My favorite materials and brands - Watercolour
So I've been asked a few times on my Instagram account and Facebook page what paints, paper, brushes etc I use, so I thought I would make this blog entry about my favourite and go to materials, in this one I'll be talking about materials I use specifically for my watercolour paintings and then I'll make an entry for Acrylics and Industrial enamels because they are all very different.
My favourite paper of all times and what I use for almost every piece is "Fabriano Artistico Extra white hot press paper" I just absolutely love it!! it's an amazing paper that is a bright white as opposed to most watercolour papers which are off white or "beigey" ( I don't know if that's a word but if not, it is now)
I prefer to use hot press paper because its smooth and has no tooth to it, but at times I also use cold press, depending on my mood.
I always keep a stock of Fabriano papers on hand in my studio in all sorts of sizes, but my go to size is 14x20 and I always use blocks as opposed to sheets.
I also sometimes use "Arches" paper which is also great, but Fabriano is by far my favourite, It's not carried in may stores other than Deserres, but you can also find it online on Amazon.
I almost always use half pan watercolour paints which is really just my personal preference. I have 2 sets that I love.
Cotmans, 42 half pan set: Made by Winsor and Newton, this set is just awesome!! the range of colours is fantastic and it has built in palettes on the case itself a a space to store a brush which comes in extremely handy, the colours are bright and just blend amazingly well. unfortunately its not sold in Canada so I order it on Amazon from a store in the UK.
As you can see, I use these quite a bit, and I normally never clean my palettes, I find the different mixes of colours sometimes help inspire me when starting a new piece..
White Knights 36 half pan set: I recently purchased this set after reading a bunch of reviews, and I got to say, I love them!! the colours are extremely vibrant much more so than the Cotmans, and the paints themselves are like honey, they are a pleasure to work with and also have built in palettes and a space to store a brush.
So far I really love this set and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves watercolours, They are professional grade paints and are worth every cent.
Ecoline liquid watercolours: I don't use these too often, because i find they dry too fast and don't mix well once dry, leaving "blossoms", but they are incredibly vibrant and last forever!
I've done a piece or 2 using them, and if what you want is extremely vibrant colours, then these are definitely for you.
Watercolour tubes: I actually started out painting with watercolour using tubes, and I always have some in stock in my studio, but don't use them much, but they are great to have.
I keep all the lose tubes in a round fish bowl in my studio and have a different bowl for each type of loose tubed paint.
Now, I am obsessed with brushes!! LOL, I have so many and continue to collect more because hey, you can never have too many brushes, but the truth is I always use the same ones. A lot of brushes I have, I bought when I was starting out and were very cheap so are great to keep on hand when you need to mix, or do some sort of effect that may be harsh on your brush.
My go to brushes though are always "Neptune" by Princeton, they are just incredible, they hold so much water, never lose shape, and have this rustic wooden handle that just make them a pleasure to work with. they can be Very expensive, from $20-$85 per brush!! but I was lucky enough to get them on sale from Michaels when they were doing a clearance event for 75% off, plus an extra 15% off with special coupons, so I basically went to the store almost every day for 2 weeks until I had every one they had in stock and saved a fortune. The ones above are the ones I use the most and the a liner brush, not shown.
I rarely use any mediums in my watercolour pieces. I've tried masking fluid before but it's not really my thing, I prefer to just leave white areas white as opposed to using the masking fluid, (drawing gum) also, it really destroys your brushes! so make sure you use old brushes that you don't mind parting ways with in the near future.
I've also used, pearlescent medium on certain pieces but its never a common tool in my pieces.
So there you have it, that's what I like to use and are my go to things for watercolours.
If you want any details on where to get some of the stuff I mention above or links to them, feel free to comment or shoot me off a message and I'll be happy to help you out with that.