Kremer Grey Box


Voor Nederlands KLIK HIER
A while ago I was scrolling on Instagram and noticed a photo posted
by Barbara Luel. What I did not immediately saw is that it was a repost from Simone Ridyard, an Architect and author of a number of Urban Sketchbooks.
I immediately loved the photo, a fantastic illustration supported by a few shades of gray and above it, an intriguing box of pigments.

I posted this photo on my facebook timeline and was asked by a lot of friends and followers “where do I buy a box like this”. I really had no idea but was also determined to purchase a box like that. because it looked like something I could not live without. This is a characteristic that many hobbyists and painters have or people who practice other leisure activities. ūüėČ

I found out that it could be ordered in Germany at Kremer Pigmente. I live in the Netherlands so it is close by.

They have a lot of pigments at Kremer and also sell all kinds of watercolor boxes with a theme. I also bought the landscape box together with the gray pigments box. Until today, the Earth color box looks also very attractive to me.
I get greedy with all that beauty!

Anyway, the gray box is what I understood meant to retouch black-and-white photos. Some people will recognise the colours from photos in the 60ties and before that time.
Simone Ridyard and many others use it in their watercolor work.

They sell it in Germany or the USA NY

The method of Simone Ridyard.
Manchester based artist and architectural illustrator
The uniqueness of her sketches / illustrations is of course not the box. The art comes from the artist self. When you have reached a certain level it no longer matters which brushes or pigments you use.
Her sketches are very strong and with unique lines.
The architecture is sleek and the trees, shrubs etc. displayed separately, this makes the architecture part a real eye catcher.

Simone also uses a lot of other colours but this article is about the grey box.

I still think paper is important because this is simply the surface you create your art on. There are artists who don’t even think the paper is important, but I haven’t reached this stage yet.

Simone Ridyard use the box of grays and also a bright different color, Manganese blue or a bright green that works very attractively on the whole.
The drawing or sketch is first made and then the pigments are brought in.
Where do you place them and how, and which color or gray you will use is always a challenge. I suggest begin with shadows first.

This is also the reason why I use just a few colors, the more choices you have, the more you get out of balance. And unity and balance works in watercolor.
This is something you learn by making a lot of mistakes so that you can see it in your mind and feel where you place the pigments on the right spot.
They speak often from Talent when someone is highly skilled in what they do, but in my eyes it is a lot of experience. You know the saying “The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried.”

One of the first paintings or sketches I made with the gray box was this one.

First with the Sailor fude fountain pen sketched then the greyscale washed in which also the fude pen lines ran out. This contributes to the surprise effect.
When I wrote this article I noticed I could do with a splash of Manganese blue too! ūüėĀ

I have made a test to see in what extent the colors are transparent. The most pigments are opaque to semi-transparent. The warm gray pigment side is made with white, so it’s a bit more opaque than the cool pigment side. The black is most opaque of them all.

Can I recommended?
You have to decide this yourself. I think it’s a nice box and you see what a few experienced hands like those from Simone can do with it. It is a nice addition to a assortment of painter’s stuff and I think I will be using it for a long time.

Thank you for reading
Sincerely
Edo Hannema

for demos follow my youtube channel

Website Simone Ridyard

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Nederlands

Een tijdje geleden was ik op Instagram aan het scrollen en zag daar een foto gepost door Barbara Luel. Wat ik toen niet direct zag is dat het een repost was van Simone Ridyard, een Architect en auteur van een aantal Urban Schetsboeken.
Ik was meteen weg van de foto, een geweldige schets ondersteund door een paar tinten grijs en daarboven, een intrigerend doosje met pigmenten.

Ik postte deze foto toen op mijn facebook timeline en kreeg van iedereen de vraag waar koop ik zo een doosje. Ik had werkelijk geen idee maar was ook vastbesloten om zo een doosje aan te schaffen. want het zag er uit als iets waar ik niet meer zonder kon. Dit is een eigenschap die veel hobbyisten en schilders hebben of mensen die een andere vrije tijds uiting beoefenen. ūüėČ

Ik kwam erachter dat het vlakbij huis te bestellen was in Duitsland bij Kremer Pigmente.

Ze hebben daar erg veel pigmenten en verkopen ook allerlei aquarel-doosjes met een thema erin. Ik heb dan ook samen met het grijze pigmenten doosje ook de landschaps box gekocht. Tot de dag van vandaag is de Aardkleuren doosje ook erg aantrekkelijk.
Men wordt hebberig met al dat moois!

Maar goed het grijs doosje is wat ik begrepen heb bedoeld voor zwart-wit foto’s te retoucheren maar wordt wereldwijd gebruikt zoals Simone Ridyard en vele andere artiesten het gebruiken in hun aquarelwerk.  

Je kunt het dus kopen in Duitsland of in the USA

De werkwijze van Simone Ridyard.
Het unieke van haar schetsen/schilderijen is natuurlijk niet het doosje grijzen. De kunst komt vanuit de kunstenaar zelf. Als je een bepaald niveau hebt behaald maakt het niet meer zoveel uit welke penselen of pigmenten je gebruikt.
Haar schetsen zijn heel sterk en met een unieke lijnvoering.
De architectuur is strak en de bomen, struiken etc. los weergegeven. dit maakt dat het architectuur gedeelte echt een focal punt wordt.

Simone gebruikt ook veel andere pigmenten in haar werk maar dit artikel gaat over het grijze Kremer doosje.


Papier vind ik zelf nog wel belangrijk omdat dit nu eenmaal de drager is van wat je aan het maken bent. Er zijn kunstenaars die zelfs het papier niet belangrijk vinden maar bij die fase ben ik nog niet aangeland.

Simone Ridyard gebruikt het doosje grijzen en daarbij nog een felle andere kleur Manganese blauw of een felle groen die in ieder geval heel aantrekkelijk werken op het geheel.

De tekening of schets wordt eerst gemaakt en dan komen (voor mij althans) de pigmenten. Waar plaats je deze en hoe, en welke kleur of welk grijs je gaat gebruiken.

Dit is ook de reden waarom ik zo weinig kleuren gebruik hoe meer keuzes je hebt hoe meer je uit balans raakt. En eenheid en balans werkt in een aquarel.
Dit is iets wat je leert door veel fouten te maken zodat je gaat inzien en aanvoelt waar je de pigmenten plaatst.
Vaak wordt er over talent gesproken als iemand iets goed kan, maar in mijn ogen is het veel ervaring. U kent de spreuk ‚ÄúThe master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.‚ÄĚ
En het is waar. De stapel van slecht werk is groter dan mijn geslaagde aquarellen.


Een van de eerste schilderijtjes of schetsen die ik maakte met de grijs-box was deze.

Eerst met de Sailor fude vulpen geschetst daarna de grijswaardes ingewassen waarbij ook de fude pen lijnen uitliepen. Dit draagt bij aan het verrassingseffect.
Als ik dit nu zo bekijk kan de schets ook wel wat Manganese blauw gebruiken. ūüėĀ

Ik heb een testje gemaakt om te zien in hoeverre de kleuren transparant zijn en de meeste zijn dekkend tot half transparant. De warme grijzen zit wit in verwerkt dus zijn wat dekkender dan de koelere kant. Waarbij de zwarte toch wel het meeste dekt natuurlijk.

Is het een aanrader?

Dit moet u zelf maar beoordelen. Ik vind het een leuk doosje en u ziet wat in een paar ervaren handen zoals die van Simone kunt doen. Het is een mooie aanvulling op mijn assortiment van schilderspullen en ik denk dat ik er lang mee ga doen.

Dank u wel voor het lezen
met vriendelijke groet
Edo Hannema

voor demo’s volg mijn youtube kanaal

Website Simone Ridyard

Landscapes of Rembrandt in watercolour

Article from ariejekelart.nl

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn does not need an introduction. When you google the name Rembrandt, you get more than 37 million results and almost every result refers to the master himself; his birthplace, the streets where he lived, the city of Amsterdam, his country, museums, schools, walks, caf√©s and so on. Remarkably, unlike other artists, Rembrandt is primarily known by his first name. Rembrandt’s oeuvre consists of approximately three hundred oil paintings, three hundred etchings and two thousand drawings, including many landscape sceneries. But, unfortunately, he never made scenes in watercolour. Why not?

The use of watercolour has a long tradition that goes back to the cave drawings of Lascaux and Altamira, approximately 15,000 B.C. Many centuries later watercolours were used by the German artist Albrecht D√ľrer (1471-1528) who alternately painted in oil as well as watercolour. D√ľrer is often regarded as the father of modern watercolours because of his refined technique; the application of thin transparent washes, the careful construction of details and the painting of the highlights with white gouache. A contemporary of Rembrandt, the Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), also skillfully painted landscapes in watercolour. These were used as studies and background for his oil paintings and portraits. Rembrandt used his landscape studies mainly as inspirations for the backgrounds in his oil paintings. These were often supplemented with an Italian mountain landscape which in Rembrandt’s days was seen as the ‘ideal’ landscape.

In the 17th century landscape painting developed into a subject in itself. Before that time, the landscape sceneries had no aesthetic function and therefore no commercial value for Rembrandt. In addition, a watercolour is vulnerable to light and moisture and does not stand out as much as oil paintings. His landscape studies are open-air life drawings. Painting in colour was not an option at the time. This tradition was only introduced after John Goffe Rand invented the paint tube in the middle of the 19th century and which set the way for the Impressionists.

One may conclude that Rembrandt was aware of watercolour as a medium for painting. But he never worked with it. He limited himself to sepia and bister, using a reed pen and/or brush. This allowed him to suggest volume, light and shadow. Apparently, he did not need more. The question remains: what would his drawings have looked like if he had used watercolours rather than brown sepia?

In this project I challenge myself to use Rembrandt’s landscape sketches to make watercolours as Rembrandt might have made them. With which I absolutely do not want to compare my skills to those of the master himself ‚Äď it is only my personal interpretation. A word of thanks goes to Harry G. de Vries who suggested this project.

All Rembrandt’s drawings used in this project come from the book¬†‘Rembrandt’s Landscapes – Walks in and around Amsterdam’¬†written by: Boudewijn Bakker, M√†ria van Berge-Gerbaud, Erik Schmitz and Jan Peeters. THOTH Publishers, Bussum

My good friend Arie Jekel made a project making watercolours from Rembrandts sketches!
He made wonderful watercolours from those tiny sketches!
Have a look on his channels.
Arie’s you Tube Channel https://youtu.be/146VuQW1X5A
Arie’s website. https://www.ariejekelart.nl/

Categories Art

Water Color Papers and Sizing

sizing does matter

Troubleshooting Paper Problems: When The Sizing Goes Bad.

Karen Sioson

I found this blog from Karen Sioson a few years ago. She explains wonderfully why it is you have sometimes trouble with your watercolour paper.

Karen is a very good artist and her specialty is flowers.
Her website you can find here https://karensioson.com/

I will attempt to share with you a simplified explanation of what sizing is, just enough to give you an idea why it is important to learn of it and how sizing can affect your preference for wetting your paper for stretching. ¬†We do not need to go too deep into it for our purpose. ¬†But should you wish for a more comprehensive explanation, you’ll find a lot of more technical information available online.¬†
So what is sizing? ¬†Sizing is another term for the addition of gelatine to water color paper. ¬†Gelatine makes the paper less absorbent and this is what prevents paint from just spreading on the paper uncontrollably. ¬†Picture what happens when you dab your brush loaded with water and paint on rag or tissue paper. ¬†It spreads, right? ¬†Well, the same thing would happen to paper, if it is not sized. ¬†This would help explain why there are some papers that look very nice, like handmade paper, but you can’t seem to gain any control when you try painting watercolor on them. ¬†Handmade papers for crafting projects are often unsized.¬†
Different paper manufacturers and brands offer different sizing options but generally, you can say that some gelatine sizing is incorporated into the paper pulp or mixture before it gets pressed. ¬†Additional sizing is applied as coats on the paper’s outside layers (front and back surfaces). ¬†
Now why should this knowledge affect how you would wet your paper? ¬†Just this. ¬†We know sizing makes the paper less absorbent. ¬†The more sizing, the less running of paint. ¬†If you want more absorbency, you lessen the sizing. ¬†Conversely, if you want less absorbency, you keep the sizing. ¬†The presence of sizing also makes your watercolor pigments look more brilliant or intense as it keeps most of your paint on the paper’s surface. ¬†You lessen the surface sizing, you increase the permeability of the paper. ¬†With less or absent surface sizing, your colors will sink deeper into the paper and will bond more with the paper’s fibers. ¬†Some mistake this for paint disappearing or pigment bleaching (colors not so lightfast) but the paint is not really gone, it has just gone into hiding deeper among the paper fibers hence the lightening of paint applications as it dries. ¬†
We wet the paper to expand the fibers and then staple or tape it while in this expanded state so the paper will have an anchor at its edges to pull on as it dries.  This is what allows it to shrink flat (when you do it right) hence the term stretching your watercolor paper.  
Some soak the paper completely for several minutes, not just to ensure all of the fibers get wet in preparation for stretching, but also to lessen the sizing of the paper. ¬†The correct timing for the soaking takes practice. ¬†You will not want to soak it too long because sometimes the sizing have a tendency to coagulate in spots if the paper is left too long by itself. ¬†This is the reason why some may find those irregular and slightly yellowish spots on their stretched paper that do not go away when the paper dries. ¬†For some reason, these spots also wouldn’t take in color as well as the other clear areas which is why I surmised, it must be sizing. ¬†These spots will resist any color placed on it. ¬†They may ruin your painting. ¬†The too long soaking is one explanation for it. Another is that the spots may be the result of accidental drops of pure sizing as the manufacturer applies surface sizing on the paper. ¬†Accidents can happen, right? ¬†Or, you may have gotten an old stock paper with the sizing already going stale. ¬†Whatever the reason, I find that spots are less likely to happen when I wet by running water than by soaking.
For the running water method, you can just put the paper under tap or running water. ¬†Make sure all surfaces get wet (front and back) and continually move the paper around. ¬†Don’t just point the water jet on one area as this may also produce the same sizing spots on your stretched paper. ¬†For bigger paper sizes, use the shower for more maneuverability. ¬†This takes less of the sizing off than what complete submersion does. ¬†Again, more sizing present, the less tendency for paint to spread uncontrollably. ¬†Your colors also will tend to be more brilliant per application as you will have most of the pigments sitting on or closer to the surface of the paper because of the sizing’s effect on permeability. ¬†
But my personal choice is putting the paper under tap water and removing most of the sizing by mechanically running my hands over the surfaces of the paper.  Your preference would depend on how you want your paper to behave.  I like letting more pigments sink into the paper fibers.  It allows me to play or take advantage of transparent watercolor layering.  It also seems to add brilliance to layered colors (in my opinion and observation only), when you have more it sunk into the fibers. This method also offers the least chance for the sizing to coagulate as you let it run off the paper when you do the sweeping motion.  No chance for displaced sizing to stay in  one place and make spots.  You have to develop a gentle touch though when you run your hand over the surfaces or you could end up agitating and damaging the top fibers.  Lessening the sizing works for me because I like to blend a lot for the first part of my painting process.  For detail work, which I prefer to do on the last stages of my painting, I mostly use dry brush so even with less sizing, I still maintain enough control over my paint application.  By this method also, I remove mostly just the outside sizing.  Remember, there is still sizing mixed in with the paper pulp or mixture itself so the sizing is not gone completely.  It is possible to maintain still a lot of control with your paint application.  
If you want the sizing to be intact, you can always just staple the dry paper onto a board (for 140lb) or use a heavier paper to do away with stretching altogether. ¬†If you want to staple or tape in place, you can just wet the paper on top of the board with a wet sponge prior to anchoring. ¬†Take care not to agitate the surface too much with the sponge. ¬†An alternative is to use a water spritzer or mister to wet the paper so you don’t touch the surface of the paper with anything. ¬†When the paper dries, the sizing would still be there. ¬†
I wish to include here a contribution by Stan Hughes regarding additional paper options.¬†¬†“There is a 200 lb cold press paper produced by Saunders Waterford. I have used it for years. Easy to work with and does not need stretching. Not as expensive as 300 lb but more durable than 140 lb. ”¬†
200 lb paper seems to be a good option to try for when you like to work on paper with intact surface sizing.  Thank you very much Stan for the info.   

Was rummaging through my old stuff and saw this discarded painting.  Perfect illustration for explaining stale sizing.

I have this habit of setting aside half-finished paintings when I get that feeling that something about it is off.  “Aha!” moments sometimes come when you’ve stopped obsessing over something.  Sometimes it would take me days or weeks before I would get back to a particular painting.  This one somehow worked its way to the bottom of my pile and I forgot all about it.  Almost a year has passed since I last touched it.  When I tried working on it again to finish it, spots started appearing wherever I wet the paper.

Reminded me of salt effects. ¬†This one however, is caused by sizing gone bad. ¬†We have touched a bit on sizing above. ¬†But basically, the idea behind sizing or the addition of gelatine to watercolor paper during its production is to make the paper more workable with watercolor. ¬†Sizing allows you better control over your watercolor as it decreases the tendency of the paper to absorb liquids and paints like tissue paper. ¬†Between the paper pulp and the gelatine, the gelatine would be the first to go stale with old stock paper. ¬†Signs of this would be the appearance of spots that don’t go away after a wash or after an application dries. ¬†Another would be when you discover areas that resist any application of paint you put down on it.¬†

There are several ways to hasten the deterioration of the sizing.  As demonstrated in this ruined painting, one way is by wetting a painted watercolor that has lain undisturbed for months.  You can also hasten the deterioration of new paper using the same principle.  The moment you wet a watercolor paper, its sizing gets disturbed. Maybe water acts as a catalyst.  This is the reason why you are advised not to stretch paper in big batches.  Stretch only what you think you will be able to use within 2 or 3 months.  That’s just my estimate.  In our weather where heat can be more than the usual, it is always more prudent to stretch only what you think you will use.  The window of usability may be different in your environment and you should let experience guide you.  

A sign that this was not bad paper to begin with is how the undisturbed, previously painted part is free of spots.  Check the picture.  You wouldn’t know that the paper’s sizing has gone bad if you do not re-wet the paper.  When you find yourself itching to touch up a painting years after it is finished, remember what happened here.  Not all old stock paper go bad.  I use Arches cold pressed watercolor paper in rolls.  One of the most economical way of buying paper is by buying it in rolls.  Because you cut to size, you minimize wastage of excess paper.  As long as you do not get the roll wet and observe proper storage, the paper stays usable for years.  Proper storage includes storing it in its original wrapping and in the box it came in and with the crumpled paper fillers still inside.  Do not put this container/box in an area prone to dampness such as near windows, bathrooms, basements. Also keep it away from direct heat or sun exposure so the paper inside does not get heat-baked. 

You do need to recognize what stale sizing on paper looks like, specially when you like to take advantage of art supplies on sale.  Some stores put their older stocks on sale just to move the items and to make way for newer supplies. Some of these discounted paper will still be good for use but many might have sustained handling or storing damage.  For this reason I prefer to spend on paper and get new stocks.  You’re not really saving on money if you get bad paper.  But sometimes good bargains are hard to resist so if you must, at least learn to discern the appearance of stale sizing to help you shop wiser.

I wonder if you can see the very pale yellow spots.  That is how spoiled sizing looks on paper that has never gotten wet.  Just turned bad over time.  (I keep samples of everything.)  But don’t go hunting for spots where there are none. Even new paper looks a bit uneven because of how the lighting plays off against the hills and valleys of the paper.  The surest way to check is to wet the paper. 

This is the same paper, now wet.  Some new paper may have this tendency but on a very mild scale and if the paper dries without any marks, your paper is still good.  

There are times when you would come upon a defective batch of paper.  The best way is to contact the seller and if no action there, the manufacturer to see if you can get a replacement.  Might be wise for you to do a little sleuthing online to see if other buyers have been complaining about certain batches.  You will have a stronger claim if your paper is from the same batch.  But do not be too quick to blame the suppliers.  Sometimes we may be unaware that we are doing something that harms the paper.

You can artificially ruin the sizing of the paper by soaking it too long under water.  Prolonged immersion may be the culprit why some sizing coagulate in spots.  This used to happen to me when I was a beginner.  Thinking more is always better, I would leave watercolor paper soaking for as long as 20 or 30 minutes before stretching it.  The suggested submerging time is only a few minutes.  Only long enough for the paper fibers to get wet.  If you soak it too long, even before you staple it down, you can tell you’ve ruined the sizing by the appearance of slightly darker spots on your paper like in the sample above. 

Also, not all paper that develop slight spotting when wet are damaged paper.  Even new and undamaged paper may develop these slightly darker spot discoloration when wet.  But these would tend to disappear as the paper dries.  If you can’t tell any spotting on the dried, stretched paper, your paper is good to paint on. 

That’s it.  Thank you for reading.  Karen Sioson

Christmas time

This time of the year we all think of family and friends.
What we did do and what we didn’t do and plan to do next year.
Or even make new plans and set out a goal.
All things I think of.

But for now this is probably my last post of 2018
And you all know I am not very busy with my posts on my website.

But I plan to make a new demo from flowers in the new year.
And go some deeper into colour and the use of the different pigments.

I wish you all wonderful Holidays and a Blessed Christmas time.
And above all a creative and Healthy 2019

Best Wishes Edo

Categories Art

Farm in Assendelft

The landscape I made a photo from many years ago.
You have to go in wintertime to see this because its now all green, no farm in sight from this point of view.

Schermafbeelding 2018-10-14 om 11.12.13

The Sketch with Indian Ink and grey watercolour
with my Kremer pigment set.
This one is on Cartridge paper that can take some water too.

20181006_144949 (1)

The watercolour
I decided to make the land flatter so the fence did overlap the houses so I got more unity.

20181007_142022

Also I have news, in the new year my website space will be not here anymore.

Well that is the plan. My new webspace is over here.  https://edohannemawatercolourartist.wordpress.com/
You can follow me there also. I hope you all do!
In the wintertime I will add you all to my new website as a follower if you did not do this yourself al ready.
The reason is that my email client doesn’t support so many followers.
That is… they don’t do it for free. so I need to move things!

Best regards Edo

Categories Art

Painting a Dutch Landscape

This is a Frisian landscape.
I painted this before, and it thought it would be nice to make a movie from it.

Hope you all like it, have fun watching.
If you like it please give me the Thumbs up,
its a new thing for Google for ranking video’s on you tube.
The movie is on You Tube in HD video
Thanks in advance!

 

by Edo Hannema

Categories Art

Some news from me

Hello my friends and subscribers,

I am very honored you all subscribed to my website, I am just a hobby painter with a big heart for watercolour and everything got to do with watercolours.
I am very busy at the moment to make videos on you tube. Its not a easy task to make a video that is from reasonable quality. But I did get help from my friend Arie Jekel, he is a fellow painter and know a lot from making videos in high standard and also a excellent photographer! check out his work on his website www.ariejekelart.nl

If you like his work check out his workshop soon in The Netherlands!

Arie on the right, the smiling buying dude is me!

Further I have painted a lot of landscapes, I am searching for a new method of painting, One layered paintings. It must be flawless without mistakes. So I begin with easy pictures and gradually build up the difficulties. so far so good.

Here a watercolour I made from a photo from Hennie Kroezen, so nice to have friends with great sources you may barrow! She did visit the Isle of Schiermonnikoog and it was for me very inspiring to make!

The source from my watercolour below

Also a few new videos on my You Tube Channel, if you are not subscribed to my channel please do, because I am not always post about it here.
The address is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuulNUJt3BrrMKbbj2zijOA

The newest video I did in Dutch, I thought when I narrate the video in English it is still okay. well maybe it is nice to watch, but all the background sound of brushes waterpots, the crackling of the paper is gone. So next time I just make one in English, or do two paintings in both languages.
This is the English narrated one.

And the Dutch

My painting from the Biesbosch is also a new painting.
A little bit more difficult, but still in my one layer style

Well thats all

Best regards and Happy Painting
Edo Hannema

all paintings are made on St Cuthberts Mill paper Saunders Waterford 140 Lb not

Categories Art

Low Tide watercolour

Low Tide

You wake up with a idea.
Low tide and dark poles in the water.
Keep it simple and enjoy.

The idea as sketch

The First Wash

Painting the poles

The finished watercolour.

When you inspired by this little watercolour and make one yourself.
Please give me or my website some credit!
Thank you

Painted on:
square Saunders Waterford CP (not) paper 140 Lb 28X28 cm

Categories Art

Greens

I received many questions about painting greens.
When you paint a landscape, apart from painting a desert, you always have to paint that green. a lot of us have problems painting greens. and in their watercolors it is often out of balance.

A small lesson in what we see, we see color cause it is reflecting in our eyes, when it is dark less colour is reflecting so you see less.
When there is light we see a lot of color, the best colour we see when it is a bit cloudy, the light is been filtered.
That filter is also effecting the colour, think on a sunset, or when it is raining it becomes grey.
So when we paint we have to think about this too.
But when we look in our colourbox with 25 wells of pigment we forget this sort of knowledge and we go for green, and when the grass is a bit yellow ¬†we put yellow to it. which one of the four yellows we have?? dunno lets go! ūüėČ

20170829_150156.jpg

I shall approach it more technical, you painted the sky with Ultramarine Blue (UB) with a touch of Burnt sienna, not to make a grey, but just to grey it down a bit.
When you talk about harmony the next step is to paint the trees and the field.
Normally you would go for your favorite green.
But think about the filtered light and how it effects our colour, if we want more harmony in our watercolour the usual step would be to make a green from our (UB).
Since (UB) is a transparent colour we seek on our palette for a yellow that have this same quality. For Instance New Gamboge or Aureolin.
So you have bright warm green, cause (UB) and yellow makes a warm green.
Add a touch of Transparent Raw sienna (RS) in that mix and it gets a bit darker.
A bit more blue a bit more yellow or a bit more (RS) find a balance and alter along the way your mix to make your field look more interesting, or your tree of course.

I use Aureolin or New Gamboge yellow.
When you have Cobalt Blue sky it is exactly the same approach.
You have a less warm green, because Cobalt is a bit cooler, you can add even Burnt Sienna now in the mix because their is less red in the cobalt.

Mixing greens with cool Blue’s like Winsor Blue or Prussian is much easier.
But the variation to paint a sky is harder.
When you paint a (UB) sky you easily add raw sienna or Burnt Sienna in that sky, do this the same with a cool blue you instantly have a green sky.
Cool Blue’s with yellow gives you a strong very light green. In The Netherlands you can’t find this green. Maybe it is here? But we have different light then lets say in India.
I see a lot of painters from India using this type of green. It looks unnatural here in Europe, but I am sure they paint what they see!

A sky from Paynes grey, a lot of artist use this, Wesson, Seago or John Hoar.
Its a cool grey, so you can say it is a cool blue.
A mix with yellow gives you a delightful green, add some raw sienna and it is warmer.
Watch out Paynes grey dries 40% lighter!

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Cobalt Blue Sky with Cobalt Blue Greens

So when you want to stay in harmony mix the same Blue what you used in your sky for your greens!
And if you mix cool and warm Blue’s in your sky, you are already a clever painter and don’t need help with greens!

This is just the way I see it.
Other painters could have a other viewpoint or style.

Edo Hannema

 

 

 

 

Categories Art

Painting critique

Recently I painted a watercolour from some trees and farms in the neighborhood from Burgerbrug (North Holland).
It was and still is beautiful weather when I write this , the grass was vibrantly green, so I decided not to paint in my usual greens, but in a lighter version.
I added a shadow in the foreground, not to dark, otherwise I was afraid to spoil the fresh green.
I posted my painting on Twitter Facebook and Flickr, and on the last one I received a critique from a good friend Rosalind, that makes beautiful work herself. We are connected on Flickr for years, so I took it seriously.

The friendly critique were:  The grass is all a bit uniform. Perhaps a bit more shadow on the grass to the right of the middle falling diagonally away from the horizon towards the bottom right-hand corner ?

This in my mind I looked at the photo and the watercolour, and indeed the photo shows a bit to uniform green lawn. The watercolour itself have a gradation, and I don’t see this on the photo!


 
But I always think, if they are right, will it improve my watercolour? In time you develop enough imagination you can actually make colours appear on your paper still in your mind. When you not have developed this, there is a trick, not invented by me, but by Tony van Hasselt, a very good watercolour artist from origin Dutch, but he lives in the USA for a long time and painting for at last 50 years or more! I understand he did followed lessons by the great teacher Edgar Whitney, and this teacher is responsable for a lot of good artist we all know today! Look Whitney up, it is well worth it!

Back to the trick, in Tony’s¬†book The Watercolor FIX-IT Book are tons of advise, a Building Blocks poster and a small sheet of acetate.

The trick is you can lay the acetate over your watercolour, tape it on the sides and add all sorts of shadows and colour, without ruining the underneath original watercolour. Tony used this method in his workshops to help students with their work. He shows what is missing in their watercolour with help of the acetate, and when he removes it, the student can add in her own style and colours make the improvements.
A great solution I may say!

So there we go, I tape the acetate and mix up a few colours, I tried three mixes.The first two I wiped out again, so this is also a advantage, you have more times to see what you do!
The final shadow was a dark green grey, and it seems it destroys the sunny look a bit.So I think I leave it, with in my mind that the watercolour was better in green gradation then the photo! It also became a bit to heavy on the right side.

What do you think?

Best regards Edo
and thanks Tony and Rosalind. 

website Tony van Hasselt

Categories Art

Two movies about Mixing pigments

I try to tell why it is you get mud sometimes when you mix watercolour pigments.
After awhile you have a palette with colours on it that works for you, and you know which paint you dont have to try to mix with others, and better can use on his own.

And other pigment you simply cannot go wrong with!
Images telling more then words, so a movie tells even more!

Maybe some of you have seen the movies all ready on my Facebook or You Tube channel.
The first one is a short movie about mixing your own (more fresher) browns.

The second one about making grays with three transparent colours!

The watercolour-sketch I made in the second movie.

Categories Art

My John Pike palette and Colours

I receive a lot of questions about my colours.
I don’t have a lot of colours, for landscape art your palette can be taken down to earth colours.

Thanks
Best regards Edo

Categories Art

video Painting a windmill in wintertime

I painted this on a live stream on Facebook.
I used a few colours.
Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and Olive green.
Brushes W&N Squirrel mops and a small Escoda Perla.

The watercolour

Categories Art

A Loose Watercolor

I am often asked how do you make those loose watercolors, do you have any tips how to make them? Can I learn that too?

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A few colors and a lot of suggestion to make a steel factory

Of course you can, but painting loose is not as easy as it looks or appear.
Painting Loose is planning your brushstrokes, and plan them in the most minimal way.
When you have a minimal amount of strokes you are half there.
The trick is to see your painting in your mind, and know how to get there. I know it is complicated, but starting somewhere to paint without a plan is like going on a roadtrip without directions where to go, but you want to get there in the best time possible!

When we begin with watercolor we buy some colors, brushes and paper. We carefully make our cubes wet, and mix a bit of that wet paint on our palette.
We got a big brush round nr.8, and for the fine details a nr.6 we got a small jar filled with water and a little watercolor-block.
We look around what and how we like to paint and our eye is very attracted to the loose painting style of a well known artist.
( I deliberately exaggerating a bit)

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Well, if you are a experienced painter you can probably make a loose painting with this equipment, but it is not likely when you are a beginner in watercolor painting.

For one, cubes are great for sketches outdoor, or when you are a painter that makes delicate washes and have enough time to mix from dry paint.
Two, the brushes are way to small for watercolor, these are detail brushes and not suitable for painters with a loose approach. For a loose style you are better of with larger brushes, the flow of the water and pigment is much better.
Three, any paper is good to paint in loose style, on some papers it seems that you style is improving because it is easier to paint on.
If your paper is soft and absorbent, you get fluint washes and nice gradations, if you don’t want that, but like the more stained spots of color you need a harder paper. For example Saunders Waterford¬†rough is a soft paper, and very absorbent, but Fabriano rough is much harder, so you need to find out what you like.

Tips to paint in a loose style
And they are just tips, and not scientific proof that it works!
When you are fine with the way you make art, that is absolutely great!

Your pencil, (again, when you are experienced you are fine with this pencil) but to force you in a looser style you probably better use the bigger one from cretacolor! Or use charcoal great to get instant shadows on your painting!
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With the pencil you can make fine lines, so you could end up with to much details.

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You can make bigger lines with this big graphite pencil without to much details.

Paints, any tube color is okay, tubes are fresh and give color in a quick way.
Make sure you don’t have to many colors on your palette, painting loose and to much (opaque) colors can ruin a watercolor in a mud festivity!

Brushes, we like the nice ones with a sharp point, how sharper the point the nicer we think it is! Well if you try to paint loose you are better of with a brush with little control when you paint. Cheap Chinese brushes* give you instant less control over your washes.

First wash you make with the biggest brush you have a flat Hake or spalter is okay, or a big mop! Even the two house painters brushes give you less control!

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You paint as long as you can with the big brushes, before you go further on a smaller size.
But don’t paint with a smaller then a nr.12 round!
Carefully rethink your brushstrokes before making them, and when you know, try it to do in one stroke!

For details at the end we need a brush that can make fine lines, but also give us some freedom in our work, I use often a sword for this work. I dont have the control I would have with a normal brush, but with all things you have to get used to this. And when you do you have a good friend in your paintbox!

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Make one like this, I am sure you won’t paint details with it!!
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Another tip I learned from my teacher Kees van Aalst, known from the book Realistic Abstracts. www.keesvanaalst.nl

Take a photo, make from that photo a black and white copy, or make it B&W in a photo program, after this you make a sketch from it.
Now you don’t look to the copy or photo anymore, while making your watercolor but only work from the sketch as a guide.
This trick makes a distance from your subject and you probably end up with a looser and more balanced watercolor.
You choose your favorite colors to work with, and you are on your way!
Otherwise we are trying to get that green lawn in the photo, or just that purple glow on that dark roof and we never reach a balance because we can simply not make every color in nature with our paintbox, and certainly not the harmony the light outdoors is making our subject appear!
Off course there are a lot of artist that don’t need these tricks, but they already have been there. Watercolor is a slow learning process, but it is highly satisfying when you reach a certain level. But you never know it all!

Another trick is looking at your subject true your eyelashes, you see only shapes and tones. Also you can blur your photo in a photo program.
In photoshop the “paint Daubs” filter is very useful

summary
1) Use less information about your subject
2) Use Bigger Brushes
3) Use less colors
4) The most important color on your paper is the paper!!

Edo Hannema

If you have a style that works for you, don’t change it!
see also my other article about watercolor here.

  • there are¬†very good Chinese brushes too, Wolfhair or Orchid brushes ¬†are well known. read a blog about them here.

 

 

 

 

Lighthouse on Millford paper

I just love to paint lighthouses, living in a fishing town I could chose which one to paint! I have six in the near neighborhood! but I have my favourites here too!
I am always attracted to the two green ones.
So I decided to get my sketch from the sketchbook, and make a proper watercolor from it.

schetslighthouse

I want it to have a rough look, with lots of broken edges, so I decided to use Millford paper for this. Due the special sizing you make wonderful washes and broken brushstrokes on this paper.
Colours are my regulars, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt and Raw Sienna, and for the tower a bit of yellow to make green!

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First stage

A simple sketch, just to give the lighthouse a place on the right spot.
I blocked in a abstract way a few colors, not really making shapes, only a few shadow sides for the rocks, and the lighthouse. leaving a lot of whites!

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Second Stage

After drying I paint the background in with Ultramarine and Burnt sienna, with this I give the tower more shape. its always nice when you do this, than only paint positive shapes!
Also the rocks are painted with these two colours, only a heavier mixture!

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Third Stage

After drying again I put on the local colour from the lighthouse and add more shadows to the rocks! the reflections gets a bit of green to, and a few vertical brushstrokes to give it a more reflected look.

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Finished

Last stage, the details on the tower, and here and there i washed away some colour to make it lighter.
On the right side of the tower I added a light wash of dirty ultramarine to make the lighthouse more coming forward.

Millford paper from St Cuthberts Mill
Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Aurolien Yellow from Rembrandt
Brushes, A variety of squirrel and synthetics.

© Edo Hannema

Painting a watercolour… again

Maybe you recognize this? You love painting watercolors and see such a nice subject!
You paint the scene and love what you just created. Then  you look at it for a while and it ends up in a box, after 10 years you search for something else and find your piece of art again!

It’s absolutely disappointing what you just found, you remember painting it and we’re proud on it, how can it be.. its looking so worse this time. Well for a start we didn’t have Facebook, twitter or blogs ten year ago. We did have watercolor forums, websites like Wetcanvas, but on a much smaller scale. And ideal for amateur painters. There were specialists in landscapes, and other amateur painters that knew a bit more about sea and marine related things. They were specialist because they painted a few years longer than yourself. They would help you with small tips, so you knew a bit more after this watercolour. The distance between your painting ability and theirs wasn’t so big.

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First one I tried in 2005

When you started with watercolour it didn’t took long to be a painter in the middle class on the forum. people became enthusiastic about your new watercolour cause the forum was the only place where you looked.
Of Course we did have Ron Ranson and David Bellamy in that time, but they were in a book! no doubt about it, when you are in a book you are better!
Now we have Facebook, the comparison is huge! To become a middle class painter is almost impossible, when you are one, you are compared with the top class painters, because they make better work.
You almost get the feeling (I never can make watercolours properly.)
People don’t want to paint like the middle class, they want reach the same level as the top. Impossible in many cases!
If you compare it to football how many of us will be the new Messi or Cruijff?
Its nice to have contact with artists¬†you saw before only in galleries or books, but don’t forget they are very talented people. If you aiming for that you could be ended up frustrating because your watercolor skills let you down.
Painting should be fun,  you have to have fun in what you do, and there will be always a better painter then you.
My teacher said once, the bird in the tree doesnt care if you like his song, he just sing cause he liked to! 

IMG_7892
The last one in 2016

Back to my painting, I saw it and thought, it was a nice spot, I still have it in my head.
So lets try how I wanted to look back then.
Also an advantage we have as a painter, because we drawing the scene and then paint it. We stand in front of our subject a longer period of time, and we notice all sorts of things and see all sorts of things! So we remember a scene much better.

So I didn’t even bother to look for a photo, I am sure I have one between the other trillion digitals on my Terabyte Hard disks! So I used just the old watercolour and my memory how it looked.
I am happier with my new one in comparison to the old one.
There is room for improvement, but that will take a few years I know now!
Maybe I should look for a nice forum?

Tell me what do you think?

Regards Edo

Paper: Quarter sheet Millford from St Cuthberts Mill 140 Lb
Colours: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Lemon Yellow.
Brushes: I used a few..

 

 

Categories Art

Water, land and sky

When I work from a photo I set it always in B&W and print it out. Not to big, too much detail ruin a watercolour!

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My way of working is more or less always every tim the same, I make a preliminary sketch with a big 6B graphite pencil, (Creta Color)  just to know where the tones will be and if it works.
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A subject is almost never 100% perfect, so you have to lie a little, we don’t copy scenes, we make watercolors!
That can go to adding trees or remove a few, bending rivers and change colors from houses. All for a better painting. The main subject has to be recognisable as the Windmill from that town you are painting. No one will tell you that you painted a tree to many!
In my opinion were that their were to many trees on the left so I left one out and made them closer together. The fine branches in the far distance I totally blocked out.

Now I have my plan, I sketch very light on my watercolor paper, just the horizon and the land, the trees I just give them a place on the ground, but I don‚Äôt sketch branches or foliage.In this case I use Millford paper, the texture and sizing give me a wonderful broken edge and the washes flow where I like them to flow. ¬†It’s really magical paper!¬†
From this point I work only from my preliminary sketch, I invent the colors myself for the scene and only look on the photo if I missed something out on the sketch.
Take a big brush a round 22 or a flat 1/5 “

I wet the sky in some parts where I like it to flow, but never the whole sky, you lose every control when you do that. But some painters do, and that is fine!

I work my colors in the whole painting to a point I cannot do a thing anymore than wait for drying. The mood is set and the watercolor is for 70% done by now. The paper is covered with pigment, and a few preserved whites are making the watercolor sparkle. This is done with all very light washes.DSC00607
The second layer is often to ensure the focal point, I paint darker tones around this, and at the trees, reflections and shadows. Still big washes and a big brush. No fiddling to this point. When this is dry, I am ready for details and last brushstrokes, I use most of the time a pointy synthetic no 8 for this work, or when I have a boat a rigger is the best!
I wished I left some space for light by the tree trunks, so I lie a little in the reflection to get some light anyway! .
DSC00608Then I look if there is something I can add, a foreground shadow, or some trees in the back, just to make sure if it is pleasing the eye and balance the painting! Sometimes I glaze a weak wash over the whole watercolor just to make it all work together. You hold your breath and go for it! In this case a long foreground shadow so that the light behind it lights up even moreBiesbosch Noorderwaard

A limited palette brings harmony
Colors used from  Daler Rowney:
Cobalt Blue
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna

ive_been_doodlewashed_21
I have been Doodlewashed with this article!
So happy and honored Charlie asked me to be a Doodlewasher!
I dont have doodles I said, well your watercolors are great so send those!
So I did, and now I am on Charlie’s very informative and good website!
Thanks Charlie!

Categories Art

Aubrey Phillips

Back in 1987 I began my journey in watercolor, eager to learn paint watercolors.
In those days I saw a great future in front of me. John Pike was my hero, he was the absolute top in watercolor. And also the first book I bought about watercolor was from John Pike!
Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet were not known yet¬†these days. No books no videos, the dvd didn’t exists, and the founder from Facebook was still walking around in diapers!

Kees van Aalst

Zoltan Szabo and John Blockley filled up the numerous watercolor books, and in the Dutch magazines like Palet en Tekenstift you saw articles of Ron Ranson, Tony van Hasselt and the Dutch artist Kees van Aalst. later I found out that Tony is also a Dutch born artist!

Szabo was also a painter that I liked, only his techniques seemed so difficult to me! And of course Jan Groenhart a Dutch watercolor artist with wonderful Dutch landscapes and a master of how the North of Holland must look!

In those days you saw also watercolor books that were not so good, (in my eyes back then) I saw¬†them in the bookstore and convinced myself that this was just very bad quality in watercolor. Just not my taste and not attractive.¬†No… this is not what I want for my road to become a watercolor painter.¬†That book was from Aubrey Phillips.

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Oh boy what was I wrong there!
I was a novice in watercolor, and I didn’t recognized the sublimity of this painter!

It was in the¬†year 2014, I was looking for John Pike photo’s I found a site from the Dutch artist Arie Jekel and when I saw the page from his inspiration I found John Pike, Edward Wesson, Edward Seago and Aubrey Phillips!

The first few artist were my heros too, but Aubrey Phillips I remembered, was that painter I disliked.
But curious why Arie did have Aubrey as his inspiration I looked up Aubrey’s paintings on Google to refresh my memory and instantly fell in love with the style and simple elegance of the brushstrokes. Apparently my mindset how watercolor must look was 180 degrees turned!

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Aubrey Phillips  photo apvfilms

Aubrey Phillips caught me, and I want his book!!! And believe me nowhere in the Netherlands I found it, back in 1987 it was in every bookstore, and now nowhere!!

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The texture of the paper helps to create the atmosphere. Warm colours in the front cooler colours in the background

I found the book in the UK and it was in excellent condition, the only minor thing is that it smells a bit (worse) after a moist basement. I tried the freezer, Microwave, Cat Grits. It’s already better than it was, but okay I have the book!

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The warm sky in contrast with the cool snow!

The lesson learned is that you have to look further and longer to a artist art. To understand and value it. Dont think its rubbish (like me back in 1987) but study how its done.

The Cotswolds on september evening
The Cotswolds on a September evening

Most of the time when it looks simple it is really hard to make! When something is wrong in a minimalistic watercolor, it stands out like a red flag, therefore everything have to be in the right place. When you see watercolors of the ‚Äúcracks‚ÄĚ among us you will notice the economy of brushstrokes, there is no clutter or mud, just well placed brushstrokes in just the right amount of pigment and water quantity.
‚ÄúWhen you can do it in less than one brushstroke you are on the right way!‚ÄĚ (J. Zbukvic)

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A warm watercolor, and still its a winterscene! It breaths “keep it simple”

Aubrey Phillips have a minimalistic approach to watercolor, he use heavy paper from the Mill Richard de Bas about 400 grams
Colours : Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Monestial Blue*, Cadmium Red, Alizarine Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Light Red, Lemon Yellow, and Viridian, nothing more fitted in his paintbox
Brushes; A Hake 2,5 Inch and a 1 Inch flat, Nr 14 Sable round, nr 11 and 8 Sable round and a rigger nr 4

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Another winterscene.  The vertical strokes of the brush are ideal to suggest water.

Summary:
Aubrey Phillips is a member of the Pastel Society and the Royal West of England Academy and was a Gold Medallist at the Paris Salon. He is a regular exhibitor in London and the provinces and runs his own art courses.

Aubrey R Phillips RWA. Renowned for his pastel paintings of the Malverns and the Black Mountains areas. Born 1920, Astley, Worcestershire. Aubrey Phillips studied at Stourbridge School of Art and at Kidderminster. Phillips lectured at Malvern Hills College and Bournville School of Art, and has had exhibitions at the Timaeus Gallery, Birmingham ( 1981) and at the Patricia Wells Gallery, Thornbury (1988). He is  also the author of books on the use of pastels and watercolours. Member of the RWA, PS,WSW and the Armed Forces Art Society. Solo exhibition at the National Library of Wales. Aberystwyth. Gained a Gold Medal at the Paris Salon in 1966. Phillips worked in and around the Midlands for a number of years in the 1970s, He has been called one of the leading landscape painters of the Midlands. his expansive changing skies are captured by strong strokes and his use of atmospheric colours. Lived in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Websites
Arie Jekel
Joseph Zbukvic
Tony van Hasselt
Alvaro Castagnet
Kees van Aalst
Jan Groenhart

  • Monestial Blue is Phtalo Blue, Rembrandt Blue or Winsor Blue

If you like this article, you can read the sequel a friend of my made on his blog after reading this post about Aubrey Phillips.
Click the link below
“brushes with watercolour”

© Edo Hannema

Solutions to paint better

 

It is something I became aware of during my search to paint (better) watercolors.
Every new book about watercolor I bought I look first which colors or paper my new hero is using.
and oh yes there it is… Fabrioarchi super rough paper he use!
Where is it? can I buy it? and try it to get better?
And look this other painter on Facebook have 3345 ‚Äúlikes‚ÄĚ on his painting and I see on his website he makes the sky with tigereye morningblue and the shadows with Raspoutin Red Marsglow.
I bet when I buy this paper and pigments I can paint better.
Then the new book arrive or magazine, I see a amazing painter,
and he use brushes from Lapland, reindeer beard brushes.
Takes a lot of water and pigment. so that is how he makes such pretty washes! I need to buy these reindeer-beard stuff too!
Maybe I become better in washes??

Then I bought a DVD about watercolor painting, OH, look at that palette, it got 7 deep wells and a enlarged mixing area, and made of pure stainless steel and the color on the mixing area is the same as the paper you use!! 635 Dollar, Its expensive, but a good investment to paint better!

Its maybe a bit exaggerating this intro, but you all know what I mean.

Joseph Zbukvic
Watercolor Joseph Zbukvic

 

Our quest to paint better, is in real a quest to paint worse,
in other words a quest with a longer road to get better.

Chien Chung Wei
Watercolor Chien Chung Wei

We compare ourselves with better painters. But they have walked the long road to! They enjoyed the process. And when you enjoy what you do it shows in your work!

Original as we are we don‚Äôt copy another artists work. We don’t copy his work, lets copy his gear, then we know we have good stuff!
And it is legal!
Sure is, but it is gear this artist is used to and we don’t.
And maybe if the next artist comes in sight we change our gear again.

Anders Andersson
Watercolor Anders Andersson

The point is all artist have a certain skill and talent and use paint, paper and brushes he likes. these tools became his second nature.
When he paints, he distilling the scene in his mind.
Makes a preliminary sketch or not and then make the watercolor.

Thomas Schaller
Watercolor Thomas Schaller

His pencil flows over the paper, the washes are fluid and rich, the artist don’t have to think what to mix, his palette is cool and warm. He paint rough and soft textures, Light to dark and from large shapes to smaller details
All in a effortless motion.
I mean it not wrong, but it is like he look at the scenery and takes it to his brain-filter and he sees the watercolor in front of him!
He knows the best way to paint that particular watercolor.

We know that it is this artist filter cause we recognize the style he have.
We could say we know how his ‚Äúfilter‚ÄĚ looks like.

And we want one just like that!

Alvaro Castagnet
Watercolor Alvaro Castagnet

Of course that is what we want. Let me tell you that you can do that to, but you have to stop trying out other artists gears.
If you don’t know how you going to paint your next watercolor in your mind. What will happen on the real paper?

Okay now the (secret) solution to get better.

PAPER
The number one for a good painting is paper, its the surface your watercolor will be on for long time!
Choose a good quality paper, buy something good, that is on sale maybe.
The brand is not important, as long as it is watercolor paper.
Paint a lot on that paper,make it yours, become to know every annoying or wonderful thing about this paper.
If your painting is not successful, its probably your skill on this paper that let you down, not the paper!
I use Saunders Waterford and Millford.

PAINT
Number two is pigments, less important then paper but..
Buy from the brands you know that are good, it really doesn’t matter which brand. And it doesn‚Äôt matter you use different brands together.
Don’t buy a lot of colors, a beginners chest with 48 colors is in fact a nightmare for every beginning artist.
As a landscape painter you need probably 8 colors, maybe a few more but start with 8.
If you do portraits you need some special colors so you can make skin tones. I understand that. Or delicate flowers, then you need also a few more yellows and other pigments. But for a simple landscape 8 is sufficient. It brings you harmony and better watercolors that are in tune!

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And yes I know landscape painters with a lot of colors in there paint box.
But they have already a good working watercolor filter, and we must work on that first.
I would recommend a Phtalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue. Alizarin Crimson, a transparent yellow, Raw sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber.
With these 8 colors you can mix everything, and they are all transparent so you can’t get mud. (Well you can, if mixing them all together!)
If you are on location, and you can‚Äôt mix a certain green, it doesn’t matter. Use the green you like most to mix. And make it your green. people get to know you about your green, it becomes your specialty this green! Or purple or whatever which color you master. make these colors yours. Get to know them, and make it work to get them in your filter!

The Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet painted his first 5 books with pigments from study quality, and these books are filled with the most wonderful watercolors.

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But he made these study pigments his own, he was familiar how they behaved.
Then he received from the pigment-factory the artist quality pigments.
At first he wasn’t happy at all. The colors he used to mix, came out very different. The setting of his filter was altered! He did get used to the new pigments after awhile.

Rien Poortvliet

When such skilled artist loose track switching from study to artist quality with the same brand and same colors!!!
Then you can imagine what happen when you are still searching for your own filter-settings (style)

BRUSHES
I have a lot of brushes, but if you ever saw me paint you know that I don’t use all my brushes.
I always go for the same few, cause they are familiar, and I know what I can do with them.
If I use 5 brushes in a painting that is a lot, usually I have a wash brush, a flat or a squirrel mop
A synthetic one with a nice point, a nr 8 sable and a rigger. And I use them in this order to.

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Sometimes I go back to the wash brush to make a broad shadow.
But I stay with these few brushes.
Choose your brushes, and become to know what you can do with them,
Choose five brushes and paint with them so its like a extension from your hand, you become to know what you can do with these brushes, they become a part of your artist filter.

RESUME

I know you need a lot of practice to paint watercolors, and its not just adjusting your gear and go. Its also your skill how to draw, see perspective and values.
When you have a photo camera, and you make every photo with a other setting, there are not lot of photos that will be good.
So you must know your settings and the photo or painting will be a lot better and easier.

The most successful artists are using just a few colors and some odd colors. (lavender or Turquoise are the ones I often see.) The artists I know are using most of the time one brand of paper, Rough or Cold Pressed.
And a few brushes, cause they know they can rely on this gear!

mikebernard

You recognize probably the artists from the watercolors in this article,  you notice that the landscape behind the painting is different then the artists watercolor. It’s the style they have developed, and how they see this landscape. I know for sure, they can make this landscape in many ways, cause these artists are very talented. And thanks to that skill they can switch pigment, and paper and still have a good watercolor!

These artists organize workshops. And that is something I can recommend to follow such workshops. You come close to an artist mind, you see him paint, and he will explain how he does certain things and why he does that. I am sure he is not telling you that you must paint like him. But he learn you how you can organize your style and mind set in a way that you can be more successful in your paintwork. He helps you with your own filter to develop.

Iain Stewart
Watercolor Iain Stewart

These are all suggestions that work for me, and maybe for you?
Think about it, maybe it will work?

Best Wishes
Edo Hannema

Artist Websites

http://www.josephzbukvic.com/
http://chienchungwei.com/
http://www.airart.se/
http://thomasschaller.com/
http://www.alvarocastagnet.net/
http://iainstew.fineartstudioonline.com/
http://www.mikebernardri.com/
Categories Art

Direk Kingnok

Watercolour-Master uit Thailand


Direk Kingnok
is geboren in het noordoosten van Thailand en groeide op in de stad Nakonratchasima.
Waar Direk woonde was hij omringd door de natuur en dat is goed te zien in zijn werk.

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Als kind was Direk al een kleine artiest, hij blonk uit in tekenen en schilderen en won dan ook vele kunstprijzen in zijn jeugd.
Hij wist dus al jong dat hij schilder wilde worden. Na zijn hoge school opleiding ging hij studeren aan de Khon Kaen universiteit, een academie in schone en beeldende kunst.

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Op de academie ontdekte Direk de aquareltechniek, hij was op slag verliefd op dit medium en deed er alles voor om deze moeilijke techniek onder de knie te krijgen.
Het kostte hem veel moeite, andere technieken gingen hem zoveel makkelijker af, maar Direk was vastberaden om de schoonheid die aquarel kan bieden te leren..
Vooral de effecten die je met aquarel kunt maken vond Direk het best bij hem passen en wat hij wilde laten zien. De landschappen van Thailand.

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Toen Direk begin 30 was vroegen een paar in Nederland wonende Thaise vrienden of het hem niet leuk leek om een paar weken in Amsterdam te komen werken. Hij had daar wel oren naar. Zo kon hij gelijk Nederland een beetje ontdekken en schilderen. Terwijl hij ook werk deed in de winkel van zijn vrienden.
In zijn vrije tijd ging hij dan vaak op pad met zijn schilder-spullen.
De aquarellen van Amsterdam zijn dus ter plaatse gemaakt in onze hoofdstad, degene die wel eens buiten heeft geschilderd, weet hoe lastig dit is. toch zijn de plekken die hij geschilderd heeft (voor een Amsterdammer) makkelijk te herkennen.

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Direk startte zijn professionele carrière in 2001, vanaf die tijd kon hij zich volledig op zijn kunst richten. Hij hield exposities en kreeg meer bekendheid in Thailand.
Na het maken van een Facebook pagina, werd zijn talent al gauw door de rest van de wereld ontdekt, hij kreeg uitnodigingen om te gaan exposeren in Bangkok en Hanoi, later werd Direk door de International Watercolor Society (IWS) als kunstenaar gevraagd naar Vietnam te komen waar hij samen met een aantal grote namen uit de aquarelwereld demonstraties gaf.

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Inmiddels op de leeftijd van 39 is hij een graag geziene artiest wereldwijd. En heeft zijn Facebook pagina meer dan 73.000 volgers.

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Materialen
Direk gebruikt vooral de papiersoorten die katoen bevatten zoals Arches en Saunders Waterford 300 grams. Deze papiersoorten staan erom bekend dat ze na het maken van de aquarel, een mooie matte uitstraling geven aan het schilderij, en uitermate geschikt zijn voor de techniek waar Direk zijn aquarellen in maakt. namelijk de nat in nat techniek, deze techniek kan in principe op alle papieren gedaan worden, maar het beste resultaat ontstaat op de 100% cotton based papiersoorten. Ook heeft Direk een bepaalde structuur nodig om op te schilderen omdat hij meestal in de latere fase van het schilderij droge kwast streken aan de aquarel toevoegt. Dus een zekere ruwheid van het papier helpt hem daarbij.
Direk is niet zo merk gebonden wat zijn verf betreft, als het maar van een goede kwaliteit is.
Opmerkelijk is het wel dat hij naast Holbein pigmenten, ook twee Nederlandse merken gebruikt, Rembrandt en Old Holland.

Werkwijze van Direk
Direk begint op droog papier, zijn tekenbord staat hierbij vrij schuin, zo een 35¬į hij wast vanaf de top van zijn papier met sterk verdunde pigmenten in verschillende tinten naar beneden, waarbij hij de witten zorgvuldig uitspaart die hij wil behouden of niet meteen af wil dekken.
Hij heeft dus al bedacht waar de aandacht heen moet!
Hij begint met bijvoorbeeld Ruwe Siena in de lucht, die hij opwarmt met wat oranje tinten, de groene kleur van de bomen wordt meteen in de reeds natte luchtpartij gezet. Oker-tinten wisselt hij vaak af met paars-tinten en alles loopt nat in nat vloeiend in elkaar over.
Omdat het papier niet wordt nat gemaakt van te voren vereist het wel enige vaardigheid en snelheid van de schilder. Je moet weten wat je gaat doen en hoe de verf zich gedraagt.
In deze fase zet je dus de toon van het schilderij.
Nadat de verf droog is brengt hij een tweede laag aan, ook weer nat in nat, maar nu over een gedeelte van het papier, deze kleuren zijn een krachtiger mengsel. En waar de eerst laag voor de sfeer zorgde is deze tweede laag er een die de structuur in het schilderij brengt.
Bomen en struiken worden langs dakranden en muren geschilderd, en schaduwen krijgen al een plaats op de huizen. en eventuele reflecties waar het water betreft. Hierna worden de details aangebracht, en de donkerste partijen rond het focal point, vaak met een droge kwast techniek.
Tenslotte wordt op sommige plekken de highlights geplaatst met Chinees wit.

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Er bestaan puristen die geen wit willen gebruiken en het bovendien geen aquarel meer vinden, maar deze club bestaat nog niet zo lang. William Turner en John Singer Sargent gebruikte al zwart en wit in hun aquarellen lang voordat deze Pure Watercolour Society werd opgericht. Je zou van te voren met maskervloeistof het zelfde effect kunnen bereiken, ware het niet dat dan een groot deel van de spontaniteit verloren gaat, omdat je dan al rekening moet gaan houden met al die witte puntjes.

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Ikzelf vind meestal dat je na verwijdering van de maskervloeistof een soort onnatuurlijke witte gaten in je aquarel overhoudt, waarvan je de randen dan moet verzachten, en die dan vaak net op een verkeerde plek staan ook. Hoe moeilijk ook, om een plek heen schilderen die je wit wil houden is in mijn ogen nog steeds het mooiste en komt beter over. en mocht je net dat ene lichtpuntje kwijt geraakt zijn, zet hem er dan maar in met Chinees wit!
Net als Direk.

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Edo Hannema

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