VSW: Oaxaca, 1

Trying to keep things loose.
This sketch was started in pencil in early March and finished at the yesterday.

Time can make one move toward looseness!
this whole sketch took a few minutes, and the color splashed on.
It feels closer to what I want… tho a bit top heavy in color value.

These two pages (another one on its way) were fraught with mishaps.
Can you find the mistakes?

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Moleskin A4 Watercolor Journal, with a Pentalic HB woodless pencil,
Noodler’s Lexington Grey Ink, Super5 Frankfurt,
Platinum Carbon pen in medium and fine with De Atramentis Document Brown ink,
Lamy Al-Star with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges,
Sennelier, Holbein, and DS Primatek watercolors, and Daniel Smith Watercolors.

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Tools: Daniel Smith Watercolors

What do you do when you have the flu?
Sick, fuzzy-brained, I was seduced by the new line of Daniel Smith watercolors!
I say seduced because I did not do what I should have, which is check the
the Munsell numbering System to see how close they might be to what I already own.
I don’t have unlimited funds so this is important…  Ah well.
I am going to talk about the colors I have and the ones I am glad I bought…

(If you don’t understand the Munsell system see the bottom of the article.)

The colors I bought:

I tested them all over Noodler’s grey ink, to see the color shift over grisaille.
Reading the sides allows you to mix the paints if you prefer.
Also, you can get most of the info here by reading the paint tubes of artist grade paint.
In fact, one way to know that they are not artist grade is by the info on the tube.

Verona Gold Ochre is made from Yellow Ochre PY43.
I like how transparent it is for an ocher!  I own a sample of Ochre from QoR, above,
and it is very thick and muddy, as is raw ocher.   I rarely use it because I love transparency in watercolors.  Monte Amiata (a Primatek, Sienna PBr7) is quite close
(it is the long strip above the Verona Gold), and I think I like the Primatek a
bit more, but the test with this paint will be using it.
Note that Monte Amiata and Verona are different pigments : PBr7 versus PY43,

Burnt Sienna Light is a keeper!
Made of Transparent Red Oxide PR101 + Quinacridone Gold PO48,
I love how it is both a deep hue and yet transparent.
BTW, Transparent Red Oxide; PR101 (the tiny vertical rust to the left)
is NOT transparent as far as I am concerned!
Some comparisons: Pompeii Red (made from Burnt Sienna PBr7) is an excellent comparison, but it is quite opaque, and so I like the Burnt Sienna Light better.
Terre Ercolano (Primatek, Raw Sienna PBr7) does not granulate quite as shown —
the scan was wonky — but I rarely use it because it is such a pale paint.
I may mix it with the Burnt Sienna Light.

Aussie Red Gold is a lovely color, made from Diarylide Yellow PY83 +
Transparent Red Oxide; PR101 + Quinacridone Red PV19.
(I have shown M.Grahams which is PR209.)
M.Graham Nickel Quinacridone is the best comparison (Nickel Azo PO48 + Quinacridone Orange PY150), then DS Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Quinacridone Gold PO48).
M.Graham Indian Yellow (Isoindoline PY110) is a bit yellow.
If I were inclined to buy this color again
(I’m not as I use Holbein and DS Quin Gold all the time)
I’d replace M.Graham’s, only because of the drying time in the field.
Not a good buy… I bought it for the NAME!

Paynes Blue Grey is a keeper!  Made with Indanthrone PB60 + Lamp Black PBk6, it is unnecessary — I mean, you cn add a bit of blue to Paynes Grey — BUT,
I will not bother to buy DS Paynes Grey again (Ultramarine Blue PB29 +
Ivory Black PBk9) because I like the smokey blue shadow color.
This will end up in two of my travel palettes.

Okay, Quinacridone Lilac is just a sales snow job!  It is Quinacridone Magenta PR122.  Compare it to QoR’s Quinacridone Magenta PR122… same dang color!

Rose Madder Permanent is a lovely color (Quinacridone Coral PR209 +
Quinacridone Red PV19 + Quinacridone Magenta PR202).  These pinks are totally frivolous, but so pretty.  To my eye this is not really a Rose Madder, as it is a bit bright — but on the plus side it is permanent, and true Rose Madder, like Opera Pink, is fugitive.
In my palette it is not close to any other color, and I am not inclined to mix pinks.
I admit to owning a dozen pink-coral colors and enjoy them all.

I enjoy painting Victorian homes, or “Painted Ladies.”  I have mixed quite a few of the Victorian paint colors in pans to carry with me, and this is one that I would keep.  Lavender (made from Titanium White PW6 + Ultramarine Violet PV15 + Ultramarine Blue PB29) is close to Greenleaf & Blueberry’s Mayan Blue PB82.  I love their paints, but they fill them to overflowing in the pan, and so I rarely use them — they are not convenient to my way of painting.  I would probably buy this once every five years!

Finally, Wisteria, made of Titanium White PW6 + Quinacridone Magenta PR122.  Again, an excellent color for Painted Ladies and orchids and…
Not necessary, but quite pretty.
I do not think Daniel Smith is telling the truth about the pigments, however, because Quinacridone Magenta and White do not make this color…
There must be a blue in there! Just saying.

Keepers?  Yes, a few… 
But I would not have bought half of them
had I not been feverish!

Note: To understand the initials after the colors you may need to read my post about learning not to buy unnecessary paints and how you can duplicate paints easily (different names for the same color), and eventually, you should visit and become familiar with handprint.  I printed quite a bit of it so I can read in bed late at night… More info than you will ever need BUT dip into it and soon you will be amazed at how differently you look at your paints and make your choices.  NOT while delirious in bed…
Here is another good article on palette, not color of paints!

w16-watercolor-sq   w15-inks-sq  w16-8-10-pentalic-middle-night-03-sq  w16-9-24-pens-color-3-sq  w15-ds-paints-sq

©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

Posted in acrylic, art journal, color, tools, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

James Gurney, Gouache

Still working on our business deadlines and will begin posting soon…
I am keeping my drawing daily intact but the posting I have no time for!
In the meantime sharing a few good teachers.

James Gurney is a prolific poster, and a great teacher.
I value him for his Gouache info (I bought Gouache in the Wild), because I am not adept —
dabbled with it in the whites/silver/gold tones, use it a bit in watercolor.

We also share working with museums, so that is fun for me too!

Sharing two posts, his most recent, a Q&A, and one on materials…

Gouache: Tubes or Pans?

Today let’s take a look at some questions that blog readers often ask about gouache.

Do you use gouache squeezed out of tubes, or dried in pan form? Secondly, how do you reactivate the gouache after it dries on your palette?

It is possible to use gouache in pans, since gouache is water soluble. It has the same binder as transparent watercolor does, namely gum arabic, which will reactivate when it gets wet again.

It used to be more common to find gouache manufactured in pan form, but there’s at least one company that still offers it that way. Caran d’Ache offers a 15-pan set of pan gouacheMore about their gouache line on this previous post.

If you want the ability to rewet your gouache, don’t use any of the various “acrylic gouache” products, such as Acryla Gouache, which has a closed surface after it dries, meaning water won’t dissolve the dry paint.

Can you use watercolor and gouache together?

Yes! In fact, transparent watercolor and “artist’s” gouache aren’t that different, because these days most quality manufacturers don’t add a lot of whitener or filler to their gouache, as they did in the old days when it was called “designers” gouache.

Gouache and watercolor from reputable manufacturers such as M. Graham, Holbein, or Winsor and Newton tend to be pigment-rich and relatively transparent, unless the natural pigment tends toward opacity, such as Venetian red. Because of their close kinship, gouache and watercolor …. continue reading at  Gouache: Tubes or Pans?

The other is an excellent materials list!
Learning from others what they use saves me so much money trying this or that!

Gouache Materials List

I was putting together a gouache materials list for an upcoming workshop, so I thought I would share it with you, too.


You can use illustration boardwatercolor paper in sheets, a watercolor paper pad or spiral bound watercolor sketchbooks. However, I prefer to paint gouache in 5.5 x 8.5 inch hardcover stitched-in watercolor journals….  For more on brushes, medium recommendations, and his set-up, read Gouache Materials List!

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Marc Holmes One Minute Sketch

Marc is one of my favorite teachers — he is SO good.  Rarely is someone both a great artist and a great teacher!  Here is a one-minute exercise which is sure to loosen you up.
He also has a download (PDF) which is excellent… follow the link above!

You can find his classes on Craftsy, and his book is excellent!

I am feeling better and have to play catch-up at
work / taxes so not much drawing/posting this week!


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Tools: Hahnemühle Grey Journal

In the spirit of my new forays into working with inks, pencils, and Neocolor II
watercolor crayons, I was delighted to be given Hahnemühle’s new THE GREY BOOK.

The architect in me loves the wood-patterned
dark grey cover.  The name evokes the days of the modernists, grey and red and black and white — even down to the red ribbon bookmark.  It is nice in the hand, opens flat, and like all  Hahnemühle journals, is thread stitched and built to last.

The lightest sketchbook I normally buy is 150 gms, 93lb paper. THE GREY BOOK is 40 sheets of 120 gms, (55lb), of smooth acid-free light grey sketch paper.  Hahnemühle advertises it is ideal for Indian ink, fountain pens and acrylic markers as well as other water-based pens with minimum abrasion.  So you can understand why I wanted to see if this light-weight sketchbook could take a beating with all the mediums I normally use.

Tests were done on sample sheets which accompanied THE GREY BOOK.

I used water-brushes filled with inks and liquid watercolors to test the “wet” papers ability, and piled on 2-3 layers (which is not typical) the paper held up.  I turned it over, and only in those areas where several coats were applied did the paper ghost, right. It is clearly not intended for watercolor, but
it is nice to know I can apply a light wash of inks for grisaille if so moved!

This paper loved gel pens and even the Pentel Brush Pen without ghosting and
made for a smooth ride for my scratchiest fine point fountain pens.

What did not work well on the paper was watercolor pencils.   In the first and
fourth squares, above, I tried two brands of watercolor pencils, Hahnemühle (yes, they make watercolor pencils!) and Caran Dache, and both did not perform well when used with water.  The paper is so smooth and the pencil pigment simply is pushed around.
However, pencils by themselves went on creamy and rich!

The paper is amazing for line-work!

Above, I tested Neocolors and a water-soluble graphite pencil over ink,
with a light touch with a water-brush to move the pigments.  It is not my medium,
so don’t judge THE GREY BOOK by my crayon work — the paper held up swimmingly!

Finally I clamped down edges and decided to push the paper again.

A quick ink drawing of my beloved palm trees.

Piling pale watercolor washes onto the grey, above and right, I thought it was important for you to see the paper as it saturates.  Yes, it buckles (it is a sketch-weight paper) and looks like a dapple-gray during Holi!
However, after drying, much
of the buckling eased and
the pale watercolors looked
good on the grey paper, below.

I played with touches of colored pencil on top of the watercolor and am happy
with the result!  How will I use this journal?  I will take it with me to the
small class of pen and pencil artists gathering this summer to share techniques
on grey paper in the Pacific Northwest countryside and islands.

BTW, enter the competition to be shown in the Calendar,
and to win a Hahnemühle creative package!

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook!

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Dan writes No Facilities.
If life were 100% right and running smoothly, I’d be able to read all his blog posts!
I love his weekend, “If we were having a beer…” series —
though that is not what it is called!  Stream of consciousness, dialogue, slice of life…

I met Dan through Sammy, and through Dan met a whole world of great bloggers.

Blogging friends may be the modern equivalent of pen pals…
My Aunt Elsa tried hard to get me to converse with kids in Russia and
Germany and Hungary, but I could not imagine what to say or how to
care about someone I’d never met!  If she could only see me now!

I’ve painted Maddie, Dan’s Irish Setter, too!

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Interested in lifting the vibration in th world with stories of compassion and positivity?  Sign up in the
WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below to
join us and be visited on the last Friday when you post your article!  Please help spread the word via
the hashtag #WATWB.

Click here to enter your link on this Linky Tools list…

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Awwww, Cheryl and hubby, from a selfie I think!
I went bolder with crayons in these…
I SO don’t know what I am doing… No nuance!

I am happy that the line-work looks like them…
I think I caught Cheryl‘s smile!  I keep playing.

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