Just a quickie in my tiny sketchbook ready for tomorrow. This is using a waterbrush and a mini paintbox. I never used to like the waterbrushes and I haven’t used one for a while. For some reason it didn’t bother me at all this time and the sketch came out grand.
So I had wandered into ArtBeat on Mass Ave with the intention of buying some 0.5 mm leads for my mechanical pencil. However I seem to have exited with a set of Kuretake paints and a new waterbrush. I know that John Lovett had played with these before so I knew good results were possible but then I’m no John Lovett.
Some swatches in the moleskine. The pigments came out nice and rich which bode well. At the last minute I decided to use the waterbrush to see how that worked with the paint and whether they would make a good traveling kit. I’ve struggled with waterbrushes in the past as I either get too much or too little pigment on them. They also tend to leak blobs of water when you least expect it which makes things interesting. But it was worth a try.
The paper. Feels very smooth which I don’t like at all. However, it is actually 140lb paper which is a reasonable weight and it shouldn’t buckle too badly.
This is a (not very good) photo of the cheap (unused) brush at the top and the expensive, best quality sable brush at the bottom. I’ve used the bottom brush regularly for over a year and it still comes to a point well, the bristles are still smooth and it’s hardly shed anything at all. This is what brushes should do.
so I went back to his splashing paint DVD to do a couple of practice paintings. These are bigger than usual at 18″x24″ and it is definitely easier to control the edges.
The reflections exercise. The combination of the wet in wet trees overlaid with crisper edges and the final small twigs works well here I think. Most is done with the bristle brush with details put in with a rigger. Colors are the usual Lovett palette of antwerp blue (John actually uses phthalo which I find too overpowering), burnt sienna, ultramarine and a dash of alizarin crimson.
After consulting the good people over at
I took the plunge and ordered a set of these. They arrived on Thursday and were given their first outing today. Overall I’m pretty impressed. The bristles are the right length and thickness to take up paint to give that nice ragged edge for grasses and trees that Mr Edwards is so good at. The big brush is great at doing washes and is especially good for graded ones.
And they were pretty cheap – I got these, a zoomfinder and a DVD all delivered for 50 bucks. (Yes I am a sucker for a special offer – I think you can get the brushes individually for between 3 and 10 dollars each. Still good value).
The only negative – the special handle shape frankly doesn’t do anything for me but it’s a small thing all in all.
For anyone who thinks ‘Oh surely you can just pick up any old bristle brush that will do the job just as well?’ I say Ha! I thought that too and bought a couple of 2 dollar flat bristle brushes from Blicks. Completely different – the bristles are the wrong length and flop around too much. The water gets caught in the ferrule and leaks out everywhere over your hand/paining/floor. They either have too much water in the bristles or not enough. Nightmare! If I tried lots of them maybe I’d find one that worked well but for now – give that nice Mr Edwards some money and save time.