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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Trying New Art Supplies and I am in Love!

'Roadside Meadow'                9x12               watercolor           ©Karen Margulis
painting available here $75
I didn't intend to buy any supplies. But I am glad I did! A couple of weeks ago I attended an art materials expo and bought a few things that I thought looked interesting. I have been itching to give them a try.  I had a bit of playtime in the studio this week so I decided to try the Cretacolor Aquarelle Blocks. I bought the set of 20 blocks.  They are solid blocks of watercolor pigment and can be used for drawing and painting.

I was intrigued when I tested them at the expo. I liked the large 1x2 inch blocks which can be used to draw or can be used like classic watercolors. I imagined the underpainting possibilities! The pigments were rich and vibrant. (and lightfast)

My plan was to use them for watercolor underpaintings for pastel. I took out a pad of watercolor paper so I could explore them. Were they ever fun to use! I didn't want to stop. I was reminded of advice from Richard McKinley when I struggled with watercolor underpaintings.....just paint lots of underpaintings without adding pastel. Get to know what the watercolor can do. Great advice and these blocks made practice fun. I think I'll leave them as watercolors and do some more! 

Next I will try them as drawing tools. I am interested in using them to block in a painting and them wet the color with a brush. I'll report back!

I love this set of Cretacolor Aqua Briques

'Summer Profusion'        9x12           watercolor      $75

'Happy'              9x12           watercolor   $75

Thank you for all of your suggestions for pastel gutters. I will be posting your ideas soon!


Anonymous said...

I have used these for years. Very useful, and capable of many modes you have yet to discover! But I have a suggestion: If you want to use them in "pan watercolor" mode, as shown, I suggest using them standing up in the tray, end up. Pull your color off the end. Avoid wetting the sides. If you use them flat, they will weaken and crumble. You will no longer be able to use them in "drawing mode" after that happens.

Have FUN!

Artist Bob

robertsloan2art said...

Thank you for reviewing these! I've been tempted for a long time and know if I bought them I'd want the 20 color set. Your experiments with them are glorious.

They look very transparent. I wasn't sure if they'd be opaque or semi opaque but your paintings make it clear they are transparent.

I have some Daniel Smith watercolor sticks and might have a go with drawing and washing using those. I have done it in the past with watercolor pencils for underpaintings with good effect, though your techniques are much livelier. Those drips from the poppies making stems are great, I can so see that giving green stems a good punch!