View Full Version : Mes Carnets Moleskine

05-16-2010, 06:26 AM
Recently I dug out my pocket set of Reeves Watercolours, which reminded me I had several Moleskine sketchbooks and Watercolour book sleeping in my bookshelves.

I like Moleskine mostly because of its convenience (a black, sturdy, sober little book), and its nice paper... even though I did not use them much "for fear of messing them up"... :rolleyes:Well I know realize that is really a silly excuse for not using them, and with my exploring in the Coloured Pencil domain, I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to extend it to the Watercolour media as well...:D

And this may be the perfect excuse to lay a hand on that pretty Cotman Sketcher's Pocket box Set! :cat:

So here is a few pages, with mixed media, basically Reeves WC, Pelikan Kid grade Gouache, and Caran d'Ache Classicolors (hobby grade)

All dates back circa 2006, 2007...

1) Reeves WC on watercolour Moleskine: I made those cookies for Halloween (just paste some M&Ms on some cookies, and there you get yummy monsters!)


2) Reeves WC on watercolour Moleskine: Trying my hand on the watercolours, painted my thermometer "from life" :)


3) Reeves WC and Caran d'Ache classicolour on sketchbook Moleskine: flowers from my mother's garden (those are Petunia)


4) Kid Gouache (pans, Pelikan brand) on sketchbook Moleskine


5) Gouache/WC, some of my stuffed animals ^^


I definitely intend to make some better use of that WC set, and will try and post further drawings/paintings!

C&C most welcomed, as usual! :)

05-16-2010, 06:43 AM
Ooops, I forgot to add a note about the notebook sizes!

The Watercolour Moleskine is the size of their large journal, about A5 or so, while the sketchbook I have is half the size of the Watercolour one.

I could not find any info about the type/weight of paper :( The watercolour paper is slighly thinner than my Daler-Rowney 140 lbs (NOT) and the sketchbook paper is creamed colour, thicker than the Moleskine notebooks. Both have a really smooth feel.

I could find an old picture of my notebooks stil wrapped, I think it gives a good idea of the size and proportions: I am using some, and offered others to my friends :)


05-16-2010, 10:13 AM
... and finally today's test painting... I simply tried to copy some art I really, really love, to see how th colours apply, how they mix, the different feel you can get with the brushes... My favourite part is mix&match the colours on the palette... The medium is really hard to tame, but so far I really enjoyed trying it out! ^^

Done in Moleskine Watercolour journal, with Reeves watercolour pocket set. Seems that the paper doesn't like heavy washes ^^



Finished painting, Reeves palette, Daler-Rowney brushes, and reference pic (sadly even google could not find the name of the artist who painted the book cover :(:


Finished painting closeup:



05-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Love your cookies and the eerie house! Hey, those are my fingers on the flowers sketch! :D

05-16-2010, 12:54 PM
Sandra, these are beautiful. Thank you for posting this one! I love your last landscape, copied from the Alain Fournier book. Thanks for posting the original with it, I can see the changes you made and how close you got the proportions on the building to the original.

The one suggestion I have for your watercolors, especially this type of landscape, is to push the darks. Mix the colors a bit stronger sometimes. If it looks like it's exactly the right value when it's wet, it'll dry too light. If it looks too dark then it'll come out just right when it dries.

It takes a little practice to figure out how much to darken colors, for a long time I just went and glazed the same colors over the darks again after it dried. Then I saw this UK watercolor tutorial and realized the proportions... ever since I've gotten strong color because I overdo it at the start.

I love the strong, bright gouache page. Looks like without big washes it doesn't cockle the sketchbook paper, I'll have to remember that. I have that same Pelikan set and don't think it's children's or scholastic grade. I think it's a step up into student grade, remember seeing it presented as artist grade in some art stores and student grade in others. Blick has it up with artist grade gouache and combines student and scholastic grade lists on gouache.

So enjoy it, the quality that you're getting with that is excellent. I know it's much more fine-grained than the much cheaper children's Morocolor gouache that I bought for my granddaughter a few years ago.

Thanks for the photo and details about the Moleskines. I've got several too -- a large watercolor book and small watercolor book that are the same sizes as the journals and sketchbooks, plus I just got an A4 Folio Watercolor book and an A4 Folio sketchbook by mistake in my Blick order. One of those will be my next art journal.

Your pink petunias in the sketchbook are spot on perfect. I love how those look. Gorgeous, and the contrast of the delicately penciled one is great too.

Cute stuffed animals and very cool thermometer painting. Proportions are coming out excellent on these. The cookies are fun, it's clever to just pick off a little of the coating to make pupils on the "monster eyes" and you gave them enough shading to give the whole stack depth as well as showing the natural variations in how dark or light home baked cookies get. Mmm those look good!

I'm going to enjoy watching this journal develop. Thanks for posting it! Good photography capturing the soft colors of all those watercolor paintings and even the lightest values in them. Beautiful paintings!

05-16-2010, 02:00 PM
Thank you for the nice words and the encouragement, Robert! ^____^ I must admit that seeing a lot of WC works around those forums, and learning that we can actually combine WC with coloured pencils really made we want to try it once more :)
Ah yes, darkening the colours is pretty hard indeed... Even when I applied the background wash (1 stripe of yellow/orange, 1 stripe of beige, 1 stripe of blue, I was scared they would be too dark, and not blending that good... as a result, the background is now hardly visible!!!! ah this medium is very tricky indeed:D It was also difficult to mix the colours in order to get the most matching colours... but I did not use any white or black for the mix.

I think I

Although I am getting really fond of it, and thinking about getting W&N Cotman 12 1/2 pans set. Not really because I don't like my Reeves anymore, but because I relly want to try out new things :)

The gouache kit I have was offered to me by my grandmother, about 20 years ago or so. The colours in the pans are still in mint condition, and they still blend well, giving out an even flow of semi-opaque colour...the box is black, with a white lid, but it's been forever since I have seen those around..

I remember I used the gouache with very little water, because I wanted a rich, opaque colour. the paper did not cockle, unlike the Moleskine watercolour one (you can see the paper curling a lot on the finished painting of the eerie house).

I will try and train some more, keeping in mind that I have to push the dark a bit more :thumbsup:


Ah, on a side note: here is a pic of theose little monsters in flesh and bone (so to speak). Not the batch I painted, but the recipe is the same:

you need 1 pack of "Pim's Cake" (sort of sponge cake cookies with a fruit filling, and chocolate coating), 1 pack of M&Ms (or Smarties), and 1 dark chocolate tablet. Melt a bit of dark chocolate, and use it to paste 2 M&Ms (or sugar hearts) on the cookies, creating the eyes. Once the eyes are well set, add 2 irises of melted chocolate on each eye.... ..bon Appétit ! =D


05-16-2010, 02:51 PM
Sandra, now this is a huge collection of Moleskines O.O Wow.

Do you really use all of them?
Until now I have only tried a watercolor sketchbook (love the paper, you can use it on both sides without color bleeding through) and one drawing sketchbook (hate the chamois-colored paper), so I'm curious to learn how you like the rest of their product range?

Those cakes are cute ^-^.
I hope you will continue to paint from life. I know it's very frustrating at the beginning, but after some time it turns out to be more rewarding than anything else. :thumbsup:

Your copy of the book cover turned out really good, too. The Reeves Set is a watercolor set, right?

Vivien Maloney
05-16-2010, 03:15 PM
Sandra; You've made a great start to your Moleskin Journal and I like your watercolour sketches. The stuffed toys and cookies (with faces) are lovely and made me smile. I also have a Cotmans pocket watercolour box, but to my shame have hardly used it. But I do love watercolour. My favourite medium I think. Although I do enjoy using lots of different mediums. Keep sketching in watercolour, you're doing great.

05-16-2010, 03:44 PM
Hello Sylvia! I collected those Moleskine notebooks around 2004/2005 (back then I could find an art supply shop that were selling those for relatively cheap), but ended up using mostly one watercolour, journal and and one sketchbook only. both of them sit for months on my bookshelf until recently! I gave away about half of the stack to lmy friends and family as birthday or Christmas present :)

I use the journal (small size) mostly for writing, because the paper is so thin that it cannot handle much water, or heaving colouring. I use it mainly for notes, or as a diary - never for drawing, the slidy, creamy surface is not my thing either!

I like the watercolour notebook for small sketches, I think it handles the water pretty well, although it curls up a bit after 4 or 5 washes. the sketchbook is quite nice, although the paper is really really shiny: it feels like there is a "coating" of some sorts, and it makes the graphite (for example) a bit smudgy...

I gave away a music book : the paper is like the journal one, but each page features blank staves (the 5-line set to write music on, sorry I forgot its english name!). this is a really pretty thing, and my friend who is an Opera singer simply loved it!

There is one notebook I have yet to try, it is called "Japanese sketchbook", and features accordioon-like paper, that you can completely unfold. I have no idea how the paper is though :(

Yes the Reeves is the little watercolour set you can see on the picture. I bought it around 3 or 4 years ago... I got disappointed because I could not do anything with it... the coloured appeared flat, I was using black on the foreground (gasp), and I was not mixing the colours, it was a disaster ^^ Thanks to WetCanvas and the many helpful threads and tips, I now understand better how to use it , and I just love discovering little bits at a time:)

Thank you Vivien for the kind comment! I will try and improve using this medium :) I read a bit on the watercolour section, and I seen that a small palette, even 12 colours are enough for a start, so I will try to get a Cotman pocket set this week.

I am happy that the cakes made smile each of you! :)

Evening's here already and my eyes start to hurt... I wish everyone a great Sunday... Thank you all for the tips and the feedback... YOU all put a smile on my face :)

05-16-2010, 08:57 PM
Ooh, monster cookies...:D:heart: You are doing so much experimenting. You've inspired me to try watercolors again. The stuffed animals are so cute. You've done a wonderful job on the house, the flowers and the thermometer.

05-16-2010, 09:39 PM
Sandra, half the problem of pushing the darks is just that the Reeves paints are scholastic grade. They're just not as strong as even a good student grade watercolor like Winsor & Newton Cotman. I think if you got the 12 half pans Cotman set, you'd like those so much that you'd consider giving the Reeves ones away to a school or something.

I used to use the Cotman watercolors and they are very good. Much better than many other student colors, I mistook them for artist grade for years till I found out about the W&N Artist ones. Are you thinking of the inexpensive Sketchers Box with a small travel brush? Or of spending a bit more to get the Winsor & Newton Cotman Field Box, the one shaped like mine but grey?

I'd seriously recommend investing in the Field Box. It was silly for me to spend that much extra to get the fancy box that included water cup and water bottle and the little sponge and detail brush. I knew that as soon as I walked out of the store with my first Cotman Field Box. Then over more than 30 years, I realized that despite buying dozens of some quite good watercolor sets, I used up the paint in the Cotman Field Box more often than any of them.

Its convenience is just as good for a lazy evening as it is for going out for plein air. Having the water handy makes it about three times likelier you'll paint on impulse with it, and the set does fit in a normal shirt pocket or pocket tee pocket.

It's about twice as much as that to get the Artists' Field Box that I did, but the paint lasts longer because it's even stronger. The difference in the box is negligible, so you could always start with the Cotman Field Box, then when you've used up all the paint in a half pan, recharge that pan with the same color in Artist's Watercolor -- which is much cheaper in tubes than in half pans despite my getting half pans for convenience.

All of the Cotman colors are available in Artist's from Winsor & Newton, and I liked the palette of the Cotman set much better than the Artist's set, which included Ivory Black and Raw Umber but left out Sap Green and Burnt Umber. Chinese White is handy for last little white details but mixing greens is a lot more work than occasionally mixing black.

I've never seen those cakes before, but they sound wonderful with filling and chocolate on top. I love cookies that have fillings and icing both, I tend to like my sweets to be sweet. Clever with the M&M eyes and chocolate pupils, they are great! Mmmm... tempting.

05-17-2010, 03:02 PM
Good morning Robert!

Ah, here's the bad news first: there is no Field Box available around here... I've been the the art shop near my work, and they have a pretty nice selection of sets but not that one... :(

...though the good news is (as you might have already read in my hubby's thread) that the Cotman Sketcher's Pocket Box is available and at a price as lovely as the set itself! Sold about 18$ each, this will enable both my husband and I to have our own set! :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat:

So while he's longing for his (he kindly offered the first set to me ^^), I could not resist opening the box and swatching the colors. But first, the set itself surprized me. I knew it was small, but what it actually is is the cutest thing I ever saw ! It is what? the size of a cigarette box, though it has the 12 colours which I believe are enough for beginner's mix & match!

I was gonna ask you about the "permanent rose" colour, but I think the swatches half answered it. I was wondering if getting a pink colour and a purple colour, in addition to the 12 base colours would be a good idea? Though now that I swatched Alizarin Crimson, it seems to be cool enough to dilute and mix some nice pinks and purples out of it?

I came back from work not so long ago, and I feel to tired to do any actual tests tonite, but I could not resist and posted a picture of the freshly unwrapped pans, as well as the swatches.

An also!!!! the feeling is already so different from the Reeves set! A gentle sweep on a pan is enough to lift a lot of colour, and the feel is so "creamy" !!

So much wonders in such a tiny box? I feel like I just won the lottery or somethin! :D

Please Debby if you try some watercolours again, do post the results!!! :clap:

And Lo! Fresh swatches from the box! :thumbsup:


05-17-2010, 04:08 PM
Oh what fun! New toys. :) They look like rich colors. Hubby is sweet to let you have the first box. Sounds like he's a keeper.

05-17-2010, 05:11 PM
Congratulations, Sandra! That's so great. You'll use them up fast since they're such a joy to paint with. I always did, good thing you're each getting a set. Also very chivalrous of him letting you have the first set, that's awesome!

Alizarin Crimson is pretty good, it makes a decent cool pink with a lot of water and with Ultramarine, you get a gorgeous violet that's nearly black. That is the perfect palette for someone to learn watercolours with. You've got both a warm and a cool yellow, red, blue and green, plus Chinese white for body colour and three essential earth colours -- Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre. If you did find the Field Box, you'd probably pay about three times as much for it and get exactly those 12 half pans.

I do like Permanent Rose too, but I like having both well enough to have added it in as an extra on my set rather than just replacing Alizarin Crimson with it. Also, I think the Hue is just a hair more bright and purplish, less brownish than the original pigment -- a beautiful colour.

Sorry I forgot to tell you how tiny the set is! That's one of the things that makes it so convenient. Literally any pocket will probably hold it and it's always there when you get an idea. Take along a film can full of water and you're good to go, or any water bottle like one of those bottled water ones refilled at the tap.

Great swatches. Now you can see what I mean about pushing the darks being so much easier with these! Taping the labels into the book next to the swatches was a brilliant idea. Don't worry about lightfastness on the Alizarin Crimson -- it's a modern Hue that's better than the original pigment, perfectly lightfast like the one I bought in the Artists Field Box.

You can check lightfastness, opacity/transparency and pigment composition on those little labels. Winsor & Newton has a code and puts lots of information on the wrappers, which is why I should've kept mine!

AZ Traveler
05-17-2010, 09:18 PM
Hi Sandra,

Nice to see another Moleskine patron. Just a few thoughts here ...

The Moleskine watercolor paper is 200 g/m², which I believe, is equivalent to about 94lb±.

There are always new Cotman sets listed on Ebay for as little as $10 USD (€8.10). You can always upgrade/replace the pans as you deplete them.

Vous avez un bon départ dans votre Moleskines, et je me réjouis de voir plus de votre travail à l'aquarelle.

Bonne chance avec vos projets, et
Meilleurs voeux, ...

**André Dignimont was the illustrator of Le Grand Meaulnes (The Wanderer)**

05-18-2010, 05:51 PM
I am in love with this set! I've never expected it to be that tiny although being slightly bigger than the bijou box. Can't wait to see your future works on this one. :)

05-19-2010, 08:15 AM
Hehe, Debby, well I am rather a Keeper myself, even a bigger one than him :)

Don't worry Robert, the size of this set is simply perfect :)
I am already trying and customize a portable kit, using one of my old purse for it.

Delbert, merci infiniment pour ces précieuses informations! Thank you very much for your kind words, I will do my best to learn and improve!


I have no updates yet - sorry ! I tried to paint yesterday, but so many things went wrong (not in the mood, bad sketching, too rushed..) that I prefer to take the time and do something again, instead of whining and ranting ^^

Joan T
05-19-2010, 01:05 PM
Sandra - I can see you're really getting into your supplies! I have the last paint set you showed, as well as a W&N field kit, and a few others. lol I like keeping a small set in each of my bags. I have a few wc moleskins and felt the same way when I first got it. I didn't want to mess it up...and now I have all kinds of stuff in it. lol Your paintings are coming along nicely and I hope to see more of them soon.

05-19-2010, 03:35 PM
Hi Joan, thank you so much for your kind comment!
Oh yes, I really love those ! I intend to keep the litte Cotman set in my purse, or maybe prepare a special bag with a small postcard watercolour pad, water, cup and paint.

My first try was not good at all, but I didn't want to give up and tried once more this evening.

I (loosely) painted the view that we can see from our living room. We are in a 7th floor apartment house in a small downtown city, but we have the chance to have that great tree just in front of our window.

I posted the reference picture I copied, the sketch in pencil, and the watercolour itself - not sure this is the right technique yet, but I simply wanted to have the "feel" of it, try and mixing the colours to get the best match... my tree is a bit too small, and there are some proportions mistakes, but so far I really enjoyed painting.

There is a real joy in mixing everything from 12 colours only, and see what can be created from this... wow...

05-19-2010, 04:22 PM

Big question -- did you actually sketch this from the photo reference? Or did you sit by the window looking down at the scene from an angle higher than you were when you took the reference photo? The sketch and painting look like you're one or two stories higher at least, possibly more if there's a hill under your building.

The tree looks right for that angle. The houses across the street look right for that angle. The statue is larger in proportion to everything else and that is the only thing in this painting out of proportion. I'm impressed. The perspective in the painting is beautiful and I love the colors you used. You could add more color to the foliage in the tree, it's the right hue but a bit pale.

It's a lovely painting! Thanks for sharing the photo reference as well. If you took the photo from your window and that's the actual angle of view, then at the point you made the first distortion your mind started correcting perspective to give you the helicopter's eye view of the scene on everything. The tree does look all right with the changed angle and it runs off the top of the page anyway.

Well done! I'm impressed -- buildings are tough, I had a lot of trouble with them and only did good ones by crawling over a good reference photo measuring everything and checking constantly for distortion. If I didn't take my time with it, the structure would fall over. Your houses are excellent. Way to go! Keep painting!

05-19-2010, 05:19 PM
I like those cookies best!

Reeves are rather chalky not-very-nice paints I find

My favourite 'cheap' ones are White Knights - they call themselves artists colours but are probably low end aritists/very high end students grade. I find myself using them instead of my artists W&N - the colours life beautifully and richly even if I don't use them for a while.

Permanent Rose, Viridian and Magenta are some of my must-have extra colours - they make fantastic mixes and are useful for those vivid colours it isn't possible to mix with alizarin etc

oh and experiment with your watercolours with all sorts of other things (as well as cp's) - oil pastel marks as a resist, candle wax as a resist, charcoal. ink. touches of chalk pastel over dry watercolour - anything! You'll enjoy it I think

05-19-2010, 06:00 PM
Nice view, Sandra. You are really taking to your new water colors. That is an excellent painting. I'm lousy at perspective, you did great.

05-19-2010, 07:56 PM
Sandra - Your cookie sketch is my favorite and the stuffed animals too. Wow, that photo with the huge tree is fantastic.

05-20-2010, 07:18 AM
Good morning everyone!

Robert: I fact I was sitting at our dining table by the window, and I drew kinda "from life". then I took a picture and cropped it, to show how the real view actually was. I am quite bad at getting the perspective right, and with building it is generally worse! I have made a first sketch and painted it, but the result was not good, so I tried again :) I also got very sloppy and skimped a lot of details, especially in the bottom left (could not get the house balcony right), as well as the cars ^^

The yellow colour of the house should be white, but the sunset (those houses face straight West) did play a lot of tricks, and the colour pattern changed 4 or 5 times within an hour! As for the tree, I really wanted to draw it entirely, then use it to draw the houses in proportion, but I cut off its upper branches ^^

Thanks for the colour tip about the tree! I simply used a very light sap green, and I will try and darken it. I realize that trees are tricky, and very interesting to paint as well!

Oh yes Vivien, my husband and I saw the difference when we tried our Cotman set! Thank you for the tips! I really want to try the different typs of resists (If I understand correctly those are used to leave some areas white? I think the resist is scraped off the painting when it is dry?)
Permanent rose, this is actually a colour I'd really want to get, and also maybe a Purple, and Hookers green. So far I want to try and mix the colours from the ones we have in the set, so that I can learn about colours... but if one day I want to paint a huge bouquet of pink flowers, I would definitely get Permanent rose!

Ah, I am starting to miss those cookies. :)

Thank you Debby and Hydgirl!

05-20-2010, 12:29 PM
Vivien, Yarka St. Petersburg, aka White Knights or White Nights, is artist grade. I have a 24 color set and their strong color (good pigment load) does put them over the line into Artist for me. The same company does have a student grade paint and it's a good student grade, even their children's pan set was better than most. They have their own way of pouring the pans that makes them brilliant. I love some of their specific colors, like Russian Green.

They are particularly easy to handle too, they're some of my favorites. Those and the Blick house brand Blick Artists' Watercolors are my two recommendations for cheap artist grade -- well worth it over getting student grade. Though the W&N Cotman comes close to the line in the other direction.

I like your choices in extra colors. Those three are all useful, and Permanent Rose was an essential for me to tuck into my Field Box along with Quinacridone Gold. I used to like Viridian but haven't had it for a while, been using Pthalo Green instead.

Sandra, trees can be a lot of fun to paint. Check out my oil pastels site, go to the video page, look at the tree video I did. Then imagine that instead of making strokes with a watersoluble oil pastel, you're doing fairly small dabs of paint with the tip of your brush in the same pattern. Try this on a tree study, I dare you -- do that project in a different medium and see how it comes out.

Heck, I will too, but I want to see how yours comes out. There are a few tricks to trees in general that I'm going to have to write up, they become very easy once you get them and are seriously annoying till you do. Bob Davies has some great tips on trees, I think one of his free videos on the site is summer trees.

Also try the houses landscape again from the photo reference, so you can get the proportions and perspective worked out before detailing anything. See how that goes. I know it always helps me to draw and paint the same thing more than once.

05-20-2010, 02:25 PM
Robert - Ok, I will try! I think we watched a video in your oil pastel website, where you were explaining the underpainting technique. And there was that tree, where you put blue and yellow colours, to finally mixing them in a great tree shades. I was amazed bu the simplicity of the process, and the amazing results! I love trees in general - much more than buildings actually!

Oh by the way, feel free to use the picture I posted as image reference if you like: as a matter of fact I'd be willing to add it on the Reference Library, but not sure how to do it yet :)

This weekend gonna be a great one for us, for I could have a vacation day tomorrow (this Friday) and Monday is legal holiday in Belgium :) And I plan to draw/paint as much as I can ! even testing a bit of plein air, if the weather stays as mild as it is now.

My husband just told me that he saw several watercolour kits on sales at our local store - one of them being that ute little W&N Bijou Box, as well as several other sets, all artists grade. We'll take a look tomorrow and see if anything is interesting, and affordable for now.

05-20-2010, 02:35 PM
My painting is not finished yet, but I thought it might be good to add some more sketches from my pocket Moleskine.

They all date from November 2006. I got inspired by my all-time favourite stop-motion movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (by Tim Burton), as well as some art I've seen, but sadly I totally forgot where it came from.

Ever since I was a child, I've always been fascinated by eerie worlds, and my imaginary playground was more of faeries, fight of Evil and Good, magical creatures, wizards and castles in the skies that the saccharine world of Barbie and Ken.

All drawing made with graphite pencils, and I guess watercolour ( I really cannot remember).




05-20-2010, 03:03 PM
Sandra, these are great! I know what you mean. I loved weird and eerie worlds, dark stories about strange people and creatures much more than the normal stuff when I was growing up. I grew up on Kafka and Poe, Tolkein and Grimm's... the normal stuff was boring and scary, the weird things were cheery and fun to me.

Your dark-eyed skeletal waif looks like Jack Skellington did have a kid after the movie! She's cool with her black balloon and her dreamy wandering through all the twisted graveyard trees and enjoying the night around Halloween Town. Wonderful drawings. I think we both connect somewhere around the Forest of Weird Things and that the real meaning of much of this "dark" material is ... creativity and that people who are different aren't necessarily evil.

A lot of the "normal" stuff seemed to push conformity, mindless consumerism and worship of the perfect body. You had to be rich, physically perfect and shallow in order to fit those images. That scared me and revolted me, of course I never had either money or even average health.

This really moves me. Thank you for posting it. I think ultimately a lot of the "weird" material really presents the message that creativity is good. Being different and going in your own direction with creative things is a good thing in life and makes you a more interesting person.

These pages rock. Looking forward to more!

05-20-2010, 03:10 PM
Congrats on your new watercolor set. As it seems you are enjoying it very much :D

05-20-2010, 04:41 PM
These are wonderful too. Not a movie person myself, for the most part. But, I read fantasy and science fiction. Mom didn't know what to do with me grabbing Ray Bradbury's books from dad's bookshelf at 8 or 9. :lol:

05-20-2010, 06:09 PM
Very nice, Sandra! I particularly like the street scene - a difficult viewpoint for accurate perspective, but you've done well with it.

05-21-2010, 02:40 AM
yes Quinacridone gold is another good one I agree

Buying permanent rose isn't just about using it for pinks but for the mixes it makes - with yellow it can make beautiful glowing oranges, with viridian it can make burgundies and deep dark bottle greens, it makes beautiful purples with the various blues.

Using resist - if you buy the bottles of resist then yes, you rub it off. If you use oil pastel or a candle, then no, you just leave it alone and the paint sort of rolls off it and won't stick.

I don't like the resist you buy as it can be horribly hard edged in the areas it creates so don't really use it myself. Some of my students do.

05-21-2010, 02:57 PM
I like the Pebeo Masking Fluid best for a resist, it makes good tiny hard edged details that I want and I can always soften the hard edges later if it's a bigger masked area. The biggest thing I like using a mask for is cat whiskers, being able to lay them in with a fine enough line is tough.

I like your candle resist idea though, Viv. Maybe I'll try sharpening a white Derwent Drawing Pencil very fine or a white Derwent Artist Pencil and sketch the cat whiskers in with that, see if the paint just rolls off them well enough that they stay bright white whiskers on my cat's dark face. He has beautiful whiskers but half the time I have to draw them in dark because I can't get a fine enough white line. I bought a ruling pen to apply the Pebeo fluid in a finer line though, so maybe that'll work when it arrives.

Quinacridone Gold made it into my box because I found out that it was the other half of Hookers Green with Pthalo Green. Hookers Green is near Sap Green in temperature but with a wider value range that made me like it better. I love Quinacridone Gold in other mixes and by itself, so that stretches the range even further. Same with Permanent Rose, it's not just for pinks but glowing violets and rich mixes with just about anything -- even Permanent Alizarin, if I want to keep its brightness but push the value range darker.

05-21-2010, 04:03 PM
I'm enjoying your sketchbook, but it would be even better if I was munching on one of your cookies as I read through this thread. :) Seriously, great job!

05-23-2010, 06:28 AM
Thank you all!

Thank you John! Ah, perspective is not the thing I like best, especially when I have to draw buildings ^^

Robert: Kafka and Poe! I discovered them when I was a teenager, together with Baudelaire's poetry. Those books are one of my best memories! I am an only child, who did not relate much with my classmates, because of no common interests. I didn't like neither sports nor parties, and was more of a bookworn than a social butterfly. I learned to first cope with solitude, then make the best out of it... I was alone, yes, but not lonely...Tolkien came later, in my 20's, but I read the Lord of the Rings (in English) 3 times so far. Then the Silmarillion, and any faerie stories I could find by Tolkien. even drew some maps when I was reading the Silmarillion, and one of my diaries is filled with doodles featuring Aragorn, my favourite character. Internet did help a lot, which enabled meeting people having the same interest, and who would understand me without judging me... :) After that came Lovecraft, and to some extend, Stephen King. Aside of the gorish, bad movies adaptation, his books are filled with weird, but grounded stories. He has a knack to describe what's in someone's mind, pushing the consequences to the extreme..

Sometimes I have ideas of drawings, like flashes you know? I have that little doodle "me" (the little girl with pointed ears), and I often use things that happened to me in daily life, with a twist to it. The reason why those ideas seldom becomes actual drawings is that I have those images in my head, but cannot actually draw them the way I want. So now I try to copy things, in the hope that someday my hand will be good enough to draw things that comes out of my head, as if I was copying an image :)

Silvia: oh yes, really having fun in testing everything I can afford. Though I feel it's high time to worry about theory a bit :)

Debby: same here, I feel more attracted to sci-fi (though I still need to read Bradbury and Asimov, shame on me!) and fantasy than love stories or romance...

Judi: thank you for your kind words and encouragement! I love those cookies too! They are very easy to make, and I think that any cookies might do too :)

Now for some updates :) I got myself an early Birthday present last Friday : I got 8 additional Cotman colours (could not resist permanent rose anymore, and the purple shades where so cute, I had to have them). I know I can mix some of them, but that lazy part in me gave in ^^ I also grabbed a bigger box to store all the little family (now reaching the merry amount of 20 half pans). I still keep the Cotman's little box though: if one day I need to travel light, I'll simply put a selection of 12 shades back in the little white set.

As my husband and I were browsing for art supplies, we saw in a display shelf a cute little box, containing 8 W&N artists grade colours... the Bijou Box in person, sold at a -75% ???? I just wanted it. Not because I thought I would paint better with it, not because I needed it, just because I wanted it. It contains 8 colours and can rest in my palm... The set is very old, the cardboard box disappeared somehow, it was the last one in the shop, but I really love it. The colours are still usable, even if the pans take longer to dry up. The mixes are clean, and apply smoothly on the paper.

Here below are some more paintings. the first one above that I tried to finish, a copy of a magazine, then 2 paitings drawn in plein air, in my parent's garden. Plus pictures of the Cotman extended set, and the Bijou Box.

I am crazy, I know ^^

I realize that I tend to paint everything in the same way - same strokes, same effects . I guess it is high time I do a bit of theory and learn more painting techniques!

All paintings are in my Moleskine watercolour journal

1) Cotman set - The view on our street, completed. I tried to add more shades to the houses, to match the fuzzy texture I gave to the trees. Or else, it would look as two different paintings set side by side.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/221147-DSCN8750.JPG

2) Cotman set - my first try at painting mom's flowers! Those are little daisies. Bad choice for a first try, because I got stuck in trying to recreate the white of the flowers. I did not want to use white, and I was at a loss of how to use the white of the paper. So I cheated, and applied pale yellow... Not happy with the result, but I post it anyway:


3) Cotman set - Then I tried some botanical. My mother has some beautiful Pelargonium flowers she just planted. I tested my hand with Cadmium red, Cadmium Red Deep Hue, Permanemt Rose, Alizarin and Mauve (I think). Greens done with Sap Green, Hookers Green, and Burnt Umber, which I love more and more:


4) Cotman set - This is a copy from a picture I found in a travel agency magazine ^^ Wanted to try and paint the sky and the sea (very difficult, the water started to leak a bit, and I could not pull out the clouds: I used a paper towel, but the water had dried out already). I had a lof of fun using Permanend Rose to paint the azalea flowers. Need to improve my strokes though all the flowers and trees tend to look the same


5) Some tests and doodles to test out the Bijou Box. I dropped my brush loaded with Permanent Rose, on the top of the page, ooops...


6) Cotman set, upgraded with Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Deep Hue,
Permanent Rose, Mauve, Dioxazine violet, Cerulean Blue, Turquoise, Hooker's Green. The top row is the Cotman Sketcher's set. Additional colours are on the bottom row. I have a kinda OCD mind, and I like this setting better than classify everything by colour family. This way I can use Cotman colours only, and learn how to mix. Lazy days would use both rows of pans... Weird me, I know ^^


7) And this is a pic of the Bijou Box. the size is 8 x6 inches when closed. I can be store in a pocket, even a tiny purse. Cutest little box I've ever seen, I just love it!



05-23-2010, 07:04 AM
The monster biscuits on the first page are adorable :D Also love the picture you did from the cover of the book, and the seascape on this page. All very lovely works :) I have that little pocket set of watercolours too... though mine look a lot messier.. I'm really bad at keeping my painting materials orderly!

05-23-2010, 11:55 AM
Sandra, looks like you had very fun playtime with the new paints. Learning stuff comes with practice. I like your scene with the sea and the sky. I know you aren't happy with it, but, I like it.

05-23-2010, 08:34 PM
Sandra, that's fantastic! Congratulations on your new colors -- you picked very good useful ones. I would've snapped up that Bijou Box in a heartbeat. I saw it on the W&N site and was so tempted, but have never seen it at Blick or anywhere else I could order one. Complete with the tiny pocket brush inside. That is just so cool.

Heck, I'd be tempted to search for it on eBay and pick it up even if I just find an empty one, because I could always put half pans into it. The palette is excellent, love the choice of reds. There's an eight color "Cotman Mini" that folds open like a cell phone but it costs about eight dollars more than the 12 color Sketchers Box, so I never bothered with it... and it's not that lovely metal tin.

They've got something like it in metal now, with an inbuilt water jar but no pocket brush included and 12 colors. That one would be redundant with my Field Box and anyway I put extra colors in my Field Box, so I'm not going to pick it up for $90 or whatever it is. You were lucky -- and getting it at 75% off is fantastic. Congratulations!

I notice that the lid design gives you four distinct mixing areas too, very nice.

Beautiful paintings you've done! I'm not sure if it was an accident, but your sky and sea worked out in values. I noticed a while back that the sky is always lightest at the horizon... but the sea is usually darkest at the horizon. So that's a good way to distinguish sea and sky at the horizon unless it's cloudy.

The seascape with azaleas is lovely in itself, exactly as it is. That one came out grand, and whether by accident or on purpose your horizon is just right. Often the sky and sea are a little different in color too. Which direction varies, depends on climate and latitude whether you have a blue-greenish sky and slightly more violet sea or vice versa.

Your pelargonium are your best flowers. Those are magnificent -- I love the accuracy and detail you gave them and the varying reds and violet-reds in the blossoms. I used to have a couple of them back when we lived in Kansas, but they didn't survive the trip. Your painting has wonderful detail and sparkle to it, the intensity of the colors and accuracy of leaf shapes and flower heads balanced by enough looseness to make it lively.

The yellowed white daisies are a good painting too, not what you intended but came out well anyway. One tip for white flowers -- shadow them with a muted blue-violet in a mid-value, not even a very light value. Shadow them as a mass sometimes, some will entirely be in shadow. Others may just have fine violet-blue lines between petals as the shadow of the petal next to it defines both. Depends on how detailed you want to get with it. The color of the shadows may also reflect the surrounds, in a green forest the shadows may be quite bright green on white objects.

I learned that on white furred kittens, when a friend took photo references of a beautiful little white kitten born on Christmas Eve. He posed her a few weeks later on a peach colored cat tree and she was all shadowed in shades of peachy-pink, she looked like a candy kitten -- and looked real when I painted her that way. But the default is "reflects the sky" and thus a blue-violet is usually good. You can always get good results with blue shadows on white objects. Pure gray makes them look dead. Payne's Grey, which is ultramarine and a little violet and black, works and is a little more subdued.

Your azaleas are lovely. Massing the flowers together that closely gives a great effect. You can even mass them solidly and just shadow clumps and clusters of them with more layers of color and it'll read true. Pointillism works well for that in the middle distance.

Your flowering tree looks like a crepe myrtle. Generally something like that will not have neatly spaced dots of color with white between but masses of green interspersed with masses of pink that are fluffy at the edges and may spray off into the background. Masking fluid can help a lot with that. Just mask all the flowers, paint the leaves as a solid green mass over the masking fluid with a few defined leaves at the edges and a few darker defined ones in the middle... then rub off the masking fluid and carefully paint the clumps of flowers in where you placed them. I did flowering trees a lot like that for a long time till I saw someone in a workshop do one in acrylics and saw how it worked with painting around the floral areas and letting them fill completely with the flower color.

Also, if the pink slops over into the green anywhere it can make a good shadow color on such a tree, so you can bring a little more of it into the deepest darks of the foliage to unify it and put a few specks of green into some flower clumps. Doing a tree in pointillism might be an interesting exercise. Try it if you like.

The peonies to the right and the pink flowers (begonias?) in the middle aren't as stiff, those came out well with white bits showing because they aren't as regularly spaced as the ones in the tree. Nice shapes on the flowers on both of those.

You have a bit of space around that Permanent Rose blot, so you could try doing massed azaleas in a patch up there working that in as part of a cluster. I do that sometimes when I get a blot in my art journals, then it looks like I did it on purpose. :D

Much better foliage on your houses landscape! I like the way you bulked out the tree and strengthening the color on the houses helped to unify it. Well done! Thanks for posting so many. I hope I haven't bored you to tears with lengthy comments and too many suggestions -- but if you disagree with any of them or don't like them, I hope that spurs you to think of what you'd rather do and try something fun!

Congrats again on the Bijou Box, that's so cool. That one may start becoming your handy-right-with-you one so easily! A pocket size watercolor Moleskine would go well with it.

AZ Traveler
05-24-2010, 05:33 AM
Hi Sandra,
Your wc progress and journal are coming along nicely and the Pelargonium came out well. :thumbsup:

Since your interested in and enjoying Cotman pans, I thought I would share a photo of my recent purchase of this Cotman Studio Set of 45 halfpans. The set includes all 40 colors in the Cotman series plus an extra 5 of some of the popular colors. I was considering upgrading some of the half pans in my W&N Compact Set, but actually, that would have been more expensive than buying this set. As you mentioned, watercolor purists, gurus and aficionados will say all these pans are not necessary and counter intuitive as all and any color can be mixed from your basic primaries. True. But, IMHO, I felt the assortment of convenience colors would be more advantageous for now as I am transitioning from acrylics to watercolors. The 45 half pan set also includes colors that I was planning on buying separately as they weren't in my Compact Set. For example, Payne's Grey (love it!), Cobalt, Hookers Green (A fav!), and Van Dyke Brown, to name a few. I'll use these and upgrade to the Artists' half pans as needed. I'd really like to find a metal palette - like your new one - to put these in.

Meilleurs voeux et bonne chance avec vos aquarelles, ...


05-24-2010, 05:57 AM
Aiylah : thank you for leaving a comment! Well so far I have the courage to clean the palette (that's my OCD side I guess), but if one day I go out I think I'll leave it dry !!

Merci Debby! Yes, lots of fun learning out everything hehe... sometimes I get discouraged, but it doesn't take long before I come back to my colours :)

Thank you so much for commenting Robert! Believe me I do appreciate your remarks: I am starting from scratch, and having all the good points as well as the mistakes pinned out helps a LOT. Now I guess I can see the mistakes, but am still unable to correct it. I guess practice will help!

As an example: my husband and I have been watching Bob Davies videos available on his website. This guy is simply amazing, I love the way he explains, always in a kind manner, and with a lot of details. Putting his tips to practice porves a bit difficult (I tried to paint a tree yesterday, did the reverse of what it should be, got impatient, but that's fine, I will try again).

Oh I think I have see the Cotman Mini Plus set at my art supply store, but I did not like it much. The set, even if it is small, is very bulky, and the fact that you have to actually lift the pans tray to put it sideways over the pallete is rather odd... Plus, it is all plastic, and I think that the Cotman Sketcher's Box is way better at the same price. I now realize I got lucky with that bijou box indeed :)

The sky and sea in the azalea painting is half on purpose, and half by accident :) I used Cerulean Blue for the sky, and Cobalt Blue, then Turquoise and Ultramarine for the sea, and the reflections. I tried to paint the sky with a strong wash on top, then a paler value (? hope it is the correct term) for the horizon. Then, mistake: I did not wait long enough for the paint to dry, and did the sea.... And I got a run-back right in the middle of the painting.... So I tried to wipe it off, the did the horizon line again using the Cobalt blue...

Thank you for the tip about how o paint white flowers, I was really at a loss for those. I did not want to use white, because I read somewhere that white in watercolours is achieved by leaving the paper blank.

I am glad that the Azalea turned out correctly ^^ I really like the "fuzzy-yet-constructed" look that we can see in some watercolours. I am fascinated at how some artists can paint a tree with dabs of colours here and there, but the results look like a real tree. It has a soft feel, and it is a style I really want to learn.

Ah, the flowering violet tree is one of the Lilac trees my parents have in their garden. They are now in full bloom and the scent is absolutely lovely! However they are also tricky to paint! My old room is facing the white Lilac tree, and I had to simply leave the windom open to have the flowery scent pervading the room... Ah, good times :)

The flowers in the middle are called "Impatience" in French, they are the same size as Begonia flowers, but the leaves and blossoms are thinner, more like pansies. It was interesting to paint them because I had to cerate the green and the pink by mixing the pigments from the Bijou Box. I really like that box, it has the primary colours, plus a green and some brows, and the limited colours obliges me to mix, and learn the colours that way ^^

Once again thank you so much for the tips and the feedback! I wish I had more time to try out everything, right now I feel like I am overloaded by the information I collect, but I also noticed that somehow, each tip ends up "sinking in", and I start to see the improvement.

Thank you for the feedback on the house landscape, I am happy I could finish this one! I keep the first try I did, it was a failure, but it helps me seeing the little progress I did ...

I am now gonna watch more videos by Bob Davies, and practice a bit more if I have time.

Do send my best regards to Ari. He is a lovely cat, and is right about being proud of it!

05-24-2010, 06:05 AM
Just a few doodles I did last night. Daler-Rowney paper 6x10 inches. Test tree gone wrong, lion details (I copied it fromon one of our coffee mugs), attempt at painting grass and flowers, and blotches of my favourite colours (Cotman Watercolours)


Close up :



05-24-2010, 06:36 AM
Sandra your watercolor paintings are getting better and better.

To recreate white is actually one of the most challanging things when painting. I would recommend using some masking fluid first, so that you can easily establish the background first without having to worry about leaving out the white details and then carefully observing what faint colours there can be found in the white areas. Since it is a transparent aquarelle, I'd leave the lightest colors white (it makes the watercolor glow more) and for the rest go with either pale pale tints (and I mean almost white here!) of the surrounding color as white usually reflects the colors around it or with a really pale tint of the complementary color of the surrounding area (to have the white petals pop out a little more).


05-24-2010, 08:36 AM
Delbert, I didn't know W&N even made a full range set of Cotmans! That's so cool. Now if only they'd do something like that with the Artists' range. I'd be so tempted. I hope you got double Ultramarine, that always vanishes first. Notice you did get two Chinese White.

What I'm finding out with my huge collection of other watercolors, including a 48 color set of Lukas 1862 that my daughter gave me for my birthday, is that after a while there is a reason for all those very similar colors. They behave differently. This blue that looks almost like the other blue granulates. This other blue that's close to those two is non-staining and makes a wonderful glaze over others. Cobalt blue makes great glazes.

It just takes a while to learn exactly what each of these colors and pigments does. Even among the nontoxic hues, there's a lot of variety in which pigments W&N is using for Cotman watercolors. I got used to Burnt Umber as my staple dark brown but it sounds like you really love Van Dyke Brown. Everyone develops favorites.

Or like me, fools around wandering up and down the spectrum that my real favorite is "trying something new or finding exactly what I need for this particular painting." In every medium I get so used to having a huge range of colors available and then half the time choose a fairly small palette for the painting in hand. It's just not always the same small palette.

Sandra, thank you for describing the Cotman Mini in detail. Yeesh. Glad I didn't waste the money even if I thought the Bijou Box was cool. I might someday, redundantly, get the $100 heavy metal W&N kit that's smaller than the Field Box, especially since I bought a size 8 pocket brush with a good point. If I saw a Bijou Box, I'd definitely snap it up. But the plastic doodad that looks like a phone and the pans need to snap out to go sideways, you get much better value in nearly as small a space with the Sketchers Box.

There's even an Artists' version of the Sketchers Box, same box, but it comes in a little leather case and is the Travellers Box. Bit of leather and artist grade paint pushes it to $70 US. I just wish they'd sell that metal case empty, let me put together a custom set. They're keen on Raw Umber in the Artist sets and I just don't like that color as a mixer, it's dull and muted just to begin with, but not dark enough to function as a warm darkener like Burnt Umber. Personal taste.

I was trying to explain how I do a tree with dabs of colour here and there. Part of it is that I'm not using as much water on the brush. Sometimes I dip the brush in the clean water, swipe it on the arm of my T-shirt, then pick up some color, swiping over the pan several times to get strong colour. Then I start laying down much more precise brush strokes. Wet in wet is new to me. Wet on dry is what I've got the most practice in.

Now I'm tempted to do a tree demo for you because I can see what you're moving toward, and I like it.

Your test tree is not bad! It's moving in the right direction, though the shape of the entire crown is a little too regular. I noticed the paint was looser and more watery, the colour not as strong as the other trees you did. I'm tempted to do a tree demo in my own watercolor folio, maybe that'd be fun -- I could even hand caption it. What I like are the masses of leaves.

Look at the direction of the light if you're painting from something real. If you're making up a tree, then just decide it. Take a bit of tape, mark an arrow on it and stick it on the page off to the side outside the picture. Deborah Secor mentioned this in a pastels video and it's helped so much for me to stay organized and keep the light consistent throughout any painting. She scribbles the arrow in charcoal on her drawing board just off the paper.

But tape or a sticky note will do -- in fact sticky notes are really good because you can reuse it, deciding any angle you want till the sticky's gone from the note. I just posted that to Bob Davies's website as a tip, it made sense and I just thought of it.

I had a really hard time remembering to keep light direction consistent in watercolor paintings. I mean for years. I didn't really lick the problem till about 2007 or 2008, was starting to get a handle on it in 2007. If I used a reference, my lighting was spot on perfect because the photo had consistent lighting. If I didn't... well, there'd be three suns in the sky according to where the highlights were and the shadows were magical ones tearing free of their casting objects to go wherever they wanted.

Someday I'm going to do that effect in a science fiction illustration deliberately, to show that some one element in the painting is a window through time or a hallucination or a magical vision or something. Light direction the same on everything "real" and the sun's in the opposite side of the sky in the time portal, because it's morning back in ancient Egypt or whatnot.

Anyway, the top of a tree and of each clump of foliage is a sort of spongy volume, a three dimensional highlighted thing in itself. Actually that's something fun to try. Get a household sponge. Rip it so that you have a slightly irregular surface instead of the squared-off cut edge.

Mix some watercolor in light green, mid green and a dark green that has a touch of Alizarin Crimson or Burnt Sienna mixed with the dark green. Put a little Yellow Ochre or Lemon Yellow in the light green. Use the green pure in the mid green, keep it simple.

Get the sponge wet. Squeeze it till it's almost dry. Pick up watercolor. Start with the light color, make some random rounded blobs of spongy texture. Just press it to the paper like stamping. Then pick up the mid green and leave the light green showing mostly on a crescent of the upper right (we'll decide the sun's on the right for this one). Let some of the blobs overlap each other, if the medium green reaches another one, work around it leaving the light crescent of the other as a clump in front of it.

Then go shadow those clumps with an irregular crescent of the dark, still just using the sponge to stamp color onto the blobs of foliage. You'll be surprised how real that looks. You can connect them with branches afterward. You can also put flowers in by using Permanent Rose and a smaller bit of sponge to make little lilac-cluster shapes here and there on it -- be sure some are right on the outside edge because there's always some right on the outside edge.

Then give it a slender trunk and a few thin branches, where there's gaps and sky holes paint in some sky and run a Burnt Umber branch or two through them to connect to the trunk. See how that looks as a test tree. I'm actually going to try it in my own watercolor folio since you've given me the idea of a trees demo... and I haven't actually used the little sponge in my W&N field box. Ever. I like it, but it's too nice to use.

That's just silly. I bought extra sea sponges so I could try sponge painting. But it works for serious watercolors as well as Terry Harrison's acrylics and gives really nice, natural looking foliage. I do foliage normally with the tip of a round brush and a squiggly line dancing around all over itself, a scribble approach. But a sponge is fast and dramatic.

Date your test tree and keep trying other trees things. I'm off to try this sponge tree thing idea and put it in my Watercolor Folio.

Edit: there, I just did the Sponge Tree Demo in my Water Folio, check out that thread and you'll see it. It was an experiment. I'll admit now that I've never actually painted with a sponge before in my life! But the experiment worked and I think the demo is pretty easy. Please let me know if it's any good as a demo, if you wouldn't mind trying it?

05-24-2010, 10:10 AM
Your journal is lovely and so interesting to read this thread and of your progress with the watercolors. Really love the red geranium.

I've been a little intimidated by watercolors but have been playing a bit with the inktense and soluble graphite and stuff this last couple weeks and now after seeing this, I realize that I am finding myself tempted to get a small box of watercolor to try them out just to see.

Does anyone know the good/bad of the Sakura Koi box vs the Cotman Sketcher's Box? I see that you have both Robert? What do you think.

AZ Traveler
05-24-2010, 11:40 AM
Robert, in addition to the series of 40 Cotman colors, there are also two each of Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, China White, and Ultramarine. Interestingly, Cerulean wasn't included in my set :confused: However, I contacted Ken Bromley, from whom I purchased the set, and they are sending me the Cerulean half pan. ;)

I couldn't find a US source for the set and had to order from the UK. The few studio sets that were listed on Ebay were from sellers in the UK as well.

As I mentioned, I'll upgrade to the Artists' pans as I deplete these.


05-24-2010, 12:26 PM
Sandra, it's fun to see your experiments. Gives me courage to try painting again. A paintbrush seems so alien to me. I do need to find some decent paper first. :rolleyes:

The little clump of grass and flowers look like the meadow where I keep my bees. :D Your lion is really cute. Don't despair about the tree. You did much better than I did on my first attempt, which no one here will see.

05-24-2010, 02:06 PM

Delbert, your 45 half pan is awesome ! I must be blind, for I missed out your post a while ago, and I am really sorry for this!

I post the test here below as short reply (I got carried away and am running late on our supper ooops)... but I promise I will be back and reply to all of you in details :)

So here is how the tree test turned out - after a few hours of testing, several cauliflowers, 10 minutes of discouragement and a good cup of coffee ^^


05-24-2010, 02:29 PM
Sandra, your new trees are gorgeous! I love their shapes, far more natural and beautiful. The cypress to the right is lovely. The big tree to the left is fantastic. You're improving in great leaps and bounds from tree to tree to tree!

I love the foliage clumps in these and the way you shadowed them so effectively. Beautiful sky holes in the fatter tree too, they are just right. Did you paint that from life or a photo rather than imagination? It looks so natural, if it was memory then my hat's off to you!

Cauliflowers are frustrating but there's got to be some way to make them actually useful... they are also beautiful. Someone did great clouds with cauliflowers forming their bumps and shadows, and I'd love to get that right someday. Still experimenting.

Rainy, the Cotman Sketcher's Box and Sakura Koi 12 color pocket set are about comparable... yet different. The Cotman set lends itself more toward palette mixing and traditional painting. I could not help using the Koi set almost more like a color-changing brush pen, for quick and lazy sketching. The water brush is fantastic.

But, you can also get a water brush from Derwent or Sakura or Niji and stick it in the same pocket with the Sketcher's Box to have the benefits of both. The Koi set can't be refilled by buying new half pans to slot them in, the Cotman set can. There are pros and cons to each, but the Sketcher's Box is a serious bargain and the Koi costs a little more.

Water brushes by themselves cost between $7 and $9 or so. So for a pretty similar budget you can get one to go with the Sketcher's Box. I don't regret having both because I do use that Koi set for quick sketching. I just paint more seriously with the Winsor & Newton product.

05-24-2010, 03:21 PM
Sandra, you just keep getting better and better. Marvelous trees.

05-24-2010, 03:55 PM
Delbert - Actually the Studio Set I've see around ehre is the smaller one, it contains 24 half-pans and is also in a plastic box. They also sell a 24 half-pan set called the Blue Box, and is contained in a metal case, but in fact, buying the Cotman set then upgrading to some more colours was more interesting ^^ I got lucky and could find a metal box taht could house 24 half-pans. The biggest I've see around here can contain 36 half pans maximum. The quality is pretty qoog, although not too heavy. I agree about the additional colours. For example, my husband likes to paint warriors and armours, so he ends up mixing a lot of greys. Easier to get a Payne's Grey than using up the other colours!

Sometimes I use the Bijou Box when I want to learn how to mix colours out of the primaries, but if I want to paint a lot of pink flowers, then I use the bigger set with its Permanent Rose and several purples ^^

Un grand merci pour vos encouragements! I am really having fun discovering more and more about Watercoulours really!

Debby - well, I must admit taht the brushes discourage me often! The water especially, which seems to have a life of its own, and creates unexpected things :D

Hello RainySea, thank you for passing by! Ah we have Inktense pencils too, and it is after trying a few washes with those that my husband and I got tempted by watercolours! I still feel clumsy, with watercolours, but I do not regret my purchasing a little set: it doesn't need much to get started, and the good times passed in mixing the colours and testing things out, even the good results that come along together witht he bad ones, it is enough to forget about the fear :)

Robert - Yes, from what I've seen, the bottom line with the Mini Set is hat it is unpractical. For the same price, the Cotman Sketcher's Box is better, with extra colours and less sliding, fuzzy trays. Talking about empty boxs, we saw some at our art shop: they exists in 12, 24 or 36 slots, and cost around 10 EUR (around 15 $ I believed) for the basic 12-slots one.

Talking about mixing the colours: I was looking at Bob Davies pallette, and was amazed at how messy it is. When I mix my colours, I try to carefully pick , say, the yellow colour that I put in the mixing pallette, then wash the brush, then pick the ultramarine and finally mix the 2 colours in the pallette. Result: the values are often too light, and the mix is too watery. On the contrary, Bob is dabbing the brush in the needed pans, then mix it all in the palette. What he gets seems to be a stronger mix than what I do. Just guessing here, for I never seen/researched about the proper way to mix the colours. I am not afraid to mess/stain my watercolour box, but what if I need to use a pure shade of yellow? What if that yellow is stained with Ultramarine? Do you clean the pan itself before using a new mix of colours?

Wet in wet seems to be quite difficult. I guess you have to be quick and accurate, or else the water will run its way through the painting, and not necessarily the way it should be!

I am now reading your tips about colours and sponge painting :) by the way I just seen your demo in the watercolour journal :) ah, so this is what the little sponge is for! Simply brilliant. I seen some of those little sponges sold at the store, I first though that it was to be used to lift up the colour, the same way one would use a paper towel. I have a sponge here, well, it is not a natural one, but it really makes me want to try that technique too!

PS: I just tried the technique, using the sponge I have. It is a synthetic, circular one (I actually use ot to clean off the extra water on my brushes when I paint - really useful, because it doesn't dry out the brush the way a paper towel sometimes does). Problem is, the sponge is too regular, and the leaves I get are not textured enough. I will try and get that little sponge this week, and will try out again :)

PS2: about the 2 trees I posted a while ago: I fact, I watched the Bob Davies video, then turned the computer off, and tried to paint from memory. Those trees are the 3rd and 4rth tries, after I corrected some mistakes I did. I make a mental note about the cauliflowers :)

As for now I am gonna read again your tips about colour mixing and how to apply it :) I can't wait to be tomorrow and test out all the new things I am learning here!

Silvia - so if I understand, painting white area is actually the reverse process: we paint what is around the subject, instead of the subject itself? I think I will try the masking fluid when I can, thank you so much for the tip!


I am sincerely thanking every one of you, for your kind comments and tips, as well as the journal pages that I can see in your Threads. Thanks to all of you, I feel like I am discovering and actually doing things I would have never thought possible only 2 months ago...

:thumbsup: :thumbsup::thumbsup:


05-24-2010, 04:31 PM
See! Trees are better now! :)

05-24-2010, 05:05 PM
Robert. . .thank you, thank you for that answer! Much appreciate your sharing your experience with them.

05-27-2010, 03:33 AM
Amazing works here, especially as this is a new medium to you. Well done and you have inspired me to get my watercolours back out and paint again!!!!!

05-27-2010, 03:51 PM
Firehorse: thank you for the encouragements! I really hope to see some of your works soon! :thumbsup:;)

Prismalos: thank you hubby ko!


As promised, I took back my watercolours tonite... And for the first day since last weekend, I do feel good :)

Here is a little WIP in my Moleskine watercolour journal, who became my "learning Watercolours" journal. The reference pic is from a magazine, and shows some place in Greece .. I really love the mix of blue and red, and it seems like a good training to learn how to render the white... I banned the white paint from my palette for this one!

I took a pic of all my thingies, plus a clsoe-up. so far I almost finished the table and the chairs... I do the colour test on the scrape of paper below under the palette.... I do not have a real technique yet, I just "see" the colour I'd like/the colour that would best match the ref pic, then I prepare the mix...

All C&C welcomed, as usual :)

Cotman palette (got to test a few new colours), coffee mug, journal and ref pic


A little closer...


... and a close-up on the chairs and the table so far...

[note to self: mind your drawing, Sandra, your chairs are a little crooked!]


05-27-2010, 04:54 PM
:) I have problems with verticals - they sometimes get a little drunken slant and I have to keep an eye on them!

You've got this down in nice simple shapes and colours and it works really well

05-27-2010, 04:58 PM
The chairs may be a little off, but that tablecloth is really coming along well. I like the edges you've gotten on it.

05-27-2010, 11:03 PM
the painting of the table and chairs is coming along really nice. . . love the fabric of the cloth.

05-28-2010, 08:49 AM
Nice perspective and blazingly white table cloth! You're getting it! Wonderful strong color on the chairs and good color on the food.

Trick about white -- you can add another layer of accent darks to the tablecloth, the deepest parts of the darkest shadows, and bring them down halfway to where the blue chair is -- and it will still look white. It's crazy, but you can go right to a mid-value in the shadows of a white object and it will still look white.

The crisp whiteness also comes from the blue shadows, they make the cloth look bleached and fresh. If the shadows are browned past gray, the cloth will look more cream-colored even if the highlights are white.

Well done! Your chairs look pretty good, irregularities in drawing are minor even though of course you noticed them. I've seen lots worse in good travel journals. Perspective is its own study. One thing that helps for perspective is to do a quick scribble sketch working out the perspective on scrap paper if you're really concerned about it.

That and there is an awesome thread on perspective in the Oil Pastels forum posted by RG. It's in Oil Pastels Talk. I have a perspective article on my oil pastels site but it's pretty simple compared to what RG has posted. Also Bob Davies has good stuff on perspective. I think doing wheels in perspective is one of his freebies.

If you do more on this painting, I'm looking forward to it! Right now it's a lovely painting of a table setting by itself, but I know you could probably go farther and add the background and Greek landscape.

Rainy, thanks! Glad I could help. What really works is use the water brush for quick sketching and some of its tricks, like tipping or mingling color on the palette, then do serious paintings with other brushes. Or use both in the same painting if mingling and tipping would help the painting.

05-30-2010, 07:04 AM
Thank you for the feedback Robert! Noproblem, I will try to finish this one, and fix the chairs if I still can! Great tips on the white! Actually the background is a wall, with some greens and flowers on it, I hope I can finish it :)

As you might already know, we could get a Sakura Koi watercolour set including 18 pans and a waterbrush (BEST invention I've ever seen btw), and this is the swatches Idid last Friday :D


05-30-2010, 08:56 AM
Fun red bird! You could turn it into a male cardinal very easily by adding the crest and the black markings and black beak on his face. Great shape and brilliant color. I love the bent, branching bare tree. That's so cool, like the way you've got a little grass clumping at the bottom.

Your lettering made me grin. That's exactly the kind of thing I do with the waterbrush, that kind of swooping, flicking strokes. Good strong color too!

That water brush is about the greatest invention I've seen since the W&N Field Box. It means no prep, it's like having 18 markers on hand and with five more seconds of concentration (Dabbing twice and mixing in the lid) any mixes I want. It's wonderful.

05-30-2010, 11:27 AM
You people are bad for my budget. :lol: Now I want a water brush. :rolleyes:

Nice color swatches. Your gnarly tree is very cool along with a bright red bird.

06-01-2010, 09:06 AM
The waterbrushes are great, and like Robert puts it, it's like having 18 markers on hand!

purpalia, I like this one too, especially the blending on the end of the tree branch where the green meets the brown as it goes upward.

06-01-2010, 12:58 PM
Debby, all of WC does that to me. lol

But the water brush is at least a cheap item and dead useful for painting on impulse. Once I got one, I discovered I painted on impulse a lot more often. I refill when I'm done and that's what sets up for the next impulse.

06-01-2010, 10:42 PM
I agree on the "bad influence" comment lol! I've not done any watercolor painting (well not since school days anyway!) yet seeing your journal Sandra is getting me VERY interested! Its so neat watching you progress in such a short time! Those two trees you did were awesome!!! And all this talk about W&N and cotman stuff, stuff I haven't a CLUE about, is getting very addictive LOL! You guys really are dangerous!!! Keep up the great work Sandra, enjoying it! :-)

06-02-2010, 03:24 AM
If you want to get some watercolours Rachel. consider the White Knights sets - the colours are really rich and the price is very low :>)

06-02-2010, 05:45 AM
Debby: lol ! Sometimes I do not dare looking backa at my paint budget right now, but then again I tell myself it is not everyday I am building a palette from scratch so its ok... isn't it? :D But seriously, I really gonna cut off the expenses and paint more !

Well, the last crazy thing I did was to get a pan of "Rose Madder Hue"... which is the twin sister of "Alizarin Crimson", by the look of it and hte pigment listed on the wrapper...:rolleyes: thing is... I knew that colour name from a book I am reading now... and little silly could not resist to fill out the sole empty slot remaning on my palette with Rose... ah well, I like painting flowers anyway!

I will try to post a pic tonite.

Prismalos: well, like you saw it yesterday, I have major trouble in controlling the water flow each time I am using the water brush ! Needs more practice I guess :)

Robert: indeed it is amazing! I still have some trouble using it, most of the time I squirt too much water at a time, and the water "pearls" too much on the paper... but all in all I really like it! Not talking aboutt he "wet on wet" technique which often gives me a headache at times!

Whisperwood: thank you for the kind comment! Well I am really a newbie in the watercolour field, so far I can tell that W&N Cotman really works nice for me so far ^^ (although this is the only brand I tried so far, together with the Koi set) In truth, I am having trouble with the water control and the mix strength, it seems those are getting difficult and I cannot entirely graps how to correct it yet :D Please do post some of your works if you happen to try! :thumbsup:

06-02-2010, 03:03 PM
Vivien - thanks for the recommendation. I'll keep it in mind!
Sandra - looks like you're handling it all very well! I am the worlds slowest person when it comes to art! I just never seem to get the time to just sit and do something. I am still experimenting with some CP's and want to branch out into the D. Watercolor pencils at some point, just to try a little paint work. I have my journal, and know what I want to do for the first page but am having printer problems now (along with a new computer i'm trying to learn) and so can't print out my ref. photo to work from. Eventually, hopefully sooner than later, I'll be able to make a start on it! :)

AZ Traveler
06-02-2010, 04:11 PM
"... Delbert - I agree about the additional colours. For example, my husband likes to paint warriors and armours, so he ends up mixing a lot of greys. Easier to get a Payne's Gray than using up the other colours! ~Sandra

Sandra, I agree and Payne's Gray is one of my most used favorite colors - instead of black or variations of. By varying it's intensity (amount of water) you can go from a very pale grey wash to near black but it still maintains that underlying bluish tone. It worked well on my blue Rosalia beetle.

I'm finding that even though I have the 45-half pan set (Thanks for your comments, by the way), I am still relying on my Compact Set. I'm just selectively changing out the pans to suit my subject(s).

I've read a lot about the "Rose Madder (Genuine) Hue" you mentioned and have seen it listed often on a number of palettes. Another that is occasionally mentioned is W&N "Caput Mortuum Violet" that looks, to my eye, like a violet Indian Red. I have a propensity toward earth tones but you'd never guess that based on what I have posted in my art journal thread.

Your trees, table scapes, and assorted musings look fine. The reward and feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort(s). Don't you think?

Suite meilleurs vœux et bonne chance avec vos aquarelles, ...


06-04-2010, 01:18 AM
Rachel, Vivien's right. "White Knights" is an excellent artist grade pan watercolour at a modest price. They come in full pans, twice the size of half pans, pick up easily, are very strong with a great pigment load (finer ground) and because of how they're put into the pans, they will actually look the same dry as they did wet. That was startling when I first used mine. They're called Yarka St. Petersburg Professional watercolors in the USA and I have the original 24 color set.

I have way too many watercolors but really like them all, so the only thing I can do is paint lots!

Sandra, here's how I manage squirting too much water out while cleaning the water brush. First, I tend to do that in the palette area or on a bit of toilet tissue. I'll squirt a drop or two through it, swipe it on the tissue and if it comes up colorless, fine, then paint. I also sometimes, if I don't want a very wet load of paint, just swipe it aross a tissue or painting rag before applying to the paper.

It takes a little practice to judge how much water's in the brush at a time. I got so used to it that just swiping it on paper or touching it to it, I wick out exactly as much liquid as I want and have control. You could try practicing with different types of strokes and a strong color for that.

Another trick I often do with the water brush is Tipping. I'll load the brush with a light color, say, yellow, then just swipe the tip of the brush across the blue. Then lay it on an angle on the paper to do a stroke. It comes out shaded through greens with a blue edge. A darker color at the tip works best for that ribboning effect. Red with a touch of black comes out gorgeous shading through maroons.

Or blue tipped just on water, or the rose. When I did the wild roses for the WDE today (in my All-Media Book) I did them by tipping with Permanent Rose (it's in my 24 color Koi set) on a fairly wet brush, so that it'd be darkest at the edges of the petals and fade lighter, flow into the middles leaving a fair amount of white on them. It worked out well.

But when I want precision, I clean the brush with a drop or two, blot the brush and then pick up color. When I want to mix a wash that's different, then I'll leave it soppy, stir it up good, drop it into the palette area and repeat till I've got as much wash as I want. If it's a mixed wash, I'll clean between colors and repeat.

06-04-2010, 08:55 AM
Robert - you have EVERYthing LOL! I would love to see your studio some day... it would be like walking into a Blick's store! :D
I have made a note of "Yarka St. petes" for the future, but it could be WAY off in the future before I venture into actual water colors. Watching what is done with watercolors here however is extremely dangerous for me! Thanks! :wink2:

06-04-2010, 09:13 PM
Yep, Rachel, that's what happens after being into art supplies this long. I wound up buying way too many different watercolor pan sets on the weird hope that a new set would somehow make the medium easier to control and my paintings come out good.

I also live in a country where Blick offers free shipping and has a huge selection. This is dangerous in itself, especially combined with the super online coupons. I'm homebound, I pay my necessities, look at my budget left over... and have been window shopping Blick all month out of boredom deciding what's in the cart. There goes the month's spending money about eight or nine months out of the year. The rest of the time it's other companies or something else.

Yarka St. Petersburg Professional watercolors are also called White Knights or White Nights in the UK. Hopefully they're also available in replacement pans. The replacement pans are loony cheap in the USA, $3 or $4 for a full pan of artist grade watercolor vs. $7 or so for a half pan of Winsor & Newton low-cost ones.

If you can get the replacement pans, trying White Knights might be simpler by choosing four colors and get a small candy tin to keep them in. The colors I'd recommend as mixers are Ultramarine, Rose, Hansa Yellow (stronger than their Lemon Yellow and very balanced yellow) and Russian Green.

Russian Green is my all time favorite -- it's so dark it looks black in the pan and can be put on so strong it looks black in the deep darks, but with a lot of water lightens up to resemble Sap Green or Hookers Green, the useful yellow-leaning greens. That's why I suggested it for the fourth color rather than a black or a different blue.

But if you set up a very small palette of replacement pans, you can decide if it's worth getting the set and would still have a nice pocket set in a candy tin. So hopefully that'll help at least trim your temptations!

I've been going hog wild for too many years and now have been reaching limits of space. I need to stop getting new sets to try new brands and think of trying a tube or two instead!

06-05-2010, 04:07 AM
the replacement pans are really cheap here too :) 90p.

I bought a 24 pan set years ago and have since filled the central bit with further colours - I never keep paintbrushes in the box and so I must have about 36 in there now. I do prefer W&N artists viridian and aureolin for their gorgeous clarity and intensity (though frighteningly expensive!) and so I've squidged them in there too.

06-06-2010, 07:15 AM
Delbert: funny tht you are mentioning Caput Mortuum, because I am planning to get it as replacement of my Ivory Black (artist), that I will give to my husband :) I am faciated by Caput Mortuum purple tone (I am a purple person, kinda), as well as by the name... Thats silly, I know, but I just cannot help it! I also read the background story about this colour name, pretty weird ^^

Talking about earth tones, I read in another post that you are using VanDyke's Brown? I have this colour in our pencils set (Caran d'Ache) and I remember it as a warm-tone brown, is that the case in watercolour too? Though I am so used to use burnt umber, that I did not replace it.

Robert: thanks for the tip about the tissue, this helped a lot in controlling the water flow! I posted a few watercolour postcards on another thread, all of them done with a waterbrush. I am still amazed at how convenient it is !! I really have to try the tipping technique, sounds really interesting!


And also, thanks to everyone about the tips on other watercolour brands... who knows, if some of them pass my way, I might want to try them too :) I really love art supplies, its like buying candies that would not make you put one weight....:D

Here is 2 more watercolours paintings. The first one is the completed charis and table one, though I am not happy about the greens in th background. I painted the leaves first, realizing too late that I should have put a green wash first. I tried to glaze it after it was dry, but it did not worked quite well (I think the paint I used for glazing is not that transparent maybe), hence the blurry/stained aspect of it now.

Second painting is drawn after a reference picture as well, those are "Cytise Pluie d'or" (sorry I could not find the English name), basically a tree that has bright yellow flowers, an drooping branches, kinda like an willow tree... The result is a bit too sloppy and blurry, so I decided to leave it as it is, without "over correcting" (pardon my English, it's coming out very bad ) I will try to post a copy of the reference picture later :)

I painted the chairs and table with the Cotman set, and used the Bijou Box for the yellow flowers tree (I had a lot of fun mixing up the colours!)

I also added some tests of flowers painted from my imagination.

06-06-2010, 08:52 AM
Sandra, great scene with the table and chairs. It may help to darken the flagstones in the path a bit more, one level or two, so that the white tablecloth contrasts with them better. Other than that, the texture in the foliage is charming if not realistic and the whole picture has a nice balance.

I tend not to try to paint individual leaves at all in trees. It works better to do masses of color, light, medium and dark, shading to show where the sun's hitting it. Ragged edges and a few stray leaves sticking out here and there imply the rest is actually leaves and not a large sponge stuck on the branches. Leaving a few sky holes here and there helps too, but I keep forgetting to do that unless I do sponged in foliage.

Gorgeous little flower bed in the last two photos. Bright, strong, clear, it jumps off the page and looks very three dimensional.

I love the scene with the flowering trees! They're gorgeous, the shapes of the clusters look well defined, they do droop like willows, and the purple flowers coming up at the bottom are a perfect counterpoint. Lovely painting. Well done!

06-06-2010, 09:37 AM
Teehee, that little lion's head on page 3 is cute :D The following tree studies turned out great! The flowers are looking pretty, I like how watercolours can be used for flowers and such.. a few dabs or "blodges" of paint and it really looks like something. :)

06-06-2010, 01:55 PM
Sandra, your paintings are so cheerful looking. The table at the end of the garden looks lovely.

06-28-2010, 12:32 PM
Oh Sandra! I have had so much fun catching up on your thread. There are so many things I enjoy here.

First, I love seeing how your artwork is progressing. One thing you started out with is enthusiasm and the ability to free yourself up to PLAY! That is something that is hard for many people. IMO, it is so much easier to develop your skill if you are open and enthusiastic than it is to develop sponteneity when you are too fearful and controlled to start with. All of your work has such a wonderful liveliness!!!

Now, I also have to mention that I am very hungry at the moment and I wish I had some of those luscious looking cookies to eat right now. I like both the photo AND your painting of the cookies. YUM!!!

I am also having so much enjoyment from watching you enthusiastically building your art supply stash. You and your husband are fortunate to share this wonderful passion so you can share not only supplies, but your ideas and things you learn. All of the discussions about art supplies have been very interesting to read. I have a small W/N sketch kit - not sure what it is called, but I really love using it, especially when I am away from my home. The colors in that new Sakura Koi set look so bright and vibrant. I LOVE them. Can't wait to see more work from that set.

All your work in this thread is fun and interesting, but some of my favorites are the table and chairs, the two trees you did on a page together, and the plant. I don't remember what you said it was, but it reminds me of what we call a geranium. My mother had LOTS of them in pots and I always love it when I see that particular color of them.

Thanks for sharing - your sketchbooks are a treasure!


06-28-2010, 06:54 PM
Lovely fresh colours - your flowers remind me of summer....... (it is winter here in Australia at the moment and not so many colourful flowers about!), you've brightened up my morning!

06-29-2010, 03:31 AM
wow! usually stuff is cheaper in the US but the White Knights are much cheaper here - that makes a change! £1.20 now - under $2 for full pans.

I struck really lucky at an art fair a couple of weeks back and got a box of 24 full size refills for £10 - I couldn't resist! the stand said the company had made a mistake and so they were selling them on.

I never buy black watercolour. You can make fantastic darks with alizarin crimson plus viridian or burnt umber and prussian or ultramarine blue.

Your joie de vivre comes through in the work - it shows how much you are enjoying experimenting :)

09-05-2010, 08:52 AM
Hello everyone :) I have been away from my paints and brushes for a long long while, but today I really felt like painting again!

I am rusty, I feel like I forgot many of the basics, so I just settled for a loose technique of pen & wash. The reference is again a picture I found in le Figaro Magazine, and the set is somewhere in Scotland. My dad just had a fishing trip in the sea yesterday, so I guess that's why I felt like sketching a boat.

I hope everyone is doing fine, and I am looking forward to discover the new Journals that people posted here! :cat:

- Cotman watercolours (customized 24 1/2 pans tin box)
- Pitt brush pen


09-05-2010, 06:34 PM
wouldn't that make a wonderful floating studio to paint Scotland and its islands from ? :)

09-05-2010, 07:58 PM
Sandra - great job! I like how fresh the painting looks and your pen lines are just perfect :)

09-06-2010, 10:30 PM
Doesn't look rusty at all. Looks really good. Sorry you've been too busy to paint. Glad you're back.

09-07-2010, 01:04 PM
Sandra, you're back! Yay, so glad you're painting again. Don't just say "settled for" on that loose technique with brush and pen. You did this so well. It's spectacular. It's perfect loose brush and pen.

The colors are cheerful and lively, true and clean, the line work accents it perfectly - doing something loose can be harder than doing it tight and detailed. Your proportions are excellent. Thank you for sharing the photo you worked from too - your painting is far more lively than the photo reference, it looks like you could've done it from life.

Fantastic! Keep practicing this style - it's beautiful exactly as is and it can serve well for a plein air style. If you can sketch scenes like this from life that loose pen and wash style can get it done in the half hour to 45 minutes you usually have outdoors before the light changes.

Of course I don't know if this took you a lot longer, it did for me the first time I tried anything like it. But practice will get this style down to where it's fast enough to sketch from life without the scene changing too much while you draw and paint.

09-07-2010, 11:52 PM
Sandra I love this boat painting! I like the ink plus watercolor. Your reflection in the water is very good. This has a dreamy quality- make me want to daydream about cruising far, far away! Keep up the great work.

09-08-2010, 12:24 PM
Great boat painting, Sandra! Nice to check out your journal after having not visited it for some time. Keep posting...!