Friday, January 23, 2015

Do It Yourself - Painting Stuff - Watercolor Palettes and Brushes - from Jaka

After having been at it a while and going through the mill as regards painting in watercolor I have been tinkering inspired by the needs I've felt whilst enjoying this medium.  Thought I'd share a few things I came up with that could save some of you some bucks.

Palettes are items integral to painting and so are brushes, needs however can vary.  Over the years one thing that I discovered was that an enamel surface was close to ideal to be used on a palette, making spontaneous marks was the driving factor for buying brushes of all sorts Smile
I like tinkering and some ideas came to mind, so here are 2 palettes that I made using 2 enameled metal plates, the type that are likely to be used on camping trips.  I bought them from "Aussie Disposal" a store selling outdoor gear.  And some left-over PVC (Pralon) tubing. A tube of "Power Glue" (cyanoacrylate) and sealant.

The illustrations are self explanatory.

I sliced/cut the 1 inch diameter PVC tubing in 0.5 cm sections then cut the resulting rings in half. Sanded the rough edges and glued them on the plate. Managed to fit 18 half rings on one plate.  They function as 18 color/paint wells.

Fill the wells with paint and paint a color swatch opposite the well as identification.  The half rings should be glued flush level with the plates surface. Any gaps can be sealed with some sealant.

Some may want a larger amount of paint in the paint wells and this resulted in the second version of this palette.

Here the PVC tubing was cut at a slant, so one end would be 0,5 cm and the other 2 cm.  This allows them to be glued on the slanted "wall" of the plate and have a bigger paint holding capacity.

It should be noted that it provides one large centrally located mixing area and NO mixing wells.  It lends itself well for stronger less fluid mixes.  I  mix on paper when weak watery mixes are required.  The paint does not "bead" on this surface, beading is more likely to happen on plastic.  It also does not stain.

Next are 2 type of brushes that make interesting marks when painting foliage, branches, reeds, tall grasses, bushes etc.
The material I used was bamboo chopsticks that usually go with take-away noodles or sushi Smile and chicken feathers but any fowl, bird will do.  I used the downy part lower down the feather.  Smaller feathers with a fine quill work best.  The downy part form the "belly" and the upper ends (cut to about an inch long) on the outside, bound by string/thread.
They are the 3 on the right,  You can vary the sizes to your liking.

The 2 brushes on the left have filaments (hair) that were made from long shavings of the bamboo handle and tied to the handle's end with string. Use a craft knife to shave them like sharpening a pencil.  Be careful as the blade is razor sharp.  Shave away from the body.

When used use a light touch with the filaments just touching the paper, they'll skip and dance about making marks that are very random and "unpredictable" thus giving a spontaneous appearance.
Use a rather strong mix for more striking results.  They take some getting used to, lifting at the end of a stroke and "hesitating and changing direction" during the stroke will give interesting calligraphic marks.  Practicing on scrap will show what they can do.  Try them "wet" and try them "dry".
Both types cost practically nothing .

Lastly, if any of you have similar projects or tips to share, please do so.

Jaka (or Jen to some of us)

Thanks Jen, I so appreciate when other Art Tutor members contribute to this site. This is so interesting. It never occurred to me to make some of my own supplies. The brush tips interest me the most.

Today's artist find is Pablo Ruben. I chose this artist because his style is similar to Jen's/ Jaka.

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