Saturday, November 14, 2015

AEDM - Day Fifteen

Wow, half way through AEDM. Christmas is just six weeks away. I'm stunned. I guess I gotta make a Christmas list, huh? I'm sure there'll be art supplies on it, there always is. Last Christmas one of the things I really wanted were Da Vinci Maestro Pure Kolinsky 1503 watercolor brushes. Here's the story.

When I started painting in watercolor I knew nothing about the supplies, I had a LOT to learn. I bought standard brushes, not too good, not bad either. But I did purchase brushes that were waaaay too large, I didn't even have an 6, everything was a 8 or bigger! I struggled. A few years later I started painting in a sketchbook and bought waterbrushes. What a wonderful invention!! They made working with watercolor so much easier since I didn't really know what I was doing, lol. I took Sketchbook Skool classes and thrived with the waterbrushes. I fell in love with the Niji and bought all sizes. I put good brushes on my Christmas list along with new Niji yearly.
Ode To My Beloved Waterbrushes
What changed everything was when I took a class with Tracey Fletcher King. It was called Delicious Paint (and will be run again in April 2016, I suggest you take it!!) Tracey suggested I try actual brushes but didn't tell me what brand, just that she used from a 1 to a 5 size almost exclusively. I went looking and learned by accident (just by trying to learn about which synthetic brushes were the best) that sable brushes were harder to purchase currently. It seems that the animal (in the weasel family) the hair came from was on the endangered list and no one knew if importing would start again. (I have no idea what happened with that, by the way). This made me decide to bite the bullet and get good brushes once and for all and it seemed many agreed that Da Vinci's 1503 were great brushes. (They're actually travel brushes but then I have small hands and i loved the idea that I could protect the expensive tips by storing them in their handles.

These brushes, along with Tracey's tutelage, changed my art drastically. I went from that looks nice to I'm so proud of that! I'm SO glad I spent the money on my brushes, I covet them. Now though my waterbrushes stand on my desk in a cup, unloved and a little dusty. I mostly use them now for adding water to my paint, lol. They're accurate for that which is great. Maybe someday I'll do plein air work, until now they sit and remind me of when I struggled to understand my paint. I'm so glad I kept struggling because now painting makes me so happy.

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  1. I guess that's why I've never painted. I wouldn't know one brush from the next. It sounds like watercolors are even harder to manipulate than acrylics. I certainly love your back story, and hope you get all the brushes and water brushes your heart desires. After all, good tools are necessary, whether they're brushes, glue, or scissors. Your art today is AWESOME.

  2. Yes, I'm with you. As a self-taught artist, I learn as I go. And the only way is through trial and error,(and internet research and maybe a class or two). But I like learning as I go. I like making discoveries in the midst of doing the work. I find it more satisfying than spending lots of time learning, and then maybe when I'm good enough, I'll try it... I'm glad you found the brushes you love!

  3. Another one here who learnt the hard way!
    I thought all brushes were round and came to a point. Now I have flats, shaders and brights (as well as some round ones that come to a point).
    I've even got one of those water brushes you've drawn so well :)


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