The bad news - for my blogs and keeping them updated - is that I haven't been doing any drawing, but the good news, for me, is that I have finally found the commitment I need to sit down and practice my watercolours again. I dabble with them now and again but not long enough to make a difference. However, after watching Billy Showell's excellent DVD's I do feel I'm beginning to make a little progress. I think that finding the right mindset is the key to learning, and after watching Billy's clear instructions, it didn't seem quite so scary, that some degree of control is possible! I kept imagining that there is a 'right' way to paint with watercolours, that everyone else is an expert and they will always be alien to me, but actually, I realise, no-one ever feels that confident with them! So with that in mind, I can get on with the business of doodling, practicing and playing!
I know photos of sketchkits are always fun so I thought I'd show mine in the meantime. Top, left to right, a set of Senneliers ( I put them in an empty Rembrandt palette), a set of Schminckes and a set of Winsor & Newtons. Below, I'm following Billy Showell's colours (W&N's) and I set out mine similar to hers to make following the DVD's easier and also so I get to remember the names and characteristics. (And if I forget, they are set out in her books!) This is important because I've spent most time using the W&N's but I'm constantly forgetting the names of the colours which is quite annoying and time consuming. I thought it would be a good idea to put the Schminckes away and get used to one set before moving on. But later, I was looking for a particular colour I like and got the Schminckes out again and realised how much I like them.
The Senneliers are a new addition and I've taken to them straight away. Billy Showell (again!) highlighted these in an Artist's and Illustrator's article so I gave them a go. They are so much nicer than I expected. The colours are so clear and fresh and they mix beautifully. So now, after a little practice, I'm beginning to find my preferences and at the moment, I'm just using those and the Schminckes with a few W&N colours I like.
I'm not keen on Moleskines for drawing but I very much like their watercolour pads. These little ones are great for doodles and cheap enough not to get precious about. I've been attempting to draw and paint in the garden so this one and the next size up are just perfect. I am, however, finding that even these small palettes are quite cumbersome. I wonder has anyone invented a tiny one, with lots of compartments for colours, with a place to keep water, put a brush down, hold a tissue, not slide off the lap, easy to hold along with the sketchbook and close without leaking? Is that too much to ask?!