Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Sketching - New toys!

What is a field trip without stopping to get souvenirs?  Several of us from WAS-H (Watercolor Art Society Houston) visited local Houston galleries to see current exhibitions, and then to meet for lunch afterwards.  We finished our list early, several were closed probably being a Friday in the summer -- good idea to call ahead and see if they are open -- and we were very close to Art Supply on Main.  It's all good and well to use coupons at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but even better to support local independent businesses.  You can often find better deals and better depth of products and services - and people who are artists.  Even those shopping in the store aisles beside you.

Anyways, I was able to find several "souvenirs" to play and review in my sketchbook. . .

First up - Derwent ArtBar watercolor crayons
I bought Baby Blue (A29), Gooseberry (A13) and Cool Gray (A45)

A bit disappointed in the Gooseberry, I thought it would be more vibrant like the Baby Blue and Cool Gray, which I just loved.

It also was more fragile, breaking apart into three pieces.  Due to the color?  I didn't drop it and it didn't feel broken when I selected it.

Three times a crayon...?!

All colors blended beautifully when used with a wet brush.  I also liked the effect directly adding color into wet paper.  A brush would further dissolve the pigment, but I thought it looked neat.

The triangle shape with three flat sides and three points was also versatile in laying swaths of color and fine sketching detail.  I am a little unsure of its physical strength with the Gooseberry literally falling apart as I held and used it.

I thought these blended better than the Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons I've previously tried.  Art Supply on Main sells these individually, not as a set.  Pick up a few and try them out.

The blue and the gray will be popped into my mobile sketch bag kit.  Color me impressed with those colors.

Neocolor II Water-soluble Metallic Rose

Someone gave me very good advice when presented with a wide variety of colors - choose what your eye goes to first, or go with primary colors to mix.  This pretty purple pink caught my eye immediately.   And metallic, how fun would that be to play with?

Turns out a wise choice on two parts.   The crayon easily put down a generous amount of color and you can see a definite metallic sheen (hard to capture in the photograph)

It dissolved and blended well from dry paper to wet paper.

I'm thinking of  picking up a few more of these in different colors for accents and special effects, particularly on toned paper.  The metallic shimmer is subtle, not gaudy.

Art Supply sells these individually also - grab a handful of the ones which appeal to you.

Thank you Pinterest! (Enabler)

I saw this Daniel Smith color on Pinterest, Duochrome Green Pearl - painted over white and black paper - gorgeous!!  Art Supply had it.
How beautiful is this?!

Can't wait to try this on toned or black paper either!

Like Tailor's Chalk for artists only in graphite!
(And a yummy chocolate color!)

Oh I loved this ArtGraf Viarco water soluble graphite in Sepia in a square format!  So versatile.  I had seen the set of 6 earth tone colors on Amazon but heard the box it came in wasn't that great.  I thought I would try one, with its own individual case.   I love the color, I love how you can use it wet or dry, adding water afterwards or before, and using directly from the block with a wet paintbrush.  This is also going into my grab & go sketching bag.  I may also go and grab some additional colors. 

I had played with this version in class a few months ago and immediately bought on Amazon, but didn't have a chance to play at home until this weekend. . .

This was all one swipe from the tin!
I loved the intensity and the granulation from this graphite tin.   As you can tell, a little goes a long, long, long way.  You can even mix it with water using the inside of the cap.  

I do a lot of traveling, particularly flying as of late, and admit I am little cautious carrying semi-solids/liquid paints/pigments in a palette.  I like these solid forms of graphite for portability, creative innovation and great colors.

One of my watercolor instructors said she always likes to look for and use browns and turquoises in pens and paints.  They can add a richness and yet an understatedness to make your artwork sing.

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