Sunday, April 26, 2009

Towards Development Of Thick Skin (updated! as if you care)

All right, I mentioned that I was going to start painting again after a 20 year break.

Here's my very first attempt using watercolor.

Forgive the scan, it's small and fuzzy, but good enough for this. I'll tell you what I'm happy with. The treeline in the middle ground came out nicely and although you can't easily see it, the water and reflections also turned out well. The trunk of the tall pine is also pretty good. Other than that, it shows that I have a lot of very relaxing practice to do.

Bored yet? The paper is plain ol' 3.5"x5" Strathmore sketchbook stock. Made with recycled content, it's heavy enough for light watercolor work, barely. The paints are tube watercolors I got from Dick Blick, and I used the medium waterbrush from this set. I've never done any serious watercolor work before and the waterbrushes are also a first for me, so every bit of this is brand new and experimental.

One reason that I decided to start painting again is because I thought it would be cool to do some painting while out hiking and camping. That's why I decided on small sketchbooks, waterbrushes and watercolors. How portable is it? Check this out (photos courtesy of, which I used as a model)!

That's right, my paint pallet is an Altoids mint tin. Here's the entire basic setup (once again, mine is very similar).

So there you go, extremely portable and light enough to toss into your bag or daypack. I'm going to have fun with this.

Update: As much for my memory as for your entertainment, my pallet contains Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Phthalo Green, Hooker's Green Dark, Phthalo Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Alizarin Crimson, and Payne's Gray.


LeeAnn said...

It looks like you're going to have fun indeed, and have something to share with us. I'm jealous, btw, the most I can successfully paint is my toenails.

Rae said...
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Mookie said...

Do you use the paint directly from the tube or do you make cakes first?

Also, though not traditional I've been playing lately and I find a sharp watercolor pencil dipped directly into the water is great for fine details with out loosing the "feel" of watercolor

Mad William Flint said...

Gonna have fun watching the process as well.

I can't create anything visually appealing.

Ted said...

I squirted a bit of each paint from the tubes into the compartments of the tray. Then I just grab some with my brush, put it on the pallette and mix or thin as needed. These waterbrushes are very cool.

Mookie said...

I heard that if you make the cakes yourself it stretches the life of the paint with out loosing the intesity. Flip side is that mixing becomes a bit more of a pain in the ass.

dogette said...

That's cool. Can't draw a stick figure myself, but I did enjoy the verbal stylings of Bob Ross, R.I.P.

mapgirl said...

That is really cool. I was never good at watercolors. Acrylics were more my bag, but I love the portability of the Altoids tin. You can shove that right in your pocket. Stow a Nalgene bottle on your belt loop with a carabiner and a watercolor block in your backpack taped to a small cutting board for an easel. CRAZY!