Friday, April 20, 2012

Watercolor Paper

Hi Susie,

In the last few weeks I ordered your DVD's Beyond the Sunset and Texas Bluebonnets and Live Oaks.  They are great videos.  Would you let me know what kind of paper you are using?  My paper will not get as pliable as yours does when it is wet.  I am using 140 pound, Strathmore cold press paper. Thanks, Marie

Hi Marie,
Thanks, I'm pleased your are enjoying the DVD's.
I use and recommend Arches 140# CP paper. It is strong and durable and it works best for my style of painting. And it is a good choice for beginners who are just learning the watercolor techniques.
There are several good watercolor papers, sometimes it is fun and beneficial to experiment to see what other papers will do and how they will perform with your personal style of painting. Online art suppliers offer sampler packets to "test the waters" so to speak at a reasonable price. 
Of all my watercolor supplies I believe the most important is my paper.

Happy Painting!

Drawing with Watercolor Pencils

Hi Susie, I’m curious about something. Is it considered cheating to start off watercolor with watercolor pencils? I’ve been considering doing it that way first to teach myself the brush strokes I’d be most comfortable with by following the pencil lines. Although I’m not sure if that would hinder using actual watercolors.  Can you help me with this? Thank you for your time, Courtney

Susie's Reply:
Personally, I don’t like pencil lines in my work so using a watercolor pencil to “save” an area as I paint in my shapes is a good choice for me. Drawing with watercolor pencils is one of my favorite ways to create a guideline that assists with accurate placement when you want to paint more freely.
Keep in mind the watercolor pencil lines will dissolve when water is added.
Cheating? Certainly not!
Use them if they help you as you learn. You never know, you may outgrow their usefulness.
Happy Painting!
P.S. Use similar colors that you will use when painting i.e. Use a pink wc pencil to draw a pink rose and a green wc pencil to draw the leaves. A watercolor pencil can also be used to sign a painting. A lighter color or metallic wc pencil is very effective over dark paint.