Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Holbein Watercolor Paints and why I use them

Comment from another Artist Instructor on using the same watercolor paints I recommend.

Using Fresh Watercolor Pigment
In the last 5 watercolor demonstrations that I have done, it has dawned on me that I need to mention to my students about using fresh pigment. When I say fresh pigment I mean having pigment in your palette that is workable and not as hard as a rock. I find many students trying to grab fresh pigment from their palette when all they have on their palette is hard pigment that will only give them enough pigment to make a tinted wash.

You may wonder why one needs fresh pigment, well the answer is to be able to control the watercolor pigment in a wet wash. If you have your paper wet and you use a small amount of pigment, that is considered a tint of color. Now if you want to float your pigment and control a soft edge on a wet surface you need to be able to pick up enough fresh pigment to control that soft edge to only bleed out a very controlled distance. You can only do this with the use of a lot of pigment. Too much water and it becomes uncontrollable.

The Holbein paint I use has a big advantage over other paints when it comes to drying pigment in your palette.
Holbein watercolors do not dry out to a hard clump when left in the palette to dry. Instead, the Holbein watercolors become instantly rejuvenated with just a touch of water and when dry they feel very rubbery to the touch. The reason Holbein instantly rejuvenate is that they don't mix OxGall into their paint. Most of the other paint manufacturers put in OxGall for transparency. I believe if you float your pigment in a wash every color even an opaque will look transparent.

So when controlling your edges in a wet watercolor wash, make sure you use fresh pigment or use Holbein watercolor paints because they always stay fresh and become instantly rejuvenated with just a touch of water.

Use your watercolor thick in a wet wash!
David Becker

Monday, August 12, 2019

Art Therapy - Create Mosaic to Reduce Stress

Art Therapy for Stress Management
Project No. 2 Create a Mosaic or torn paper collage.
Material: Collect a variety of scrap paper (card stock, colored paper, wrapping paper, etc.); white glue or glue stick to hold the design in place.
Put on some music.
Have a variety of colored paper, scraps of construction paper, pieces of colored newspaper or newsprint. Use black paper, white paper, or any color as a base.
Option A. Take the scrapes of paper and tear shapes that appeal to you. Set them aside to work on later. Choose light colors against dark.
Option B. Use scissors to cut – gives more mosaic effect. Cut small pieces like small mosaic tiles out of construction paper.
Work 2 ways.
1. Torn construction paper. Leaf shapes fall into a Fall leaf motif. Enjoy the process, of tearing and constructing imagery that you are in control of.
2. Cutting, like mosaic. Play with a background for a pleasing design. Look like a window, a door, or a portal. Stay loose.
Drop the pieces of paper on the base color randomly or arrange. Look for different effects.
When ready , use white glue or glue stick. Place the shapes down. You can work abstractly.
The beauty of stress reduction is that you are making all the decisions. You are in charge of everything.
The end result really reduces stress. I made something that was pleasing to me and I’m feeling more relaxed.

Watercolor Painting - Value Options

Value Study Options. The layers in a landscape (foreground, middle ground, background) can have 6 options for value. With the values of light, medium, and dark shown below which option do you like 1,2,3,4,5, or 6?

Art Therapy - Crayon Resist

A new Topic - Art Therapy
Art can be a wonderful tool in the use of stress reduction. One idea that I enjoy is keeping a daily Journal of my Art. When you are choosing your materials, I suggest a larger pad of watercolor paper, such as 9 x 12 inches because it offers more opportunity to express yourself either in larger form or small form.
Project number 1 Crayon Resist
A technique that I am going to share with you that I find very useful in stress management is called crayon resist. To do the crayon resist you will need wax crayons or oil pastels, a watercolor wash or acrylics mixed with water in a dish and large brushes. Often you can get a big house painting brush at the Dollar Store. You don't need expensive brushes for this technique. None of the stress management techniques that we look at today will require expensive materials. Next step; put on some music.
Fill the space on the paper with some ideas of shapes, color or still life. Use colors that are relaxing. Really bear down using oil pastels and crayons and build up the wax layer you want to get a good heavy coat of wax on the paper.
Using a wash mixture (a tablespoon of acrylic paint or watercolor and some water) paint over the wax colors and imagine the wash mixture as creating an underwater scene.
As you work without talking you will get involved in the paint and you're stress leaves . Work very intuitively, don't stop and judge yourself, let it emerged don't try to be perfect .
Let me know how this goes and I'll be back to show you more examples of Art Therapy.