PDA

View Full Version : A Babe In The Woods


Nisa
01-06-2000, 11:20 PM
I have many times thought of experimenting with watercolors though my initial attraction was and still is to acrylics.

At Christmas time, I was given my first set of watercolors by a fellow co-worker. The set is by Grumbacher.

I am curious to know:

Is this a good quality watercolor?

Any suggestions on how to become better acclimated with the use of watercolors?

Can acrylic brushes be used for watercolor?

How do you mix both watercolor and acrylic which I think are both water based?

Do any of you use white or black? My set didn't include these colors and I am told for watercolor "purist" this is a big no-no.

I have am an "amateur" and as the cliche goes my worst critique. On one breath, I see my possibilities on the other, I don't stay satisfied for long.

I began a pic of a wolf pup with the paper given it is probably 140 lb press? I use waterboards even for acrylic because it doesn't crinkle as bad and I find I practice and experiment more with it than with canvas.

Lastly, I would love to hear your stories? How did you begin, how did you fall in love? How do you feel? Sometimes, I feel very tense and pressured when I paint. I am an impatient soul at times.

bruin70
01-07-2000, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by Nisa:
I have many times thought of experimenting with watercolors though my initial attraction was and still is to acrylics.

At Christmas time, I was given my first set of watercolors by a fellow co-worker. The set is by Grumbacher.

I am curious to know:

Is this a good quality watercolor?
> it's okay for starters

Any suggestions on how to become better acclimated with the use of watercolors?
>don't fight the medium. work with what it gives you

Can acrylic brushes be used for watercolor?
>stay with sables till you understand watercolors

How do you mix both watercolor and acrylic which I think are both water based?
>no reason to...acrylics can be used as watercolor-like. watercolors are expensive.

Do any of you use white or black? My set didn't include these colors and I am told for watercolor "purist" this is a big no-no.
>an old wives' tale . you can use anything you want, if you can control it.

I have am an "amateur" and as the cliche goes my worst critique. On one breath, I see my possibilities on the other, I don't stay satisfied for long.
> this is as it should be. that way you grow forever. you don't grow, relying on the criticism of others.

I began a pic of a wolf pup with the paper given it is probably 140 lb press? I use waterboards even for acrylic because it doesn't crinkle as bad and I find I practice and experiment more with it than with canvas.

Lastly, I would love to hear your stories? How did you begin, how did you fall in love? How do you feel? Sometimes, I feel very tense and pressured when I paint. I am an impatient soul at times.




------------------
"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

Drew Davis
01-07-2000, 05:15 PM
Grumbacher "Academy", or "Finest"? Academy is the student line. But don't let that stop you.

You can share brushes between acrylics and watercolor. Watercolorists generally use the soft ones (sable or "golden taklon", etc), not bristle or white nylon. Were you using your acrylics watermedia-style, or thick, like oils? They can be very similar in technique, the biggest difference being that watercolors can be re-wet once they dry, which can be both useful and hazardous.

Watercolor and acrylic are both water-based, but I wouldn't literally mix the two while wet. The binding agent is different, even though both are water-soluble. I'm not sure what the benefit would be. You could perhaps layer them more successfully.

White and black: everyone's got an opinion. The special attraction for watercolors, for a lot of people, is the transparency. They can be very luminous. They get that way by reflecting light back off the paper, back through the layers of transparent paint, in a way you just can't get bouncing light off the surface of opaque paint. If you use white paint, you've put in an opaque layer on top of the paper, and you don't get quite the same depth and luminosity as if you left the paper white. So it's a style thing. You don't need white to make tints, since you can just add more water to the wash. If you like the look of the paper, save it for the whites. If not, grab the Chinese white and gouache and go at it. Opaque whites are especially good for fiddly little areas you'd have to use masking fluid for otherwise. Black you can mix, and since you're going to have to mix it anyway -- nothing in a painting is really pure black, any more than anything is pure white; you want darks of various colors, not black -- it's just not that useful. It also tends to be a dead and opaque color, contrary to that transparent luminosity again. Other people like it. So give it a try, too, see what you think, and don't worry too much about the purists.

Nisa
01-07-2000, 10:32 PM
Thank you for your reply. What is the brand of watercolor that you use? What is the biggest difference you notice between the student line and the lines of paint that you prefer?

I do agree with you on white and black. The first painting I ever did, I remember squeezing out all this white and black. Did it several times but now I see I use very little for the most part. White can be very dulling and black can just swallow something up.

I have used acrylics in the past like oil I suppose. I usually add slow dry to it. I have recently been practicing using it much thinner. Also, I am trying to practice doing washes of neutral color or cool colors before the actual "real" colors for value purposes. I love blue and I have been trying to get the nack of using thin washes of blue.

For the watercolor sketch I am doing, I used a thin coat of yellows since the pic is of a wolf pup with strong golden tones to it. Kind of like at sunset time.

I will probably buy another watercolor board but until that time, what is the best way to work with the paper? I have just taped the edges to a piece of cardboard.

Thanks again for your reply.

Nisa
01-07-2000, 11:30 PM
Thank you for your reply. I liked your quote at the end! :-)

I agree even though it can drive me nuts at times. I suppose if I did not have that itch , that "thing" that never stays satisfied for long, then how would I grow??

When do you use white and blacks in your work?

How long have you worked with watercolor?

Thank you again for your reply!

A quote for a quote:

Creativity is a shapeshifter....In that blinding moment, no one agrees on what they have seen - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I love wolves so here's another:

Those who cannot howl, will not find their pack ^..^

kemshmi
01-08-2000, 12:05 AM
Hi Nisa..if you mix watercolors with acrylics they they will crackle in only a couple/few years on the surface of your paper (my experience)

I have been using koi watercolors for a while and I like them, but I have not set my heart with one particular brand..in general the paints are "rated" into 4 "classes"
..1)economy/student 2)artist 3)professional and4)supreme

just as with your acrylics, you will find the higher quality paints respond in a nicer way under the brush..and have qualities that make them easier to use (try to imagine the difference between the little box sets of dry pans sold in dime stores for children and the set you have)

(do dime stores still exist??? ..well this should give you an idea)

there are some nice tutorials on this site which go over basic techniques and how~to's

kemshmi

bruin70
01-08-2000, 12:22 AM
nisa,,,,i'm a tonal painter, so black/grey is intergral to my art. it is what i use to turn form AND unify my palette.i use white translucently. i push and pull my watercolors. rubbing out, going back over....the way everyone is used to watercoloring is recent,,,popularized by homer and sargent,,,then wyeth....if you go back, watercolors were worked over( in britain, where watercolors are adored),giving it a patina unlike anything you're used to seeing.
i no longer watercolor. just oils. there's plenty to master there.....milt

------------------
"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

kayemme
02-04-2000, 01:10 AM
hi, nisa!

well, i'm somewhat anti black/white pigments, especially in watercolor. the reason being is that black (especially) can often be just TOO dark to compliment. i suppose in very small amounts it wouldn't be a big deal. instead i use Sepia, which is a very dark brown and you can get your darkest darks with that to where they look almost black. it just depends on what you're doing. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif good luck to ya!
~km

bruin70
02-04-2000, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by Nisa:
I have many times thought of experimenting with watercolors though my initial attraction was and still is to acrylics.

At Christmas time, I was given my first set of watercolors by a fellow co-worker. The set is by Grumbacher.

I am curious to know:

Is this a good quality watercolor?
>>anything but grumbacher, but it'll do for a start
Any suggestions on how to become better acclimated with the use of watercolors?
>>paint simple things so that you get comfy with h2o rather than having to fight with getting a complicated thing correct.
Can acrylic brushes be used for watercolor?
>>acrylic brushes are not good for anything, except they hold up longer. synthetic is never the way to go if you have other options.
How do you mix both watercolor and acrylic which I think are both water based?
>>there's no point. the acrylic properties will dominate
Do any of you use white or black? My set didn't include these colors and I am told for watercolor "purist" this is a big no-no.
>>that is an old wives tale. the non use of b and w is only just over 100 years old, championed by sargent and homer. only artists who don't know how to use b/w say don't use them.
I have am an "amateur" and as the cliche goes my worst critique. On one breath, I see my possibilities on the other, I don't stay satisfied for long.
>>stay that way and you will ALWAYS grow
I began a pic of a wolf pup with the paper given it is probably 140 lb press? I use waterboards even for acrylic because it doesn't crinkle as bad and I find I practice and experiment more with it than with canvas.

Lastly, I would love to hear your stories? How did you begin, how did you fall in love? How do you feel? Sometimes, I feel very tense and pressured when I paint. I am an impatient soul at times.




------------------
"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

bruin70
02-04-2000, 01:34 PM
hey,,,i forgot i posted the first time. lucky i didn't contradict myself

msue
02-05-2000, 12:12 AM
My first attempts at "making art" began with watercolor and is still my main medium. I hear people who began with oils or acrylics moan it is too hard to use. I think that is only if you expect them to respond like oils. I have seen w/c paintings that are so dark you can't believe they are w/c and then there are the people who want lots of the white paper to show through. Me, I jump from one extreme to another. I love experimenting with my paints. I started with a Grumbacher Academy set and found my first paintings lacked umph. As I gradually added better quality paints to my stash I saw how much nicer they responded and how the colors sparkled. My favorite brand right now is Daniel Smith. Half my fun in painting is that I've had very littl formal training so I don't know what you aren't suppose to be able to do. I gessoed a board one day then painted a simple still life (out of my head). Of course the paint lifted easily, but I sprayed it with clear acrylic spray and it hangs on my covered patio. So far it has held up. So just paint for the sake of painting.

Burkeman
03-17-2000, 04:37 PM
I am a beginner like yourself as I began painting with watercolors a few months ago. I had been interested for years and finally got around to signing up for a class offered locally. I bought the items on the list provided for the class, including some Grumbacher Academy paints and a mixture of cheaper brushes. I used these throughout the class and had a lot of fun with it and felt like I was making good progress as I got practice in the techniques. I had noticed that I ended up with a lot of muddy colors though and that my works lacked any vibrancy. I later recieved some new professional quality Winsor & Newton colors at Christmas time and immediately noticed a tremendous difference in their performance. I also have recieved a few better quality brushes than the ones I had which as made some difference, although not as big as the paints did. I have found that the better materials have relieved some frustration and allowed me to progress faster, similar to if you were able to remove one of the variables from a mathematical equation.

My philosophy is now I buy the best supplies that are within my budget (not all of them are) and am enjoying myself even more the more I paint.

As for black and white, I find my paintings look much fresher and more vibrant if I don't try to mess with them and I don't end up with a muddy mess.

As for learning, I read every book I can get my hands on and check out the online opportunities at places such as this site. I would sign up for classes and seminars from as many different teachers as I can in order to help find what suits you as far as styles and techniques. Have fun, I sure am!

oleCC
03-19-2000, 01:20 PM
Hi Nisa...and welcome to the world of watercolor! First of all, I stress to my students they should not use brushes that have been used in acrylics - it had been stressed to me years ago, perhaps from concern that the acrylic was not totally out of the brushes ? (dunno) I use quality brushes (natural bristle).
As for paints - it goes like everything else, you get what you pay for. Better paints, brushes and paper equal better results. I like to use 300# cold press paper.
Windsor Newton and American Journey paints are my choice for professional quality paints.
For blacks (or nearly black) in my work, I
often mix my own, being careful of the color choices to avoid "mud". Some colors are more permanent than others, so my students make
3" squares of each color they have. When dry, I have them attempt to "lift" a stripe from that square, using a damp brush - then blotting with tissue. Lifting can come in handy for creating highlights etc., so it helps to know what colors lift more than others.
Hope all this helps !!! Good luck
Carol
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

------------------
http://www.artistnation.com/members/lofts/olecc

tammy
04-22-2000, 05:41 PM
I tend to use Acrylics just like a watercolor. Hey, maybe I am I watercolorist and just don't know it. hmmmmmmmm, NAHHHHHH!