Have you ever had one of those days....well today is just one of those days , I have just had a package returned from the post office ...all the way from Canada which means I have lost my postage, and perhaps all the money from the sale. Not to mention the disappointment for the customer , who has been waiting for her commission. I do hate letting people down .Plus another package containing 8 pieces of work has gone missing in deepest darkest Macclesfield....if that really is lost then that is a big blow. Oh well worse things happen at sea...and all I can do is keep painting and carry on. I know too well that life is too precious to sweat about the small stuff, so rant over!
On a much brighter side, I was contacted recently by an old colleague of mine , who worked with me at a special needs school. She too was arty and she wanted to tell me about some watercolour paints she and her husband make. I don't usually promote things , but this is local, made in Devon and someone I know so forgive me.
She sent me a sample of her handmade paints to try .And here is all the info about them....
Art Scribe are Reg and Emma Allan, a husband and wife team who specialise in making hand mulled watercolour paints. We hope to reintroduce artists to the quality, craftsmanship and care that goes into the traditional paint making process.
As artists ourselves, we recognise that using quality art materials goes a long way in getting the best results and making the creative experience so much more enjoyable.
The watercolours we create start with the concept of a palette and from there we research and experiment to select the pigments we will use. We consider how the colours mix together and how they will complement each other. A particular feature of Art Scribe watercolours is their highly pigmented nature and the inclusion of historical pigments.
We make our watercolours by mulling pigment and binder together to make paint. We use the traditional method using a hand held glass muller over a glass slab. It is labour intensive, but this hands-on approach means we can mull each pigment according to its unique characteristics while ensuring the pigment and binder are evenly blended.
Unlike manufactured watercolours, our handmade watercolours do not contain fillers or artificial preservatives which can dull the pigments on the page. The binder we use is our own recipe of simple and natural ingredients of Gum Arabic crystals, distilled water, essential oils to prevent mould, honey to aid re-wetting in the pan and occasionally vegetable glycerin as a softener and to prevent cracking.
Our watercolours are made in small batches. The paint is carefully poured into the pans in three or four layers, with each layer being dried before the next is added. We slowly dry the paint, free from dust, in our temperature controlled wooden drying cabinet. This ensures beautifully distributed watercolour in the pans. The drying and layering process takes between 3 to 4 weeks.
So what to paint with my new paints?...my Rudbeckias were out so I had a go.
First I began with their rich middles.
I am using the earthy tones , starting with gold ochre and adding in iron oxide red and burnt umber, as my darkest tone. It takes a while to get used to new paints , so my subject is simple. I used a damp clean brush to take out the highlight.
These paints are creamier than I am used to and full of pigment.
I repeated the process on the middle of each flower. Now the set didn't have the yellow I wanted so I used an Indian yellow for the flash of brightness in the petals. Then added the gold ochre to add some darker tones
Moving around the flower so it begins to jump of the page, little pieces like this are so much fun to do.
Just carry on around the flowers , adding more darker tones where you think they are needed, but do let the paint do it's thing , if you mess with it too much it will become muddy.
Finally I added some splatters and splashes , I think it adds some dynamism to the painting , a lovely way to spend a few hours and forget about the dreaded post office !!!!