Day one is the day I went to the shop and got some paints.
My conclusion from watercolours is to get high quality paints, and high quality painting surfaces (paper/canvas).
High quality paints
Paints – all paints – are made from pigment, binding material, and sometimes a filler material as well.
High quality paints (Artist/Professional grade) have a high concentration of pigment. Student grade – the next level of paints – have somewhat less pigment, and more binder. What I call Kids paint has much more binder and filler and much less pigment.In watercolours the difference was noticeable. the high quality paints are vivid and flowing.
Since the selection in my local art stores is extremely limited, I ended up choosing a beginner’s set from Royal Talens, a line called ArtCreation. My set consists of 24 tubes, and I got a nice jar of Maimeri Pale Gold as well. Hurray!
At the moment, since I’m only checking out this new painting medium, I don’t want to spend a fortune and buy all the accessories. I’ve decided to start out painting on the heavyweight watercolor paper I already have, and some cheap small canvas boards I got in the past.
I do know it’s preferable to have a good quality surface to paint on. in watercolours it can make all the difference.
Acrylics can ruin brushes with time. Natural hairs, as far as I understand, can be ruined quickly, so my conclusion is synthetics. At the moment I’m starting out with the selection of brushes I already have.
I got home all pumped up and excited, got a large plate from the kitchen, dabbed a selection of my new color tubes on it, filled my water jars (I use 2 – a “dirty” one for cleaning the brushes and the other with clean water), took a sheet of heavy watercolor paper, and started experimenting.
It was HARD! So different from watercolors!
First of all, I was discouraged by the lines my brush would leave. I imagined wonderful, soft, oil-like color transitions, smooth and soft.
The paint has a pasty consistency, so when I dab my brush in the paint, it comes up with this blub of paint on, so making fine lines is impossible. if I spread some color on the page, when I put by brush back into it, to move the paint around, my brush lifts some of the paint, creating white hole-like streaks – revealing the white of the paper underneath.
Trying to create smooth transitions proved even harder. All my brush strokes were very pronounced. I found myself dabbing impressionist-style, and understanding why they used these dabbing motions. It seems easier this way..!
Dried, plastic-y palette
But the worst was yet to come! As I was sitting and dabbing and testing, getting the paint on my brush got harder and harder, because the paint itself got harder and harder. Each paint bulb stated getting this plastic-y dry film on it, and I started digging inside for softer paint. After an hour or two I was facing a plate with tough, dry paint glued to it… Trying to revive them with water (like I do with watercolours) was not working. The paint separated, and I ended up with watery color full of dry grains.
I went to sleep extremely discouraged.