Friday, August 19, 2011

Island Walk

Last week I visited Blick's in Iowa City, it's one of my happy places. I can easily spend hours in there and of course did so on this occasion.  I was stalking the watercolor isle when I noticed they had Angora watercolor pan sets.  I've heard about these, but haven't tried them.  They were super cheap (about $15 for a pan set of 36 colors.)  They're student grade so the quality isn't whiz-bang, but the colors looked inviting so I thought I'd give them a try.


Unfortunately, they have confirmed what I always get what you pay for.  After playing around with them on a number of different papers I gave them a shot in my Strathmore watercolor journal.  Void of any inspiration for a subject, I simply started washing the color onto the page.  Unlike my Van Gogh's or my Koi's, I found I needed to load and reload the brush to get even the slightest hint of vibrancy.

The colors are rather opaque and very underwhelming, but there is a nice selection.  So in the spirit of going with the flow I kept layering.  To my surprise I was rather pleased with the results.  They're not what I'm used to in terms of intensity, but they may have their purpose in a different way. They're delicate and rich and behave very well with pen over the top.  Given their price, I think they will be great for that experimental journal where I sometimes just like to play around, test out color combinations, doodle and explore with no real purpose in mind.  They are also very light weight and would be great for outdoor expeditions.

This piece is just a bunch of doodles that evolved from applying the paint onto the page. The colors were so soft and muted that I continued the layering inside the patterns and bought out as much highlighting as I could.  I wasn't happy with this process at first but was quite enthralled once I got going.  The paint mutes the pen if applied over the top, but it was easy to go over the lines once it was done. In fact, this technique was very meditative and as I said, proved wonderful for experimenting with patterns and colors. If you're lite on the cash and need something to play with, give them a try.


Thanks for checking in. xx