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Painting Larger

12" x 12" Watercolor beach paintings

Quite by accident I almost doubled the size of the watercolor paper I was using and I’m so glad. For years I happily painted on 8″ x 8″ paper. When I went on Amazon, I ordered the Fluid Watercolor paper in 12″ x 12″ instead of my normal 8″ x 8″. When the package arrived the pads looked huge!

At first I was disappointed, but then thought, “I’ll try them out. Maybe I’ve outgrown that small size anyway.” Months later I can’t imagine working so small! Lately I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that the pages are bound together on 2 sides. I sometimes paint with the paper still attached to the pad, instead of removing it and taping it down to a board.

Here is a collection of my “mini” 8″ x 8″ paintings.

8 inch watercolor paintings

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11 Art Supplies I can't paint without


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11 art supplies I can’t paint without!

11artsupplies

Painting Essentials:

  1. Canson Multimedia sketchbook. Love the thicker paper in this sketchbook. I can add watercolor without the pages buckling.
  2. Fluid Cold Press watercolor paper. I especially love the square shape of this high quality thick watercolor paper!
  3. Uniball signo 207 bold gel pen. I love how smooth these pens are when I want to add ink details to my paintings.
  4. Palette with cover.
  5. Painters tape – to tape down my paper
  6. Grumbacher watercolor brush. Favorite sizes: 8, 6, 4, and 2
  7. Van Gogh watercolor paints
  8. Holbein Gouache mixing set of 5. I love adding the opaque look of gouache to my paintings!
  9. Derwent drawing pencils. Especially with figures, I like to sketch in pencil before starting a painting.
  10. Kneaded eraser. For erasing and leaving only faint lines when I begin to paint.
  11. Paper towel – I have to have a piece of paper towel to suck water off the brush when I need a drier brush. Or to blot the brush after dipping in the water. It’s a good way to check the brush is clean.

Other Essentials:

  • iPad – I do everything on my iPad – google reference photos, take photos, write posts, create digital art, look through and post on Instagram, read WordPress blogs, and more. I made the investment when my Kindle cracked and it was the best thing I did. I couldn’t live without it!
  • ZXU Stylus pen – for drawing on the ipad. I use the apps Adobe Draw and Adobe Sketch because they link up with Photoshop and Illustrator on my desktop.

Other stuff in my supply tray:

  1. Reeves watercolor pencils for adding details
  2. Tombow markers for handletter

Recycled stuff:

  1. Tray from a holiday gift “basket” to hold everything
  2. Plastic egg container for mixing colors to keep the paints in my palette “pure”
  3. Back of the watercolor paper pads – to tape down my paper so it doesn’t buckle when it gets wet
  4. Recycled container (Ricotta or sour cream) for water
  5. Cracked mug for my brushes. It was too pretty to throw away!

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for BeginnersWatercolor Seascape Tutorial Download

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My 8 inch square paintings

8inchpaintings
What size, shape do you like to work in?
When I finally started using watercolor paper (I know what was I waiting for?) I came across Fluid Watercolor Paper 8″ square pad or “Easy Block” as they call it. I love working with this size and shape!

As you can tell by the image above, I do it often. I don’t know what it is, but I love the square shape and the size is small enough that I don’t feel…intimidated. I tape down the edges and end up with a .5″-1″ border which I love.

After falling in love with my first Fluid pad, I went back to Blick to get more and they didn’t have any!! I figured no big deal, I’ll just cut the paper, but it wasn’t the same. On my next trip to Blick they had it in stock, so I bought a couple. I’m out again so I’m anxious to get back to Blick and get more.

I’m starting to envision having a show, where all my pieces are 8″ x 8″. I can dream right? 🙂

 


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Watercolor redo

reeds1
Which one do YOU like better? Above is my first attempt. I started very wet – probably too wet. It was for fun and I really didn’t have any expectations. So I worked wet, messy and quick. But when it was finished I thought – It’s kind of cool. There is some real potential here. Maybe I should try it again and be more careful.

Below is my second attempt.
reeds2

With the first one, I did the background sky/water and sun all at the same time.
reeds1a

With the second one. I first painted the sun and reflection, waited until it was almost dry and then added the blue.

reeds2a reeds2b reeds2c reeds2d

The inspiration for these paintings came from a cool photo I found in the book “A Pocket Guide to Seashells & the Seashore.” The picture credit is “Digital Vision.” I was drawn to the colors. Specifically, that all the color was in the background and the foreground (the reeds) were black.

I was trying out a new paper – unsuccessfully. I’ve been using Strathmore “Bristol” for my watercolors, because it is bright white and smooth. For these paintings I used Strathmore “Vellum.” I know that I need to find better watercolor paper! I just don’t love the textured watercolor paper. I also bought an Arches hot press art board to try out.