Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Art Materials - whee!

Our biggest art shop, Herbert Evans (website under construction), started it's annual sale yesterday. Along with every artist and crafter for miles around, I look forward to it with anticipation and spend days before working out what stocks I'm running out of, and how much I might have over to splash out on something new and interesting.

I decided to concentrate on watercolours this year, and avoid the aisles full of other delights. If you buy eight 5ml tubes of W&N w/c's you get a free tube of a '175th Anniversary' colour, Smalt, (weird name?!) also known as Dumont's Blue, so I joyfully added a couple of new colours to my basket:- Green Gold and Idanthrene Blue, to make up the numbers. They also had - o joy! - some Pentel Aquash waterbrushes - I have read sketchers all over the world chatting about their waterbrushes and swallowing my frustration at not finding any here, but at last I am a proud owner! And a last minute impulse buy - I popped in a six-pack of Faber-Castell Pitt pen brushes... I had read Laureline's write-up of brush pens and hoped these were one of the nice ones she reviewed...but they aren't. They are filled with drawing ink, and aren't water soluble, unless you very quickly wash over them right after applying - I'll reserve judgement till I've played some more, but so far my doodles above seem not far removed from the Koki pens my kids used when little.
But I LOVE the waterbrush - did this sketch of an avenue near our house with a Pilot fineliner and the Aquash - and I love the ease of use and control over water flow - will be putting it in my shoulder-bag for impromptu sketching, and I might get another one or two while they're in stock... and I love the new colours - Smalt, in fact, is a very old pigment - discovered in ancient times and produced by W&N from 1830's till 1890, when it became obsolete, now re-formulated for this limited edition. Its a bright, deep blue - a little more violet than French Ultramarine (though they reckon you can't mix it from available colours) with large particle structure, so it does gorgeous granulation things. They may continue with it if there's a demand, I hope there is!
In the bunfight at the till - has to be a drawback to a good sale - my tube of Hooker's Green got lost, (but not before it was rung up) so I'll just have to go back again for another look - oh dear ;o)

13 comments:

Vivienne said...

The avenue with the water brush is a real winner.Lovely! Did you sit out there to sketch? Brave?
Have fun with all the new stuff. Buying it is a delight, isn't it... and we have fewer impulse purchases of little dresses these days, don't we? I reckon someone nicked your Hooker's green, though.

Cathy Gatland said...

No - I wasn't so brave :o( its from a photo, but I DID clean my car windows so I can sit in there and draw soon - even doing that is highly conspicuous, nobody parks in the street, let alone sitting out on a stool, sketching!
I seemed to be the only one around buying watercolours at H.E. so think it may have just got swept into somebody else's bag - tough!

laura said...

I absolutely love the sketch--it's just beautiful (I wish I had done it!). I also just got an Aquash brush and the little tube of smalt blue as a freebie too and it's my new favorite blue; it's gorgeous!!!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Laura - many of your beautiful dunes I wish I'd done too! - the smalt is gorgeous isn't it? It's quite nutty how excited we can get over new art stuff!

Gillian said...

The avenue is beautiful. I love the soft ink washy bits. Peaceful and pleasing to the eye. I bought some not very fancy brush pens a while ago and was a bit disappointed with them thinking they were so close to koki pens... all those gaudy colours. I look forward to learning more about the artist quality ones from you and laurelines.

Cathy Gatland said...

They had a 'landscape' set and an 'earth' set of more subdued greens and browns - should've got those, as, yes, the gaudy colours are a problem. They are artist quality (ie. expensive!),lightfast etc, but not unfortunately, watersoluble - it'll be a while till i can justify a mail order after this little shopping trip!

Sharon said...

This is interesting. I've been eyeballing the smalt color in the D.S. catalogue for a week. Now I think I must get it. I love the washes and look of the avenue painting.

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Sharon - yes, it's lovely, worth buying I think - I hope we can still get it when the special offer is over, but there ARE always those great catalogues! Have lurked around your Flat Sound for ages - will put it on my blog list. I visited Oregon once long ago (sister Gillian lived there)- so beautiful!

Peggi Habets Studio said...

Very nice watercolors! I found your blog via Jana Bouc's and have enjoyed reading through your blog and viewing your artwork. Good stuff here.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Peggi - well I am awestruck at your watercolour portraits, so glad you dropped in!

Ramblingroses said...

There has to be someone who understands little of the technical aspects of gathering the "just right" paints/paintbrushes but I can appreciate the passion which radiates from the end result - the avenue of trees is just so evocative of JHB. I'm sitting here in KZN remebering shared times. Thanks Cath

Cathy Gatland said...

...of which there will be more I'm sure, Jill - enjoy beautiful KZN too - till then...

laureline said...

Hi Cathy---the Pitt pens aren't really water soluble, as you found out. I wonder if Jetpens sends to Australia---you might try that. I think the Sai watercolor brushpens would please you.
I'd just been reading about smalt blue in one of my (many) books on color---will have to check it out on your enthusiastic recommendation.