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Jaxilon
04-14-2013, 02:23 PM
First off, I guess I'm frugal because instead of just practicing on a regular sheet of watercolor paper I have found I like cutting it into fourths. This way I don't feel bad about tossing a few of them in the trash. Chopping a sheet into fourths gives me smaller areas to paint as well. I'm not sure if this helps with dealing with warpage because they still tend to curl up but I can easily set them under a book or something once they are dry and they straighten out over night. I actually tapped one of them down on a thin piece of flooring board to see how that went. Worked pretty well, maybe I'll show that one in another thread.

I am not using a fancy paper, I bought an "Artist's Loft" watercolor pad - Cold press finish - Acid free - 12" x 9" x 25 sheets that I purchased at Michael's. I don't recall how much it was but at my level of experience with watercolor I wasn't going to fork out a bunch. I like the Cold Press because it's almost smooth and certainly much cheaper than the Hot press. I don't like the roughness (or I'm not used to it) of the standard Watercolor paper so Cold Press works for me.

I also picked up a cheapO pack of watercolor brushes also "Artist's Loft". I attempted using them and absolutely hated them. The hairs where coming out and making a mess of things. I quickly tossed them into a pile for use whenever I want to paint something with acid or something. I then went to a Jo Ann's (a type of hobby/craft store) and picked up a Koi Water Colors:Pocket Field Sketch Box - I love this thing. It has a synthetic brush that comes with it that has a water fillable handle so you have your water carried within the brush. I did get some extra paint but I haven't yet really needed it.

Recently, I splurged and bought a 25.00 Princeton Neptune #16 super soft brush. I love this thing as well. The experts all say if there is one thing you must get right, it's the brushes and I'm finding myself agreeing with them.

So that's my gear for now, let's get to it.

I begin with a little sketch of a subterranean area drawn in pencil:

Jaxilon
04-14-2013, 02:55 PM
I then used watercolors to paint it. I forgot to take a pic of it after that but then I went back over some of the lines with a Sepia PITT pen. I almost wish I hadn't because I tend to like the realist look when it comes to my art. I don't necessarily dislike it but the lines cause things to look more comic bookish in my opinion. Now don't get me wrong, I don't dislike comics, but it's just not the typical look I shoot for in my stuff.

This is a photo taken with my Cell phone. I tried scanning it but the coloration came out funky. This has some shadow due to the lamp not being directly on it but you get the idea.

Now, I just have to determine if I want to do anything with the floors:

Chashio
04-14-2013, 08:05 PM
Neat cave system. So your map is 4.5 x 6 inches? Nice use of watercolors! Did you find that the more heavy areas of pencil mixed into the paint some?

lostatsea
04-14-2013, 08:32 PM
Well that is just COOL!! Like it alot so far !!

waldronate
04-14-2013, 08:48 PM
Nice work. Every time I see "ISO" in a title, though, I keep thinking "International Standards Organization."

jbgibson
04-15-2013, 01:20 AM
Jax: purty!

Waldronate: me too. Didn't you know though - they found there aren't any internationally recognized standards for caves, so Jax was asked to come up with some. Pretty sweet commission, though bureaucrats tend to pay slow.

Jaxilon
04-15-2013, 03:10 AM
Neat cave system. So your map is 4.5 x 6 inches? Nice use of watercolors! Did you find that the more heavy areas of pencil mixed into the paint some?

I don't think I had the pencil mixing into the paint. More like the paint pigment starts to overshadow the pencil lines. I will keep an eye on this though. I may have this issue on the floor tiles since that's the heaviest lines. Maybe the paper makes a difference or maybe not going too heavy with the water?

4.5 x 6 is about right so it's kind of small. I don't mind this while I'm learning. I do have an issue now however. I created a similar sized mock up of an abstract painting for my wife's office. Heh, she really liked it so now I need to make it HUGE as in about as large a sheet as I can get it. I'm not sure about how to do that so it's going to be fun trying that. It will certainly be the largest Watercolor I will have attempted.

edit: ISO - yes..I'm out to set those here :)

arsheesh
04-15-2013, 04:52 AM
Nice. The color blending turned out beautiful. I've been wanting to try out some traditional media myself, and this inspires me.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Ramah
04-15-2013, 06:11 AM
Nice map, Jax. :)

I'm sure you probably know this, but you can prevent the cockling of the paper that you describe up the top if you stretch your paper first. You say you tried taping it down so you already have all the gear to do it. Just immerse your paper in water before you start, tape it down to a board and leave it to dry. Sorted.

- Max -
04-15-2013, 11:05 AM
Nicely done Jax! Yes it has some kind of comics touch but I kinda like it.

Jaxilon
04-15-2013, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the encouragement.
Happy to have inspired you Arsheesh, I really look forward to seeing what you come up with. Maybe it's time for another traditional media challenge?


Nice map, Jax. :)

I'm sure you probably know this, but you can prevent the cockling of the paper that you describe up the top if you stretch your paper first. You say you tried taping it down so you already have all the gear to do it. Just immerse your paper in water before you start, tape it down to a board and leave it to dry. Sorted.

As far as gear, I just used that blue construction tape designed to not lift paint off the walls. It worked perfectly well. I've got an aversion to getting some special Gum type tape or whatever. I don't know why, maybe I'm just rebellious or maybe I think it sounds pompous to have special tape. I'll have to check out what I'm supposed to be using and see what I think after all I do love my gummy eraser.

On the dunking of the paper, is that just a quick dip or a soak for a few moments? I'm thinking, dip the paper, slap it on the surface, tape it....sounds like a mess waiting to happen. I think I'll have to Google this.

Chashio
04-15-2013, 02:02 PM
I don't think I had the pencil mixing into the paint. More like the paint pigment starts to overshadow the pencil lines. I will keep an eye on this though. I may have this issue on the floor tiles since that's the heaviest lines. Maybe the paper makes a difference or maybe not going too heavy with the water?

It's probably a combination of paper thickness / water ratio. Mine started to dissolve the pencil on the sketch paper so it turned the colors greyish.


4.5 x 6 is about right so it's kind of small. I don't mind this while I'm learning. I do have an issue now however. I created a similar sized mock up of an abstract painting for my wife's office. Heh, she really liked it so now I need to make it HUGE as in about as large a sheet as I can get it. I'm not sure about how to do that so it's going to be fun trying that. It will certainly be the largest Watercolor I will have attempted.

There's a large difference between sizes when it comes to the way the pigments combine with the surface texture. I wish you luck.


I've got an aversion to getting some special Gum type tape or whatever. I don't know why, maybe I'm just rebellious or maybe I think it sounds pompous to have special tape.

LMAO! Me too :D

Ramah
04-15-2013, 02:30 PM
You could just use masking tape but I guess it may do something to the top layer of paper once it's been soaked. If it holds it.

And as to the wetting, just fill a bowl or your sink with an inch of water or whatever, drop the paper on and push it under. Leave it long enough to soak up some water. Lift it back out, let the excess drain off and then smooth it out on a board. Tape it down and leave to dry.

Chashio
04-15-2013, 03:08 PM
You could just use masking tape but I guess it may do something to the top layer of paper once it's been soaked. If it holds it.

And as to the wetting, just fill a bowl or your sink with an inch of water or whatever, drop the paper on and push it under. Leave it long enough to soak up some water. Lift it back out, let the excess drain off and then smooth it out on a board. Tape it down and leave to dry.

I will have to try this Ramah. What do you suggest using for a board?

Ramah
04-15-2013, 03:51 PM
I guess you can use anything that is flat and big enough. Maybe even the back of a tray. I used to use a large piece of hardboard but it was lost in a fire and I haven't touched any paints for at least 15 years. I must admit that seeing all the recent hand-drawn/painted goodness is giving me an itch to maybe give it a whirl again.

Chashio
04-15-2013, 04:14 PM
Thanks, I've a good thick piece of hardboard claiming space in my studio. I'll try that first... if it doesn't work I suppose I can always go out and get a piece of acrylic. I may try too (out of curiosity) stretching a piece of my thinner sketch paper over a small canvas stretcher and see how it holds up like that.

Inspiration is infectious. ;)

loogie
04-15-2013, 04:46 PM
i've used a sheet of plexi glass you can get at an art store, (curry's carries em anyways) you basically wet the screen, wet the paper, and stick it on.... it works for those highly watered paintings, i tend to use less water, and localized, so i don't really use it.. also be careful with painting along the edges if you use the sticking method, since it'll bleed along the edge and under due to the water... nice thing is you don't need to stretch the paper or use staples etc, since the water sticks the paper, and the papers free to stretch and shrink, no waves!

another option is to go with more traditional paper blocks, you'll still get a bit of wavyness, but blocks have glued edges, usually all 4, so it hinders warping. Paper is one of the most important things in watercolour, that and paint.. really makes a huge difference, how the paint soaks in to the paper, sits on top, how the pain mixes with other colours, settles, turns gritty etc.. while the student colours are fine for first use... if you're planning on doing watercolours more frequently, getting some of the more expensive ones are worthwhile... the paints that are fairly easily available that I like are "m graham" paints, they are very fluid and crisp, an interesting fact is that they use honey as a binding agent, which is more traditional, but also kinda cool to think about (you can even smell it in some paints)... and also da vinci, a fairly common US brand... they have like 600+ colours, which is crazy.. Both graham and vinci are kinda unique cause all their colours are only a single pigment, not a mix (makes 600 unique colours even more impressive), it makes them far superior with mixing... the more pigments used in a paint, the more unpredictable it is when mixing... you can find they separate... one colour that it happens to a LOT is ultra marine, a fairly common colour, when mixed with anything, often separates, cause most paints of other brands are mixes of 3-5 other colours...

anyways, i've gotten pretty technical, but i've found this info quite useful in my learning.. and well, seems you don't need help with the artistry :P looks great!

Jaxilon
04-19-2013, 09:29 PM
Well, I believe this is finished.

I picked up a large sheet or Watercolor paper for the piece in my wife's room today, it's like 22 x 32 or something. The largest they carry without special ordering. I'll keep you guys posted on how that experiment goes...should be fun even though I believe I really need a larger sheet. Still, better to work my way up to that I say.

Chashio
04-20-2013, 12:34 AM
That's well finished.
I'd be interested to see a picture of the giant abstract watercolor painting when you finish that.

Jaxilon
04-20-2013, 02:35 AM
Sure thing, I'll try and document my efforts so maybe someone who knows can help me do better next time :)

The first thing I'm trying to figure out is how to mount this big sheet on something in order to paint it. I don't really have a board that large.

Chashio
04-20-2013, 12:54 PM
The first thing I'm trying to figure out is how to mount this big sheet on something in order to paint it. I don't really have a board that large.

Stretch it like a canvas, on stretcher bars?