Saturday, September 11, 2010

Watercolor questions for you!

I've been working through some watercolor issues......and I have questions for all of you.

Do you prefer tube or cake watercolor? I prefer cake but only because the tubes are hard to open sometimes and the ends can get dried out and then it's a pain to pick your paint out with a toothpick. However, the problem I have with the little cakes is once I unwrap them I don't have a clue as to what color they are! I had written the names above each tub in (what I thought was permanent) ink, but you can see it didn't last. Plus when I travel with this on a 4-wheeler or snowmachine it gets all bumped around and the colors leap out of their holders and try to trick me by jumping into another hole.

What brand do you prefer? I've been using Van Gogh, but the class I'm going to start on Monday required that I buy tubes of M. Graham & Co. at $6.47 to $14.49 a tube. I just spent $60 on my supplies for the class and only have 5 tubes of paint. (I also got a new palette and brush but that's all.)

Do you know which ones are staining and which are not? I feel like even though I've been painting, it's a lot of guesswork. I just mix what looks right but I've found that staining paints have messed me up a few times. But for the life of me I can't remember which ones are which.

How do you set up your palette?
Light to dark? Staining vs. non-staining? Most used to least used? Like a color wheel?

Do you use a limited palette? What colors are your favorites that you use all the time?
So far it seems like I use a lot of cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, and burnt sienna, and then some reds (don't know which ones) and yellows (again, don't know what they are called). I do NOT like veridian green as it stained several of my brushes but do like other greens.

What's your favorite paper and why? I use Arches 140# cold press in a block - they are expensive but I love it. I don't have to tape my paper down or stretch and dry it before starting.

I got tired of not knowing which colors to mix with what to make my desired colors so I'm finally making this color chart which was recommended to me about 10 years ago. I am the master procrastinator.
Last question: Does your art room smell like a dog? Mine does. This is why.


Lynn said...

WEll, I have no right to respond to this post at all being a novice watercolorist if I can even call myself that.

I have the squares like yours. I know a color's name by redish, bluish, greenish, etc.

One teacher told me I only needed ONE brush, the one he recommended.

Other teachers list them by number...

Wear an apron for staining power.

Your color mixing pallet looks lovely.

I just put a little of this and a little of that into a plastic tray and hope for the best.

See I told you I'd be no help at all, but I tired. ;-)
Enjoy the class.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I don't have time to answer all these questions right now. It sounds like you are on the right track with your color chart. I set mine up with reds together etc. I find I use very few and I use Windsor Newton. It all depends upon what you get used to. You will like them I would imagine. And yes, my studio smells like dog and I have to pick dog hair out of many of my pots of paint, paintings etc. Very frustrating at times, but I am used to it by now. Have fun. That is what it is all about.

A Lady's Life said...

I never use watercolors. Always either acrylic or oil.
Acrylic dries very fast which has its good and bad points. lol
When I was doing my 20 w x 10 foot high drama props, I bought 7 x base colors water paint, in pint sizes. I think I got the best price and had paint galore.
Painters I talked to said they never buy in little tubes because of the amount of work they do. Its cheaper to buy the 7 base colors in cans, like what they use for walls in a house and then mix them to get the colors you need or add other colors to what you have. So this is what did.
At that time 7 base colors at 5 dollars a can, cost me 35 dollars.
When I go to Walmart and see that the array of oil tubes cost 19.99, my way seemed a much better deal.
If you paint small pictures they may last you a while but for big paintings you tend to be a little stingy with the since you want to paint more than one picture.If you do not want to carry big cans around, the baby jars are quite useful to fill and you can mix the paint before, filling the jars to the colors or shades you need or want beforehand.

Mim said...

i also have no answers - but love the graham watercolors - expensive but lovely. I use the honey based ones and write the name about it using a sharpie. When it starts to wear off I rewrite it.

love the blocks of color - how did you do that???

Aunt Krissy said...

So, I roll my socks up when I fold them.

SandyAlaska said...

My goodness... this is all far more complicated and involved than I ever realized. I thought an artist would just dab their brush in some water and paint and out comes the picture... can you tell I'm not an artist? Not a mini-micro-whatever of me has "artist" as a part of it's name... It sure was interesting to read about all that things that are considered just for mixing and applying paint, Patty...

PS... I tuck my socks into one another and toss them in the sock drawer...

Alicia said...

i don't roll my socks...just stuff that one end in and flip the other one around really roll them up?

PAK ART said...

Lynn - I would call myself a beginner too so that's why I have so many questions - I wonder if I'm missing important information that everybody else knows except me! Lisa- I'm glad I'm not the only one with an art room that smells of dog! I like my colors grouped by family too. Lady's Life - I have never tried oils or acrylics in paintings (I've used acrylics for craft things at church though) I've been wondering if I should buy some of my stuff through a wholesale store instead of the one and only fine art store in Anchorage! Mim - I just measured out on watercolor paper and started mixing one color with another...I've got a l-o-n-g ways to go! Kris, Sandy and Alicia - ha ha ha! I had no idea sock folding was such a riveting conversation!

Aunt Krissy said...

Patty, I really had nothing to say about your questions as what in the heck do I know about that? So I thought that I would just give you helpful hints about sock folding.

Kellie said...

I fold my socks over at the top if they are short and tie them in a knowtif they are long. And for dusting I have found the swiffer dusters - febreeze scented are the best!!