksons, the SAA and others. There is plenty of choice.  Both Princeton and Escoda are promoting their latest  brushes as 'Kolinsky Synthetics', claiming they emulate sable. They may well do but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Da Vinci have introduced a new range called 'Casaneo' in a variety of types and sizes claiming - once again - they emulate sable. We are spoiled for choice bewildering isn't it? The thing is though that all the above come in at prices that are a fraction of  sable prices, although there are cheap sable brushes on the market, perhaps best avoided.

    As well as the brushes in the above photograph I have several other Kolinsky sables from makers like Da Vinci, many bought a while back at less than the current eye watering figures. My current main brushes are Isabey Kolinskys 6228 so I don't need to buy any more as they should last unless I live to well over 100!  Perhaps a slight exaggeration! That assumes I'd still be painting then. If I were to buy more it would be Rosemary 401 or Cosmotop 5530 .

    I have much less to say about papers. There are lots available ranging from hand made and machine made cotton mixes to the cheaper papers, usually of synthetic mixes or 'high grade' wood pulp (Bockingford).  Some mix the two half and half, There are a few other types but the above is the mainstream. 

    Bockingford has long been the choice of many amateurs in the UK while both Hahnemuhle ( Britannia and Cornwall) and Fabriano do cheaper papers that are decent. Another possibility is the Indian Khadi range of cotton papers at very reasonable prices in a large range of sizes and weights. Worth a try. Not everyone likes them  as they could be described as 'slightly rough' , but I do. I'm sure there are others I don't know or have  experience with.

    Personally my favourite paper is Saunders Waterford High White in 16" x 12" blocks. Current price is £32 which is stiffish. You can get this paper in sheets which works out cheaper but my problem is a full sheet cuts into four 15" x 11" and I prefer the 16" x 12". I'm trying the Stonehenge Aqua cold press paper at the moment and it seems to me similar to the Waterford but works out slightly more expensive as the block has only 15 sheets. Fabriano Artistico Extra White is good but here I have size problems as they do an 18" x 12" block. In respect of the blocks the Waterford is very well made and holds together right until the final sheet whereas both the Fabriano and Stonehenge soon start falling apart. As far as paper is concerned some famous artists say that the one thing you shouldn't economise on is paper. I leave you with that thought.

    Added: Zvonimir has pointed out that Arches and Khadi are hard papers that wear out sable brushes. I'm sure he is right and further states that's it's more sensible to use synthetics on hard papers. sables are better on softer papers with not or smooth surfaces.  He also says that it is better to use quality papers at lower weights ie 90lb than heavier synthetic papers. I've done this and it works unless you use heavy washes in which case you get severe buckling. You can stretch of course although I've done it successfully and it is a bit of a chore. I stopped when Robert Wade said he couldn't be bothered to stretch as he hadn't time!


    0 0
  • 09/14/18--03:58: Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts, mainly at AVA Thursday meetings, although I frequently do the drawing the previous day. I find this often works best rather than drawing and painting in one session.



    Young Indian Woman 16" x 11" watercolour




    Jenny Wren 16" x 11" watercolour




    Molly Spotted Elk - Penobscot Tribe 1903 15" x 11"



    Busy Bee (Wasp Actually) 15" x 11"


    Satanta - Kiowa Chief. Stonehenge Aqua not. Likeness not good. 16" x 12"



    Exotic Bird (species unknown to me) 12" x 9"


    Scottish Crossbill 12" x 9" Fluid Paper


    Red Cardinal. 12" 9" Fluid Paper



    Wild Flower Medley - 16" 12" 



    Another Flower Painting 16" x 12"

    0 0
  • 09/17/18--03:02: Another Batch
  • Here are more of  my recent paintings - I usually average two per week - again I'm not suggesting they are good just my work. I tend to post initially on my Facebook page and also on the group Watercolour Addicts. I recommend Watercolour Addicts as a  source of generally  good paintings - many much better than mine. I tend to get fairly low marks regarding 'likes' with others in the dozens and even hundreds. Still I keep on trying!



    Deadly Hunter 16" x 12"
    I was quite pleased with this but it didn't receive many likes when I posted it.



    Stone Chat 16" 12"
    I liked the simplicity of this one.




    Grey Wagtail 12" x 9" Fluid




    Mother and son 16" x 12"



    Yellow Iris 16" x 12'
    Flowers for a change


    Another Deadly Hunter 16" x 12"
    The eyes are not quite right. I keep thinking I may try and alter them. It can be done if you are careful.




    Crested Tit - 12" x 9" Fluid





    0 0
  • 10/01/18--01:41: Watercolour Paintings 47
  • Here are the latest batch for October. I've tried to mix them up even more this month.


    D Joy McFadden (?)
    What colour! Love this.



    Edward Wesson



    Lars Eje Larsson
    The more I see of this artists work the more I like it.



    Aine Devine
    This Scottish lady is an amazing artist.



    John Yardley
    One of the greats in the modern era of British Watercolour



    Ivelina Vladimirova



    Kate Osborne



    Viktoria Prischedko



    Fabio Cembranelli



    Cornelius Dragan



    Winslow Homer
    Am American great.



    Michal Jasiewicz



    ? Anyone recognise this artist?



    Milind Mullick



    Giulio Boscaine



    Yuko Nagayama


    Michele Clamp

     Ted Nuttal


    Catherine Rey



     Annemiek Groenhout



    Aine Devine



    Karl Martens

    Some terrific artists here I hope most will agree. We all have our different tastes but good painting is universal. How I wish I could paint like many of those above.















    0 0
  • 10/12/18--02:25: Watercolour Dot Cards
  • A few years ago Daniel Smith introduced these dot cards. At least I think they were the first. Since then they have proliferated. Winsor & Newton then offered  a few, I think with some special edition sets and also a basic primary colour set with currently a six dot card from Jacksons at 20p. Schmincke now offer the whole range or - like Daniel Smith - a reduced number at a lower price. There may now be some other dot cards from other makers but I have no current details.






    Daniel Smith



    Daniel Smith



    Schmincke




    This is how Jane Blundell paints out the dot cards. I think her method is best.

    Prior to this the options were and still are printed colour charts which are usually free or hand painted charts, often hard to find and quite expensive.

    Prices of the dot cards vary. With Daniel Smiths huge range the full 238 set costs £21.00 at current jacksons prices. They also do a 66 one for £7.50. The full 140 colour Schmincke costs £14.60 and the 80 one £9.10.


    Daler Rowney Hand Painted Chart



    Holbein Hand Painted Chart



    Maimeri Hand Painted Chart

    I also have a Winsor & Newton hand painted chart. What do I think of them? They are undoubtedly useful, especially if you major on one brand. The snag I find is that the paints are applied very evenly. This may seem an odd thing to say but with my - admittedly - less than perfect methods getting a similar result is very difficult and do you actually want them to be this bland? Jacksons also list hand-painted charts from Rembrandt - no current price. Shin Han at £34.00 and - surprisingly - Cotman at £11.20. I  believe Old Holland also do one but no details.

    All makers tend to offer printed colour charts for free. My preference would be for these charts followed by the dot cards. You may feel differently.









    0 0
  • 11/02/18--03:40: Watercolour Paintings 48
  • Here are Novembers batch. They are a mixture of different styles and old and newer artists. Hope you like them.



    Gerard Hendriks

    An excellent example of Gerards Bird Paintings



    Edo Hannema




    Dianne Benoit

    I'm lucky if my Amerindian paintings get half a dozen likes but Dianne got a lot for this one. I'm taking note of how she has approached the subject!




    Dusan Djukaric



    Jerry de la Rosa

    A new artist to me



    Winslow Homer
    The revered American artist




    Trevor Lingard




    Stan Miller



    Morten e Solberg Snr



    Yuko Nagayama

    An amazing watercolour



    Another from Yuko Nagayama - what a contrast to the previous painting.



    Gerda Mertens

    The notable Belgian artist



    Charles Reid

    I was on the workshop  when Charles painted this demo. It was at Burford, near Witney in Oxfordshire.The young man was a member of the hotels staff and and he posed in the garden. It was actually my first with CR and the standard was very high. He commented on this himself and I really struggled.  Although always of a high standard none of the following workshops reached the same level and I gradually adapted. There were artists from all over the World and several were professionals. 






    Milind Mullick



    The fine American artist Janet Rogers



    Catherine Rey



    Michelle Clamp


    Another from Janet Rogers




    Edward Seago - Legendary British Artist



    Jean Claude Papieux





    Alvaro Castagnet




    Chien Chung- Wei



    Another from Chien Chung -Wei




    Jonathan Kegyir Aggrey

    Different one from Jonathan.



    Robert Wade




    Jan Martens

    This artist specialises in birds and they are actually very large




    John Yardley



    Janine Gallizia

    Wonderful!


    Thats it folks

    0 0
  • 11/10/18--04:35: Latest Paintings
  • Here are some of my latest efforts. I make the usual proviso I don't post them as good just what I am producing sat the moment. My painting has always been on the inconsistent side, partly because I never want to get into a rut and just turn out the same stuff painting after painting.


    Hare 16" x 12"

    This was an exercise at my art group using a limited pallette. In this instance my choice was  three primaries but not the usual ones. The colours were: Hansa Yellow Medium (Daniel Smith PY97), Permanent Magenta (Maimeri PV19 Rose shade), Turquoise )Lukas PB16). I wouldn't normally do this but it does force you into areas you don't usually go. 



    I started this one as I had a short time to spare after finishing the days subject at my art group. This is based on Charles Reid's teachings in his books/videos and workshops. The features are done first. HOWEVER on re-watching his last dvd - Figures in watercolour - I noticed he'd changed his approach ,or at least I thought he had, by doing a wash overall first. I also was looking for inspiration  and  to correct bad habits that seem to develop in my painting. I think the root cause is not painting enough. I read somewhere that to maintain your standard you needed to paint at least three times a week, even more if you wish to improve. Given my advanced age it's also a case of not wanting the rot to set in!



    'Dead Horse' Flathead. c 1905 16" x 12"

    This is the finished painting. I quite like it even though I'm sure I do things wrongly. I tried not to overwork this one - a perennial problem.



    'King of the Jungle - 16" x 12"

    I feel, while a reasonable representation I have overworked this one. Lots of colour Translucent Orange (Schmincke PO71). Translucent Brown (Schmincke PBr41), Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith PO49)  plus Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber , Raw Sienna etc. I also did highlights with some acrylic white,  using a little Pebeo Gum to mask the whiskers. I almost always paint from photos these days and that does incline you towards bad habits. I have learned though not to copy every detail.



    'Model' 16" x 12"

    This was done on the same session as the above. The left eye facing is not quite right and I may alter it but it was mainly an exercise  in getting the skin tones right which  has  worked reasonably well. I also like the jewellery on the facing left hand side.



    Khadi rough A4

    A very quick exercise of a treecreeper done on about 20 minutes.



    'Big Cat' 16" x 12"



    'Ptarmigan in Winter" 16" x 12"

    An exercise in simplicity, although not deliberately so.




    'Treecreeper' Khadi rough A4

    This was done previously to to the  treecreeper one above.




    'Jay' 16" x 12"



    'Autumn' 16" x 12'

    I'm not sure what this bird is.
    The papers I am using sat the moment are Waterford High White, Stonehenge Aqua and Khadi rough.






    0 0
  • 11/18/18--04:42: INDEX
  • I have just updated the INDEX. This is in JUNE 2014. I know accessing this is a bit of a fag BUT there is a lot of good stuff there, including by other contributors.

    0 0
  • 12/01/18--00:36: Catherine Beale
  • We don't have many demos  at Avon Valley Artists but have just had one by the Bath artist Catherine Beale -  https://catherinebeale.com/ - at our venue of Saltford Church Hall. Catherine teaches a method she calls 'Gravity Painting' using watercolour. In simple terms this is the application of wet in wet watercolour with the board vertical. 


    The initial setup


    Catherine starts and explains her approach and what she is trying to achieve.

    Catherine begins explaining her approach and what she wanted to achieve.  However with this type of painting 'happy accidents' do occur and she improvises as she goes along, although having a strong idea of where she wants to end up. In the bottom right hand corner of her board you will see a small photograph of the clump of trees on Kelston Hill, nr Bath. This is a famous landmark and many people make the fairly steep climb up to experience the fabulous view. This was her starting point - but I emphasise not something she was trying to copy, just a guide.


     The paper is wet from the top using a one inch Protel flat brush- not the whole of the paper but in stages.. This together with a Protel rigger were all the brushes she used. She told me this is her normal approach and usual brushes. Only five colours were used. Indathrene Blue (PB60) from Daler Rowney, Moonglow (Daniel Smith PG18,PB29,PR177),  Phthalo Turquoise (W & N PB16), Sap Green and Raw Sienna. Moonglow has become something of a cult colour, a green, blue and red combination that produces a moody grey-blue, violet colour, perfect for shadows for example. Her overall preference for paints are Winsor & Newton artist watercolours. My choice of PB16 is the Lukas version, called just Turquoise. which is just as good and cheaper. A fabulous pigment and a favourite also of the terrific American artist Bex Jozwiak.

    Paper used was rather unusual in that it is Watercolour board from Daler & Rowner, usually A3. This isn't very common. Catherine is also experimenting with painting on wood treated with Gesso.


    Paint is applied with the flat brush and allowed to 'gravitate' helping it along but not overdoing the brushwork.


    This is now now quite a way along with Sap Green and Raw Sienna being introduced in careful touches - placing paint I would describe this. The rigger has also been used for the tree trunks and the whole  
    thing is now taking shape.  More work will be done on it after further thought and contemplation. She had reservations about the dark colour in the top corners but had yet to decide how to modify it.



    The palettes Catherine used.



    Salt - which she uses to create effects on her paintings.






    Examples of Catherines paintings.



    Catherine also paints Portraits as well as landscapes. Her landscape work covers real and imaginary images and arbitrary colours in some instances. Two of my fellow members of the AVA did a two day portrait course with her a few weeks ago which they thoroughly enjoyed. Although my portrait work (modest as it is) is a little different I intend to take a course with her probably in March.  I have an open mind and look at different artists all the time, hoping to gain inspiration and improve my painting. You are never too old to learn (I hope!).

    Overall this was an excellent demonstration with an articulate  teacher. If you live within reach of Bath I would certainly recommend her courses.







    0 0
  • 12/01/18--00:37: Watercolour Paintings 49
  • Here are Decembers batch. Another mixture of old and newer artists, including some of the very best and some of my favourites. 


    Liu Yu



    Trevor Lingard



    Bev Jozwiak




    Milind Mullick

     

    John Singer Sargeant



    Charles Reid


    Karl Martens



    Trevor Chamberlain


    Morten E Solberg Snr


    Thomas Schaller


    John Blockley


    Robert Zangarelli


    Michel Jasiowicz



    Robert Ferguson



    Atsushi Matsubayashi




    Claudia Artzmann



    Jose Luis Lopez




    John Yardley



    Michele Clamp




    Gerard Hendriks



    Charles Reid



    Andrew Wyeth

    That's it folks. Hope you like them.

    0 0


    I was recently informed by a comment on the blog from Sebastien that a major revision of the Van Gogh range is taking place. 
    However when I went on the Royal Talens site there is no mention of this and the only information is about the current 40 paint range. Sebastien gave me a link which is https://issuu.com/royal talens/docs/vangogh_wtc which takes you to this site - not anything to do with Royal Talens as far as I can see - and there it was in all its glory? Full details including swatches, reference to the brochure etc.  I have e mailed Royal Talens three times - and just sent off another one, the result being a deafening silence, no response whatsoever. Maybe this information is supposed to be under wraps and has been 'pirated' before an official release date. On the other hand is it only intended for 'certain markets'.

    What does this issuu site tell us? The new range is expanded to 72, a major change in itself, and includes four 'dusk' colours, 6 metallics and 6 interference. Remind you of for example Daniel Smith? The new colours include Quinacridone Purple Red and Blue, Lavender, Turquoise Blue and Green and several interesting others. A number of existing colours are 'improved (it says) and overall this is a considerable upgrade. Pigment details are on this site although very small and difficult to read. There are no Cobalts or, only alternative 'hues", and quite a few multi pigment mixes. Some interesting pigments though , never before seen in student mixes, like PV255 and PY129. 

    I've always rated Van Gogh and used them at one time. They are a mid-range paint (in my opinion), despite sometimes called student quality. However Royal Talens offer Rembrandt as the artists quality with Amsterdam as the student range. Van Gogh comes in the middle.

    When whatever is happening comes about and they become available in the UK I shall certainly have a fresh look as artists quality prices are eye watering. I just hope they aren't intended for certain markets like the USA where Winsor & Newton offer a much better Cotman range than the one on offer in the UK (and Europe). Please come clean Royal Talens.








    0 0


    I have received a reply to my enquiries from Yogesh Karia, Country Manager UK & Ireland. These are the replies.



    1. Available from immediate effect.

    2.Tubes & Pans £2.95

    3. Tubes & Pans Series 2 £3.95

    4.10ml Tubes and Half Pans

    5. Pigment Information https://isuu.com/royaltalens/docs/vangogh_wtc

    In the Uk you may struggle to find a stockist but there are some. Try 'googling''Van Gogh watercolour stockists.
    When you get to the swatches on the issuu site use the + sign to zoom in and see the pigment details which are small.
    Looking at the pigments there are quite a few multi pigment mixes, all the 'dusk' and interference colours for example but don't let that put you off there are a good number of decent single pigments, After all who has 73 colours in their palette? Personally I would avoid the 'hues' where white is added, especially the Cobalt and Cerulean Blues. I think white makes the paints cloudy and they can harden in the tubes.
    That said I found Van Gogh decent in the old range. The new one is vastly improved and if you find the prices of artists quality watercolours  eye watering give then a try. They are a middle range not a student quality one.
    My current best value picks in Artist Quality  for a combination of price/ quality are Sennelier (21ml tubes) and Lukas (24ml tubes).