Posted on March 20, 2019
I have opted to try a few new brushes in recent weeks to see how they perform. Normally I use Raphael Kolinsky 8408 series for my watercolour bird paintings. For skies I would have used a wonderful #10 brush to apply a thin wash of Cerulean Blue with a touch of Mauve or even just a little of Sepia or Raw Umber to warm the clouds.
While in Paris two years ago I visited Senneliers Art Shop (Magasin Sennelier: http://magasinsennelier.net/index.html
If you want a great discussion on art materials etc then visit this wonderful shop just east of the Musee D’Orsay on Quai Voltaire. Without checking the price of this Raphael #11 Le “803” brush I just added it to my collection of items in my hands at the time. I drew a long breathe when I got back to the hotel and checked the prices.
Not to worry. This brush is now very much proven itself as the go-to brush for big sky washes and under coating foregrounds. I even use it to paint grasses and bark on the trees as in this latest landscape:
In Australia they can be purchased for about $185 AU and while expensive I cannot imagine working without it.
The second new brush compliments the Raphael 803. I have only ever liked using one Windsor and Newton brush: #6 Pointed Round. Again I found it a superb instrument for painting wispy fine features such as leaves and grass. It carries a considerable amount of paint and allows fine lining for finishing.
Both brushes glide well, sit comfortably in the hand (amongst fingers); hold excellent quantities of paint that flows freely as you want it to.
Posted on December 26, 2017
For those of you who paint with watercolours, the disappointment of smudging wet paint or dropping a spot of paint in an area that was meant to be either unpainted or left plain will be well understood.
I remember dropping a blob of black paint on a proposed plain area of a painting of two Black Cockatoos. The drop was about 10mm diameter. I was a little taken aback by it to say the least. In that case I was able to add leaves to the composition and it went unnoticed to other people: but not for me. I was disappointed because the composition was adversely affected. For awhile I experimented with plain paper overlays but that interfered with the development of the painting.
To prevent a recurrence of that event, I now lay a sheet or part of a sheet of tracing paper over the picture. This has delivered a few benefits: