Saturday, 22 November 2014

My Watercolour sketching kit - Part Two







Key to Sketching kit
  1. Pink zipped bag from Officeworks containing:
  2. Derwent spray bottle
  3. Small water bottle with lump of Pres-stick to hold it down
  4. WN paint box
  5. Zip-lock bag with cellulose sponge
  6. Re-cycled travel wallet with foam core cut to size keeps brushes flat
  7. Leather pen pouch for two fountain pens - Neon Coral Lamy Safari EF and Noodler’s Konrad Flex pen 
  8. Pencil/pen roll from Officeworks (Australia)
  9. Rosemary & Co Series 301 Golden Synthetic #6
  10. Rosemary & Co 3/8” Shiraz dagger 
  11. Pro-art 313HF flat #12
  12. Neef Squirrel mop #0
  13. Pentel Waterbrush Large
  14. Rosemary & Co Travel Pocket brush #10 (fits into pencil/pen roll)

My watercolour palette is a vintage Winsor and Newton paint box. This was on the materials list when I started art class in High School - and no, I’m not saying when that was…

Originally there were two hinged metal flaps that held the paint pans in position. These became rusty so I removed them and in doing so made room for pans down the centre of the box. There’s almost too much room so this palette is not a minimal one.

When I was in Germany some years ago, I bought a Schmincke watercolour palette. It came with 24 pan colours some of which I have moved to the WN box. The pan paints certainly last well. 
The smaller box fits neatly into my pink zipped bag. The down side of this box is that it's a bit heavy. I have a lighter Cotman's Travel box (now filled with artists tube colours) but I prefer to have the double mixing flaps so more colours and washes are easily mixed.


Current colours in the WN palette are the following:



I use a number of different brands - Winsor & Newton, Schmincke and more recently some Daniel Smith watercolours. Each brand provides a favourite colour and they work happily together.

A few favourite mixes...



Here are some useful links to product suppliers. 
DISCLAIMER - please note that I do not receive anything from these suppliers for mentioning their products

Click on the highlighted name.
Rosemary & Co for brushes - very high quality and good value. If you are out of the UK remember the Vat % comes off.

Fountain pens - Goulet Pens have a comprehensive range and in addition many videos on pens and their maintainence. Regular Q&A sessions will answer all your quaetions.

Australian readers can also check out LarryPOST in Sydney for pens,ink and sketchbooks.

Notemaker, based in Melbourne is another stockist. 


Thursday, 20 November 2014

My current sketching kit


It has become second nature to carry around some sketching materials with me where ever I go. It means that if I have to wait anywhere I can use the time to sketch. In fact, having to wait almost becomes a bonus.

It’s always good to review what one uses and here are some of my current tools. A number of years ago I treated myself to a Waterman Fountain pen and ballpoint set. The ballpoint was appropriated by someone fairly early on. Fortunately the fountain pen didn’t fall prey to the same fate and I still use the fountain pen at home every day.

For some years I used fibre-tipped fine liners - mostly the Uni-Pin. These have different nib sizes, ranging from 0.005 through to 0.8. However, I tired of them running dry and becoming scratchy. So a few years ago I started using fountain pens filled with permanent ink.


Here are some of pens that I use for drawing.

Two Lamy Safari pens, one with the EF (extra fine) nib and the second has an Italic 1.1 nib.

A Noodler’s Konrad Flex pen - currently filled with Noodler’s #41 brown making lovely expressive lines, easily turned into ink and wash.


  


Hero 812 eight running horses - a bent nib calligraphy pen - good for very thick/thin line combinations.

      



Pencils and watercolour pencils

Derwent Sketching pencils are water soluble and come in Dark wash 8B; Medium Wash 4B and Light wash HB. These are useful for quick sketches of people.


Caran D’Ache watercolour pencils - these are a recent addition to the roll although I bought these in Hong Kong a number of years ago and have only used them occasionally.These can be used when it’s not practical to whip out the watercolour palette.




All of these fit into a pencil roll I found at Officeworks (Australia) for the princely sum of $5. It has pockets along the bottom, elastic running along the centre of the roll and a flap at the top, keeping everything safely inside.


I keep my two Lamy pens in a separate pouch in a zipped compartment in my handbag. The thinking is that if either goes AWOL I still have what’s in the other pen roll.



These sketches are in a new sketchbook - Stillman & Birn Gamma landscape. Ivory 150gsm Vellum surface. The colour is more creamy than the Alpha so I'm testing the paper along with various sketching tools.


Here are some useful links to product suppliers.
DISCLAIMER - please note that I do not receive anything from these suppliers for mentioning their products

Click on the highlighted name.
Rosemary & Co for brushes - very high quality and good value. If you are out of the UK remember the Vat % comes off.

Fountain pens - Goulet Pens have a comprehensive range and in addition many videos on pens and their maintainence. Regular Q&A sessions will answer all your quaetions.

Australian readers can also check out LarryPOST in Sydney for pens,ink and sketchbooks.

Notemaker, based in Melbourne is another stockist. 


To be continued - My watercolour palette and brushes.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Two Commissions delivered this week

Two commissioned paintings were delivered this week and they are quite different. The first was a portrait, not of a person but of Blaze - a much loved pet.
He was not too keen on being photographed, wanting to be at his master's side rather than posing in the sunlight. Eventually, however, I managed to get a lovely image that I could use for his portrait. My client is so delighted with this portrait that he has asked me to paint another so he has a gift for the vet who has been treating Blaze. 


Blaze - oil on canvas - 8" x 8"  © 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

The second painting to be delivered had a nostalgic theme. My client's Mother passed away a few years ago and she wanted a painting to honour her Mother and their close bond. We decided on a still life featuring her Mother's favourite cup and teapot, a lacy tray cloth and with the addition of a plate of Dutch Poffertjes. This was a treat mother and daughter often enjoyed together. Of course, I had to do extensive research to get the Poffertjes correct. A couple of cafe visits were necessary - an artist's life is tough.




Tea Time Memories - oil on canvas - 16” x 20” © 2014 Carol Lee Beckx