PDA

View Full Version : Equipment/Supply ??'s


Printmakerguy
12-07-2004, 04:26 PM
Ok, a couple of equipment and supply related questions. I hope this is the right area for this :) I am new to all this, and have been posting my work in the gallery for about the past week. All of the work that I have posted so far was done with a set of Windsor-Newton cotman half pans, the No. 6 travel brush that it came with, and a cheap flat brush I picked up at the local Wal-Mart. The idea was to get started on the cheap, see if I liked it, and then decide later if it was worth investing more money in. I know from my experiences in Printmaking that you often get what you pay for, and that it is often well worth investing a bit more at the beginning and getting better supplies.

First, I like the half pans, especially in the travel set- Essential when I am on the ship (I am a merchant marine officer). When I am at home, however, I have the luxury of a permanent studio, so the portability factor is no longer, well, a factor. What, if any, advantages are tube watercolors going to give me? Also, I know that the Cotman line that I am using is pretty much a student grade- Is investing in a better grade of watercolor worthwhile?

On to brushes. I am pretty much only using one brush for most of the work I am doing- a (very) short handled #3 round travel brush that came with the set that I bought. I have been looking at brushes in Dick Blick, and am amazed at the vast number of options. I want to pick up a few more brushes, and don't mind investing a bit more to get a quality brush that will serve me well. What types and sizes are you using?? I am thinking I probably want a bigger round, Perhaps a #8 or a #10, and a flat somewhere in that size range as well. This also brings up the question of hair- Is it worth investing in nice sable brushes? I realize that they are a bit pricey, but they are still a steal when you compare them to how much I spent on my etching press :)

Ok, now for paper. Everything that I have done so far has been on the same paper- 140lb cold press Montval. I picked up a 4 x 6 block of it when I bought the watercolors so I had something to try them out on. It has worked, of course, but I have no idea how it compares to other papers. I want to experiment with some paper- Any suggestions as to what I should try or what I should avoid are greatly appreciated.

I know, Loads of questions. Sorry. But, I am really starting to like this. Almost as much as printmaking!

-Andrew

ChrisL
12-07-2004, 04:57 PM
Hi Andrew, I am new at this also so I am not qualified to answer all of your questions. About the paint though, I too, started with cotman half pans. I tried the winsor and newton paint and liked it a lot better. I simply bought tubes of w&n and pried the blocks of cotman paint out of the pans and squirted the new paint in them. I still had paint left in the tubes so I have the best of both worlds, pan and tube paint from the same tube.
HTH, Chris

artmom
12-07-2004, 06:00 PM
Andrew, ask 10 artists these questions and you will get 10 answers!! Or more! LOL

Have you used the SEARCH feature on the blue menu bar above yet?

Click on SEARCH-then on Advanced Search - you can then type in any word you wish to research in the KEYWORD line, then choose WATERCOLOR under
SEARCH IN FORUMS section. I would suggest just search TITLES first.

Also, there are threads in the Technical Forum that cover brushes and paint, etc. in abundance. Every Newbie asks these questions--I did!!! LOL

I personally prefer D'Arches paper, cold pressed (or NOT) in 140 lb or 300 lb.

The brushes I find I use the most are a 3/4" flat, a rigger (for fine lines), a 1/4 inch flat, a 2" Robert Simmons (for washes on large surfaces). The rigger is a sable--my 1/4 flat is a sable and I can't remember what my 3/4" flat is!

I use W&N tubes, Daniel Smith, and a lot of members use DaVinci and M. Graham paints.

Enjoy!

Lyn

laudesan
12-07-2004, 08:08 PM
Andrew, I usse this palette for travelling, I took it with me on my recent 7 week "trip around the worlds".

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2004/22284-a_pallette_001.jpg

They are called Possum Palette (http://www.dickblick.com/zz030/51/products.asp?param=0&ig_id=4142) in the States..

I use M.GRAHAM WATERCOLOUR PAINTS (http://www.artpurveyors.com/MGWCchart.html) and they are nice and moist. This palette is just ideal as I NEVER have a mess or paints running anywhere..

We all have ourfavourites, but M.Grahams a really popular here..:)

Brushes..

I have 2 kolinsky's rounds a 4 and an 8 that I use all the time, I also have asynthetic #12 round. I must get an 18 too as they are good for bigger works..

Flats ...synthetic a 3/4 inch......1/2 inch and a3/8 inch are my favourites..

I have a wonderful Filbert Comb brush I recently bought in Canada that is just fantastic for texture on buildings, painting grass too..

I paint my pine trees with a 3/8 synthetic angle brush..

Paper.

i use Arches Blocks Cold Pressed 140lb.

You will find most of us use this paper.. :)

Hope this helps..

If you p.m. me your snail mail address, I will send you one of my hubby's water cup holders. perfect for a moving boat.. ;)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2004/22284-Alan_watercup_holderopt.jpg

GOwenStudios
12-07-2004, 11:41 PM
Ok, a couple of equipment and supply related questions. I hope this is the right area for this :) I am new to all this, and have been posting my work in the gallery for about the past week. All of the work that I have posted so far was done with a set of Windsor-Newton cotman half pans, the No. 6 travel brush that it came with, and a cheap flat brush I picked up at the local Wal-Mart. The idea was to get started on the cheap, see if I liked it, and then decide later if it was worth investing more money in. I know from my experiences in Printmaking that you often get what you pay for, and that it is often well worth investing a bit more at the beginning and getting better supplies.

First, I like the half pans, especially in the travel set- Essential when I am on the ship (I am a merchant marine officer). When I am at home, however, I have the luxury of a permanent studio, so the portability factor is no longer, well, a factor. What, if any, advantages are tube watercolors going to give me? Also, I know that the Cotman line that I am using is pretty much a student grade- Is investing in a better grade of watercolor worthwhile?

On to brushes. I am pretty much only using one brush for most of the work I am doing- a (very) short handled #3 round travel brush that came with the set that I bought. I have been looking at brushes in Dick Blick, and am amazed at the vast number of options. I want to pick up a few more brushes, and don't mind investing a bit more to get a quality brush that will serve me well. What types and sizes are you using?? I am thinking I probably want a bigger round, Perhaps a #8 or a #10, and a flat somewhere in that size range as well. This also brings up the question of hair- Is it worth investing in nice sable brushes? I realize that they are a bit pricey, but they are still a steal when you compare them to how much I spent on my etching press :)

Ok, now for paper. Everything that I have done so far has been on the same paper- 140lb cold press Montval. I picked up a 4 x 6 block of it when I bought the watercolors so I had something to try them out on. It has worked, of course, but I have no idea how it compares to other papers. I want to experiment with some paper- Any suggestions as to what I should try or what I should avoid are greatly appreciated.

I know, Loads of questions. Sorry. But, I am really starting to like this. Almost as much as printmaking!

-Andrew

I use tubed watercolors inside the studio and in my outside studio (which is nature) :) The advantage of tubes is that your colors are squeezed out fresh and you don't have to clean them each time. You squeeze out exactly what you will need. Often a pellet will last a long time. As my pallete in my studio I use a Steve Quiller porcelain pallette. It runs about 65 dollars but it is worth the investment. I just love mine! Outside I use the Royal Langnickel folding pallettes that have about 12-20 wells and 3-4 mixing wells. You can get these from 3 bucks on up. Just put one in a zipper book cover and you have a portable pallette. As far as brushes I use kolinsky rounds from 00 to 10 in size. These brushes are Creative Mark Performens, Raphael, and Escoda. The Performens run about 69 dollars a set, The Escodas are expensive. If you use only one brush I would suggest a Isabel Travel brush that might be comfortable for you hand. It folds in half and I think it is reasonable. As far as paper I use Fabriano Artistico and Arches, which you can get in blocks as well. I prefer cold pressed 140 lb, although 300 lb paper paints really nice paintings. On board a ship a block of 140 lb is all you might need. I use Holbein, Daniel Smith, and Da Vinci paints...Da Vinci being the most reasonable among these 3 and an upgrade from Cotman paints.
As far as materials, try out different papers, brushes and paints. Your time and investment monetarily will be rewarded. Only then will you find out what suits you.

Rod
12-08-2004, 12:25 AM
I use tube paints and sqeeze some into wells on my palette. Use a plastic tool box to carry my equipment around.

Paper I like is Saunders 300 gsm not, a good all rounder,

Rod.

painterbear
12-08-2004, 06:53 AM
Paper: Arches cold-pressed 140 lb. or Fabriano Artistico cp 140 lb.

Brushes: Black Gold brand (I think they are in the Dick Blick catalog (they have gold brush heads, black handles with a tan inset midway up) in size 8 and 10. I just recently bought these two brushes and they are all I use now. The 8 comes to such a fine point, you can use it for very delicate work if need be, but I also have a #4 for thin lines and small, small areas. A 1 1/2" flat brush is very nice for putting in large washes (skies, etc.).

Board: A flat board or piece of plexiglass about 2" larger all around than the size of paper you usually paint on for a support.

Tape: Artists' tape (art supply store) or Painters' Tape (Home Depot or other DIY store) for taping your paper to the board before painting. The advantage over regular masking tape is that it releases from the paper without damaging the paper when you are finished with your painting. Handy for making straight horizon lines too because it won't hurt your paper when you take it off after the horizon line dries.

Paints: Any artist grade paint is usually pretty good. I like tube paints and have a variety of brands: Winsor & Newton, Holbein, M. Graham's, Maimeriblu, Sennelier, Daniel Smith. Da Vinci is less expensive than these, but I find it is midway between the student grade paints I once used and the other artist grade paints (even though they bill themselves as artist grade).

Palette: I like my John Pike palette because it has 20 wells along three of its sides and a BIG space in the center for putting the colors I am using and adding water and mixing. I also like whatever the plastic it is made of better than the slicker plastics other companies use.

If you use tube paints, they will eventually dry in the palette wells and you can carry them around just like your pan paints. You reactivate them with clear water when you are ready to paint.

Happy shopping!

Sylvia

ingegerd
12-08-2004, 08:29 AM
When it comes to comparing tubes and pans I would recomend that you read this http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/pigmt5.html#tubevpan you will find a lot of information on this site. When it comes to the cotman paints I think that the main trouble with them are that several of them aren't very lightfast.

learning to paint
12-09-2004, 12:23 AM
Andrew:

I asked a lot of the same questions a few years ago.

If you are traveling, invest in the half-pans, and be sure to get a good sturdy metal box. Basically, in half pans, you'll be choosing between W&N (consistently good), Schmincke (often good, some colors are odd pigment mixes), Sennelier (not great in watercolors, despite wonderful reputation in pastels), and Old Holland (a good choice, like W&N). Ideally, you want the old style W&N box, the heavier one (look around on the web and you'll find them). Alternatively, you can get this heavier style box from Daniel Smith (they have a web site) or from New York Central Art (you'll have to call the number on their web site). I invested in both half pans and tubes. The tubes tend to waste a lot of paint; the half pans have no real disadvantages apart from the size of the brush that you can lay into a relatively small pan.

For brushes, it is worth investing in a set of Kolinsky sable brushes, preferably from W&N, Isabel, or Raphael. Buy the best you can afford. The W&N's are somewhat stiffer and bouncier, and so, more precise, but all three brands are excellent. Go for a 1, 3, 5, 7 and you should be fine for most purposes. You can scrimp on a lesser brand for the larger brush, if you need it. You might also connect with www.fineartstore.com for their Escoda flat sable brushes-- an unusual product and an extremely useful one. I've bought several sizes, and I use them all the time.

After comparing lots of papers, I landed on the Arches blocks. They're simply better made, easier to correct, more durable, and are a consistently safe choice. These blocks cost more than others, but they're available everywhere, and worth the premium cost.

You should also spend a whole bunch of time on www.handprint.com, as the author of this remarkable website has thought about watercolors from every conceivable angle. His comments about materials, in particular, are consistently reasonable and fair.

As I say, I've been through this exercise, and you can feel free to ask away...

-Andrew