How social media is influencing and owning art

Social Media Apps

If you’re creating and sharing art on social media then you’ll have no doubt experienced the phenomenon of influence. Social media platforms views and reactions often greatly influence how we perceive our own creations as artists. In the past artists would create artwork, and they might show a few close friends, familyRead More

Mijello Fusion 18 airtight watercolour palette review

Mijello Fusion Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette

The Mijello Fusion 18 palette is a versatile palette, with a compact size that is easy to carry. The palette features a clear mixing tray on the top lid, and two white mixing areas on the lower section. Mijello claims that this allows you to mix true colours. After testing it, there were no problems with colour distortion from palette to paper. The palette features 18 wells Read More

JMW Turner Watercolour Artist

Venice JMW Turner

Venice: Casa Grimani and The Rialto - JMW Turner - Circa 1839 National Gallery, London

J.M.W. Turner was a landscape and historical artist, watercolourist, persistent explorer, and writer. He was also a teacher who represented the energy, inventiveness, and inquiring attitude of his period. Discover the world’s biggest selection of Turner’s sketches, paintings, and watercolours, as well as the artist’s distinctive views on his thinking and artistic approach.   Download this eBook to enjoy his work as he traveled across the United Kingdom and Europe. You can also discover new topics, techniques, and methods while admiring his paintings, and designs.

Who was JMW TURNER and where did he live?

Turner was an English painter in the late 1700s and early 1800s. He was one of the best watercolour painters, and his whirling, light-filled romantic paintings of landscapes Read More

Sakura water brush review

Sakura Waterbrush Nibs

The best thing about the Sakura water brush is that it’s very portable, and you can easily take it anywhere. It’s shape is like a pen. In this Sakura water brush review, I’ll cover as many aspects as possible, so that you can decide if it’s the product for you. To use the brush, you simply fill it with water, Read More

Improve your painting by watching videos of watercolour masters

Watercolour tutorial online

Watercolour painting is a process of constant learning and development, and one of the most useful and FREE methods available is by viewing videos online. It’s good to develop your own style, and not try to imitate master painters directly, but instead learn from their techniques and incorporate their methods into your own work. Many of these artists, have regular classes Read More

Watercolour paper – which one to choose?

Navigating the different types and brands of watercolour paper is no easy task, and it’s important to find the one that’s best for you. The choice depends on many different factors. If  you’re on a budget you may choose not to paint on a specialist watercolour paper at all. The results won’t be the best, but you’ll still be able to practice and develop your technique. If you’re still new to the medium, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s also good to practice your painting on a quality paper to compare to an ordinary paper. The differences can be stark, somewhat like driving an ordinary car, compared to a high end luxury model.

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How to save 30% – 50% or more on art materials if you live in Australia

If you’re an artist and living in Australia, you’re most likely aware of how incredibly expensive it can be to purchase quality artist materials here, especially if the products you want to buy are imported from other countries. Sometimes the trade off for a lower quality is simply not worth it, even if it’s a lot more than people are paying overseas.

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Painting white with watercolour

One of the most difficult things about learning to paint with watercolour is how to represent white in your artwork. As the medium is heavily based on transparency, one of the best ways is by allowing the paper to shine through and represent the highlight areas of the painting. A quality paper like Arches or Canson will greatly enhance how this white will be seen by the viewer.

When using this method it’s helpful to focus on the tone that needs to be added to white through shades such as grey or cool blues to represent areas that appear white, but may not be a pure white. When defining white you can also focus on the area that will surround the highlight instead of the highlight itself. The negative areas can define the area that will represent the highlight, by providing an outline.

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Featured artist: Paul Klee

Garden in St. Germain, The European Quarter Near Tunis

Paul Klee – Garden in St. Germain, The European Quarter Near Tunis (1914) Watercolor on paper mounted on cardboard – 11 × 13 in. (27.9 × 33 cm)

Paul Klee was part of the German expressionist group known as Der Blaue Reiter, and also taught at the Bauhaus. His work can’t be categorised by any single movement, and his paintings have been described as fantastic, childlike or witty, and were an inspiration to the New York School, and many other 20th Century artists.

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Watercolour Materials

If you’re just starting out with watercolour paints you probably don’t want to invest a lot of money until you start to paint regularly and feel comfortable with the medium. You can buy an inexpensive set from your local art supply store, or you can choose to buy a few tubes of student quality paint. The Cotman Series from Windsor & Newton are a good example. There are also some small portable paint sets available on this site in the Art Supplies section.

Watercolour paper can also be quite expensive, but it is worth spending a bit extra as watercolours work much better on this type of paper than the average drawing paper, which will buckle and warp when it dries. It’s also a good idea to use a watercolour block, or a paper tape to secure the paper, and prevent it from warping when it dries. The watercolour block is most useful for plein air painting outdoors.

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Stretching Watercolour Paper

Stretching paper

Watercolour paper is available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Generally a paper with a weight of 300gsm or more won’t need to be stretched, and can be mounted on a board ready for painting straight away. For thicknesses less than 300gsm it’s recommended to stretch the paper, as it will buckle and warp when water is added to the paper. Stretching ensures the paper is completely flat, and won’t warp. Alternatively you can buy watercolour paper in a block which eliminates the needs for stretching.

If you do decide to stretch the paper, there are a number of ways to do it. In this tutorial I’m only going to cover one method, which I find to be the most effective.

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