A whole lot of brilliance – Lukas Aquarell 1862

When Lukas Aquarell 1862 was first mentioned to me, I have to admit, I was rather sceptical as I had (up to that point) not had any experience of using their products. The Lukas brand might not be a brand known to many watercolour artists as yet, but I do think they are starting to make people sit up and take notice. This German-made brand uses top quality pigments and they certainly don’t skimp on the pigment load either. 

Hot Press, Cold Press or Rough – decisions… decisions.

When starting my watercolour journey I had no idea how confusing it would be. I thought at least the process of procuring supplies would be easy – after all, you simply need brushes, paint and paper, right? Well, was I in for a surprise – as I’m sure many others starting out have found. The amount of choices out there with regards to art supplies are ginormous, and, to figure out which ones you are going to need is certainly a difficult task.

Making Waves in the World of Watercolour

Somerset West was the setting for the biggest international art event in South African history. The IWSSA (International Watercolor Society of South Africa) recently hosted the 1st International Watermedia Festival, Colors of the Rainbow Nation, which featured 150 artists from 26 different countries. The exhibition itself took place from the 4-16 September at the Art Curator Gallery, Lourensford Wine Estate, but that was certainly not the only element of interest surrounding this event.

Masking Fluid – Friend or Foe

What makes watercolour such a challenging medium is that you can’t cover up mistakes as you can in other painting mediums. As watercolour is translucent and requires that you work from lightest to darkest values, it is extremely important to preserve your whites. In some cases, you can just paint around the shapes but when it comes to more complex or very small areas it becomes nearly impossible. This is where the masking fluid comes in. Essentially masking fluid is liquid latex which you can paint onto areas you want to preserve and protect from paint – and once it’s dry it can be peeled off, revealing the untouched whites below. It’s a bit like magic!

Brilliant Gouache Painting with Winsor & Newton

There is something vaguely nostalgic about painting with gouache.  I could not quite explain it until I realised that I had painted with gouache before as a child.  The powder paint I used to use as a child was a type of gouache and is still available today.  But the name is about all that is the same when compared to the paint I am using now.  They are still paints in much the same way as a Trabant and an Aston Martin are still cars.  In every other respect, they are entirely different.

Watching paint dry! A few hard lessons to learn with Watercolour

I’m certainly no watercolour wizard and it actually excites me that I have copious amounts still to learn.  Watercolour is such a unique medium that really breathes a life of its own, as one soon discovers as paint meets water meets paper.  It can be quite unpredictable and you are bound to get a whole load of surprises, especially when you’re just starting out.  Now I’m sure we all feel the same – that nice surprises can be fun – but sadly with watercolour, my experience has been that more often than not those surprises can be pretty nasty ones.  As a graphic designer, one of my favourite and most used keyboard options is ‘command Z’ used to undo my last action (or stuff up), and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wished I had one of those for watercolour!!

My Watercolour Journey – Meet Mungyo

Watercolours have always intrigued me although its been a medium I have never really pursued – mostly because the first few times I tried them I failed dismally.