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)