Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Watercolor Sketching Kit

I think I mentioned before that I have been looking for a way to safely do watercolor sketches in the car. I don't trust myself to use my regular watercolor tube paints and an open container of water. I imagine horrific scenes having to do with me flipping my palette and forever staining the seats with a rainbow of color. Not good.

Today I decided to try out some watercolor half pans and a waterbrush. This combination eliminates most of the components of my nightmare so I felt it was worth the risk. And...drum roll worked out great!!!

Dancing garden fairy and tulips sketch
ink and watercolor
approx. 8" x 5"

On Wednesdays I have a very long wait time in the car in between shuttling the kids around. So today, before I jumped in the car, I did a super quick ink sketch of the copper garden fairy dancing among my tulips. I took the sketch with me and added the color in the car. It was so much fun! Using the waterbrush is a little different than using a traditional brush and cup of water, but it wasn't difficult.

For those of you not familiar with a waterbrush, it is a brush with a hollow plastic handle which you can fill with water. Instead of dipping the brush in a cup of water, gently squeeze the handle to wet the bristles. In the sketch above I used less than a quarter of the water in the handle. My waterbrush is a round, but I see there is also a flat available which I might have to buy.

I am happy because I now have a small and simple sketching kit that I can take with me just about anywhere. This will be great for my trip overseas this summer. My kit includes...

- a Micron waterproof pen

- an 8" x 5" Cotman watercolour pad (I used this pad today) or my small Moleskin watercolor notebook

- a Cotman watercolor compact set (just the palette with the paints, not the whole travel bag)

- a medium round Niji waterbrush

Since I only plan to use the kit for sketching, I am not concerned about using student grade paints. However, this set does contain cadmium paints which I rarely use for larger paintings. I may at a later date try to replace the cadmium half pans with some quin colors which I use more regularly. But for now I am ecstatic with my new kit! Bring on the color sketches!


Lisa M Griffin said...

What fun and how ambitious of you to bring your "travel kit" along in the car. Do you ever use watercolor pencils? I am curious about the waterbrush as well, may have to run out and purchase one.
Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Rose said...

Waterbrushes are so handy to have. They do work well when using watercolour pencils too. Your kit does look like it has everything that you will need in it.

It is a very nice sketch, nice vibrant coloured tulips. :)

bluelilac said...

I never knew about water brushes. Now I know! What a brilliant idea and thanks for sharing it Stacy.


Stacy said...

Lisa, it was fun to paint in the car. Sort of like rebelling against the rules but without fear of consequences (a mess to clean up). And I love when I can use my car time for art. It is so much more enjoyable than paying bills or something like that.

Jennifer, when I was in the Bahamas last year I did a sketch with watercolor pencils and the waterbrush. It did work well, but for now I am so much more comfortable with watercolors and this kit is actually smaller to carry than a bunch of pencils.

Hi Blue! Give the waterbrush a try. It's fun!!

Anonymous said...

enjoy your sketching kit..I am completely dumbfumbled with a waterbrush...before I know it, I have no water left and still a whole page to cover! I carry my little brush and container with me everywhere..nice sketch, makes a lovely illustration.

Denise said...

Even those of us who are un-artsy can appreciate the water brush. We stampers know them as aquapainters and we use them with watercolor pencils to color in staped images. We also use blending pens which are like wet markers that you can dip in ink or chalks and color in images. To clean them, you just color on scrap paper until it colors clear. That's half the fun! See--sometimes your artistically challenged sister can offer something sort of artsy to your blog...

Chrissy said...

Hi, I just found your blog so am off to have a read. But, I just bought myself a KOI waterbrush so I can paint out and about, I bought the small size first and have now just got the medium one too, I just found it so good for doing animal fur and its great not to have worry about the water, cos I am a little clumsy sometimes!

Stacy said...

Thanks Ronell! I am finding that the waterbrush takes a little practice. Perhaps it doesn't fit your wonderful loose, washy style as well. I have another sketch to share as soon as I get it scanned.

Denise, I don't know how you could call yourself un-artsy, but I enjoyed hearing about your uses for a waterbrush. I used my waterbrush once with watercolor pencils, but found it wasn't as natural for me as using paints. The blending pen sounds cool. Not that I need to buy any more art supplies. ;)

Chrissy, welcome to Stop and Draw the Roses! I hope you enjoyed your read. I'll have to check out the KOI waterbrush. I can be a little clumsy too sometimes, which is why I waited so long to try sketching with watercolors. But I'm loving it now!

Anonymous said...

Aren't waterbrushes great? I find that mine lasts and lasts, actually. But, we all interact with our paint differently.