Sampling

I was recently given the awesome opportunity to try out some new paints.  After being contacted by a company known for their acrylic line, Golden Artist Colors, who have just launched a brand new line of modern watercolor paints, they wondered if I might like a sample of some colors to try, ...heck yeah!  

If you're a watercolor painter at any level, you've probably seen the cost of a tube of professional grade paints, thank goodness they are super concentrated and go a very long way when mixed with water!  Anyway, I've never been offered free paint before so I jumped right over to their website to check it out and was very impressed with the color charts and choices!  QoR (I believe pronounced core) had some very interesting color combinations and names for colors, like French Cerulean, and Bohemian Green Earth, well ok they had me at free paint but for a color geek like me, yes please!

I chose some colors, which was a tough decision to make, and they arrived a short time later in beautiful new tubes of brilliant pigments.  My paint box and pallet have slowly grown and evolved over the years and have maybe 4-5 different brands of watercolor paints, some I like better than others, some I prefer for certain colors more then others.  After playing with these paints for a couple of weeks now, I have to say the unique colors did not disappoint and the granulating qualities (which is the way the paint moves and separates into it's own lovely layers of texture, sometimes creating those little "happy accidents") are superb! That's something that has always fueled my love for colors and for watercolors in particular.  

So I'm going to continue to play with my colors in my happy place, and I hope you'll check out the QoR line if you're a painter too, I do think they're quite fabulous!

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Painting

I always think it's so sweet when one of my students sends me a text from the paint isle at Hobby Lobby (or Michael's, etc.) asking what was the name of that color, or paper, or brush that I mentioned.  I guess I'm amazed that anyone was even listening or values my opinion enough to do that!  After all, it is just my personal preference as far as what supplies I like to use, and I think every artist has their own personal favorites as well that I'm sure differ from mine.  Still, of course I don't mind sharing what I might have learned along the way, maybe it'll save someone else a little time, money, and frustration from sorting through all of the options out there.

So, with that in mind I'm going to take my next few blog posts as I try to write to you once a month here, and let you in on some of my favorite watercolor painting supplies, in case you're interested in giving it a go yourself and would like a little direction in where to start.

#1 -Paints:  My very utmost hands down favorite has to be Daniel Smith brand professional watercolors.  I fell in love with these paints many years ago through trial and error and still get so excited when I get to order a new color (yay!) and then try it out fresh from the tube in a painting.  If you look them up, you'll see the colors are just AMAZING, rich, vibrant and so many beautiful options, agh- I can hardly stand to have to choose!  And then... when you start painting with them and they blend and swirl and mix, it's almost magical I think. DS also has this fabulous way of granulating, where the pigment separates sometimes leaving little flecks of pure color and texture that creates little "happy accidents" you maybe didn't plan on.  I know some watercolorists would rather their paint not do those things that are unpredictable and out of their control, but personally I think that's what makes watercolors so lovely, ...even as much of a control freak and perfectionist as I am. :)

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Finishing

As another year draws to a close, it's always bittersweet looking back to the things coming to an end, and the new things that are ahead for the upcoming year.  It's been a year of unexpected opportunities, amazing adventures, and challenging events as well.  Most of all I'm forever grateful to all of my encouragers and supporters, without whom I couldn't do what I do.  I'm humbled and forever grateful for your following!

Looking ahead, it's time to schedule new events, shows and exhibits, plan and dive into new works of projects that have been swirling around in my head just waiting to get out on paper, continuing to build, learn and grow my art, and seeing where the Lord takes me next.  Saying yes to the best opportunities and no to the ones not meant for me is sometimes difficult to discern, but it's all part of the journey, and I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store.

May the year ahead hold many creative adventures for you as well, and blessings for a most fabulous new year!

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