White Watercolor

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I played around with whites today.  I finally got the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White that I’d heard works so well.  I’d been using opaque white gouache for adding finishing details and highlights to my illustrations, but sometimes it took many layers to get the opacity I wanted.  This bleed proof white is just what I needed!

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New Travel Palette!

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Do you remember *way* back to the sample of watercolors I got from Sennelier?  I squeezed all the paint in those sample tubes into some half pans so that not a drop would be wasted ; )  The paints were perfect primaries for mixing and I had fun playing around with the sample colors.

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Then, my Aunt gave me the Aqua-mini from Sennelier and I’ve used it since as my travel palette – compact and equipped with a little brush – perfect for little sketchbook paintings.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t much space for mixing colors or making washes…so I put a MEEDEN paint box on my wishlist that would fit 12 half pans!

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Now I have all my Sennelier half pans in one set together – and still in a small enough tin to take anywhere/anytime!  It has plenty of spaces for mixing colors and I keep my travel brushes inside too.  I’m so ready for spring and getting outside to paint again now!

New Tool!

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I’ve finally bought a light box!  It’s super thin, so I can fit it between pages in my sketchbooks if I need to, and it has 3 brightness settings (low and medium shown above) for different papers…it’s awesome!  I don’t have to draw up against a window to get light any more ; )  And, it’s just in time for a big project I have to do this month!  YAY!

Workspace/Life

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I’m trying out this little desk – unobtrusively tucked into the dining room!  We have a big dining room table and we entertain a lot of family and friends, so I needed something simple and compact.  I made this little “shelf-desk” out of plywood and 1×4″ boards.  It just sits on top of an existing table I’d had my plants on this past winter.  I still have my desk, HERE, that I love and use mostly in the evenings – but I wanted to utilize this beautiful light that comes in the window!  And, it’s nice to be close to everything happening at home during the day ; )

So, I have a daytime desk tucked into life downstairs…on a trial basis – oh, but I love that light!

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New Tool

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I got a new little tool this week!  It’s a lovely, smooth, brass Midori pencil case.  I go it because I thought it would be a great way to use up all our short pencils – The boys use so many pencils for school and I didn’t like throwing away all the pencil stubs!

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Journaling

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Two days a week I wait while my oldest son does tutoring at the Dyslexia Center, then I also have half an hour while the boys are at their guitar and piano lessons…so, three afternoons a week I have “enforced productive creative time”.  I have a watercolor journal and slim tin for all my pencils/pens – they fit in my purse and go with me everywhere.  I can doodle, draw, or sketch while I’m waiting at my appointments.  Here’s just a couple pages from this month:

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I usually wait till I get home to do the painting – but If I want to I do have a compact little travel set I could bring along ; )

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I’m really enjoying this little journal – it’s a great size for travel, it opens nice and flat, good quality paper, and lovely cover – you can get one HERE.  The last page I did yesterday and I’ll paint tonight after the family’s in bed for the night.

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Daily Tools

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These are my favorite brushes and paper.  I use them the most often – round #1, #3, and #8 brushes with the hot pressed 140lb. paper from Arches.  I like how smooth it is and how well it takes the color.  I’d tried other cheaper papers before finally getting the Arches – such a difference!  The cheaper papers are thinner and pill up or start to peel away with too much brush work…I rarely work my colors on the paper, so that shouldn’t be a problem for me!  I get most of my brushes out of a dollar bin at my local art supply store – I check the bristles to make sure they’re in good shape and have a nice tip – expensive or cheap brushes, it all depends on how it feels on the paper, how it holds the color…money doesn’t seem to be the deciding factor for me.  I have some cheap brushes I love, and some higher end brushes that I use often.  I’m not brand loyal there!

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Watercolor Travel Set

My Aunt is out visiting from California and brought me a surprise gift!  The Aqua-mini watercolor set from Sennelier and a little journal to go with it – she knows what I like!
The set comes with a little brush – very fine tip for small lines.  I tried the paints out today and painted some happy little pitchers – such beautiful colors and I can mix many new colors perfectly!

I already had this little zippered pouch.  It fits the little journal, paints, my water brushes, and a pen, pencil, eraser…all set to go anywhere and paint ; )

Thank you, Auntie, for a lovely little set of paints – they’re a dream to work with!!!  Now, I must go out somewhere and paint!

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