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Ryn Shell: Internationally acclaimed artist, formerly of Buninyong Gallery. Author of historical fiction mysteries set in Australia.
This was a fun, relaxing night. About ten hours work at a tiny size for the original. Finished and ready for sale through Fine Art America, I adore the rose paintings as decor, see examples
I've worked with the Albrecht Durer Aquarelle in the past, and have them still in my watercolour kit. Most of my watercolour students bought a set and me used them with tube or pan artists' quality watercolours and on 100% rag content, acid-free watercolour papers in class. I never used these pencils much, as it was easier for me to just load a watercolour brush to achieve any affect I wanted, and I also felt that achieved a more professional looking watercolour than you achieve with watercolour pencils.
The one work I completed 100% in the Albrecht Durer Aquarelle pencils was pleasing, and the prints of it sell well, so others like it, so you could easily work with them professionally. They retain a part pencil and part watercolour appearance in the completed work, and that's nice, and I'll use watercolour pencils with coloured pencils, but not watercolour pencils with watercolours, which I'd prefer to keep pure watercolour and free of pencil marks.
I have used water medium on a pastelmat, for stylised work, as in a promotional bookmark, but it has its limits for painting fine artwork. You won't create beautiful wash effects on Pastelmat; for that, you need a professional watercolour surface. The reason why many find watercolours difficult is that they don't invest in heavyweight, 100% rag content watercolour paper.
Fabriano is my preferred brand of watercolour paper and I like the cold pressed surfaces, the heavier grade the better to work on.
In my opinion, as an experienced watercolorist, watercolour pencils won't improve a good watercolour. If you can do whatever you want to with the brush in hand, and do it with more versatility than a pencil allows, why use a watercolour pencil in a watercolour? Would watercolour improve a drawing? Probably, although it ceases being a pure drawing. Would drawing improve a skilfully executed watercolour? Not many lovers of watercolour would think so. Opaque mediums, and possibly pencils, con certainly help to fix a bad watercolour. I taught pastel painting to my watercolour students for that very reason.
I now will not use pastels, or my much-loved pastel pencils, because I don't have the industrial standard safety booth to use it in to ventilate the dust away from me and to contain it safely.
Now, when I hear of colouring pencil artists using paint thinners indoors (highly toxic—especially those odourless ones) I want to yell, "Why not use watercolour pencils for your fluid underpainting and not pollute the air your family and visitors, and you are breathing."
Those thinners are for outdoor use. I doubt many artists go outdoor to use them. Also, the thinner goes through the skin barrier and straight to your kidneys and liver via the bloodstream, doing damage as those organs try to filter it from your system, even if you avoid damaging your lungs by inhaling it.
Thinner damaged liver is why people will say of eccentric (cirrhosis of the liver induced dementia) artists, "Been on the turps." A sick liver is a long and lousy may to die. Stick to watercolour pencils rather than coloured pencils and thinners if you want to work safely with a fluid emulsified pencil. I taught health and safety in the arts, along with art tuition. I've heard of too many artists dying, slowly, in chronic ill health, due to their unsafe painting techniques.
That's why I went and added a set of Caran d'Ache Museum Aquarelle pencils (I have the Albrecht Durer Aquarelle already) to be able to do fluid pencil blending where I may need it.
I'll be moving on to explain how I'm working and in what materials through video in 2018, as that won't take any more time than writing the information. :-) Enjoy your aquarelle pencils. Water is safe to use, thinners are not without industrial standard protection, something most artists take an, "The warnings in small print on that bottle don't apply to me," fool approach to. You are smart, talking water soluble pencil.
My Caran d'Ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils have arrived, completing my pencil studio purchases. They are a dream to work with both dry and wet. I'm testing them out on Bristol, acid free, heavy weight, two-ply vellum surface.
The other treat to arrive today are the first of my ACEO blanks.
ACEO stands for artists' trading cards, which are always 2.5"x3.5" and perfect for miniature work.
Tools perfect for armchair artworks, ideal for hot days, like today, spent in front of the air conditioner.
Work in progress. 2.5"x3.5" ACEO of Apricot Nectar rose from my garden painted with Caran d'Ache Aquarelle pencils on Vellum Bristol board.
Work in progress. Apricot Nectar rose from my garden painting. Adding an aquarelle wash using a size 6 sable brush. 2.5"x3.5" ACEO using Caran d'Ache Aquarelle pencils on vellum Bristol board.
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